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CavemanLynn

How Does Wrestling Move On?

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My interest in the business stuff regarding Britwres and Equity isn't just the pay side of things, but getting access for the workers to services like bullying and harrassment reporting and legal counsel. If I understand the Equity site correctly, for a performer to become eligible, they need to produce evidence of paid work over the value of £500, so for that to work for wrestling, companies would have to start producing proper booking or match agreements for all talent including newbies, which in turn would need to be traceable to a company and event. It's part and parcel of the whole stone-turning, muck-raking exercise, and would need to be enforced across the board otherwise the younger or more vulnerable talent remain at risk. 

And that's just thinking of promotions running shows. Vetting and regulating the schools, where trainees can be regularly around the same performers in a submissive environment, is where things get really tricky. Apart from general safety qualifications and legal checks, what other criteria does a trainer need to qualify as competent, safe and trustworthy? There is no wrestling standard, curriculum or accreditation. And is an independent auditor going to be happy with Doug Williams hitting 15 year olds with forearm smashes for half an hour, for instance?

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I think the idea of an industry regulator for wrestling is a complete non-starter. I work in regulation within an industry that was self-regulated until the early 2000s and can think of many reasons why regulation in the manner people are asking for won't happen. Above all else the financial implications would make it unviable to run any shows outside of arenas because there's no way any government funding is finding its way down to this. That leaves the cost with the industry itself and that's not happening off of 100 people in a social club. You're also talking about legislation, which again isn't likely because who cares enough about pro wrestling to make it change who they vote for?

 

I don't know enough about local authorities in England but in Scotland the best (as in achieving maximum possible standards and safeguards without regulation) method would be to ask councils to review their licensing criteria to include a specific category for pro wrestling. In the same way that taxis and pubs are subject to national legislation but are licensed at a local authority level.

While the talk remains with the idea of regulation, either by an independent body or self-regulation by wrestlers (bad idea), then nothing will really change beyond a few companies improving their practice. The fans who follow all this kind of thing on social media might not be willing to attend certain companies or watch certain individuals but that's not going to be enough of a detriment to stop all of these characters resurfacing. 

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42 minutes ago, MungoChutney said:

I think the idea of an industry regulator for wrestling is a complete non-starter. I work in regulation within an industry that was self-regulated until the early 2000s and can think of many reasons why regulation in the manner people are asking for won't happen. Above all else the financial implications would make it unviable to run any shows outside of arenas because there's no way any government funding is finding its way down to this. That leaves the cost with the industry itself and that's not happening off of 100 people in a social club. You're also talking about legislation, which again isn't likely because who cares enough about pro wrestling to make it change who they vote for?

 

I don't know enough about local authorities in England but in Scotland the best (as in achieving maximum possible standards and safeguards without regulation) method would be to ask councils to review their licensing criteria to include a specific category for pro wrestling. In the same way that taxis and pubs are subject to national legislation but are licensed at a local authority level.

While the talk remains with the idea of regulation, either by an independent body or self-regulation by wrestlers (bad idea), then nothing will really change beyond a few companies improving their practice. The fans who follow all this kind of thing on social media might not be willing to attend certain companies or watch certain individuals but that's not going to be enough of a detriment to stop all of these characters resurfacing. 


How realistic would be to regulate whilst retaining feasible business practice?

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15 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

About as realistic as starting a separate thread.

Apologies. I felt it was relevant because one of the key things to have come from Speaking Out is discussion on how the industry moves on.

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I'm pretty sure industry regulation is a non-starter though. The business is based entirely on a scam so, much like homeopathy or clairvoyance, you can just spout endless shit.

Edited by King Coconut

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I genuinely think the only solution is to stop watching. Pretty much every statement from anybody accused or associated with the accused has confirmed to me that there's no interest from their side in changing anything.

Edited by King Coconut
Just wanted to point out that I'm not a double-post pussy. Someone's merged threads.

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Industry regulation will never happen whilst WWE are still in business. Too big, too powerful. The workers couldn't even get a union going when they had the perfect opportunity to do so. What makes people think things will change now?

Edited by 5pints

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Any self regulation, or workers union, or wrestling-specific subsection, is still keeping wrestling in its bubble where the carnies want it to stay. It's also not a big enough industry, certainly in the UK, to warrant government time and money to sort out. It needs to be accepted that it's not its own special mysterious thing any more, and that it is in fact a blend of existing arts - athletic, gymnastic, dramatic - all of which have existing bodies of regulation.

I've latched onto Equity as it seems to cover all the bases, but ultimately it's Equity's call if it passes their muster.

