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Big Benny HG

10 years ago... Notorious 'BritWres' incident

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DEN PERRY from Phoenix Nights, who was there with his family, jumped on stage to do a little routine with Iceman

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Great read that Ben, being a relative newcomer to Britwres i'd not heard that before. Den Perry was a highlight for me too, Phoenix Nights would have only just been on then if I remember right. Did anyone ask him to burn the place down? :laugh:

Edited by Baz Windham

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Thread can't go on without posting Farrer's retirement speech. Here's the set up. Alex Shane posted the following on the UKFF announcing he was selling up an moving on:

After a week of meetings and debating, I would like to inform you all that I

have decided to sell my share of Frontier Wrestling LTD.

 

This is a decision that has not been easy to make but in all honesty has

been on the cards for several months now.

 

When I first took over the day to day running of FWA, I was 22 years of age.

I had no other full time hobby or occupation, no full time relationship and

was far less jaded towards the wrestling business than I am now. It was

always my dream to run a promotion more so than actually wrestle. In fact

other than Mick Foley my all time wrestling heroes are Paul Heyman and Jim

Cornette. Two men who, with limited budgets in ECW and Smokey Mountain

respectively, created something very special in their part of the world.

With FWA I guess I found a way to live out my dream and in the process do

something that had always been my goal when I was a UK-based wrestling fan -

give people on this side of the Atlantic a company they could follow and be

proud of without flying overseas.

 

Contrary to popular belief, the FWA has never had a money backer. Even our

biggest shows like Frontiers of Honour were put together from scratch with

no money. The one thing that nobody could ever accuse me of was a lack of

passion and that passion enabled me to talk my way in or out of anything

because I believed so much in what the FWA was doing. FWA was my entire

life. I cared about it more than my various partners, family, friends and

even myself. I was so tunnel vision-ed that I could not see further than my

own ideals and it led me to see and do some things that I am not too proud

of. No matter how much I have ever got out of FWA it has never been equal to

what I have put into it but for someone who was living their dream it never

bothered me. The unfortunate thing about dreams is, you eventually wake up

and have to face the light of day.

 

After British Uprising 2 I suffered what I can only describe as a mini

nervous breakdown. The bomb scare we had that day lead to a chain of events

that ended up getting me, not FWA, in a serious amount of debt and the

stress of it all lead to me shutting down everything for five months. Fans

said what they wanted to say as usual but for the first time I really did

not care. I needed a break from everything and felt physically and mentally

exhausted. When we came back at New Frontiers 2004 I felt different. I just

was not the same passionate person that I was before our last York Hall

show. I would have thrown in the towel then if it had not been for three

things. I had two more goals left to achieve and more importantly I didn't

have anything else!

 

If you read back through my old Shooting Galleries, two goals will keep

popping up. To get a weekly national TV show and to run the Coventry

Skydome. Until I had done these I would not be able to stop with FWA. I

never realised that was the actual reason but I knew inside I could not stop

just yet. The TV show not only started but each week got better and better

so that got ticked off my goal list. In April I met the first girl that I

have ever wanted to put before wrestling and myself and she is very likely

the woman I'm going to marry. With one of my last existing goals achieved

and now having something other than wrestling as my main passion that just

left one last thing.

 

On November 13 2004 I promoted my first show at the Coventry Skydome.

Although we did not come close to a sell out (I knew we never would) we not

only drew more than I thought we would but achieved our biggest paid

attendance in the process. We blew our previous number out of the water by

over 650 tickets and did it in an area we had never even run before. I also

achieved a career highlight by beating Doug Williams for the British

Heavyweight Title.

 

Wrestling is a work so this is not an achievement, right? Wrong. To do it

and not be crucified because people felt not only was my work capable enough

by now but my heel persona was strong enough to carry it was a huge

achievement for me. I went out that night to celebrate my 25th birthday

(which was two days later on the 15th) with my business partners, employees

and friends, and had one of the best nights of my life. Right there, the FWA

had reached its peak for me personally and from that point there is only one

way to go. I spent my actual birthday on my own packing my bags to fly out

and see my girlfriend in Australia as a surprise visit. A 30 hour flight

gives you a lot of thinking time and by the time I landed I had made my

decision. My girlfriend is travelling the world until the end of April

before she returns to England. This would give me the chance to see if my

new project (the TWC Supershow in March) would be a success and if it was

then time to hand the FWA reigns over to others before she came home.

 

You see the one thing I now know is to run a company like FWA with

consistent story lines and weekly TV etc you have to eat, sleep and breathe

wrestling 24/7. Sadly for me that stopped the day I met my woman and to

continue being the driving force behind the company when it is no longer my

top priority would have been a bad move unless I could justify it on a

financial level and sadly I no longer could. 2005 marked my 12th year in

wrestling and without meaning to sound money grabbing I had new priorities

and Frontier Wrestling could no longer support them. With none of my

existing goals left to achieve I realised that the FWA was now my burden and

no longer my passion. The best friend I have ever had once said to me

"without goals, eventually you get bored of just kicking the ball around and

go home". My new goal was to sell out the Skydome and promote a show unlike

any I had done before.

 

March 19 2005 marked my single biggest career highlight as both a wrestler

and promoter with TWC International Showdown. Not only was it the biggest

crowd to an event I have organised (along with Sean Herbert who is the

unsung hero of TWC) but without a doubt the best all round show to boot. To

top things off, I got to work against Raven and shoot an angle with my all

time wrestling hero Mick Foley. Do I sound like a mark? Good, because if you

are reading this then you are a mark too so live with it. I now know that

this is where my future lies and even though the show was an AMAZING success

and we only had 150 empty seats I cannot rest until we sell the Skydome out

with a turn away crowd. That's why I am going to continue to promote these

events and maybe even build into three-day International Showdown tours by

next year.

