Wednesday 28 November 2012

First step towards improving WWE Ratings By Daniel Bradley

WWE Chairman, Vince McMahon said the UFC’s ratings were “abysmal”. Personally, I found this funny and actually quite sad. UFC President, Dana White has been nothing but respectful when talking about Vince McMahon and WWE and yet Vince decides to have a dig at the UFC’s low ratings? Something tells me Vince should stop worrying about other company’s ratings and start worrying about his own.

WWE’s ratings have been poor for a while now; but as you all probably know by now; Raw recently drew a diabolical 2.48 rating. This was the lowest non-holiday draw for Monday Night Raw in over 15 years. Don’t be surprised if that record is broken by another awful rating in the coming months though, because from what I can see, WWE is only heading in one direction…and it’s not up.

Let’s compare UFC and WWE PPV’s for a moment, because despite the fact that they are two different kinds of organisations (WWE a wrestling entertainment organisation and UFC a Mixed Martial Arts organisation); the UFC are WWE’s biggest competition; not TNA.

The last WWE PPV in 2011 was TLC and it had a buyrate of: 179,000

The last UFC PPV in 2011 was UFC 141: Lesnar vs. Overeem and it had a buyrate of: 750,000

In the summer of 2012, WWE’s SummerSlam had a buyrate of: 350,000

In the summer of 2012, UFC’s UFC 148: Silva vs. Sonnen had a buyrate of: 1,000,000

This October WWE Hell in a Cell’s buyrate was: 182,000

This October UFC 153’s buyrate was: 410,000

In April 2012, WWE’s “Grandest stage of them all” Wrestlemania had a buyrate of: 1,217,000, which was more than any UFC PPV in 2012 but it is one of; if not the’ biggest buyrate WWE has ever had for Wrestlemania. If you want to know the biggest UFC buyrate…it was around 1,600,000 at UFC 100 in summer of 2009.

WWE has been around a lot longer than UFC and I think Vince McMahon should do some research before he opens his mouth. Both organisations have poor ratings but look who’s winning on PPV buys…

Anyway; back to the point which is; how the WWE can improve the ratings an eventually the PPV buys…



The three hour format sucks, period. People already struggled to sit through two hours; let alone three. Change this back to two hours and get rid of the damn “Super Show”.


Smackdown not Super Smackdown; give this show more important matches. I know people who never watch it and miss nothing. Want an example? It was just a couple of weeks back that they had a Big Show vs. Great Khali main event. I’ll leave it at that. It speaks for itself.


I have no problem with this show; in fact it’s the WWE show I most look forward to every week.

Main Event, Superstars & Saturday Morning Slam

These shows should be scrapped. If you want to use talented stars such as Alex Riley and Drew McIntyre; put them on Raw/Smackdown instead of having John Cena, AJ Lee, Sheamus, CM Punk and Ryback in 3-5 segments each and every week.

Youtube Shows such as WWE Inbox, WWE download & WWE presents

I don’t watch these; but I have no problem with them as I know a lot of the younger fans like to watch them and it also gets stars like Zack Ryder more over with the kids.


There’s almost one PPV every month in WWE. There is no need for this. Elimination Chamber, TLC and Hell in a Cell should not be PPV’s; they are match types and that is all they should be. I’d say have: Royal Rumble in January, No Way Out in February, Wrestlemania in April and Extreme Rules in May. Then instead of Money in the bank in July have King of the Ring back. Have SummerSlam in August, Armageddon in October and Survivor Series at the end of November.


Freshen things up a bit; keep the WWE Title on Raw and the World Title on Smackdown; but put the Intercontinental Title on Raw and the United States Title on Smackdown. Let divas and tag teams compete on both shows.

Not everyone needs to be pushed to the top. Rhodes, Sandow, Kofi, Truth, Cesaro, Kidd, Santino etc can compete for the mid card titles and we can still be interested if booked well. There are plenty of guys at the top who whether you like it or not; are going to be there for a while. There are still many feuds that can be made from these guys that haven’t really been done before or at least haven’t been done recently. Put John Cena with Wade Barrett, put Sheamus with Punk, put Big Show with Randy Orton and put Bryan in a feud with Miz. In a few years when Cena, Orton and Punk are ready to take a backseat; THEN they can pass the torch to the mid card guys.

People talk about the Attitude Era; I remember the gimmicks played well by the individual and some of the mid card guys from that era are among my favourite of all time list. Some of them include: Stevie Richards, Al Snow, Val Venis, Gangrel and D-Lo Brown…so there’s no reason why guys in the mid card today can’t get over and stay over until they are ready to go to the upper card.

This is a much more organised schedule and when there’s less programming there’s more time to write better storylines. When there’s an organised roster with set: lower, mid and upper card divisions it’s easier to write good storylines. When there’s less programming, there are better shows and it means less need to recycle old storylines and feuds.

Daniel Bradley

Tuesday 27 November 2012

SouthSide Ill Manors - This is Personal!! By Robert Shade

This Friday the 30th November at Rushcliffe Arena in Nottingham at 7.30pm is the continuation of the feud between Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE) and House Of Pain (HOP).

Over the years across the globe there have been various feuds that have taken place, WWE vs. ECW invasion for example, many others in history, I know that in Japan there have been some feuds between promotions of late and in the UK other promotions have ran inter company feuds but this one feels different, there is a very good reason for that, there is genuine and very real ill feeling behind this feud, this is the tale of the self perceived big boy (SWE) coming into the territory of what it felt was a small fish in HOP and thinking that it can simply hold shows in Nottingham the city where HOP has been based for many years and just get away with it, in the meantime SWE with it’s big international names and using some of the best known UK talent was putting across a silent message that HOP with it’s different approach to holding shows which are based around the use of it’s own trainees as HOP is not only a promotion that puts on shows, they also have one of the finest wrestling schools in the UK.

The origination of this feud dates back to when Ben Auld the promoter of SWE decided to put on a free show for fans who had been ripped off by 1PW and he was looking for a central location for this show and Stixx who is the Heavyweight of HOP and the leader and head trainer of the group offered the use of a facility in Nottingham for this supposed one off event to thank the fans so to speak.

After this initial event because the show went so well the venue organiser asked Ben if he would do a second show, that soon turned into a third, in the meantime Stixx along with the HOP tag team The Predators took exception to this as suddenly it seemed to in their eyes go from helping out a fellow wrestling promoter to do a one off show on their territory to aid these fans who had been ripped off by 1PW to hold on a minute here you are now trying to lay anchor in our city, on our territory and we are not having this!!! Stixx is also of the opinion that without his original assistance there would be no Southside, his claim and that of the other HOP members is that without their initial help SWE would not have had the name or the leverage to get a foothold in Nottingham and now they felt betrayed and threatened and big time!

I have been to the House Of Pain wrestling facility, it is a superb venue and it is very appropriately named ‘The Dungeon’, Stixx loves it as it reminds him very much of the old Rocky films, the kind of workout centre that Rocky would learn to fight in, I agree with Stixx, that place is ideal to breed fighters, (it is cold and dank and I mean that in a complimentary way, it is not full of colourful posters or flowered wallpaper it is hard bare walls, the type of harsh environment where real men workout,) I do not mean pretty boy wrestlers but real big strong powerful guys who can and will handle themselves against all comers, they train hard there, real hard, they do the cardio’s and boy do they pump iron, what is being created in The Dungeon is a whole group of wrestling/fighting machines and each and every one of them is being moulded in the image of Stixx himself, we all know Stixx, mean looking, extremely talented in the ring but when he needs to be absolutely vicious and he will do ANYTHING no matter what it takes to win, there really is no limit with him and all of his trainees are being brought up with the same mindset and are developing and some have already developed the skills and charisma to go with that mindset.

The point is they are seriously angry, they really do feel threatened by this supposedly larger promotion not on their doorstep but literally on their turf and against their will, these boys only deal with business in one way and it is not around a negotiating table!!

