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The 2015 UKFF UK50 - STAGE ONE!


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The Eleventh Annual UKFF UK50


What is the UKFF UK50?

The UKFF UK50 is the yearly attempt to rank the top 50 wrestlers from the UK wrestling circuit, compiled by the members of the UK's biggest and most active pro wrestling messageboard, the UK Fan Forum. UKFFers come together to debate, discuss, nominate, vote and ultimately rank the best in the British wrestling scene. Yes, believe it or not, this is the eleventh consecutive year that we have done this!

Those who try to disparage this project each year by saying things like “The UKFF is such a tiny proportion of the punters at shows” and “Stupid net fans aren’t the ones who pay the wages” and even (believe it or not) “It should be the worker themselves that rank the other workers” (yes, I’ve heard that one) are missing the point. It is not supposed to be a definitive, absolute, be-all-end-all, undisputed set of official rankings representing the entire British public, it is merely supposed to be a reflection of the collective opinions of the UKFF community. It doesn’t pretend to be anything other than that, and hasn’t ever pretended to matter in the big grand scheme of things.

With that said, with awareness of the limitations, the UKFF UK50 will still always be the best attempt anyone will ever get to producing a set of rankings simply because, again, it is “the UK's biggest and most active pro wrestling messageboard”, and it does represent the largest collective of the type of money-paying customers more likely to go out and see a more-than-average number of wrestling shows in a year, in different promotions in different areas of the country. We aren’t just talking about contributors who go and see a show twice a year in the local town hall. Indeed, the general UKFF members who participate in this task have more awareness of the British scene than your average punter, so are more likely to attend shows depending on certain individual wrestlers and particular individual announced matches than simply going because you’ve seen a WRESTLING poster in the local chippy. It is that knowledge and awareness of the individual British wrestlers out there that feed into this project and make it work. As such, you absolutely won’t find any other project where the number of contributing members have such a wide starting reference knowledge and strong basis of comparison as the UKFF.

The previous winners have been Doug Williams (2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008), Bubblegum (2009), Martin Stone (2010), El Ligero (2011, 2012 and 2013) and Zack Sabre Jr (2014).

How does it work?

Every year we compile the list via a number of stages. First, UKFFers nominate who they believe is worthy of a place somewhere in that year's top 50. Then, once we have a list of 50 names, we begin to rank them into an order of merit by way of votes. The final ranked list is then revealed. All the way through, UKFFers are encouraged to discuss, debate and justify their selections, sharing reasons why they believe their decisions to be correct, sharing clips from matches, suggesting particular matches that they believe back up their selections and so forth.

Upon what criteria are the rankings based?

All the way through the process, nominations and votes should be made based on British wrestlers' in-ring performances you have seen on shows that took place between 1 July 2014 and 30 June 2015. The key points around which the rankings, nominations and votes are based include:

- whose in-ring performances are the most gripping, convincing and enthralling?
- who is consistently involved in great matches?
- who is able to tell the best "story" through their performance?
- whose performance is able to capture the crowd's interest and make them emotionally invested in the match?
- who actually makes pro wrestling enjoyable to watch with their performances?

Who is eligible to be included in the UKFF UK50?

To be eligible for inclusion, a wrestler must:

- be British or Irish
- have the majority of their appearances on UK shows, for UK promotions, in the UK wrestling scene.

Wrestlers can be either male or female.

Adrian Neville, Bad News Barrett, Sheamus, William Regal, Layla, Becky Lynch, Rockstar Spud, Magnus, Rob Terry, Bram, Finn Balor, and suchlike are NOT ELIGIBLE. For virtually the entire eligibility period, they have all been full-time contracted roster members for major overseas-based promotions and the majority, if not all, of their work is for those promotions. The UKFF UK50 is intended to cover the domestic British wrestling scene, not WWE, TNA, etc.

Drew Galloway, whilst since his release from the WWE and many appearances on these shores, he joined TNA as a full time roster member in January this year and only 30 out of his 71 days wrestling in 2014/15 were for a UK promotion. Therefore Drew Galloway is NOT ELIGIBLE. Mason Ryan, again was released from the WWE before the 2015 voting period and has again made a fair few appearances in the UK but he was always treated as a special attraction rather than a full time roster member in any UK promotion and also his UK appearances weren't the majority of his matches. Mason Ryan is NOT ELIGLBLE.

In a tough decision, last years #1, Zack Sabre Jr is NOT ELIGIBLE. BBHG even commented last year that he almost excluded him from eligibility due to his time spent in Japan with Pro Wrestling NOAH. This year Zack spent 12 days wrestling in England, 7 days in America, 7 days in Germany and 84 days in Japan. Only a third of his time was spent outside Japan and only just under one seventh of his 2014/15 was in England.