 

So where does this leave FWA? In truth in a better position than it has been

in over a year. The company has badly needed fresh ideas and new blood

driving it and that's exactly what it will get. Sadly I have not yet been

able to finalise the deal to sell my shares but it is very close to being

done and the person who will take over from me is likely to be a much more

popular figurehead than myself which can only help the company. Hopefully

the deal will be finalised before Crunch on April 16, which at this point is

still to go ahead as planned. My departure will sadly hold up the production

of our TV show, which I have written and directed for over a year now. This

is only expected to be a temporary problem until the new buyers find a new

production crew.

 

I will still wrestle for the FWA and represent the company wherever I go. I

will still sit on the booking team from time to time and be the main FWA

talent scout. I am still going to get the gym chain stronger, bigger and

better. The board of control is now much higher up my list of goals and Alex

Shane the performer is going to be developed the way he never could be

before. This is not the end but simply the start of a whole new chapter and

for the first time in ages the FWA is really exciting me again.

 

I want to ask the fans one thing. Please give the new guys a chance. The FWA

only ever has had ONE full time employee. Everybody else did it part time or

as a hobby. Yet the expectation levels from fans were always so high and the

criticism sometimes so unfair. I know the guys involved in the takeover have

the best intentions of all of you at heart and would not be taking such a

financial risk if they did not love the wrestling business. These are

wrestling people not greedy business people so give them room to make some

mistakes and try and treat it like it's your company the way you guys did

when we first started out on this little adventure what seemed like so long

ago. I promise it will be worth it if these guys get the chance to prove

their worth.

 

In closing I would like to thank a few people in no particular order. Barry

you are the most loyal person I have ever known and I trust you with my

life. Greg you are the inspiration behind the word 'reliable', you're doing

great and I love being right about people. Nikita you are closer to me than

a sister and I love you beyond words, we will always be best friends.

Elisar, you have always stuck by me no matter how much of a cock I may have

been at times. You're a special person and a great guy. Mark, none of this

would have been possible without you. We rarely see eye to eye but the years

have brought me a new level of respect for what you bring to the table and I

feel you are nowhere near as appreciated as you should be by many in the UK.

Ralph, you are the single most talented person I know and a great friend.

You believed in me for a lot longer than most would have and still do. That

will never be forgotten.

 

Then there's Dino. You have been the single biggest factor in making me the

person I am. You have always believed in me and stood by me when everybody

else told you not to. I could not have learnt more from ANYBODY about

wrestling than I have learnt from you because you live outside the wrestling

box and see things as they are. No one has ever been there for me more when

it mattered and I will always owe you more then you will ever know for that.

 

Lastly, I would like to thank the other people who have made this all

achievable. The ring crew, riggers, trainees, regional promoters, web

designers, wrestlers, referees, commentators, camera crew and ultimately the

fans. I simply would not even want to attempt to name you all and I really

couldn't even if I tried. The fans who have sent me e-mails and letters.

Come up to me at shows and thanked me for my work as a wrestler, radio show

host, teacher or promoter. The fans who I bump into at shows and functions

across the UK and how make me feel appreciated when it sometimes feels like

I'm really not. I really mean this when I say it, you guys have made this

worthwhile on so many levels and I value you all. Thank you.

 

FWA has made me friends and enemies. It has given me my highest points and

my lowest moments. It has bought out the best side of me and my worst. Above

all else though it has proven to me that anything is achievable by anyone if

you willing to work for it and believe in it enough. My favourite motto is

"Do not go where the path leads, go where there is no path and leave a

trail". That's how I view the FWA and its how I'd like it to go on.

Something tells me I'm going to get my wish.

 

I am always going to be FWA to the core. I am just no longer able to be the

core of FWA.

 

Thanks for reading and hopefully understanding

 

Alex

 

Farrer wasn't having it:

I felt inclined to crawl from under my rock after reading Alex Shane

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For once, Hitman is right. This incident is indeed featured in my new book, along with many other stories from the FWA years, available from www.xwawrestling.com and also from www.authorhouse.co.uk, and on Kindle at Amazon and e book at other online outlets including Waterstones and W H Smith. 25% of royalties go to the Kidscape anti-bullying charity.

 

Incidentally, there is a wrestling show scheduled to take place tomorrow at King George's Hall in Blackburn, exactly 10 years on to the day. I saw a poster advertising this recently when I was in Blackburn doing book promotion with Radio Lancashire; Johnny Moss is on the poster, not sure of the company running the event.

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What happened to the VCR in the end?

And what happened to Farrers acting career? Whats Alex's latest crusade?

 

How mad is it that Jon and Alex were promoting these shows in their early twenties. Im nearly 27 and have trouble with wrestling torrent sites. These nutters were promoting shows!

 

Both those statements Ian posted are mental, very entertaining though. Loved the original post too Hat Guy. What a fuckin mess.

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Farrer ended up winning the lottery didn't he?

 

I have fond memories of the first show in Preston, travelled down there with my brother to see that and the FWA show in Telford. I was pretty gutted Corino no-showed as that was the main reason I was going! Regardless, they were two fun shows and I got to meet Jake, Guido and a load of the Brit guys that were there like Jonny and Jody. Good times.

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Didn't Farrer win the jackpot on the National Lottery & start playing poker full time?

 

I went to the 1st show he did in Preston, it was a great day tbf. We were in two minds about going to this but fortunately decided to give it a miss.

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