Over the past year or so they have invaded Southside shows on a regular basis, not only in Nottingham but elsewhere in the UK as Southside also host shows in St Neots,Huntingdon and Stevenage but it does not matter where the show is HOP turn out in force, in the ring they have taken most of the SWE belts, Stixx himself is the SWE heavyweight champion, The Predators are the SWE tag team belt holders and HOP’s own Max Angelus has a money in the bank contract which he can cash in at any point in time, the only SWE title currently not in HOP hands is the Speed King Title which is held by Robbie X, HOP’s own Alex Gracie who is the HOP Full Throttle champion, has never ever been defeated, he is gunning for that belt on Friday to give HOP a clean sweep, I attended the HOP show yesterday and witnessed Alex ‘Noisy Boy’ Gracie in action, he absolutely mutilated his opponent the extremely talented Adrenaline Danny Chase, Robbie X is an extremely talented guy in his own right having defeated Marty Scurll, Martin Kirby and Jonathan Gresham to win that belt but he is going to have to go to another level to retain against the Gruesome Gracie!

HOP’s invasion of SWE though is not limited to winning belts, a few months ago they took out one of the main SWE guys the heavyweight T Bone with an absolutely brutal decimation of him in the middle of the ring, I was present and it sent chills down the spine such was the brutality of this beat down, several of the HOP roster came out and simply beat T Bone down so badly that T Bone was unable to wrestle for Southside again for a few months due to the severe injuries suffered, whilst this was going on Stixx calmly knelt down in the middle of the ring much like a king from medieval times giving the last rites before execution, such was the chilling atmosphere created.

Also outside of the ring, HOP flood the crowd with a mixture of their fans and trainees, at the previous SWE show in Nottingham a whole side of the sold out arena was House Of Pain and they were loud!! It was like being at a football match (from the 80s not today!!), it is not only their numbers or their volume which is impressive though, these as I’ve said are mainly trainees these are big powerful guys who genuinely have a grief here, the chants and the facial expressions are built to intimidate and remind you of what a force and what an angry force SWE are having to deal with here.

There is a further situation that somehow SWE are going to have to cope with and that is the fact that HOP now have a mouthpiece/manager who is beyond doubt the best in the business today a certain Mr Harvey Dale, picture a combination of the mouth and the evil tactics of some of the very best managers of yesteryear from the WWE and Harvey Dale depicts them, when he speaks you listen, he is loud, very loud, he is intelligent, he is not just noise, he has the backing of a real army and he also operates at ringside in a number of the matches and is absolutely excellent at his sneaky underhand tactics often reversing the flow of a match in his guy’s favour.

Having said all of that Southside are bringing some very special talent to the table themselves,whether we are talking of El Ligero, Mark Haskins, The Hunter Brothers,T Bone, Nathan Cruz even the crazy Mad Man Manson has a superb win record for SWE plus of course Robbie X.

The main event is a last man standing match between Stixx and Mark Haskins for the title, they fought at the previous Notts event, a magnificent match up which lasted for about 30 minutes and went all over the arena with both talents producing move after move of simply exceptional quality, both guys continually kicked out of finishers, we had referees fighting, interference from the aforementioned Harvey Dale, we had run ins from both sides, we had an atmosphere which was so loud throughout with the various chants of House Of Pain and Let’s go Southside or SWE that it was genuinely difficult to speak and be heard to the person next to you, it took them that long for Stixx to eventually get the 3 count on Haskins, this time a 10 count is required, I would bed in for the night for this one if I was you because it is going to be absolutely magnificent.

There have been strong hints about this match from both sides, from the SWE side Ben Auld has made it clear that if somehow Stixx does retain the title he will be prevented from leaving the building with the belt, if Mark Haskins looks like he is getting into a strong position during the match various HOP trainees who will be in the crowd are promising to get involved to make absolutely sure that Haskins will not respond to the ten count, as I say these are bred fighting machines who are livid. In response to that SWE have stated that they have back up plans of their own…

The way that the show is set up is as follows, there are 8 matches on the card (7 of which relate to the feud, I shall mention the other later), in each match there is a HOP member vs. a SWE roster guy, whoever wins shall obtain a win for their side (as well as the belt if title matches) at the end of the night whichever side has the most wins is the dominant brand, if SWE prevail then they will continue to come to Nottingham and Harvey Dale has to go into the ring and kiss the bare backside of SWE ring announcer/commentator Diamond Dale Mills, if HOP win the night then SWE have to leave Nottingham FOREVER!

Even so things will not necessarily be that straightforward, there are potential twists in store, LJ Heron is the current HOP champion, however in the past he has appeared on the SWE roster and both promotions when picking their teams tried to select him, as a result he is now in a triple theat match with HOP’s Diamond Dave Andrews and SWE’s Nathan Cruz, if LJ Heron wins that match up then at the conclusion he can say which of the two promotions he is awarding the win to.

In addition to that HOP’s own roster member Max Angelus has arguably had one or two recent issues with HOP’s own mouthpiece Harvey Dale, there is a school of thought out there that there is a possibility that Max Angelus may double cross HOP at this show although Harvey Dale and the rest of HOP are adamant that he will not, at the HOP show yesterday after the main event which was won by the aforementioned beast Alex Gracie, Gracie was attacking his already downed and defeated opponent Danny Chase when Angelus arrived on the scene, dragged Gracie off and ordered him into the ring, once Gracie entered the ring Max Angelus gave him a lecture about what it means to be a member of HOP and to remember what that entailed, however whilst he was doing this Max Angelus wore a SOUTHSIDE top, he then after the lecture threw Gracie out of the ring, this still was not the end as then out of the crowd leapt T Bone, stoical SWE roster member previously taken out by HOP and former best friend of Max Angelus, in a flash these two guys were brawling and I mean really fighting all over the ring having to be separated over and over again by HOP roster members, what does this all mean….

I do not know which way this is all going to go down on Friday evening, what I do know is that this is the hottest feud I have seen in wrestling for years, it is as I say formed upon real personal grievances and has two top promotions literally fighting it out for the rights to remain/own Nottingham as their city, the feud has caught on in such a way that two radio stations have dedicated themselves to the feud, Rob Maltman’s Harborough FM show on a Thursday evening from 10pm is the Southside show as Rob is a SWE fan, Rob did used to ring announce at the HOP shows but he is now barred from doing so as he is no longer welcome given his SWE allegiance, British Wrestling Radio is now renamed House Of Pain Radio and is ran by Dean Mitchell who puts across the HOP side of this feud on a weekly basis, I would highly recommend listening to Rob Maltman’s show on Thursday 29th November as Harvey Dale and Ben Auld the night before the show go head to head live and unedited, this is part two after they did the same last week, that was the most intense 30 minutes of radio I have heard for a very long time, as tensions continue to grow I would expect this week’s showdown to surpass even that.

As an aside but a very worthwhile aside the other match on the show is SWE’s first ever International Exhibition match which pits Prince Devitt against Michael Elgin, I personally am very excited to see this, such a contrast in styles and a first time match up, it truly is a dream match and to be honest I think I need say no more on that, it says everything simply by the names in the match!

So Southside or House Of Pain, you may have your preference as to who the dominant promotion in Nottingham will prove to be but one thing is absolutely guaranteed if you have tickets to go to this I am absolutely certain that it will be a night never to be forgotten and unique in UK wrestling history, if you have not got tickets as yet, what is going on with you!!!

If you would like to see the card for this event and/or buy tickets or generally find out more about either promotion they are both on Facebook under their respective names, their twitter handles are @southsideWE and @HOPWrestling, the websites are and

If you would like to follow me my twitter handle is @Shadetheshoot

WLH Book Review By Jimmy Wheeler - Pure Dynamite: The Price You Pay for Wrestling Stardom

By 'Former British Bulldog' Tom Billington, with Alison Coleman, published by Winding Stair Press, released February 2001 (Second edition, 201 Pages, paperback.

