In a week where my attention has been grabbed by the new Ultimate Fighter series on Bravo I will try and get back down to business with my usual opinionated concise round up of what’s hot and what’s not in the British grapple game. This column comes to you on the week where Saracen celebrates his first full year of writing here at 101 and the week that ITV have finally decided to move Celebrity Wrestling from its prime time slot on Saturday evenings. So there is a lot to be joyous and happy about in this week’s column.
Before we get down to business I got to give a big shout out to my boy Saracen who celebrates his first full year of writing for Wrestling101 this week. Saracen has been an asset to the site giving us some frank, opinionated and sometimes controversial columns from a man with a wealth of experience and contacts within the UK Scene. Sorry Saracen no cake to go with the celebrations unless some generous readers would mind supplying one and to quote one of his phrases of the year wrestling boots and a video collection don’t make you a wrestler son. Ok I think I may have added the son bit but I like it that way, quality quote though.
Scott Future can have a half smile on his face this week as he wins a battle in an ongoing war against Celebrity Wrestling. It may not be a personal victory for Scott but a victory for the public and wrestling fans alike as after ratings continued to dwindle according to media sources ITV have finally pulled the plug on it taking it off the Saturday night scheduling. I am lead to believe that it could be moving to ITV 2 or a very minimum of off peak viewing on ITV.
With this news in mind it starts you thinking why did ITV bother with Celebrity Wrestling in the first place. When the show launched it was wrestling fans that were losing out by the programme taking away any credibility wrestling had and now ITV are losing out themselves by having to reschedule the programme after losing the ratings war with the BBC. I think the decision to make celebrity wrestling and to schedule it at prime time on Saturday night may be the two most harebrained decisions in terrestrial TV history so I’m sure some people are getting fired over it.
The FWA gave us their latest offering last weekend in the form of London Calling. A big positive from the event is that there wasn’t a spare seat to be seen which made for a good atmosphere and should hopefully put a couple of pennies in the kitty for another event. In some strange booking the semi finalists for the flyweight tournament were decided at the event with Aviv Mayaan going over Bubblegum who got some good reviews for his debut and Ross Jordan went over Dane Head. This added to Max Voltage and Spud who had already made it, makes it an all face semi final. The event also saw the debut of the Dr’s Clinic which from what I was told was a good idea but needs more work.
FWA seem to be in a state of limbo at the moment as since the Coventry Skydome things have felt a bit weird. It seems the FWA are concentrating too much on getting the crowd in rather than investing, working on storylines and developing talent. The FWA had a real hot period from British Uprising 1 to British Uprising II where there was a lot of investment in the product which got a lot of hype but that same feeling seems to have disappeared. I think it’s a combination of factors, one is to steal a quote from something Dean Ayass told me “Don’t promote every event like Wrestlemania” I think the fans have grown tired from so many big events on a regular basis like the problem WWE has at the moment. Another factor is the sense that they don’t seem to be moving forward as they seem to be happy to play the same arenas month in month out with no plan to try and better British Uprising III. Like I say the FWA needs to go back to what they were doing in 2002 / 2003.
In some sad news Danny Devine announced this week that he has left FCW. According to Danny he hasn’t left on bad terms and the reason he needed to leave was to free up time for other projects we are still yet to get an official statement from FCW at time of writing but it definitely is a loss to the company. The good news is though that Danny is still taking bookings and has some matches lined up. To read Danny’s commentary on the whole situation go to: DannyDevine.net.
WAW this week announced the brackets for the big inter-federation tournament they are holding with the FWA. The event will be held at a WAW event on May 28th in Bournemouth. The brackets look like this (WAW team members are the first named wrestlers):
- Zebra Kid vs. Doug Williams
- Zak Zodiac vs. James Tighe
- Jason Cross vs. Stixx
- Ricky Knight vs. Spud
Many of the WAW contingent are no strangers to the FWA after featuring on many past events so it should be an action packed event.
Speaking of the Zebra Kid it was announced this week that he will be filling the final spot in another tournament this time for IPW:UK in their Best of British heavyweights tournament. He joins Martin Stone, Andy Simmonz and James Tighe in what should be one hell of a tournament at the Orpington Hall in Kent on May 22nd. Just to keep you on your toes IPW:UK have also announced that there will be a mystery entrant to the tournament who will be named on the night of the event so to find out who it is be sure to get down to Kent to catch it live.
A promotion I haven’t heard of before the Elite Grapplers Alliance are holding a charity event for the Alison Riley memorial fund tomorrow night (14/05) in Ferndown. Tickets are priced at £8 and £4 respectively and it all kicks off at 7:30pm from the Barringdon Theatre at the Ferndown Community Centre. I am unsure who will be on the card but the good people down at 1stop will be in attendance so hopefully we will find out what went down.
Before I go today I just wanted to put something in from my boy known on the TWO forums as Darkstar.
Next year around Wrestlemania time I am planning to stage a charity show for the CysticFibrosis trust. The background is simple, I used to wrestle and enjoyed the buzz from entertaining, my wife has CF and I want to do my best to help her (hell, this year I got waxed: and I WAS very hairy! 2 hours of pain!!!) so it seemed a natural choice for next year after Hangman Draven Cage offered any help he could to fundraise.
Basicly I am asking that anybody involved in the business who can help in any way please let me know! This is a big thing for me and many people. CF is the biggest genetic killer in the UK (and in fact the west).
Email me at [firstname.lastname@example.org] or PM me to learn more. Thanks for your time.
So if you think you can help in anyway be sure to get in touch with Darkie and that’s all for this week folks.
Until next time,