I promised I wouldn’t, but it just wouldn’t seem right for a British Wrestler such as myself to write a regular column without covering one of the biggest stories on these shores of 2004 – Burchill signs a WWE developmental deal.
Why did I promise? Well, because, I’m not ashamed to say that I am on the whole extremely unfamiliar with just who Burchill is. In the weeks that have followed his signing I have heard his name a couple of hundred times. I make no bones about the fact that I’m focused. I wrestle for people I trust, and I spend an unhealthy amount of time training, and making an effort to promote myself. I’m not the finished article, but God knows I try, and I have as much to offer as anyone else in this country.
So it’s not by choice, but my lifestyle is pretty hectic, I work full time in media design and consultancy and I don’t have time to follow 90% of the wrestling I’d like to follow. For that reason, regrettably, I have never seen Burchill wrestle, and since our paths have never crossed doing different wrestling shows, I don’t know a great deal about him. I do know he did the UK proud, and that’s enough for me, I’m sold.
Burchill started to make a name for himself in the FWA. I have seen just two FWA shows. One was live in 2002 when an American wrestling promoter invited me to join him, and one was on the Wrestling Channel some time ago. I don’t get time to follow the internet forums as much as I would like (although I get emails when my name does come up!) and If I haven’t worked with you, and you’re a British Wrestler… the chances are I don’t know who you are. And hey I’m not ashamed of that, because I’ll have a friendly handshake waiting for you when we do meet!
But now, I certainly know who Burchill is, and by proxy, I certainly know what the FWA is made of. I tend not to mention wrestlers of promoters, or promotions for that matter, by name in this article. I don’t try to score points by threatening to shoot, and I don’t fight my battles on the world-wide-web. But I do, in every walk of my life, give credit where credit is due, and credit is certainly due not just to Burchill – but also to his springboard, the FWA.
It’s seems obvious, and especially now with The Wrestling Channel, the FWA has offered someone a foothold to display his talents and gain recognition on the big stage. For that, I have to take my hat off to the FWA, and to Alex Shane, who for years has been one of the driving forces behind said promotion. Quite frankly, and no has put me up to being honest and shooting from the hip, Burchill has a lot to thanks Shane for.
I last had an in-depth conversation with Alex Shane, and I’m sure he wont me mind me saying this, when we were on opposite sides of the fence trying to make a go of an FWA- WrestleXpress relationship (which by the way I was only doing out of morale support and no business investment). Alex Shane had his interests to protect, and I had mine. What pleases me most about that time, it was obvious to me, and I hope to him too, that we both wanted what was best for British Wrestling. In the years that have passed I had to work hard from the fact that promises given to me about WrestleXpress were never met. I put so much faith into it working, and invested so much of myself, that had we not all had a mutual respect for wanting WRESTLING to succeed, I could have been black balled from the business through no fault of my own. I have no regrets about that time. If someone with the energy to promote and the self confidence to make it succeed approached me tomorrow, I’d dive in head first and help in any friendly way that I could. That’s just me, I want whats best for British Wrestling, and I want to contribute to that so that I can make it too!
I coached for RBW for close to a year, and unlike many wrestlers in this country, promoters (and not yours truely) funded my trips to the USA to wrestle. I’ve broken some of my own ground in getting sponsored by LA Muscle, and opening a door for others in the wrestling industry. (Thanks LAMuscle.com). Shane, and the FWA also worked hard following the WrestleXpress episode. They went into overdrive, and are now, what WrestleXpress wanted to be, but ultimately could never be. That work and tireless effort, whether they realise it and pat themselves on the back or not, has helped Burchill sign a WWE deal.
But lets not forget the man himself. Although I haven’t seen him wrestle, I wasn’t immune to some of the buzz that he seemed to create, and the WWE signed him because he has, they believe, the talent to be somebody, someday.
The Future-Shock training series starts next time!