Horrible sadist or sufferer of 'roid rage? Small man syndrome bully or evil genius prankster? Bitter former wrestler or passionate brutally honest former wrestler? You decide when you purchase and read this explosive squared circle self told story. Picking up a plethora of recognitions from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter such as a 5 Star Match with Tiger Mask (Satoru Sayama), Match of the Year with Tiger Mask, Tag-Team of the Year as the British Bulldogs, an inductee of the Hall of Fame, and in 1984 alone Best Technical & High Flyer wrestler and the Best Wrestling Manoeuvre for the Power Clean Dropkick. The Dynamite Kid would also win championships world wide from Canada to Japan, to the U.S. Of A and England. The more notable titles were the WWF (World Wrestling Federation, now WWE) World Tag-Team belts with Davey Boy Smith, the NWA International Junior Heavyweight strap, and the Stampede North American Heavyweight championship all in a respectable 13 year career.

Tom Billington, the Dynamite Kid starts with a brief introduction to his upbringing. What it was like to be one of, if not the smallest kid in his neighbourhood. The paths both his father and grandfather had taken in physical combat sports, which would ultimately lead a young Tom into taking up boxing and getting into a lot of fights as a youngster following his dad's mantra. At the age of 12 he would find himself being taught how to wrestle by Ted Betley, before being sent on to various notorious shooters including a short stop at Riley's Gym A.K.A. The infamous Snake Pit. Eventually settling with Billy Chambers' (Jack Fallon) gym to learn the art of shoot wrestling. Dynamite talks of his time wrestling around the scene in Great Britain until being scouted by Bruce Hart of the Calgary, Canada based Hart Family. Jumping at the chance the story moves along swiftly to adjusting to being in Canada and now wrestling exclusively for Stu Hart's, the patriarch of the Hart Family, Stampede Wrestling and continuing his training in the now world wide known Dungeon. Yet more opportunities would arise for Billington as wrestlers in Stampede had connections to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) leading to Tom's first tour of Japan under the umbrella of Antonio Inoki's company. Dynamite comes across very blunt through-out his story telling it the way he saw it or in same cases as he suspected it may have been. From his start in professional wrestling to his tours for NJPW is worth reading about, then to hear of his transition to All Japan Pro-Wrestling (AJPW) and the manner in which it happened, shows a different side to Ki-Do then previously shown in his book. His frankness in regards to the Hart family is present the whole time he talks of his time in Calgary pointing out what he felt was the truth about the beloved family, however he does not let the reader forget how good the Hart's where to him and how much he appreciates all their good deeds to him along with remembering the bad. The same manner is kept up for his time in AJPW followed by the WWF. Not once does Tom relent in sharing his opinion on situations and other wrestlers from Bad News Brown, to King Haku, Harley Race, and Hulk Hogan plus many more of that era. Dynamite discusses the injury that was the beginning of the end for his career even if he did persevere for several years after it occurred and a serious warning from his doctors. Billington goes on to discuss the well-known incident with the Rougeau Brothers from his perspective shedding a different light on the matter than what other wrestlers have recounted. Naturally the departure of the British Bulldogs from the WWF is discussed in great detail including the subsequent demise of Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith as a tag-team. Tom openly talks about his personal demons including cocaine, steroids, halycon, and his marital issues that ultimately lead to him leaving his children and a mutual divorce. With all of this taking place time begins to wind up his life story by recounting his final tours of AJPW and occasional matches on the British circuit until his career was finally ended for good after a consult with a doctor. The Dynamite Kid finishes his story off by commenting on the modern product and how he found his recent (At the time of writing) visit to WWF's PPV Rebellion in Sheffield, England.

Pure Dynamite is an autobiography that can make you laugh, that can make you sad, can make you cringe at the violence, and by the end of it still leave you feeling uplifted if you so choose to perceive it that way. At times Tom Billington does seem like he holds a grudge against a certain individual but in all he comes across very happy with his in ring career. There's only two complaints with this book, one being it isn't the best written autobiography and although Tom is open at the business he persistently blurs the line between wrestling matches being a real competition and a staged act of athleticism. Overall this is a good book for any fan of Stampede Wrestling, 80's WWF, Japanese Promotions in the 80's – early 90's, and of course any fan of the Dynamite Kid himself. A thoroughly enjoyable read.

4/5 Stars

By Jimmy Wheeler

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Remembering Art Barr By Rock Rims

Over 2300 year ago, Alexander the Great, not yet 33 years old, died after a night of heavy drinking. Even at that young age, he had conquered a great part of the then-known world, and had already devised plans for further military campaigns, looking to conquer new territories.

It’s always tragic when anyone dies that young, but it always seems more so when the person is someone with immense talent and abilities. Someone who may have already displayed some of that potential, but still had much more he could fulfill. Alexander, James Dean, Tupac Shakur, these are just a few of the people who fit into that category, and in the world of Professional Wrestling, we’d certainly have to include Art Barr. All of these individuals, gained many admirers and much respect in their respective fields, and rightly so. Because regardless if whether or not we enjoyed what they created or agreed with some of their lifestyle decisions, habits, or personality traits, they possessed undeniable great ability and potential untapped.

On November 23, 1994, Art Barr passed away in his sleep, while lying next to his young son at his home in Eugene, Oregon. He had just turned 28 years old only 6 weeks before. And just two weeks before, he had wrestled his greatest match, having established himself as a highly in-demand wrestler in Mexico, and on the verge of exploring new territories to conquer.

Barr began his career in the Pacific Northwest Wrestling territory and in 1989, during a television taping, family friend Roddy Piper decided to transform the up until then bland Art Barr, into “Beetlejuice.” Even before the comedic segment was over, you could see positive results. Although it was a goofy gimmick, it would give Barr the opportunity for more attention, and even more importantly, the opportunity to cut loose and display his natural charisma, which up until then had remained relatively buried.

Barr would work his “Beetlejuice” character, and subsequently his “Juicer” character, both in Portland and then WCW. While growing in popularity in WCW, and showing good athletic ability in televised matches, his lack of size was an issue and he failed to impress the powers that be in WCW.

Art was released by WCW, but with the help of wrestler Konan, he would soon find himself south of the border, working in EMLL. He would don a mask and begin wrestling under the name “Love Machine”. After a year or so, he would then embark on a feud with the famed luchador Blue Panther, which feud would gain him more attention, is still talked about today, and was a critical factor in Barr’s becoming a star in Mexico.

Up until that point in his career and in EMLL, Barr was a face, but some fans were lukewarm towards him, as was evidenced during a mask vs. mask match between Barr and Panther, which took place in April of 1992 at the Arena Mexico. Mexican wrestling fans are very passionate, and are not hesitant to express how they really feel about a match or a wrestler. During the match, more and more fans were beginning to cheer the rudo (heel) Blue Panther, and were giving Barr a mixed reaction to his moves. Mexican fans were ahead of most of the world when it came to sometimes rooting for the heels in wrestling, and this time was no exception.

In the closing moments of the intense match, with more and more fans beginning to rally behind Blue Panther, the 2 out of 3 fall match was even at one fall a piece, and Barr was unloading an offensive barrage on Blue Panther. Then in a costly mistake, and in the heat of the moment, Barr delivered a piledriver to Panther, taking him out of commission. Unfortunately, the move, while perfectly legal in most of the U.S., is an illegal maneuver in Mexico. Barr screamed out in both anguish and protest, at the mistake which would cost him his mask, something masked wrestlers in Mexico seek to avoid at all costs.

Barr would then attack Blue Panther with extreme intensity, as attendants were trying to carry Panther out on a stretcher. The fans reacted as expected, and while Barr would remain a Face for some time, as Panther would also remain a heel, the stage was set for an eventual switch.

The feud was resumed the following year when both had jumped to the new AAA promotion, and on July 23, 1993, their singles feud culminated in a “mask vs. hair” match. During the third and deciding fall, and with the referee’s back turned to them, Love Machine placed Blue Panther in position to give him the piledriver, the same move that had laid him out on the stretcher the year before. However Perro Aguayo, Love Machine’s second in the match, ran in and prevented Barr from delivering the piledriver, knowing it could cost Barr both the match and his hair. Barr hesitated, dropping Panther to the floor, just as the referee returned his attention to them. Thinking that Barr had delivered the illegal piledriver, the referee disqualified Love Machine; giving Panther both the victory and the satisfaction of seeing Barr’s hair get cut.

Furious at what he considered an injustice, being disqualified for an act he didn’t even commit, and possibly for the fan’s increased support of the rudo Blue Panther, Barr vented his frustrations by attacking Aguayo.