An equally tough decision was the call to make last years #2, Kris Travis NOT ELIGIBLE for this years UKFF50. If you don't know why that is, it's because Travis was unfortunately diagnosed with stomach cancer just after the middle of 2014 and only wrestled 12 times in the 2015 eligibility period (Fighting through the pain before the diagnosis was made official). If not for his illness Travis would have also been a part of the final six competitors on the second season of TNA British Bootcamp. So, as it would be unfair to see Trav potentially slip down from last years #2 to the back end if he even gets voted inside the top 50, and it would be equally unfair to judge Trav on his matches from this years eligibility period I have removed him from the voting completely.

In better news Joel Redman, Martin Stone and Mark Andrews are now/still eligible for voting in this years voting period. Joel has been full time on the UK scene since his return so he's a no brainer. Mark Andrews, whilst winning TNA British Bootcamp season 2 back in December and joining TNA official in January, it took until May until he actually moved over to America full time so spent the vast majority of the voting period in the UK wrestling as a regular for several UK promotions. Martin Stone spent the last six months of 2014 as a UK/European regular and whilst he has moved back to America and is trying to make another go of it out there, while he was on the UK scene he was treated as a focal point in several promotions and was never treated as a special guest attraction.

There's probably others I've forgotten to specifically mention above, but the same rules apply and it should be simple enough for you to determine whether someone is or isn't eligible under this criteria. If unsure, ask me either in this thread or in a PM.

Who is allowed to take part?

Anyone who has a UKFF account. Obviously, you must have actually seen the wrestlers you are nominating/voting for in a British match within the eligible period (e.g. live show, full matches on the internet, TV, DVD, etc).


Will there be a Shit List?


No. There is enough drama, pettiness, back-stabbing and bullshit going on in BritWres to further add to it by doing a Shit List (Plus I don't fancy having the coppers round to mine!). I've always treated the UKFF50 as showcasing the best of BritWres and with me now continuing on, I want to do exactly that.


Wait a minute! You're not Big Benny Hat Guy!


Nope I'm afraid not. BBHG made the call last year to step down from his own creation after his tenth and final year. I asked if I could take over the UKFF50 from him and he very graciously agreed. My name is Cobystag and I've been going to BritWres shows since 1PW in January 2006. Since that time I have traveled up and down England (only done Scotland the once) going to BritWres shows and in the 2014/15 voting period I went to 65 BritWres shows. The main promotions I saw during that time were Southside Wrestling Entertainment (21), Preston City Wrestling (16), Fight Club:Pro (8), Revolution Pro Wrestling (7) and Progress Wrestling (3) with special events (Dragon Gate:UK and CHIKARA) and other assorted promotions (IPW:UK, Kamikaze, Insane Championship Wrestling and HXC) rounding it up.

Where can I find out about the previous UKFF UK50 projects?

The 2005 UKFF UK50 threads have now been deleted and so can no longer be viewed.

The 2006 and 2007 results threads were moved into the UKFF Gold forum and so are available to view at your convenience.

The 2008 and 2009 threads were not moved into Gold, and so they have also unfortunately also expired.

The 2010 (including all the drama surrounding that infamous SHIT LIST) and 2011 threads are both available in UKFF Gold.

The 2012, 2013 and 2014 versions are not in Gold, but can still be viewed on the main forum for the time being until the Mods cull older posts.

So, for the Eleventh time, here we go…


2015 UKFF UK50 - Stage One (Nominations)

As always, Stage One is the nomination stage. UKFFers nominate British wrestlers they feel deserve a place, any place, somewhere in the list. The 50 with the most nominations make it in, the rest don't.

As always, to take part in this Stage I need you to:

1) Send a PM to myself on the UKFF. E-mails/Facebook messages/Tweets/etc. will not be accepted. Feel completely free to share your nominations in this thread if you wish, for the purposes of generating discussion/debate, but I will only officially count lists that I receive in my PM Inbox.

2) Within the PM, please nominate up to 15 wrestlers that you feel, based on the criteria described above and matches that you have actually seen, deserve a place, any place, somewhere in this year's UKFF UK50. This doesn't of course, necessarily mean that it is your own personal 'top' 15, just 15 people you would like to see in the 50. All names are a single nomination, carrying equal value, so there is no need to rank your list of nominations in order of merit (i.e. the name at the top of your nominations will be treated equally with the name at the bottom of your list). You can nominate less than 15 if you like, but definitely no more.

