UK Wrestling Scene Interviews

Sovereign Championship Wrestling Roundtable Interview #2

The second part of the roundtable interview with SCW’s Kevin Stevens, Samhain, Mayhem and Lee Coles.

Here is part 2 of the Sovereign Championship Wrestling Roundtable Interview. If you missed part 1, click here.

Part 2

A lot of UK guys especially over the last two years have had success abroad is this a plan for any of you?

Kevin Stevens: Me and Lee were in contact with a few American wrestling promotions late last year and a small Japanese promotion also. The American promotions were promotions I’d contacted and were interested in bringing over two young English guys to work a few dates and were going to bill us as “international stars.” Which I find kinda funny. The Japanese promotion was one I’d contacted, and we fought through language barriers to sort something out.

In the end, though, money got in the way again, along with so much stuff going on around me. The promotions were happy for us to go over, had saw tapes of us working, but couldn’t afford the plane fare. Me and Lee thought we could afford the plane fare, but at that time we just didn’t have the funds. For two young guys, finding a grand for plane fares is kinda hard.

I’d spoken to a guy about going to the OVW training camp and even getting to kick off a show here and there, but again, the travel money got in the way. I’m sure in the future, when money isn’t as tight as it is now, I’ll be abroad. Whether I’m a success or not, remains to be seen, but I do have the aspirations. When I haven’t got a girlfriend, haven’t got driving lessons to pay for, haven’t got to help my dad pay for his car, haven’t got to look for my own place and a load of other things that you have to sort out when you’re young and are expensive, I’ll definitely try my hand over there. I always wanna stay on the UK scene, though, even if any foreign ventures are a success. Just because I wanna help British wrestling get better and establish itself like the Japanese and US scenes have.

Mayhem: Not at the moment. America isn’t really an attractive prospect to me at the moment. I would like to work for ROH though. I think my style would be better suited to Japan, cos I work a brawling/submission style at the moment which is really impactful (stiff!) and I think would go over great in Japan.

Samhain: Would love to make it to Japan, if it happens, I don’t know, but I love that hard physical style

Lee Coles: I Personally would for a little while but I’d miss my family, LOL, I know that sounds sad but its true.

If you could work with anyone on the SCW roster who would it be and why?

Kevin Stevens: I’d like to work with the Hunters right now. They’re the current SCW Tag-Team Champions, and me and Lee have just formed a tag-team. They’re excellent workers and one of the best tag-teams I’ve seen on the UK circuit. I’d also like to work with Carnage. He’s always been helpful to me backstage and never has a bad match. He’s a veteran, and I just think I could learn a lot from working with him.

Mayhem: Sabotage without doubt. The guy is big and scary looking and can work a decent match without resorting to weapons and high-spots. I was actually supposed to work him a couple of years ago, but then he, Liam and Andy Hogg had their car crash. I’d quite like to work Danny Oxman as well. He has a great look and a great old-school approach to his matches. A good worker in the making.

Samhain: During the last 4 years , I’ve worked practically everyone who has ever been in , or through SCW … I do have a few matches left to go however … i:e vs. Latz , vs. carnage … beyond that I just want to get in there with our (what we call) special guest wrestlers and see how I fare against guys like Sabotage , MTX Jem Brown , The UK Pitbulls (if I can find me a partner) and from MPW , Danny Oxman … I just like to keep pushing myself , and taking on the best , cos its the only way to keep on learning . Like Karl Gotch said “Strive for perfection in everything you do, and then you will know there is room for improvement”

Lee Coles: I have two, Mayhem because I see him as a big strong ox and I would like to wrestle him and Carnage simply because we have similar styles.

Where do you see SCW in the future?

Kevin Stevens: I think SCW is a very under-rated promotion. As soon as more people get to see our work, I’m sure they’ll keep coming back. We have a cult-following at the moment, and a steady fan base, and I can see SCW being a big name in British wrestling in the long-term.

The only thing lacking right now is production values. A good set, ring barriers… etc. I know Samhain’s working on a lot of this stuff, as are many other people. We’re releasing SCW DVD’s pretty soon and as time goes on, more and more little touches will be added, such as better ring lighting, etc. It’s a gradual process. Rome wasn’t built in a day. There’s nothing wrong with the way we are now, but we’re always gonna look to better ourselves. So in a few years time, maybe even less, SCW will be the full monte. We’re still establishing ourselves and looking to “get there” at the moment, but there’s no doubt in my mind, that in the end, we will. It just takes hard work, and you’ll never find a
better set of hard working people than what SCW has.