Barr’s turn to the dark side would soon be complete, as the following month, while in a 6 man tag match with Eddie Guerrero and El Hijo Del Santo as his partners, Love Machine donned a “Santo” mask that he took from a boy from ringside, and began giving Guerrero a fierce beating, leading the dazed Guerrero to believe that Santo had attacked him. Guerrero, who had himself displayed heel-like behaviors on some recent occasions, attacked Santo, soon being joined in by Barr and opposing team member Fuerza Guerrera.

Barr’s heel turn was complete, and he now had a partner in crime, and they would become known as “La Pareja Del Terror” (The Terror Team), and then “Los Gringos Locos,” forming the nucleus of what would become a heel faction in AAA. They set AAA on fire, and ignited feuds (most notably with Santo and Octagon) during what was undoubtedly the hottest time period for the company.

Over the next 15 months, Barr and Guerrero blossomed both as performers and heels, lighting up the ring with both their chemistry and ring work, and working up Mexican and U.S. crowds into frenzy. Of the two, Eddie was undoubtedly the better technician and in-ring performer, but definitely learned a thing or two from Barr when it came to ring psychology, increasing the fan’s emotional involvement in the match, inciting them to hatred and near-riots. And isn’t that partly why we watch a match, whether it be on TV or at the arena? To cheer who we love, and boo who we don’t? And the more passionate we are about that, the more we enjoy ourselves and what we see and feel. Barr recognized the importance of getting the fans to care about what was going on in the ring, to have an emotional stake in what was taking place in the match. Whether you booed him and cheered for his opponent was irrelevant. It was that he got a reaction out of you was the thing that was critical. And like his mentor Roddy Piper before him, Barr was quickly becoming a genius in that regard.

Barr’s and Guerrero’s feud with Santo and Octagon over the AAA tag team titles would increase in its intensity, culminating in double hair vs. mask match during AAA’s first pay per view, “When World’s Collide”.

The date was Nov. 6, 1994, and WCW had taken notice of both AAA’s and “Los Gringos Locos”, and as a result helped co-promote and make possible the pay-per-view event. Other’s had taken notice of Art Barr and Eddie Guerrero in particular. Among them were New Japan and ECW, who was running hot at the time. These were places that unlike WCW at the time didn’t pay nearly as much attention to the size of a wrestler’s body, as they did to the size of his heart, his in-ring ability, and his ability to increase the fan’s emotional involvement. Eddie had already done tours of Japan, and Art was scheduled for one soon.

The venue for the PPV was The Sports Arena in Los Angeles, one of the world’s major cities, and the capital of the media world. There was lots riding on this event, with it being AAA’s first ppv and millions, including important wrestling promoters, set to watch the event. And although it wasn’t the main event, the double hair vs. mask match was the highlight of the event and the match that stole the show.

Within Lucha Libre, a Hair vs. Mask match is typically the climax of a feud. It is the culmination of months of exchanged blows and insults, bad blood & shed blood, when there is no other alternative left to settle things once and for all between the participants.

This was the opportunity for Barr to shine his brightest, and he didn’t disappoint. He turned in what may have been his best in-ring performance ever, displaying great timing and precision. And with his facial expressions, gestures, and his derogatory comments that specifically targeted L.A.’s Hispanic population, he along with Guerrero, had the fans screaming for their blood as well as their hair. All of the match participants contributed to what would be considered by some the match of the year, and would be given a 5 star rating by The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer. It, without a doubt, is a must-see match for every wrestling fan.

In the end, after an emotional, intense battle, it would be Santo and Octagon who would have the victory. But in the end, everyone was a winner, including the fans and Guerrero and Barr as well.

Sadly, it would be Barr’s last match, as two weeks later he died. And one can’t wonder what might’ve been. ECW and New Japan both came knocking, and the surviving Guerrero would make the most of his opportunities, as would other Cruiserweight wrestlers who had spent time in Mexico, such as Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho. It might’ve taken several more years, but all of those wrestlers and Dean Malenko as well, would travel that path to eventual stardom on the big time wrestling platforms. Isn’t it possible that Art Barr might’ve joined that elite group in such success?

It’s quite possible. While he wasn’t as technically proficient as some of the others just mentioned, really, how many people have ever been able to say that they were? And without a doubt, he had more charisma than any of those individuals, Guerrero included. And hadn’t Piper shown years before, that charisma can greatly enhance the performance, appeal, and marketability of a wrestler? And that’s something that you can’t learn in a gym.

While it can be argued that Art’s lifestyle decisions, lack of size, or any thing else about him could sabotage any potential opportunity for big time success, what can’t be argued is that he left everything he had in the ring. And it can’t be argued as to whether or not he made a big time impact in Lucha Libre during the 90’s. And it definitely can’t be argued as to whether he left us with one of the more memorable matches in the last several decades of Wrestling History. Art left us with a tremendous parting gift, as his last match was his best.

Thank you Art, and rest in peace.

I can be found on twitter @RockRims

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Fight Club: PRO Infinity Tournament '12 Preview By Ben Ward

With FightClub:Pro’s annual Infinity tournament approaching quickly (#Infinity2012), let’s take a closer look at each competitor's chances of winning the 8-man end-of-year tournament.

The tournament itself will play out as two 4-man eliminators acting as semi-finals, with the two winners colliding in a final showdown at the end of the night.

Previous winners include Dan Ryder in 2010, and your current FCP champion MK McKinnan in 2011.

The card will also feature the Ascension Ladder match (#Ascension), which presumably will feature MK Mckinnan defending his title against an as yet unnamed opponent. No matter who stands in “Future’s” way, this promises to be a breathtaking spectacle.

Keep an eye on the FCP Facebook and Twitter accounts for announcements.

Now – onto the eight men will step into the cage, vying to reach Infinity:

The Hunter Brothers

Although more known for their matches as a tag team, both are perfectly capable of working singularly at the highest standard. The reason I have mentioned them together however, is because, if drawn in the same bracket, they could well choose to work together. Eliminating the other wrestlers in their match would ensure that one of Tipton's favourite family reaches the final, following a face-off between the two brothers.

Chris Brookes

The crowd chanted "We Want Brookes" - They got Brookes.
After facing a trial series that would have some of the countries finest wrestlers worried (one on one with Dave Mastiff? Death Match anyone?), he is finally seen as a fulltime member of the FCP roster, and even picked up a win over established CZW (amongst many other top American Indy feds) stars Irish Airborne.

Make no mistake, Chris is an underdog and this would be an unbelievable fairytale ending to the year for him. Just keep in mind though - ANYTHING can happen at FCP.

Clint Margera

Not many people can say they've stood toe-to-toe with Masada twice in less than six months and lived. Masada has faced a veritable "who's who" of indy stars this year and I dare say, Clint posed as much of a problem to him as your Davey Richards, Michael Elgin and everyone else.

While he may be known as a death match worker (buy the t-shirt people!), the pain threshold and resiliency that comes with the style could work in his favour in a tournament like this. (Not to mention the fact that, technically, there can’t be any DQ’s in a four-way match…)

Rockstar Spud

Spud is somewhat of a wild card. Having spent the last few months flying between England and Florida, hanging out with Hulk Hogan etc, his ego has clearly been boosted to an unfathomable size.

While he could pull every trick in the book to make it through the tournament, he could just as easily take a microphone before his semi-final, piss the other three guys off, and be eliminated first in spectacular fashion.

This might be the last time we see Spud in the Planet (or at least for a long time), and I guarantee he won’t leave without making some sort of “Impact.” (See what I did there!?)

Dan Ryder

Ryder is a former Infinity Tournament winner.
However, I don’t think he can repeat it – Not because I question his ability as a wrestler, but because I think the FCP regulars would tear the building down and/or riot before he managed to win. At this point, he has probably overtaken Spud as the most hated man in FCP.

Trent Seven

What can you say about Trent? Well for one thing, he does not die. There is absolutely zero quit in Seven, and again, this can work in his favour in a tournament setting.