You don't need to include your reasons for nominating these wrestlers within your message to me during this stage. As you will have seen from past years, I do like to use your quotes when doing the results write-ups, and some people put a lot of time and effort into their comments. However, since this is merely the nomination stage, there is no guarantee that your nominated wrestlers will get through and I don't want you to waste your words - save them for the final round. If you do wish to give your comments at this stage, you'd be best off sticking them in this thread - just a sentence or so to justify their selection or point out particular matches, promotions or shows upon which you have based your decision.

4) Make sure you get your PM in to me by 23:59 on Sunday 19th July 2015. Any received after this deadline will not be considered, so don’t bother asking.

Anyone suspected of using dual accounts or other unfair methods to weight the list or make mockery of the spirit of the project may be excluded at my discretion. There's always knobheads who try to get their shitarsey Johnny Kickpadz mates into the main list, but they are usually unsuccessful since they are outweighed by the amount of ‘proper’ nominations.

As always, any nominations, votes or comments that I receive will be treated completely confidentially. For the purposes of maintaining space in my Inbox, I usually have to delete your messages as soon as I’ve taken the detail anyway.

The 50 wrestlers with the most nominations after the deadline will make it into the 2015 UKFF UK50. The rest will not. If there are a tied number of nominations for the last few places in the 50 (there usually always is every year), we will have a mini-stage to determine which of them make it in.

Please feel free to now use this thread to discuss and debate who is worthy of nominations this year. Campaign for your choices. Share videos of your selections' best matches from the year. Try to convince others that you are correct. Provide evidence as to why you believe you are right.

So, finally, to summarise what I need you to do:

- Send me a PM
- 15 Nominations
- By 23:59 on Sunday 19 July 2015

Thanks in advance for your continued participation. As always, please feel free to ask any questions you may have, either in this thread or by PM.So, then, over to you, UKFFers...

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Well, this feels weird....


Soooo, here goes... During the eligibility period I attended 46 live shows, from 12 different promotions (16 PCW, 7 GPW, 5 PROGRESS, 4 RevPro, 3 TIDAL, 2 each from DG:UK FutureShock, True Grit and Triple-X, as well as 1 each from GRAPPLE, NGW and Pro Wrestling Heroes).  I’ve no idea how many individual wrestlers that equates to, but would say that’s a good mix of just about every type of show going.

On the assumption that the likes of Ospreay, Scurll, Mastiff, Rampage, Bubblegum, Hayes, Ligero, Haskins, Kirby, T-Bone, Samuels, etc. will sail through on the basis of other folk’s nominations, I’ve therefore made the following nominations based on what I’ve seen around the country.  As is supposed to be the case with this Stage, these aren’t necessarily who I consider to be the ‘best’ 15 guys (though some of them definitely are), but guys I feel deserve a place ‘somewhere’ in the top 50:

Ashton Smith
He should get enough support to go through, since he really has shone in both multi-way matches for PCW that plenty of people will have seen, but he’s also had a sparkling series of singles matches in GPW that people maybe haven’t.  Hope his lack of appearances away from the northwest don’t scupper his chances here, since he is very much towards the upper echelon of UK talent.

Charlie Garrett
I can honestly say without question he is probably the guy with the greatest potential of anyone on the UK scene at the moment.  Clichéd UKFF UK50 comment, but he’s genuinely getting better and better each time out.

Chris Brookes
I desperately wanted to make sure I nominated some people from Triple-X Wrestling, which despite its uncertain 2015 status provided me with massive enjoyment and entertainment in 2014.  I’m making the (potentially dangerous) assumption that that Eddie Dennis, Pete Dunne, Damien Dunne, Tyler Bate and Morgan Webster will go through based on other people’s nominations for their work elsewhere, so have given a thoroughly-deserved nomination to Chris Brookes, whose performances as the sleazy hateful, well, ‘Bit of a cunt’ were just great.  He’s visibly come on strides between the ropes too and I would personally like to see him in some one-on-one matches with some of the usual ‘top’ BritWres names.

CJ Banks
I hope people don’t forget CJ this year, given his appearances have mainly been for GPW, Infinite and HOPE rather than the ‘higher profile’ groups, but for me he still deserves recognition as one of our top performers.  Gradual babyface turn in GPW, leading to series with Jack Gallagher over who was the ‘Pound-for-Pound Best’ were simply fantastic.

Like Banks, I hope people don’t forget Cyanide.  While all the Mastiffs and Rampages and T-Bones and Damos have been getting most of the heavyweight headlines this year, Cyanide has continued to be one of my favourite performers to watch and stood out in places like FutureShock and GPW.

Dean Allmark
He splits opinion, but I love him as the happy, perma-smiley, clappy babyface star of PCW’s signature multiway bouts.

