UK Wrestling Scene News

wZw Promoter Gary Graham calls it a day

 Today I am announcing my departure from wZw (Wrestle Zone Wrestling). I suppose this will come as a shock to a lot of people and a breath of relief to others. I will explain my reasons why later on but first I want to thank some people for making most of the time at wZw great.

Carl (GTS), Carl my business partner, co owner and head trainer of wZw. He has become my best friend and one of only 2 people in this business I would trust with everything. Carl has put up with my mood swings and bouts of serious pissed off attitude, he has always been the reasoning when I loose my temper, which believe me was a lot of the time. No one has tried to change my mind on this decision more than Carl and I know that in his hands wZw will continue the path to greatness and eventually reach the goal of the wrestling channel actually showing one of our shows.

Isaac (Iceman), Ice when I started in this business was the one person who most people who used forums like the UKFF would love to slag off, call him worse than **** and said he was a backyarder and could not wrestle. Ice is one of the straightest guys in the business and tells it as it is. He wont bullshit and suck arse, that’s not his style. He has been a good friend to me and the second person in the business I would trust with my life. All the **** thrown at him, most men would have called it a day, not Ice, he simply proved everyone wrong, with some great wrestling matches and some of the most explosive hardcore bouts the UK has ever seen. Iceman is a man with a million ideas and angles that in the right promotion would blow anything away on the TV. He lives, breathes and is wrestling.

Gary (Spitfire), I have had some major difference with Gary and at times not liked him at all. A lot of water has passed under the bridge and at the end of the day he could be if he was motivated to do so, be an amazing teacher. He is a technical genius and has taught some of our lads some amazing wrestling. I swear without his earlier input in wZw we would not have developed talent like Stevie Lynn and Macca. He is a young lad who wants to make it to the holiday camps and wrestle for a living. I hope someone gives him the chance.

Phil Robinson, (ref) Phil has been like a dad to me, he has stayed over at my home many a time and we have had some in-depth conversations on wrestling. He is from the old school and has been a great influence to wZw, the use of public warnings has gave the fans an interaction with a match.

The wrestlers, all the lads and lasses who have put their lives on the line for wZw. One thing I prided myself on was the ability to build a team and we had a fantastic team. The team we had at wZw was amazing, it was like a family a solid unit, that could fall out and disagree but always have each other’s backs. I have tried my best to put those guys over with other promotions and stuff, stroked egos and listened to personal problems and tried to be a mate as well as the promoter.

I could go on with many names who have meant something to me, but if I did that I would be doing this ever. So many people have helped, listened and advised. People like Scott Conway, Spinner McKenzie, Alex Shane, Colin McKay, D’Lo Brown, Deacon Despair and Lee Butler. All have been close confidents and I own them all so much. In this business the best thing you can do is listen and take the advise of those who know.

Time to get on with why I am finished with promoting wZw and am wanting out of this shitty business they call wrestling.

When Carl and I started wZw we did it purely because we wanted to improve the wrestling in our area. Better shows, better talent and more value for money. It was never about us making money or putting ourselves over, it was about show casing the talent we had on offer and mixing it up with the best available from around the UK. Giving the fans something that Wrestling would be proud of. We achieved that too, our fan base has grown to the point where our fans will travel up and down the UK to follow and support our guys.

Over the last couple of years, we have had more than our fair of **** thrown at us, people ripping down posters, making phone calls saying we ran without insurance, even had a solicitor letter accusing me of slander (funniest thing ever). But we took it on the chin and got on with it, did everything by the book and did what we did best, trained and put on great shows. Honestly the more people tried to piss us off the better we became.

Over the last few months I have seen a different side to this business and one that makes me see why British wrestling will never amount to much. I take a look inside of what British Wrestling and I see a monster, a nasty growling beast of ego’s and back stabbing *******s. Not everyone just a few people. But even a few people is enough to hurt. The things that have been said about me behind my back over the last couple of months by supposed friends has hurt deep. People don’t have the balls to say **** to my face, its easier for it to be said behind my back, to my face its all smiles and goodness. It made me physically sick. I have always tried to be upfront with people, sometimes its got me into trouble and I have opened my mouth before I have thought. An example of that is that I slagged off someone on a forum about camp shows. To be honest I did not realise who it was, but it hurt him and in return killed a friendship. That’s something I will have to live with and hope for forgiveness one day. An example of writing before thinking.