It took world-travelling superstar Eddie Edwards stamping on his head 20+ times to beat him (which you can actually see in one of the videos below), after a near thirty minute war, and Trent still didn’t give up – the referee stopped the match. That should tell you everything you need to know.

He is a former FCP champion, and as such, must be considered one of the favourites.

Dave Mastiff

Mastiff has been an unstoppable wrecking machine this year, and it’s debateable whether anyone can stop him. His record includes breaking the “unbreakable” Michael Elgin, and defeating DJ Hyde, the man with the (albeit self-styled) moniker of “The Most Powerful Man in Independent Wrestling” amongst other monstrous wins.

The only way YOU can find out (at least until the DVD comes out) who goes all the way and becomes the Infinity Tournament 2012 champion, is to head to The Planet in Wolverhampton on December 7th. For just £5 entry, this truly cannot be missed.

Prepare for a late night and I’ll see you by the cage.

WLH Book Review By Jimmy Wheeler: The Last Outlaw (Stan Hansen With Scott Teal)

Stan Hansen: The Last Outlaw

By Stan Hansen, with Scott Teal, published by Crowbar Press, released August 2011, 420 Pages, paperback.

A legend in the world of wrestling who many current fans may never have seen or heard of, with exception of his introductory speech for Antonio Inoki's WWE Hall of Fame induction. None the less Stan Hansen is an icon in the professional wrestling business who made a legacy for himself in the territories of Japan. Finding his start through the Funk Family scouting him at the almost famous 'wrestlers breeding ground' the West Texas State football team. He would go on to develop his craft and character around America before settling with at first New Japan Pro Wrestling and then All Japan Pro Wrestling for the majority of his 27 year career making only occasional appearances in America. Even with his limited showings in America. Hansen would wear gold 14 times and a further 30 times in Japan, compiling a list of awards from the Wrestling Observer and Pro Wrestling Illustrated.

Through-out the reading of The Last Outlaw you can not help but to think of the psychology which was used inside the squared circle by Hansen, unpredictable, erratic, spontaneous and for the moment, the book could not be written any other way. One topic may lead on to an entirely different trail of thought before coming back around to the original focus of the chapter, you can't help but feel what you are reading is exactly what Hansen was thinking. You can almost imagine the co-writer Scott Teal having to pull Hansen back by the reigns at several points to keep some form of order. Starting with his West Texas State football path and his early days breaking in to the business through Amarillo with the Funks, being sent to several other American territories, contemplating retirement before hitting it big in the World Wide Wrestling Federation with Vince McMahon Sr., before finding his own personal niche in NJPW, until moving on to AJPW where Hansen would find his second home with 'Giant' Baba, covering highlights up to his own retirement ceremony. Each subject is covered with detail, recounting stories regarding the decisions that were made giving a unique insight to the way a 'gaijin' (or foreigner) is treated in Japan and the life that would be lead living as an American wrestler in the land of the rising Sun. Providing many stories along the way that reads as a who's who of western stars making the tours over there, what feels as an objective outlook of many situations which arose between himself and promoters, various wrestlers, with a handful of 'ribs' (or jokes) thrown in to keep the mood light-hearted. Of course no book recalling the life of Stan Hansen would be complete with-out Frank Goodish A.K.A. 'Bruiser' / 'King Kong' Brody, Stan talks openly of discussions with Brody, writing an emotional chapter on his last memories of Brody, life in Peurto Rico, ultimately just glancing over his actual death. Stan's book offers something most other wrestlers can not, a story of continuous employment at a main event level in an era where wrestling was no harder anywhere else than it was in Japan, a thorough look in to the workings of a lifestyle little is know about outside of the country.

Stan Hansen with Scott Teal have worked together to form a book that is entirely different to any other wrestling book on the market today with the detail given on Hansen's life in Japan. Although the book is a long read some of the time due to the repetition Hansen uses, it is often necessary due to the way the story is told and helps solidify the importance of certain key parts in to the readers memory. The tone itself comes across mainly serious, even with several funny stories included and Hansen as a man who wants to share his experiences in the wild world of professional wrestling, towards the end it almost feels as though the book has been written more because Hansen needed to write it, to make peace for some of his past actions or decisions. He comes across very down to Earth for the entirety, a man who wanted one very simple thing, to make a living for his family, which ended up taking him to Japan and back encountering a whole new culture to fall in love with and many fantastic personalities along the way. Complete with 203 black and white photo's through-out the book, a 6 page photo gallery at the rear of the book and a 2 page list of his Japanese tours, this is an informative as an autobiography you can ask for. If you're a Stan Hansen fan, this is a real treat not just another wrestler cashing in on the biography scene. If you have never heard of Stan Hansen or have just never seen a match of his but are interested in the Japanese wrestling culture of the 80's and 90's this is still a purchase you should definitely make.

4/5 Stars

By Jimmy Wheeler @MadDepth

ECW DVD's This Could Be A Shill By Stu Rodgers

Everyone who visits this site will know I have various banners on the right hand side and one of them is for WLH DVD Sales a site which is my own that I have all my wrestling master DVD's available for sale. I sell some every now and then, just last week I shipped some over to Canada so the site is viewed around the world. On the site there are a lot of what I consider very good DVD's and some of my favourites are my ECW ones that were released by Pioneer in the United States. So this 'article' is more of a shill for some of the DVD's I have for sale than anything else but it will also highlight just how good these DVD's released by Pioneer were. So here we go guys, enjoy.

Rob Van Dam vs. Jerry Lynn
Mike Awesome vs. Masato Tanaka
Raven vs. Sandman (barbed wire match)
Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley vs. Balls Mahoney & Spike Dudley
The Eliminators vs. Steve Williams & Terry Gordy
Sabu vs. Taz
Shane Douglas & Francine vs. Tommy Dreamer & Beulah McGillicutty
New Jack dives off of basketball backboard
Taz suplexes Tommy Dreamer off the stage at the ECW Arena
Chris Benoit breaks Sabu's neck

Chris Jericho vs. Too Cold Scorpio vs. Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull #2 (four way dance; for the ECW TV Title)
Rob Van Dam vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (Van Dam wins ECW TV Title)
Sabu vs. Sandman (stairway to hell match)
Ian Rotten vs. Axl Rotten (Taipei death match)
Jerry Lynn vs. Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy (three way dance)
Dean Malenko vs. Eddy Guerrero (2/3 falls)
Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Psicosis
Steve Austin interview
Bill Alfonso interview
Stevie Richards interview
The Pitbulls & Francine interview
The Public Enemy interview
The Eliminators interview
Brian Pillman interview

Mikey Whipwreck vs. Sandman vs. Steve Austin (three way dance)
Sabu vs. Terry Funk (barbed wire match)
Taz vs. Bam Bam Bigelow (Bigelow wins ECW TV Title)
Terry Funk & Sandman vs. Cactus Jack & Shane Douglas
Masato Tanaka & Jerry Lynn vs. Mike Awesome & Justin Credible
Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Psicosis
Francine vs. Beulah McGillicutty (referee Stevie Richards)
Interview Montage
Cactus Jack interview
Steve Austin interview
Bill Alfonso & Rob Van Dam vs. Beulah McGillicutty & Tommy Dreamer
Steve Austin interview

Chris Benoit & Dean Malenko vs. Sabu & Taz (ECW Tag Title Match)
The Gangstas vs. The Eliminators (steel cage weapons match)
The Pitbulls vs. Stevie Richards & Raven (three falls double dog collar match)
Shane Douglas vs. Pitbull #2
Cactus Jack vs. Sandman
Sabu vs. Rob Van Dam (stretcher match)
Rey Mysterio, Jr. vs. Juventud Guerrera (three falls)
Tommy Dreamer vs. Brian Lee (scaffold match)
Steve Austin interview
Brian Pillman interview
Brian Pillman vs. Shane Douglas interview
JT Smith vs. Hack Meyers
New Jack balcony dive on Jack Victory
Kareem Horton breaks his leg

Cactus Jack vs. Sabu
Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipwreck vs. The Public Enemy (ECW Tag Title Match)
Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipwreck vs. The Public Enemy (ECW Tag Title Match)
Cactus Jack & Kevin Sullivan vs. The Public Enemy
Cactus Jack vs. Sandman (Texas death match)
Cactus Jack vs. DC Drake
Cactus Jack & Shane Douglas vs. Sandman & Terry Funk
Cactus Jack vs. Terry Funk
Cactus Jack vs. Sandman
Cactus Jack vs. Sandman (barbed wire match)
Cactus Jack, Tommy Dreamer, & The Pitbulls vs. Raven, Stevie Richards, Snot & Big Dick Dudley
Cactus Jack & Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer & Terry Funk
Cactus Jack & Mikey Whipwreck vs. The Eliminators (ECW Tag Title Match)
Cactus Jack vs. Shane Douglas
Cactus Jack vs. Mikey Whipwreck
Note: There are numerous interviews on this DVD.