Mayhem: I’d like to see SCW climb into the consciousness of wrestling fans in the UK a lot more. We’ve been around over 4 years now, have been featured in Powerslam at least once, given Jack Xavier and Brandon Thomas to the FWA, were the first UK promotion to work with CZW and get the official AIWF support and had our one time owner (Poison) in the PWI 500 something like 3 years running. Despite what other local promoters want and the attitude of a lot of the wrestling media, SCW won’t lay down and die and we keep achieving. It’s about time SCW started to get some of the recognition we deserve for slogging our guts out through everything and STILL being here.

Samhain: I have a LOT of ideas for SCW, and i’m trying hard to get them in motion, but its, well, hard!!! . In a long term setting , I’ve seen a lot of ideas being thrown around on Fan Forums , people saying this or that needs to be done , but in all honesty , not one person knows the answer as to just what needs to be done in UK Wrestling … I don’t !!! All I can do is come up with an idea, put it to the other guys, see what they think of it …if they don’t like it, then we come up with another idea!!! The nature of the business, DEMANDS constant turnover of ideas.

Short term … just getting full production of DVDs and other merchandise in full flow, and expanding ourselves into other venues

Lee Coles: It depends how far in the future you’re talking? a Year maybe a bit further than we are now, ten years hopefully as big if not bigger than FWA.

What makes SCW different to other promotions currently out there?

Kevin Stevens: SCW has its own style. Back before I joined the promotion, it was a hardcore/renegade promotion. It was widely recognized as the most hardcore promotion in the UK. These days, the styles evolved. When I watch an SCW show these days, it’s very much old school wrestling. By that I mean, stories are being told in the ring. There’s not a lot of hardcore action, more in-ring stuff that pulls the audience in.

Sure, you get the chair shots, brawling on the outside… but in general, the ring work is excellent, and the main feature. It’s full of psychology and in many ways, is like Japanese puroresu. It’s a unique blend in many ways. I used to watch wrestling at Butlin’s and places like that when I was a kid, or on World of Sport… that was old school English wrestling to me. Full of technical wrestling with a bit of showmanship. Take that, mix it with a bit of puroresu and American influence, and you have SCW, in my eyes. There are so many different guys in SCW with different styles, its hybrid wrestling. Masked Inferno, Latz, the Coalminers, Carnage, Samhain, Mayhem, the OSS… it’s all different styles, mixed to produce what SCW is. As I said, a bit of puro, US and old school English. Asides from that, you’ll never find a promotion with anymore heart or desire.

The work-rate in SCW is amazing. You’ll always get your money’s worth. I’ve been to other wrestling shows recently, and the ring, set and everything else looks a million dollars. Then you get to the in-ring action and it’s trying to be WWE, but failing horribly. In my eyes, English wrestling needs to just stand alone and not try and copy anything else. That’s what SCW does, in my opinion. SCW has a nice atmosphere too. After the shows, you can meet and greet the wrestlers, they’ll talk to you, have a laugh. Not all other promotions do that. The way SCW is run is also different, as everyone gets a say in what goes on. It’s like a family backstage. So to summarise, the style, work-rate, atmosphere and organisation is what sets Sovereign Championship Wrestling apart from anything else out there.

Mayhem: In general it is hard to say. There is such a glut of promotions out there at the moment it is ridiculous. In Birmingham in particular there are at least 3 other promotions running. What makes us different to them is we believe in the old school method of making a match exciting. Telling a story/ring psychology rather than an emphasis on high spots and gay slurs which certain other companies in the area are keen on utilising. The vast majority of our talent is home-grown and that in itself makes SCW unique. Every company has its own guys, but too many these days rely on bigger names brought in from outside. Check out adverts for different promotions. In Birmingham you will see the same names on posters for 2/3 different companies. How is the average punter supposed to tell the difference? It is just about the same nation wide. Bit if you want good solid action, based on a good solid storyline for a realistic price then SCW is the company for you!

Samhain: we try to bridge the gap, between sports entertainment, old school UK style, and the current fascination with Indies … it’s a tough act to do, but we are getting there.

Lee Coles: I personally think SCW is the British version of ECW as we are hardcore, and we have a family atmosphere in the back stage.

Click here to read Part 3

Adam Sibley