I have tried to find passion inside to continue in what I am doing and I can’t find it anymore. I used to love promoting a show, booking wrestlers, sorting venues, designing posters, flyers and newspaper advertisements, postering, flyering, setting up the show, taking it down, speaking to the fans after the shows. I had this passion deep inside and it meant more to me than the real important things in my life. Like my soon to be wife and my two fantastic kids, they were put on the shelf behind wZw. Those 3 people are the most important things in my life, yet I treated them like seconds. This is what this business has done to me. Made me part of the selfish machine that is pro wrestling. I would sit at the computer promoting shows and wrestlers and my kids would be trying to talk to me and I would half listen to them and grunt. That’s dreadful for any father to do. My mums funeral and 1 hour after the service I was talking business with a wrestler on the phone. Its time to look into a mirror and see what’s important in my life and from what has happened over the last few weeks, wrestling is nothing and I honestly don’t know why I cared so much for so many people.

Training started going down hill a little, more to do with ego’s than the quality of training. Some people like to think once they have been paid for a few shows they don’t need to learn anymore and can come and go as they please. Any wrestler who thinks they have nothing more to learn is a fool, I look at shows at certain wrestlers who have lacked in training and you can see how their standard has dropped. If I started promoting less and not caring people would not come through the doors. Unfortunately I am a perfectionist, a knob head at times. If I am putting 100% into promoting wZw and the wrestlers who are from within I expect the same dedication. A few bad apples can rot a barrel as my mother used to say.

Myself and Carl decided a couple of weeks ago to sell up and end wZw and the training academy. We both felt there was no reward in it, no thanks and no appreciation. The thing is over the last few months so many little things have got us down that I quote ‘Many pebbles make a mountain’ never a truer quote too. Normally we can sort and work through problems, only this was different, it felt different and to be honest, the pebbles turned into a mountain and it was a mountain that had no summit. I honestly thought **** it, why should I bother. Then this week myself and Carl had some hate mail.

Some pussy or pussies wrote letters addressed to our wives and basically said we were messing about with women and we were ripping people off. To attack me is fine but to attack my wife (well soon to be) is a total piss take and one that finished me with this dreadful business. The spineless **** heads who did this I hope you are happy, I hope it did what you wanted. I hope you die a slow ****ing death. One thing I hate is a coward and lets be honest you don’t get much more of a coward than that.

Anyway that was the final straw and I said to Carl, I am finished with this business. It’s a business of *******s and shitheads who only care about one thing, themselves! I don’t want to be part of something like that anymore. So we decided as Carl wanted to give it one more go, he would buy my 50% share of business and take full control of wZw and the Nu breed Wrestling Academy. Carl still has a flame in his heart for the business, it’s a flame that’s dwindled and I only hope he it lights up again and brings him massive success with wZw. Carl is very knowledgeable and knows so much about what happens in the ring, he will be the first to agree we had many an argument on the bookings of shows, who we booked and how we booked. These arguments were stressful to the both of us but one thing we did was producing some fantastic storylines and booked some amazing matches. That’s the only part of the business I will miss.

I have worked my ****ing arse off for nearly 3 years and have nothing much to show. I have kissed arse, stroked egos, and smiled when I should have been launching people. I am looking forward to taking a long earned rest, looking after my real family, those 2 kids and my future wife that depend on me. Already I have a weight lifted off my shoulders, being a normal person again not the boss is a nice feeling. WZw has left me with some amazing memories, some fantastic stories and yes some genuine friends.

I am going to write off for now, you never know what the future has in store. All I know is that running an UK Indy Wrestling promotion is not for me anymore.

Thanks for reading this long-winded statement, thanks to the fans and wrestlers who have supported me in this. Please keep supporting wZw, it’s the greatest promotion in the North and it can only continue that way with your support. Carl is a good booker and I am sure the shows he will produce will be amazing.

Take care and God bless.

Gary Graham (Ex – Promoter / co-owner of wZw & NBWA )