Buh Buh Ray & Big Dick Dudley vs. D-Von Dudley & Axl Rotten
D-Von Dudley vs. Sandman
Highlights of the Dudleys winning the ECW Tag Team Title on multiple occasions
Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley vs. New Jack & Spike Dudley
Buh Buh Ray, D-Von, & Big Dick Dudley vs. Spike Dudley, Tommy Dreamer, & Sandman
Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley vs. Spike Dudley & Balls Mahoney (ECW Tag Team Title Match)
Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley vs. Tommy Dreamer & Raven (ECW Tag Team Title Match)
Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley & Tommy Dreamer vs. Simon Diamond, Johnny Swinger, & CW Anderson
D-Von Dudley debut interview
Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley interview
Buh Buh Ray & D-Von Dudley vs. Balls Mahoney & Masato Tanaka

Lance Storm vs. Jerry Lynn
Jazz vs. Prodigy
Chris Chetti & Nova vs. Simon Diamond & Tony DeVito
Yoshihiro Tajiri vs. Super Crazy vs. Little Guido (three way dance)
Justin Credible vs. Sabu
Mike Awesome vs. Taz vs. Masato Tanaka (Three Way Dance for the ECW title)
Tommy Dreamer & Raven vs. Steve Corino & Jack Victory
Rob Van Dam vs. Balls Mahoney

The site is and these ECW ones which are NTSC Region 1 are for sale at £12.99 each

Sunday 18 November 2012

SouthSide Featuring CZW Halloween Havoc Review By Adam Joyce

You know it's odd in this game how some promotions seem to flourish easily and some get by with barely any recognition. My last review was for the last EWW show was an example of a fed who, despite being around in some form since 1998, seem to have gained less recognition as time has gone on. In stark contrast this one is on the recent show from Southside whose popularity seems to have done nothing but grow over their two years in business. More impressively it doesn't seem to be down to the imports they've brought in, which includes names like Fit Finlay, Davey Richards and Colt Cabana. Seemingly, barring the possible exception of Nigel McGuinness' last match, the main talking point of their shows certainly seems to be the homegrown talent which is a feat in itself. For me personally the draw for this show wasn't the CZW guys who came over but rather the Mask vs Mask no ropes match between El Ligero and Ego Dragon. The hall for the night was packed out with rumours of people being turned away at the door. The tiered seating that Southside has used in the past was folded away which was a shame as it probably would have given me a better view of the action. There was a small but noisy and boisterous House of Pain contingent on one side of the ring who would keep intermittent chants throughout the night.

The first guy to come to the ring after everything had kicked off was 'The Man With the Golden Tongue' Harvey Dale who came out to a positive reaction from the HOP crew, and general distain from everyone else. He went on about how dominant the House of Pain were which brought out their leader. Stixx got on the mic and proclaimed that he was the Southside champ but was only representing the HOP guys in the audience. He also said that last time T-Bone was in the ring with him he cost Bone 4 months of his career and this time would be no different. This brought out T-Bome who said since they were both in the ring why not start the match now. And with that the first match of the night became the title match. The match himself was a hard hitting back and fourth affair between the two but was cut short when the Predators ran in as T-Bone gained the advantage, causing the DQ. As a result the announced last man standing match between Stixx and Mark Haskins will now be a title match.

Next up was the only all CZW guest match on the card featuring DJ Hyde against Greg Excellent. I've no idea on anything CZW so this was an introduction to the brand for me. I know they are famed for their Death match style, but with the main event that wasn't the most feasible option. I don't know if it's just where I'm looking back at it after having seen the rest of the event but I can't say I was that sold on the match. That's not to say there was anything wrong with the match. As second match on the card it's there to settle the crowd down and it did just that. There was nothing wrong with the match technically, there was some great comic and crowd interaction moments worked in by Excellent. One thing I will say though is I don't know who did it first but doing the gimmick of stripping to his underwear before hulking (excellenting?) up for the win just makes him seem a bit like a second rate Eric Young. When trying to push your company to prospective new fans that is certainly something you could do without.

The first crossover match was next featuring Max Angelous taking on Masada. Like I said before CZW is not my area of expertise but I am aware he holds the CZW title, although he didn’t bring it with him to the ring tonight. I’ve a high opinion of Max. I’ve thought he always had a star quality about him and he just needs to find that something to bring it out. The current HOP storyline where he’s being forced to be part of their stable against his will could well help with that. The match itself was a fair match there were some good sequences but chain wrestling doesn'’t seem to be Masada’s strong point. Through out the match Harvey kept trying to interfere against Max’s wishes, and a couple of times ended up accidentally distracting the ref when Max had a pinfall. At a point when it looked like Max had the winning pinfall the ref was even trying to escort Harvey backstage. This led to a distraction for Max which Masada capatilised on for the win.

The last match before the interval was the Speed King title 4 Way between champ Marty Scurll, Martin Kirby, CZW's Jonathan Gresham and Robbie X. It seems a little odd looking at Gresham as a CZW guy as he is fairly familiar with the Southside fans, making his 5th appearance here, impressing every time and here was no exception. The match was supposed to be under tag rules but somewhere around the middle that all broke down leading to Gresham and Kirby being eliminated in quick succession by Robbie and Marty respectively. The rest of the match was a traditional Marty Scurll affair. I don't mean that in any negative sense, Marty's a great talent, I'm just trying to convey the quality of the latter half of the match as it built up both guys great. Marty playing heel was also a nice touch, not just because it meant that Robbie X's pop was better when he won, but because it was done with subtlety and came across like the fans turning on him because they didn't like what he was doing instead of him doing things just to upset the crowd. After losing Marty cut a promo on how Robbie had improved and deserved to be champ. It's fair to say there's some truth in that. Other then having a face that reminds me of the squeaky voiced teen in The Simpsons Robbie has really started to physically grow into a wrestler shape over the last 6-8 months. The only thing is there are times in the ring, mainly brawling spots, where he is not believable in what he's doing because he doesn't look like he believes it. Something I also noticed in his heel work in UKW. Hopefully his new title reign will make him try and step up and improve. After a year of being 'Jobbie X' making it look as if he truly believes what he's doing could make a stark difference now he's holding the Speed King strap.

The first match after the interval was The Predators in their first defence against OI4K. The match itself was sound, they tried to play around with the standard tag match system with the face OI4K getting most of the heat on the Predators. Eventually the Predators got the advantage though and scored the win through just being more vicious. It makes a change to see that too, seeing every heel as cowardly or cheating does irritate me a little, having one team who are hated because of the amount of pain they inflict on the faces makes a nice change to the formula and I think that’s part of what is getting the Predators noticed so much lately.

In the last crossover match Mark Haskins went up against Alex Kolov. From where I stood this was the best crossover match, not counting the 4 way, with Haskins working his arse off and Kolov doing well to keep pace. It was a little slow to start with but that didn’'t last long. The House of Pain faithful picked up on how Alex bared a resemblance to Alex Shane (if Shane had shrunk in the wash) and so
there were some intermittent Alex Shane chants during some of the early parts of the match. After some great back and fourth action as well as some close near falls Haskins got the win with his Cradle to the Grave finisher. After the match Harvey Dale came out and cut a promo on Haskins claiming he would lose to Stixx at the Nottingham show at the end of November. This was met by two kicks to the face. While there is something very dis-likable about Harvey Dale I do question the wisdom of always having him beat on by the faces. Surely with his irritating ways it would work better to have him built up as someone who always gets away meaning that when the faces do get him it means more unless they are building him up for a match, which would probably spark some interest but again it would build more if he stopped getting beat up so much. That was the only real problem I had with this segment though.

