Welcome to the UK Scene, where I come back from New Years’ break to find all hell has broken loose in Doncaster!
I talk about the demise of 1PW.
No, before you think it, I am not going to be standing there snorting in pleasure at another company that’s gone bust and I’m certainly not going to join the “I told ya!” brigade, because to be quite frank 1PW was, unfortunately, doomed to failure.
Firstly, I am writing this without bias, as I tend to, I am compiling all that has been said to me over the subject of 1PW. Why not say it as it happened? 1PW are a wrestling company and their business was their own. Why say now? Because a lot of people are asking questions and in some ways, perhaps others can learn from the mistakes being made.
1PW kindly gave Mitchell Jones and myself tickets to the first
show, we interviewed Blue Meanie thanks to them and got to meet some of the stars of that first show.
We were arranged to do more interviews on the day of the show but our host no-showed us, so we went to the bar and did some investigating for ourselves, we were being reporters.
Some of the things we learned shocked both of us a great deal, so much so that Mitchell wrote a statement about 1PW in the 200th UK Scene.
To quote Mitch about a Cruel Twist of Fate:
“I don’t doubt for a moment that 1PW made a loss at A Cruel Twist Of Fate on October 1st, and I have every reason to expect that the upcoming No Turning Back weekend in January will pile up the debts even more. Considering how expensive the ring was, and what the production must have cost (not to mention flying guys like Raven in for up to £5000 each), with everything else on top, it’s going to be hard to fly in more guys each and every time. Eventually, 1PW are going to either have to bring in cheaper Americans or start using British guys – except, they’ve built none of them up to mean anything, except for Doug Williams, Jodie Fleisch and Jonny Storm.”
Mitchell received a personal email screaming vitriol about spreading lies and asking us what they had done to upset us.
Absolutely nothing, however, starting a new business is all about breaking even in the third year of running and not running up debts, however you read Mitch’s statement you cannot hide from the intermittent advice… make sure you can afford to run a show!
Either way, 1PW cut ties with Wrestling101.com and that was the end of that, the impression I got was that we weren’t being nice enough to them.
Now Peter Stanisforth claims to have been involved with the conception and birth of 1PW and was most likely the helmsman of the ship they called 1PW, fair enough because 1PW was sailing a fair route after the first show and it looked like 1PW was beginning to sail forward.
However, as soon as 1PW started, those in the business and in the know gave 1PW six to twelve months before folding. Why? Because, as Peter stated in his press release, there are leeches in wrestling who will bleed the next sucker dry for all their money, pretending to help when really they are serving their own selfish needs.
The problem is, with silver tongues, you never see them until it is too late, with all due respect to Peter, there were plenty of people who wanted to see 1PW succeed, which is contrary to belief. People offered their services to help out and advise (and I mean people who have been in the business a long, long time!).
It was their subsequent treatment after their help was not needed that bent a few noses out of joints. It just seemed that 1PW kept making the wrong choice!
For example, when we spoke to 1PW’s management, they had made it very clear to everyone in the UK Scene that the idea of 1PW was to invest in US stars to bring interest to the promotion and then build a roster of UK Stars to slowly take over and then invade the US with popular UK talent.
You can imagine the dismay at 1PW signing on more and more US talents and sticking to the safe UK talent such as Williams, Fleisch and Storm.
The reason behind this?
The very people who give the UK Scene a bad name, the “workers” with little experience or clue of how to put a wrestling show together. I was told by several people that 1PW didn’t check any of the credentials of the people who were offering their services and they suddenly realised they had a lot of crap on their hands.
So 1PW stuck to the workers who professionally worked and they missed out on the upcomers who would bring passion and loyalty to the company. All they needed to do was a bit of homework.
It wasn’t until the criticism kept coming about the issue that “Fight Club” was set up, mainly as a development ground and finally 1PW gained some kudos.
But then there was the fan base…
1PW was very brave to appeal to the internet marks and the smart marks, Christ, I’d never seen so many rock t-shirts and long leather trenchcoats in one room.