Joseph Conners
Only really came onto my radar over the last year.  He’s very, very good.  Darker ‘Righteous’ persona interests me.

Kenny Williams
Yeah!  Only seen him a handful of times recently, but this kid is a powerball of energy and a fine in-ring talent.

Kraig Kollinz
A bit of a wildcard here: I think would be interesting to see Kollinz make the UK50 this year.  From his early stuff in the finals days of the XWA, through his sporadic rumble and dark match appearances for PCW, I never thought he’d be getting a UK50 nomination from me.  I missed his run at the top in XWA’s successor PAID, but the times I’ve seen him recently for GPW he’s displayed a killer-intensity and destructive, wrecking-ball qualities that make him both believable and watchable.  It looks as though he’s about to get a run as GPW’s top heel so I’ll see if my nomination based on the first half of 2015 pays off in the second half.

Liam Lazarus/Slater
A newcomer, really, though one with huuuge potential that I have seen for TIDAL, True Grit, NGW and Heroes as being eminently capable when called upon.  He looks like he could be the business; let’s see how he plays out.

Nathan Cruz
He’s slipped away from the eyes of the UKFF UK50 in recent years, but over the past year my eyes have been well and truly opened to him... not as a bad guy, where I think he can be pretty dull, but as a full-of-fire babyface (at which he is probably top 5 in the country).

Roy Knight
Zebra’s been around forever, and I’ve always liked him, but I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed him more than right now as the infectious, rowdy, brawling Hooligan.

Sam Wilder
Another with massive potential.  I think his regular Proven tag partner Caz Crash is a bit crap, but Wilder has really impressed me over the past year.  Very talented indeed and looks like he could be one to watch, though we could do with seeing him in some high profile singles matches to see if my gut feeling on him is right.

Zak Knight
As with Roy above, The Hooligans’ arrival on the wider-UK tag scene has been incredibly welcome.

And finally ’Sleazy Bastard’ Dave Mercy.
That’s right.  People may scoff, but I would LOVE IT[/Keegan] if Dave Mercy made the UKFF UK50.  When you consider the criteria for which the UKFF UK50 is supposed to represent, I genuinely cannot think of that many people that have entertained and engaged me more than this.  You just want him to GO AWAY, but at the same time can’t help but want to see what he gets up to next.  NOMINATE THIS MAN.

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This year I'm going to be campaigning for Welsh based touring workers.


AS a precursor to my crusade, I suggest people check out Mean Tommy Dean, Bison Brody, Stevie Starr, Grizzly Jones, John The Machine Titan (Best name in Britwres by a country mile) and a few others on the youtube. I'll also be plugging James Mason again too.


Although on the Mason Ryan being ineligible thing he's done a full time schedule in Wales quite a few times over the voting period for large amounts of time, including daily holiday camp swings. I think, to my knowledge, he's done at least 4 months full time in Wales since last November, not counting work anywhere else.

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*This is all according to cagematch where I'll be taking the majority of my information*


Mason Ryan wrestled 39 times between July 2014 and June 2015. 20 of them were in the UK but was he ever a regular in IPW:UK, Progress, Leicester, HOPE, Wales or any of the other UK promotions that had him? Was he ever treated as anything other than a guest attraction? An import almost if you will?


I've had 20 nominations so far. 59 wrestlers have achieved more than one vote apiece. Only 5 wrestlers have been in more than half of those lists.

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It's alright, I even had the discussion with BBHG as to whether to allow Ryan but he advised me that if a wrestler doesn't "feel" like a regular then to exclude him/her.


I haven't seen any of your recommendations (other than Mason) live before. Do you have anything online to recommend people to check out?

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Any Mean Tommy Dean vs James Mason is a good start. Tommy Dean is the most underrated villain in the country, he's fantastic. But unfortunately working for Welsh Wrestling, which isn't the hippest promotion in the world (though that's ok because we're not going for that), means not many of the community which votes on this gets to see him. He's wonderfully sleazy and greasy. Very oldschool. He's not a "workrate" guy, but none of mine are. However, he gets massive heat, tells brilliant stories, and has one of the best elbow drops I've seen this side of Buddy Landel.


Stevie Starr was formerly in NXT as Gavin Reid and is a wonderful white meat babyface. Fiery comebacks, great crowd interaction, one of the best looks in the UK too.


Bison Brody is a fine big man worker. Very believable and knows exactly how to bump and when, one of the best things a big man can do. Very Karl Krammer


There should be some examples of them all on youtube. I know there's a fair amount of Mason vs Dean matches on there. 

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I think there's something to be said for the guys who get themselves out there and our seen throughout the British isles. To have seen the people you mention live you would have to go to Wales. Is there a reason for this?

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