If there was match that drew me to this show other than the main event it would have to be the next match; Mad Man Manson against the Invisible Man. When I first got involved in wrestling one thing I was taught was that you need to make yourself irreplaceable. That's certainly something Manson has done. Before the match we had an interesting quasi-shoot promo from Manson claiming that He was only doing this farce of a match because Southside were too cheap to bring in an opponent for him. Whether he meant it or not I don't know but the crowd looked at it all as one big joke anyway. So the Invisible Man came through the curtain and made his way down the ramp or so everyone was led to believe. Once the curtain opened we were all just following Manson's cues. As the combatant(s?) circled each other The Predators came out and claimed they were putting a stop to the charade, before laying a beating on Manson. Afterwards Manson got on the mic to thank the Invisible man for trying to help him and challenged The Predators to face them at the next show.

During the raffle the ropes were taken off setting up for the main event between El Ligero and Ego Dragon. The match itself was a train wreck ala your standard TLC style match. There was a mix of some solid psychology, like Ligs handcuffing Dragon to the post and whipping him with a belt as a form of redemption from their previous encounters, as well as a lot of crazy high spots from Ligs diving off the folded up bleachers to some table spots to Ligs being suplexed off a ladder through a table covered in drawing pins. The thing with gimmick matches is there are times where guys can often over look the gimmick and go straight for the high spots, here I felt that they could have played the gimmick up more. There's a lot I could probably pick apart about the match if I was to look at it from a purely from a smark perspective, for instance after the aforementioned drawing pin table spot Ligs quickly picked up the win via submission, but the real story of the match was the aftermath. As per stipulation Ego Dragon was forced to unmask revealing that under the mask was Ligero's good friend Martin Kirby. It's very rare that a hushed silence is a good reaction from a crowd but nearly everyone in attendance was in disbelief. The reaction itself is a tribute to just how well Kirby has played his role as even The smart fans in the crowd seemed shocked by the reveal, which is surprising as I've seen several forum posts alluding to the Dragon's identity, the way Kirby threw himself into the role really highlighted the professionalism in professional wrestling. After the reveal Kirby grabbed the mic and proclaimed it wasn't over, which is arguably a better promotional tool then just announcing another match as it adds a certain intrigue as to where the story goes from here. I've also gotta give credit to Ligero for his selling of the reveal. I know he's worked under a mask for the last decade but his reactions came across really well, without having to be OTT about it the crowd could read just how he felt about the whole thing by the look on his eyes. That takes a lot of talent.

It is certainly a change to see a promotion go into an anniversary show already promoting the next one. Although with the heavily promoted main event it still had a major show feel. Having the CZW guys on the card didn't really do a lot for me. Not trying to take anything away from them but while Gresham impressed me and Kolov looked good I wasn't that impressed on the whole. It’s not necessarily a knock on the CZW guys, more just a credit to the level of competition of the guys in Southside. The main thing with this show is it did what every good show should do. It gave you a reason to come back. Whether it’s for the last man standing match in Nottingham or just to check out the next Cambrigeshire show to see what is going to happen next between Kirby and Ligero and that is what every promoter should be doing. All in all another great effort from the team at Southside, with the announcement of Colt Cabana and ROH’s Mike Elgin for the next show I only see that continuing.

Due to various reasons this review has come out about the same time as the DVD release. If you want to check that out log on to for all the info.

You can also hit me up on twitter @el_j where you can give me unending praise for my efforts.

Thursday 15 November 2012

WLH Book Review By Jimmy Wheeler: Inisde Out (Ole Anderson with Scott Teal)

Inside Out: How Corporate America Destroyed Professional Wrestling.

By Ole Anderson with Scott Teal, published by Crowbar Press, released 2003, 384 pages paperback.

Mr. Anderson says he is an asshole. He obviously hasn't met Ole Anderson, the real asshole of professional wrestling. Don't believe me? Ask Ole he will tell you in this that he is an asshole. Ole Anderson won a total of 56 championships in his career; 49 of these were as a tag team with a variety of well known names of the old school, he would have more reigns with Gene Anderson then anyone else though. He also won several singles titles including: AWA [American Wrestling Association] Midwest Heavyweight Belt once, NWA [National Wrestling Alliance) Georgia Television Title twice, and NWA Southeastern Heavyweight Championship once. Along with a successful in ring career across mainly Georgia and the Carolinas, Ole was also a very successful booker for the same two promotions.

Where to start? This book is simply one of the more enjoyable reads under the category that is wrestling autobiographies. Ole Anderson tells his story with a dry humour through-out, covering a period of time that spans 25 + plus years in the business. As you would expect he starts with his childhood and the troubles he went through with other kids in his neighbourhood which lead to him becoming an amateur wrestler and eventually a professional wrestler in 1967. The training and the relationship that he would go on to develop with Verne Gagne in the beginnings of his career during his tenure in AWA. After a few brief stops in other territories Ole would find a place he could pretty much call his home for the remainder of his life, Georgia. When you reach his time in Georgia and the Carolinas (Georgia Championship Wrestling, later World Championship Wrestling the original version and Jim Crockett Promotions) it does get harder to keep track of what period of time Anderson is speaking of as he jumps all over the place with his stories. This isn't a major issues as he address why this happens in the opening of Inside Out. He shares his opinion and thoughts on everyone and anyone he came through these two promotions and also on other promoters he had dealings with. There are moments of shock, hilarity, and action, he seemingly manages to write up on every subject you could possibly want inside a wrestling autobiography. By no means is this anything other than Ole Anderson's book, he makes it clear that anything he comments on is his opinion and nothing can sway him on that. You hear of stabbings, fights between wrestlers, his attitude toward booking, firing and hiring people... Basically, not only are you reading one of the most enjoyable autobiographies written, you are also getting to study Ole's philosophy on how wrestling worked in the territory days and what is wrong with modern wrestling. He reveals his dealings with such stars as Stan Hansen, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Randy Savage, Bret Hart, Paul Heyman, Steve Austin, the buy-out of GCW by Vince McMahon Jr. and court dates with him, the list goes on and there is no holding Ole back friend or foe he tells it how it is, in his opinion. Going right up until the early 90's and his final years in the business under Eric Bischoff at WCW going on to finish the book with his thoughts on the current product.

Scott Teal and Ole Anderson have put together a wonderfully crafted story of Ole's life in this book. For anyone who reads this book I foresee only three possible outcomes... A) They love it and Ole is God. B) They enjoy it and think Ole is full of shit. C) They enjoy it and garner a new found respect for Ole's opinions based on his reasoning and honesty. Which ever outcome it is, it's a win-win situation, Ole gets paid for his book and the reader has a good time reading it. If nothing else, Inside Out will make you think about how the business works internally. If you haven't read this yet, read it. Then recommend this to absolutely anyone who has had an interest in wrestling from the 1960's up until the late 90's.

5/5 Stars

By Jimmy Wheeler

PROGRESS Chapter 3 – Fifty Shades of Pain (30/9/12) DVD Review By Adam Timmins

It has to be said that the computer monitor that’s positioned towards the bottom left hand corner of the hard camera is terribly distracting; that needs to go for future shows. The commentary isn’t amazing either – I know everyone doesn’t have to sound like Jim Ross, but at times you’d think he was commentating on the snooker. And you have to know the names of moves; otherwise what’s the point of you being there? He needs a co-commentator at the very least.

Noam Dar vs. Paul Robinson – Robinson is a last-minute replacement for the injured MK McKinnan. Noam Dar cuts a fairly incomprehensible promo at the start of the match; I’ve seen Scottish football managers do better work on the mike. Paul Robinson is sadly not the Paul Robinson of WBA/ Bolton fame; a legitimate hardman if there ever was one. This was a pretty enjoyable opener that did what it needed to. If you were going to nitpick you might say that Robinson’s selling of Dar’s work on his leg was spotty at best; but let’s face it, he’s not the first and won’t be the last. Dar wins via tap-out with a knee-bar on Robinson at 11.41.

