Welcome to another Three Count article. This week I want to take another look at wrestling in the UK. The past few weeks I’ve been to more shows than I have for ages watching promotions such as RQW, NCW, PTW,IPW:UK, Premier Promotions, CWC and on Sunday June 3rd, SAS Wrestling. Have I been impressed with what I’ve seen?
Thankfully the answer is a resounding yes, the majority of the shows have been really entertaining and any that weren’t were simply down to organisation that could have been a bit better achieved. So the big question is why the hell does Powerslam have such a downer on British wrestling?
In this month’s edition they review WWE’s recent Raw taping in the UK and in particular an appearance by British veteran Robbie Brookside and came out with this gem of a comment: “Shane McMahon introduced “Great Britain’s greatest wrestler” Robbie Brookside. With his bad hair, bad tights and bad physique, Brookside looked like a British wrestler all right.” So what’s that all about then? Is a British wrestler someone who has a crap body, cheap tights and a dodgy hairstyle? That’s not my view of British wrestling and I doubt there’s that many of you reading this who think the same.
When someone watches WWE a great deal it’s not always that easy to then go and see a British show. You’re used to seeing the pyro’s which are great if you love fireworks but I’ve never seen any do a decent wrestling move yet. They’re used to the great entrance music and the big ring and of course the massive arenas. So when they venture into the local leisure centre to see a show it is a bit different but that doesn’t mean they’re going to see a poor show.
There’s plenty of talent around the UK, I see it mostly in the south but reading reports of shows in the midlands, north and in Scotland and Wales, it’s obvious that the tradition of British wrestlers being talented is carrying on to a new generation. Why else would WWE be signing up so many UK wrestlers at the moment?
It’s great to see so many shows being held at the moment, well apart from when I have to compile the results for my Piledriver fanzine, that takes an age believe me. It’s also good to see a lot of companies relying on British talent for their shows. Of course there’s companies like 1PW, RQW and VPW who bring over wrestlers from overseas and there’s the recent trend of Japanese wrestlers coming over here which is welcomed. To put on a good show though you don’t necessarily need to bring over imports.
Of course getting the crowds in isn’t easy either. For most cities/towns I think any card that has a few well known names on it, and not necessarily imports, will get a decent crowd. It’s when you want to move to the next level and attract thousands of people that the problems begin. There are few, if any, companies in the UK that can do that consistently and not worry when their bank statement comes through the letter box. All-Star Wrestling get high attendances all over England but seem unwilling to ever put on a supershow. I guess they’re doing well enough at the moment not to want to take such a risk.
Sure there are negative points about British wrestling. There perhaps isn’t the strength in depth around the country for so many shows to be held and for all of them to be successful. There’s the lack of television coverage and a return to terrestrial television still looks as far away as ever. But British wrestling doesn’t deserve to be rubbished the way it has been this week. What do you think?