Hi, I'm Alex, this is my first article for WLH and I thought I'd talk about the UK's FWA promotion, feel free to add me on twitter @WholeKirknShow
As a British wrestling fan, who craves to see high class matches from the sport he loves, you would think not having companies like WWE or TNA in the country that often would make a dent in my passion for the sport. But oh, how very wrong that is. We are privileged to have a company here in the UK that has tradition, history and a vast net of talent who week after week put on high class matches for all of the UK fans. I’m talking about FWA wrestling, the face of British Wrestling in my eyes.
Many American fans may not be aware of the FWA promotion, as it doesn’t receive the acclaim of other independent promotions such as ROH or CZW for example. But what it can boast is a rich history of high class matches and a pedigree for grooming top class stars for companies like TNA & WWE respectively.
Due to an extreme void that British fans had for the sport of wrestling, the FWA soon gained notoriety amongst fans, and gave them a mix of fresh British talents, competing against the finest foreign imports. Names like Eddie Guerrero, AJ Styles, Chris Daniels, Dan Severn, Sabu, Steve Corino and the list just goes on and on. Though fans were initially more in favour of seeing the foreign talent, it was break through stars like Jonny Storm, Jody Fleisch, Alex Shane, Nikita, Paul Burchill, & Doug Williams who were slowly making their way to the head of the pack.
It was a rebirth for British Wrestling fans, not since the days of Giant Haystacks, Jonny Saint & Big Daddy had fans been able to watch wrestling in their own country, let alone televised events which FWA held at the peak of its fame. It was an alternative to the American companies, it wasn’t better or worse, but it gave fans a fresh look at a historic and meaningful sport. As a company, the years 2000 – 2006 were bumper for the company, signing inter-promotional deals with ROH and having the British Heavyweight Title defended on ROH shows just showed what strides the company had made within the world of wrestling. So it was with great sadness when it closed in 2007 after a storyline feud with rival promotion IPW, resulted in the FWA closing its doors, leaving behind a legacy, that not only brought wrestling to British screens, but showcased that we as a country, can produce solid, talented young guys as good as anyone else.
But much like the proverbial phoenix, rising from the flames, the FWA was never really gone, and this was proven in 2009 when FWA was reborn, revamped and ready to once again dominate European wrestling again. With a new roster, new management, and new rules, this was a fresh company, not dwelling on the past and its former high profile names, but with a desire to build upon the young talent coming through the FWA academy. The fresh look of the company, soon led to a partnership between the FWA and leading American promotion TNA, whereby FWA would support TNA’s European tours, as well as promote them and talent swap when necessary (such as Mark Haskins joining TNA from the FWA in 2011).
With a new look Adrenaline division, similar to the TNA X Division, FWA is leading the way when it comes to innovation here in the UK. People like Zack Sabre Jr (@zacksabrejr) , El Ligero, Jonny Storm, Mark Haskins (@Mark_Haskins), Bubblegum, RJ Singh (@BollywoodSingh ) & Rockstar Spud (@RockstarSpud) , the company is breaking down barriers, challenging those who said it would never work and providing us all with high class shows all year round.
While keeping in mind this is not a major promotion, doesn’t have major funding and is built of solid hard working guys achieving a dream, the FWA flourishes in the UK and showcases the talent that often makes it to America for a chance with the big promotions. This is the FWA, a proud British company, with proud hard working British guys chasing a dream. Good luck to them in the future is all I can say.