(In this picture we have Darren Rogers left, Rockstar Spud & Lee Elmer)
In hindsight, we should have seen it coming.
I noticed that the Blossom Twins were wearing microphone packs when we turned up, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves...
When Lee Elmer, from Future Pro Wrestling, offered me a ticket to the TNA fan party at short notice, I jumped at the chance. While not a fan of their product, I respect several of their workers and I guessed it would be chance to chat to some friends in the industry and catch up with them.
Arriving in Camden Lock, we saw a queue of people and started chatting to some ‘TNA’ fans, who said they didn’t watch anything except TNA and didn’t know of any UK wrestling near them. After educating them about their nearest companies (Fight Club Pro) we went in. Luckily, the edict that no trainers were allowed was ignored (why was it important for wrestling fans to be smartly dressed, in a night club, on a Saturday afternoon anyway?) and we were ushered in.
We spotted Marty Scurll straight away, as the fans had gone down the front and the industry people (Alex Shane, The Alpha Female, Rhia O’Reilly, Amazon, Spud, The Blossom Twins) were hanging around the bar. I asked Marty if he knew what the announcement was and he said he didn’t. I said I hoped he’d get a call from TNA soon as I had tweeted to Dixie Carter that she should ask Mark Haskins and Doug Williams for their views and they should offer contracts to Marty and Zack Sabre Jr. Marty said thanks...
So then Jeremy Borash took the stage and said that no TNA stars would be in attendance (boo!) but that Dixie Carter had an announcement to make. Marty then asked if we wanted to go down the front with the fans, I said I was fine up here but wondered why he was asking me. Then I twigged when Dixie made her announcement of the ‘Bootcamp’ which involved offering UK talent a chance to compete for a deal with TNA (which in reality is a deal with OVW, as I don’t think the winners will appear on TV straight away). Marty, his old enemy ‘Rockstar’ Spud and the Blossom Twins were the ushered onto the stage to discuss their new venture.
Borash is a pro at this and in-between getting the talent on stage he did various competitions (note to TNA, if you run a competition on who travelled the furthest to be in London that day, have a map – do not expect the Blossom Twins to know if Preston or Bradford is furthest away!), asked fans who was behind Ace’s and 8’s (Abyss, Jeff Jarrett and Pat Kenny AKA Simon Diamond were the answers he got) and generally kept things ticking over when nothing was really happening.
He also SKYPE’d some TNA stars. There were two issues here. One, his first interviewee was Robbie E – who had just washed his hair apparently as it was flat so it didn’t look like Robbie E. Secondly, the breakup in the signal caused Joseph Park’s face to be half covered in a red glow, which made some of us shout out “It’s Kane!”. And don’t even get me started on the delay between us and them, it would have been a better idea to just fly over one star rather then this in my opinion.
Back to the UK talent, as Jeremy announced that British wrestling legend Mark ‘Rollerball’ Rocco would be their mentor! How this will work into the context of a ‘reality’ based wrestling show, I have no idea. I would have thought that there were more relavant UK stars they could have used – but Rocco is a name that I recognised, but will it mean anything to anyone under 30?
More funs and games then ensued as Borash hosted a ‘spin cycle’. This showed all 4 of the wrestler’s personality’s pretty clearly. Marty is a party animal, who was once thrown out of a TNA party for being drunk. Spud is very funny (he was mocking the Blossom Twins the whole time they were being interviewed and they were oblivious to it) and Hannah and Holly are, well, twins! One girl answers the questions and the other one agrees with her. And how do you tell them apart? One has a fringe and the other doesn’t...
The highlight of this segment was a slagging off contest between Marty and Spud that was won pretty easily by Spud. Also, Marty was asked who he wanted to face first and he said Robbie E while Spud went for the gold, and said Austin Aeries. Hannah and Holly went for the Knockouts tag titles (which are still confusingly held by ODB and Eric Young). Spud got himself over at this point as the crowd were chanting ‘Austin Aeries’ and then ‘Spud, Spud, Spud’.
So after a few hours of listening to JB, getting some photos and chatting with the 4 entrants into ‘Boot camp’ it was over. I queued for half an hour to get a chat with Borash, as I’d never met him before, and waited till the crowds had gone hoping to chat longer but he was whisked off pretty quickly (presumably to start filming or drinking, either way I’m sure Marty Scurll was involved!) so all I managed to do was ask how the hardest working man in wrestling was doing and he dropped character and said in a hushed tone “You gotta make a living, you know?” before putting on his permanent smile and having his picture taken with me.
To paraphrase one of the fans when he was asked who they were queuing for “It’s JB, he’s the man!”
Good luck to Marty, Spud and the Blossom Twins – make Great Britain proud!