Even if that happened, it won't be a sudden seismic shift. There'll be a couple of shows with Equity workers, maybe only a handful among a whole roster, and maybe none at all. The key is that more workers see the benefits, more punters see the benefits, and more promoters see the benefits. There's been no change because there's no reason to change. If we as an audience support promotions that demonstrate worker welfare and safe family-friendly shows, then things have a greater chance.

Although I don't have kids, I have a 10 year old step nephew who absolutely loves WWE, and I know in 5 years time or less, he'll get the itch to give it a go, and me, having the gimmick in the family of being 'the wrestler', will the guy they come to for advice about how to start and where to go. Hell, despite being away from the ring for years, I'm constantly fighting the urge to get back, even now. But now, I need to know that where I go, and where I advise wannabes to go, are safe, qualified, and professional.

This is all spit balling and hand wringing, of course. Basically fantasy booking real life. The ball is rolling, and we need to see where it goes. But even if it doesn't roll where one thinks it should, I will be doing what I can to push and promote those schools and companies that do make the changes that I think are needed.

Edited by CavemanLynn

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Registration on companies house is of course welcome but it shouldn’t prove a distraction from the real issues at hand here. Dangling people off off multi story buildings, hitting them over the head with pool cues, hitting them with bags of ice, ‘bangcocking’ people (presumably hitting people in their genitalia without consent?), passionately kissing fans seemingly without consent on multiple occasions, family members making threats on multiple of occasions, encouraging people to target accusers immediately after their full name and town of location is published... all of this is stuff that’s either been admitted in person (or in one case alleged by a relative of the folk implicated) or has been caught on camera and it does not scrape the surface as to what evidence is available to counter any legal case that could be brought against the allegations that have been made (my case and the others) and it absolutely dwarths the evidence that has been presented in legal cases successfully defended relating to historical accusations of sexual abuse.

Being on companies house hasn’t proven an obstacle to all the above happening, there has to be other safeguards and the marketplace should be informed within the boundaries of the law so it can vote with its feet.

Who leads this? This isn’t just a union job, though they are a bit part of it. I think a lot of this goes straight to the top too.

... oh and by the way, the intimidation of the accused won’t work. There’s a presumption that accused are always internet trolls. Not always so. Sometimes the fear of having a punch thrown at them by a member of the family with a criminal history won’t be enough to make them take it back. Sometimes folk have the inclination and the capital to defend their case all the way. Sometimes when you don’t expect folk to reach out to the police and their lawyers they do. Sometimes when you mess with people you think are weak they bite back, sometimes folk know their truth so passionately that they actively welcome the opportunity to prove it and aren’t afraid of big burly men who can’t string a sentence together.

In other words, some bullies never lose but when they pick a fight against folk that are used to bullies, that understand how they operate and have the intelligence, capital and internal strength to stand up to them? It brings about a fucking big shock to the system.

 

Edited by AVM

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32 minutes ago, AVM said:

Registration on companies house is of course welcome but it shouldn’t prove a distraction from the real issues at hand here. Dangling people off off multi story buildings, hitting them over the head with pool cues, hitting them with bags of ice, ‘bangcocking’ people (presumably hitting people in their genitalia without consent?), passionately kissing fans seemingly without consent on multiple occasions, family members making threats on multiple of occasions, encouraging people to target accusers immediately after their full name and town of location is published... all of this is stuff that’s either been admitted in person (or in one case alleged by a relative of the folk implicated) or has been caught on camera and it does not scrape the surface as to what evidence is available to counter any legal case that could be brought against the allegations that have been made (my case and the others) and it absolutely dwarths the evidence that has been presented in legal cases successfully defended relating to historical accusations of sexual abuse.

Being on companies house hasn’t proven an obstacle to all the above happening, there has to be other safeguards and the marketplace should be informed within the boundaries of the law so it can vote with its feet.

Who leads this? This isn’t just a union job, though they are a bit part of it. I think a lot of this goes straight to the top too.

... oh and by the way, the intimidation of the accused won’t work. There’s a presumption that accused are always internet trolls. Not always so. Sometimes the fear of having a punch thrown at them by a member of the family with a criminal history won’t be enough to make them take it back. Sometimes folk have the inclination and the capital to defend their case all the way. Sometimes when you don’t expect folk to reach out to the police and their lawyers they do. Sometimes when you mess with people you think are weak they bite back, sometimes folk know their truth so passionately that they actively welcome the opportunity to prove it and aren’t afraid of big burly men who can’t string a sentence together.

In other words, some bullies never lose but when they pick a fight against folk that are used to bullies, that understand how they operate and have the intelligence, capital and internal strength to stand up to them? It brings about a fucking big shock to the system.

 

Well amen to fucking that!

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