Tuesday 25 September 2012

AJB’s Biggest British Wrestling Pet Peeve Number 2 & 3 – Adam James Bullivant

Welcome again. As I type this, my Spotify account randomly flicks through my favourite music tracks to create the soundtrack to my work. It has just skipped from Rolf Harris to 2Pac to The Glee Cast. A wonderful show of diversity and a seemingly pointless way to start this piece. Let us begin.

AJB’s Biggest British Wrestling Pet Peeve Number 2 – Not Knowing Your Role.

We all have one, if you care to look hard enough for it. Now in my time as a ‘Pro Wrestling Nobody’, I’ve both set up camp and briefly skimmed through a number of wrestling training schools/companies. I’ve awkwardly shaken the hands of a vast amount of young aspiring pro wrestling somebodies, instantaneously forgetting the name the moment our hands part one another. Not a sign of disrespect, simply a demonstration of how truly useless my brain stores information. For the most part anyways, they have all been excited, passionate, wrestling obsessed and ready to learn the art of Pro Wrestling and become a star in the sport (dare I say sport entertainment) they all hold so dear. Very few of them will.

It’s a harsh fact, but a fact none the less.

Whatever your generation, we all had a childhood hero. Whilst everyone else was secretly throwing up the finger being the teachers back in the playground or poorly attempting to raise the eye brow whilst spouting a baker’s dozen of popular catchphrases, Adam James Bullivant was hopping in circles on one foot whilst divulging the value of the Three I’s to all that would hear. Minis 5 wrestling fans points to anyone who cannot remember them of the top of there head. To sum up, Kurt Angle was my boy. Even if he was a heel at the time. I guess I was a ‘Smart Mark’ before I knew such a thing was, well, a thing. Later on, I looked to the Old School for my inspiration. Beginning a lifelong unwavering admiration for both Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes. And the near perfect decade long feud the two shared. So when I started my pro wrestling training in July 2006, I had the deluded dreams and aspirations that all young trainees should have. The world was my oyster, and I was going to take it. One needlessly stiff knife head chop and Dusty elbow at a time.

I never did. My wrestling career, for want of a better word, was below average to put it nicely. As was to be expected, after being comically out of shape and poorly trained by a former UKFF Shitarse 50 ‘Wrestler’. Number 11 for anyone that can be bothered to go find his name, a name I won’t be plugging in any such way in this blog. From training session number one to my last match, I was a pro wrestling trainee/wrestler for 3 years, 3 months and 30 days. I guess De La Soul was right when they famously rapped that “3 is the magic number”. I stepped away from the ring of my own choosing; knowing I was not at the level I personally felt I needed to be in a roster of ever increasing talent. I stepped away from the ring, but knew I was not ready to step away from British Wrestling as a whole.

I knew my talents, whatever they may be worth, could be served better in another role. I wanted to help British Wrestling in any role I possibly could. I knew it was not going to be as an in ring wrestler. It’s sad, and anger causing, to see certain wrestlers who, although somehow even less talented then I, and “in the game” before I was, are still unashamedly flogging the dead horse to the 6 people who turn up to see them. To name and shame no one, other than Andy Hogg. Too busy feeding there ego to see they should have given up years ago. And yet, never did.

Since hanging up the cheap leather boxing boots I wore because I could never afford the expensive shiny lace up boots the proper workers wore, I’ve trail ran many other roles in British Wrestling, of which the full list can be found in my last article. I was always trying to find my best role for me to fit. Currently I’m settling in a trifecta of graphic designer, blogger and referee. Hopefully the latter of the three will blossom into something worthy enough to climb out of the abyss of “Pro Wrestling Nobody” and enter the in comparisonV.I.P like status of “Pro Wrestling What’s-His-Name-Again?”

My point about roles being, as stated in the very first line of this post: We all have one, if you care to look hard enough for it. If you are not good enough, or maybe I should say determined enough to, become a legit professional wrestler, that’s nothing to be ashamed off. Being a great wrestler is bloody hard. Whether it is daily gym visits. Eating nothing but tuna and brown rice for the next 10 years. At the very least, weekly training sessions. Spending years putting up and taking down rings. Being the butt of everyone’s ribs. And the minefield that comes with politics, from fellow trainees to promoters, everywhere you step. In every one of the say over 2 dozen training schools that currently litter the UK, there are maybe 10% of students that could ever actually make a real go at becoming a full time professional British wrestler.

That doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with other 90% enjoying the ride, as long as they don’t go out, only half trained, and start taking bookings for free in shoddy start-up companies. Simultaneously taking bookings away from actual talented wrestlers and ruining the market with below acceptable shows, souring the taste for Wrestling by the locals and harming possible business for legitimate companies who wish to run that town in the future. Or even worse, starting their own training schools after only a few matches under their belt. A painfully common practise these day.

Everyone has the right to give it a go. But if you respect British Wrestling, you will know when to step away from it if you are not doing it any good. The people who can’t see that, well, simply don’t deserve to be part of it. If you are not good enough, or at least not motived enough to get good enough, to hang with the big boys, then get out. Simple as.

The biggest misconception there is out there states that just being a fan is a lesser role. If you love British Wrestling, you don’t need to be part of it internally to contribute to it. If you want the wrestlers to know/like you, it’s better to be seen as a great fan outside the locker room then a no idea punter inside it. If you tried wrestling training, it didn’t work out and you walked away, don’t be ashamed to return to being “just a fan”. Almost everyone that has ever stepped foot in the squared circle is “just a fan” at heart. Want to help British Wrestling? You can. You have a flair for writing? Write a blog. Buy a DVD. Hook up with a local company and offer to hand out flyers for them. Like the sound of your own voice? Record a podcast. Have a webcam? Record a video and upload it to social media, ala Marc Pearson (themarcrpears0n on Youtube).

And if nothing else, go to the shows worth attending and enjoy yourself. As a fan. It’s both the most enjoyable, and the least pressure filled, role you can have in British Wrestling. Never be ashamed of it.

AJB’s Biggest British Wrestling Pet Peeve Number 3 – Referring to your company as a “Fed”

“Fed”, the shortened term for Federation, can either be defined as either:

“A group of states with a central government but independence in internal affairs”


“An organization or group within which smaller divisions have some degree of internal autonomy”

Your joke of a show, in the arse end of a in a working men’s club, filled with skinny kids in pleather doing moonsaults and WWE finishers for a replica Intercontinental title belt you got for your 16th birthday is neither of the above.

Adam James Bullivant can be found at:
Twitter at @TME_AJB (for banter)
Tout /adamjamesbullivant (for pointless videos)
Facebook at /adam.james.bullivant (for reffing & design work)

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