Welcome one and all once again to the UK Scene with your host me Adam Sibley. This column comes to you with a hint of sadness as we recognise the retirement of a modern day great that being of course Flash Barker. With the negative there are always positives as we see yet again new promotions with big plans and we see Scottish wrestling back on track as SWA announce their first event since the departure of SCW. So sit back, relax and most of all enjoy as the time whittles away to my summer hiatus from the UK Scene but more on that in weeks to come.
So we must of course start with the biggest loss to the UK Scene since Jody Fleisch that being of course the retirement of Phil “Flash” Barker. The announcement was made earlier this week via the FWA and has been confirmed. After he blew out his recovering knee just before Crunch 2004 he was back in hospital the worst was feared. Flash being the battler he was didn’t want to give up but on the advice of doctors and with his future health on the line he had no choice but to call it a day this week.
Phil was one of the few wrestlers who had the ability to cross over from old school promotions and an old school style to working for the likes of FWA and IWW in which he was loved and respected by the new age net fans. He could do his FWA shows and then still go back to shows at Premier Promotions and still be able to get both styles of crowds into his match and his character. Phil paid more than his fair share of dues in this business and worked his way up the ladder rung by rung and people inside and outside of the ring respected him because of it. Phil never asked or needed any favours his performance stood for itself.
I remember the first time I saw Phil perform in the FWA at No Surprises 4 and I think it was then I really started to notice what a genius the man was. I had seen him many times before but like everyone was sceptical to how the FWA stint would go but Phil to his credit didn’t ever go into a situation not knowing what he was doing and he built in the old school stereotype brilliantly into his FWA character and became one of the best heels FWA had at the time.
We have been robbed of a brilliant wrestler and robbed of one last classic Barker / Williams match but after all of his years of putting the wrestling before his friends, family and himself he finally needs to lead his life outside of wrestling. Wrestling has taken so much out of him it is only right that the FWA will be honouring him in a special ceremony at Carpe Diem in Brent Town hall on the 18th of June. We have lost a modern day great this week that is irreplaceable. Everyone at Wrestling 101 would like to thank Phil for all the pleasure he has given us over the years watching and reporting on his matches.
As British wrestling tries to bring itself up after that news we leap once again into a monthly feature talking about new promotions. This week it is IPW (International Pro Wrestling) as they announce a best of British supershow in Hull this August. The debut event will take place from the Vulcan Arena at Hulls KC stadium on August 1st. The card is like a who’s who of British wrestling as they bring stars from promotions across the country together for one event.
This show looks like it could be one of the best wrestling shows of the year as they have the likes of Zebra Kid, Doug Williams, Alex Shane, Ricky Knight, Phil Powers and James Tighe to name just a few of many. Many people are questioning though if this will draw and is it financially viable to have so many top UK stars when we are still waiting for terrestrial TV. Ex WWF star Jake Roberts will be adding his weight to the drawing power so I really hope this event can draw well as it looks like an awesome card and any true British wrestling fan should at least think about going. The number for tickets is 0870 837 0004.
After the news of SWA taking over from SCW north of the border, developments and the plans of SWA have been very quiet well that was until this week. They have announced that their first event aptly named Rebirth will take place on he 17th of July at the Sir Matt Busby Sports Centre, Bells Hill. The event will be see a history making night of action as they crown the first ever NWA Scottish Heavyweight Champion and they open their T-Division.
It was only a matter of time before NWA-UK marked their allegiance with SWA as well as their training facility and I think this is a very fitting way to do so and should get the fans out to see it. I am very intrigued to see how their T-division gets on, I take it they are aiming to reach the standards set by the X-Division in NWA;TNA but only time will tell if they can. The first official confirmed match for the event will see Majik going one on one with The Pigman Andy Hogg a reason in itself to attend “Rebirth.”
As you can see on the site there has been a lot of UK content added this week. We have the much awaited exclusive interview with my favourite up and coming wrestler in the UK Scene that of course being Spud. Another must read this week is Saracen’s latest Tenet so lots of quality reading to do once you’re finished here and be sure to keep your eyes on the inbox for Goldy’s new exciting instalment of UK Scene news in the TWO newsletter.
Until next time,