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State of U.K. wrestling


martinQblank
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I think it has to be agreed that UK Wrestling is at its peak at the moment with groups like Progress, ICW and others leading the way.

Every weekend there seems to be another amazing show on somewhere with huge matches getting rave reviews.

Then I the see 5star Wrestling debacle. Supposedly postponed/cancelled featuring a host of washed up ex WWE wrestlers and the pathetic CM Punk stunt (that lead to having to pay refunds when he materialise according to Dave Meltzer). How does UK Wrestling legitimise itself more to stop rubbish like this spoiling it for all those that are on the cusp of great things?

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25 minutes ago, martinQblank said:

I think it has to be agreed that UK Wrestling is at its peak at the moment with groups like Progress, ICW and others leading the way.

 

I don't agree, I think it has  peaked and we are at the very start of a downward slope. We are on the Raw after wrestlemania 17, if you will. 

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Support the companies that do it right. Progress, ICW, Rev Pro, Pro wrestling Eve, and Fight Club Pro for example. they don't over-promise, deliver great cards and have excellent customer service. they seem to be doing it right and growing at the same time.

 

I was never a fan of what I saw from 5 star, and What culture also never really rubbed me the right way. ( though the latter at least seem to be more regular)

Edited by zahidf
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There are always going to be two ends of the spectrum that spoil wrestling - the shitty promoters at the bottom end of the scale, who book their mates and shitty wrestlers because they're cheaper, and who screw over wrestlers, venues and fans alike...and, at the upper end of the scale, the "Super Shows", the companies with delusions of grandeur, who want to be the next Big Thing. The ones who piss away their money on big names, try and get too big too quickly, and end up self-destructing - and, again, probably screw over wrestlers, venues and fans in the process.

The problem is that both tend to aim at the "casual" fanbase to some extent or another, and to the casual fanbase, there's no distinction between promotions, there's just The Wrestling. So a negative experience with one promotion is a negative experience of wrestling - if the shitty promoter running the town cancels at the last minute and you can't get your refund, it's not just him that suffers, the reputable promoter trying to run the same town next month suffers too, because people won't give him a chance, because The Wrestling already fucked them over once. The same thing goes for venues; unless you're a promoter smart enough, or lucky enough, to have a good relationship with the owners of the venue, chances are, to them, you're still just The Wrestling, and the same rules apply.

I work for a promotion in Jersey - before we were running our own shows, our guys appeared on a bigger show, in Jersey, for a UK touring company. That company promised that, if you bought the VIP ticket, you got a front row seat, a meet and greet, and you would be posted a DVD of the show when it was finished. Maybe some other perks too, can't remember. I don't know if they ever filmed, let alone edited, a DVD of the show, but they certainly never sent one to anybody. A good two or three years later, we were still being hassled by people who never received their DVD, despite it having nothing to do with us. Because it was The Wrestling, so surely it must have been us?

On a similar note, we had another promoter run Jersey early on in our existence; they drew terribly, and reached out to us to see if any of our guys could be on the card. They wanted them in a Royal Rumble, weren't paying them, and basically said "you can have a spot if your mates and family buy tickets to come and see you". A couple of the guys toyed with the idea, just for the experience, but the boss stood firm and said that if the show sucked, and barely drew a crowd (if I remember correctly, it was barely into double figures), that promotion could just leave in the morning and never run here again - but we'd still be stuck with the reputation of having run a shitty show, even though we hadn't. When none of our guys accepted the offer, the promotion actually posted on their official Facebook page calling out any local wrestlers - basically calling our bluff - so we just posted a "The only place to see the stars of Channel Island Wrestling is at...", and then listed the details of our next show, and hoped for the best. As far as fans go, I think we got the message across, but the venue has been really reluctant to work with us, because they've been left with the impression that wrestling doesn't draw, and is difficult for them to work with.

 

As for how to avoid these things happening, and how to avoid it spoiling the rest of wrestling? I think doing what a lot of the UK promotions around right now are doing - build up relationships with your fans, at shows and on social media, so that they feel a sense of brand loyalty, and that they're part of something. Realise what your niche is, and how best to work within it, rather than trying to grow into something you're not, and something too big for your boots. Don't try and be something you're not.

There's nothing we can do, realistically, to stop shit promotions from existing. We just have to ensure that, if we work within the wrestling business, we do the best we can to make our shows the best they can be, to keep up a good relationship with our fans, with the venues we run, and with any relevant local authorities, and know that the hard work will pay off. As fans, we have to ensure that we support those promotions who fit the model we like, and not those who don't. I made a conscious decision that I would spend more of my time supporting those promotions that I feel are run by good people, and run well, rather than potentially neglect them and buy tickets for a "bigger" show, but run in a way that tends to leave a bad taste in my mouth, or by a promoter I don't necessarily get on with.

 

I agree with Tommy, though, that I think the scene has probably peaked and we are about to see a downward turn. However, in the past, that kind of downward trend has been sudden and drastic, because it tends to come off the back of one or two big promotions collapsing under their own weight and taking the rest of us down with them. This time round, I think most of the quality promotions in the UK are better positioned to weather the storm, because the stronger companies aren't those that have aimed too high.

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7 hours ago, martinQblank said:

How does UK Wrestling legitimise itself more to stop rubbish like this spoiling it for all those that are on the cusp of great things?

I've been thinking about this, and have come up with a real quality idea for some kind of "council" for British wrestling.

Stay tuned for details, folks. Big news is right around the corner.

Edited by Uncle Zeb
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I have been to 23 shows this year. 1 was wwe uk night two, one what culture I got free VIP for. Lots of good honest shows out there across the uk. Get out, support local companies, tell the grand kids how you seen Damo wrestle in the hall you first got drunk on aftershock in. Fuck these clear money pits with no desire to improve the scene. Support the good folks , buy raffle tickets and fill your face with tuck!

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We are quite lucky in the West Midlands at the moment. We have 3 really good promotions who put on great shows.

Fight Club Pro - Great matches, the origin of British Strong Style and a healthy roster of great talent. 

Lucha Forever - Crazy, fun and a good mix of talent. The first show had a dance off between Will Ospreay and Sami Callahan.................

Kamikaze Pro - Family fun but with solid talent and the odd ex WWE midcarder making an appearance. Ryan Smile and Dan Maloney are their two stars. 

All 3 are extremely different but are all good at doing their own thing. I always make sure to buy tickets for all and never feel disappointed. 

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