However, the problem with the smarks is that they are never satisfied, you do something spectacular you have to do it again but better and they will balways criticise something, including one who decided to call D-Lo Brown a jobber! I think I can safely say that D-Lo had done a lot more in a week than the 24 stone nerd who called him it had waddled in his pus filled lifetime!
Seriously, the last thing a promotion should do is allow the fans to drive the progression of the promotion, the WWE left the attitude era a long time ago, ECW would never be the same thing again. However 1PW kept topping themselves and, so it appears, kept getting further into debt.
Many have said that a part of FWA’s slow demise was that it listened to the fans too much, fans aren’t promoters, fans watch the show and enjoy it, or they don’t, they can have their say, but in all honesty, would Vince really care if a fan criticised him? No, because if that fan knew better they’d be a Vince McMahon themselves!
Then there was the case of the bust-ups, often ending with the fingers in the ears and singing “Lalala! I’m not listening!”
The most famous was The Wrestling Channel (TWC) fiasco that 1PW decided to make public with a statement only for it to be rebuffed
quite succinctly by TWC which pointed out that 1PW was scoring a rating of 0!
Then there was the incident about the Great Muta and the 1PW denial of wrestlemag.com’s reports about the deal falling through, which turned out to be true.
It puts their denial of Mitch’s article into perspective.
I think it was June 2006 when I first started hearing about debts being unpaid, I had also heard that Steven Gauntley had even re-mortgaged his house to make the dream of 1PW work.
So now the best hope for UK wrestling has gone down the toilet with bills being owed to the US!
But what can promoters learn from this?
1. Don’t take media criticism personally, you cut off the ties with people then you are not going to get the support when you need it most. Wrestling is a business and should be run dispassionately.
2. Fans are always important, but make sure you attract the right fans and that they don’t have a say in how the promotion runs. Always remember, smarks ruin wrestling.
3. Make sure you can pay for everything you promote.
4. Make sure you keep cordial relationships with everyone.
5. Make sure you thank everyone who has helped you.
6. If you find yourself throwing money at the promotion, way
past the initial investment, then you need to stop and consider the direction of your company.
7. Be very careful of who you do business with!
It’s a damn shame that 1PW has gone, they gave a lot of pleasure and I am sure a lot of people were disappointed with the closure, however, the UK Scene continues…
The rest of the UK Scene
As I’ve spent a while talking about 1PW, I’ll quickly go over the shows for
SWA presents the “New Years Retribution” show, which will be held on Saturday Janaury 27th at the Sir Matt Busby Sports Complex, Bellshill, Glasgow, Scotland.
ACW have updated the card for their next show “Frontline 2“, which will be held on Friday January 19th at the Bletchley Leisure Centre in Bletchley, Milton Keynes.
LDN Capital TV Taping – Saturday January 13th – All Saints Arts Centre in Totteridge, London
RQW has announced matches for it’s next TV Taping, which will take place on Friday January 12th at the York Hall in Bethnal Green, London.
IPW:UK have announced their next show “No Escape“, which will be held on Sunday January 28th at the Orpington Halls in Orpington, Kent.
IWW will present it’s next show “Zero-Gravity” on Sunday January 14th at the Combined Community Centre in Balbriggan, Dublin, Ireland.
NBW will present their next show “Full Circle“, held at the Notts County Football Ground in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire on Sunday February 18th.
FCW will present “Back To The Future” on Sunday January 28th at the The Baggeridge Social Welfare Centre in Lower Gornal, West Midlands.
LPW have released a list of their upcoming shows:
– January26th – Minworth Social Club and Institute in Sutton Coldfield
– January27th – Aylestone Social Club in Leicester
– January28th – Leahall Sports and Social Club in Birmingham
BHW have announced their next show “To Hell and Back” which will be held at the Thurmaston Working Men’s Club in Thurmaston, Leicestershire on Saturday, January 20th.
If you are interested in becoming a professional wrestler, we are here for
you on the Talk Wrestling Online Forums, with a comprehensive list of training schools throughout the UK and now with links to suppliers of wrestling gear too! See how good we are to you?
Don’t forget to interact with the UK Scene, I can still read your comments
and questions and involve people in your thoughts through the UK