In recent weeks I have literally become THE WRESTLER THE CELBRITIES FEAR.
With the hype for ITV Celebrity Wrestling already in full gear, is the British Wrestling industry about to throw a spanner in the works for the make believe warriors? Scott Future certainly is, ready why!
In an article on BBC News Online, Mark Speight, children’s TV presenter, and from brief personal experience an all-round nice guy, describes Celebrity Wrestling as representing a recognised sport in a controlled environment.
Model Leilani Dowding adds: “After they have watched us fight they won’t dare come near us again.” And further states, “We are not playing – it’s real wrestling, we are getting hurt and injured. I think people will respect that.”
Well, I’m sorry to say ‘celebs’ that I DON’T respect that. Having seen the tapings for myself, I’m unconvinced of any aspect regarding the programme. Despite the press releases I’m unconvinced its real, and telling an audience that is so makes the rest of us ‘real wrestlers’ look like con-artists. After all, the WWE won it’s audience back in the late 90’s by hyping the entertainment aspect. People have come to accept that wrestling involves theatre but what they don’t need is you saying that Celebrity Wrestling is a good representation for what really goes on night after night, for wrestlers breaking their backs on a miniscule percentage of what the ‘celebs’ got.
I arrived at Elstree Studio’s, after reading the hype, expecting Mixed Martial Arts, but what I got was a series of games that wouldn’t have been out of place on ‘The Generation Game’.
I’m unconvinced that 3 weeks training, no matter how intensive (and despite the fact that I do respect the trainers) is enough time to give Celebrities tournaments and championship belts, and to herald them as in any way tough, or competent wrestlers seems nothing short of an insult to what we ‘real’ wrestlers do. I also find it unconvincing that this show isn’t a bad influence on younger children when it portrays the idea that a few weeks training is enough to join the sport I work hard to protect as an art form rather than a backyard danger.
The truth however, and sad as it may be, is that these Celebs, upon completion of the series airing on ITV, may well be in demand by UK wrestling promoters wishing to cash in on the publicity surrounding the show. This means that the Celebs could actually have, after 3 weeks training, more of a break in the UK wrestling industry than their lesser-paid, harder working, already established counterparts.
I guess what I am saying is that had this show been called ‘Celebrity Gladiators’ I would not been writing this article. In truth I think Gladiators was tougher, but that’s an article for someone else to write. (What ever happened to ‘Wolf’?) To call the show Celebrity Wrestling doesn’t just bring back the ‘Big Daddy’ (comedy/ circus wrestling) era for the UK wrestling scene but it also completely ignores what goes on in terms of wrestling in the UK. In the winners’ acceptance speech (and I’m not vindictive enough to reveal who that winner is) reference are made to becoming a star in the USA. Did I miss something? Hello? There’s wrestling in this country too! If you are going to steal our limelight, the least you could do is contribute over here rather than go stateside.
Sadly, Celebrity Wrestling creates a larger gap between ‘shoot wrestling’ and ‘pro wrestling’ enthusiasts. As a Pro wrestler with many hours of shoot training logged, I am hard pressed enough to defend what I do, but the addition of Celebrity Wrestling is sure to add to my need to defend myself. With that in mind then, I am able to point out the differences between myself (and many other UK pro wrestlers), and ITV Celebrity Wrestlers as:
1) I trained for over a year before making my debut, not 3 weeks.
2) I have experience in real wrestling; the entertainment side is a bonus, not the only selling point.
3) I am not in wrestling for the money
4) I actually love wrestling with every fibre of my soul
5) I’m not in wrestling as a launching pad to something else.
These are 5 big differences that forced me to put my heart where my mouth was in order to defend the UK wrestling industry and myself.
You know what? If celebrities can use wrestling to further their cause, I as a wrestler should be able to use celebrities in order to further mine! It’s time we stood up for ourselves!
On April 15th, at www.ScottFuture.com I will be making public for the first time, a challenge that has been in the works for weeks, and a full website dedicated to the cause will follow when the show airs. I am going out on a limb and I hope that those of you who love wrestling with every fibre of your soul will be with me!
BRING IT ON!