Mark Andrews vs. Xander Cooper – internet research tells me that Progress feature a British Wrestling Council match on every card, and this is that. I like Cooper’s gimmick from what I saw here, and think he could probably take it a few steps further if he wanted: i.e. go down the full Bullingdon road. I saw Mark Andrews wrestle in Chikara’s YLC9 tourney, but the match was too short to form any real impression. This was an enjoyable little match that I came away from thinking I wouldn’t mind seeing more of either man in the ring. Andrews wins with a shooting star press at 8:52

London Riots vs. The Bastard Squad – with regards to the latter name, someone’s clearly been watching their Young Ones tapes. Pretty entertaining tag bout, with some nice brawling at the start; my only complaint would be that the finish came out of nowhere, with Darrell Allen getting caught coming off the top and eating a powerbomb for his troubles at 12:25 to give the Riots the win. After the match they beat up Danny Garnell for good measure.

Jon Ryan vs. Jimmy Havoc – this starts out as a ‘Strictly No Blood, No Hardcore’ match, and naturally after a few minutes it gets changed to the opposite stipulation (did that happen with the Rotten’s in ECW?) A highly enjoyable hardcore scrap, which included blood from both men, numerous bumps onto drawing pins and a powerbomb through an ironing board! (Now any commentator worth his salt would have had a line ready for that spot) Ryan gets the win a tombstone onto the drawing pins followed by a wheelbarrow German Suplex onto a barbed wire board at 14:36

R.J. Singh vs. Rob Cage – Singh is billed as being from Bollywood, India (obviously). A decent post intermission bout, which Singh wins with the Ethnic Submission at 7:27 I like Singh’s gimmick, with the entourage etc, but it probably needs a touch more nuance at some point.

Lion Kid vs. Stixx – Lion Kid beat Stixx at PROGRESS: Chapter 2 for the record. Stixx attacks Lion Kid before the bell. The commentary includes the classics line “everything Stixx does looks like it really hurts...” So much for kayfabe. It has to be said these two didn’t mesh awfully well, with a couple of blown spots. The match was OK for what it was; Stixx going over with a splash mountain bomb at 12:20

El Ligero & Nathan Cruz vs. Dave Mastiff & Greg Burridge – in a segment before the show not on the DVD, Marty Scurll is the guest referee for this one. Bear in mind Cruz defeated Scurll at Progress 2 in a 2/3 Falls match, a match in which Ligero accidentally (?) superkicked Cruz. Cruz and Ligero aren’t happy campers in this one; and towards the end Scurll refuses to count covers for either of them. It all ends up with Ligero superkicking Cruz, and Mastiff hits a cannonball in the corner on Cruz at 18:10 An intriguing main event with storyline implications for future shows.

Overall – a very watchable card; the only issue you can have really is with the production. But that aside, good stuff.

Get over to to order your copy

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Adam Bowler: The First Interview - Conducted by Adam James Bullivant.

If you are a keen follower of British Wrestling, and have been on social media in the last few days, probability states you'll have seen the name Adam Bowler somewhere or another. He is the promoter of Leeds Wrestling Alliance, formerly APB. On Saturday night (10th November 2012), he ran a show at the Meanwoods Working Mens Club that soon became the talk of the wrestling community, for all the wrong reasons. Here, for the first time, Adam Bowler speaks in depth publicly about the events of last Saturday. As well as the first two shows, rumours of former scandals and the online bullying campaign that he claims has effect not only his business, but his personal life too.

For the record, I would like to state the following. The only editing of the interview has been for either spelling or grammatical reasons. Converting 'text type' to full English and correcting spelling/grammatical mistake. Neither have changed the content of the interview. Secondly, this interview was conducted on Tuesday 13th November 2013. And finally, the views expressed are the views of Adam Bowler. Not the views of Adam James Bullivant, Wrestling's Last Hope, The Indy Corner or anyone else concerned.

We simply gave him a platform, an internet based soup box if you will, to tell his side of the story. This is what came of it.

AJB: So, Adam Bowler, Welcome. First question. What made you want to create and run your own wrestling company?

Adam Bowler: I've always wanted to run events like this, from watching stuff like wrestling and other TV shows.

AJB: Had you been to many UK shows yourself, as a fan, before being a promoter?

Adam Bowler: Yes. UKW & DPW.

AJB: What did you think of the UK wrestling scene as a whole? Did you like these shows?

Adam Bowler: I did think UKW was great until he accused me of doing something I did not do. Maybe I went over the top but rather than slandering someone, you should deal with it in house And ask before shouting.

AJB: So you decide to put on your first show. How did you go about choosing the wrestlers you wanted to have on your show?

Adam Bowler: By going to other shows like UKW & DPW. Watched to see who would make a impact to my target audience.

AJB: What would you class as your target audience?

Adam Bowler: Families.

AJB: So, you ran your first show. I think it's fair to say the draw was about 10-20 people. How did you feel after that show? Where you disappointed with the low turn out?

Adam Bowler: I think there were about 50. I felt happy because I ran it and I think the matches ran well. Yes, disappointed that there was a low turn out. But a lot of internet fans would have came, but people were making me fight with them online.

AJB: Without naming names, why do you think people where trying to stop fans from coming to your show?

Adam Bowler: I would like to name a few. To say sorry to and hope they will help me learn the business and do things right. People were stopping others because I had a go at a few people, who were having ago at me.

AJB: Is it fair to assume Steven Fludder, promoter of Preston City Wrestling, is one you would like to say sorry to?

Adam Bowler: Yes. Not because of reasons others think. But I think it's the right thing to do and I think we both butted heads on some things we said to each other. Steven Fludder is a great promoter because I see other wrestlers post pictures of his shows and it looks great. Would love to learn off him. The main reason why we clashed was because someone else, under my name posted, on his PCW page and made out to be me. Of course he's going get mad. Understandable. But he needed to understand it was not me. Anything I said nasty to him, or his wife, I am very sorry for and I really hope he accepts my apology. I hope we can work together or something.

AJB: The big controversy after the first show was Kris Travis no showing. Is it correct he has already been paid his wage before show day and simply did not turn up? And what was the reason given for not showing up?

Adam Bowler: Yeah that's true. I did pay him upfront, I remember it like it was yesterday. He did simple not turn up. Because I made a joke about his girlfriend. Again, both of us were unprofessional.

AJB: Is it true you sent him a message saying, among the lines of: "Forget the money you owe me, if I can have a go on your girlfriend"?

Adam Bowler: Don't think that's what I said. I would have to read back the email, which I don't have.

AJB: So, going into your second show, with all these rumours about you flying about the internet, was it hard to be taken serious among fans/workers? Was this when, what you have deemed, bullying begin?

Adam Bowler: Yes, I would like the bullying to stop. I have learned my lesson and its affecting my personal life and health.

AJB: Whenever you have been targeted, you have always lashed back. Do you regret doing that now?

Adam Bowler: Yes. I have lashed back because I was listing to the wrong people. Defending them and defending myself. Yes I regret it.

AJB: That's good to hear. So, your second show, although I wasn't there, I heard, again had a low draw. When promoting that show, what advertising strategy did you employ? Did you have posters printed? Flyers made?

Adam Bowler: I only had posters made that time. There was a promotion running at the time and I did ask them to promote it at their show. Not sure if they did or not.

AJB: How many posters did you have printed for that show? And where they put up locally?

Adam Bowler: 100 posters. I know, not enough. They were put up all over Leeds. Even in a few promoters areas, which I asked them first.

AJB: On that show, you had help from well known UK promoter Steve Lynskey. How did that come about?

Adam Bowler: I think it was because we had 1 person in common, who we did not like. Again, not going to name names. We just started talking and trying to get his advice. Get well soon man.

AJB: Did his advice come in use when organising the event?

Adam Bowler: If I listened to it, yes.

AJB: So, we come to the events of last weekend. And a lot has been said about what happened. We where both there, and saw it first hand. So I'll run through the events as I remember them. Before the show began, there was an issue about two people in the crowd. They had driven down one of the wrestlers, and wrestling etiquette typically states that drivers should not have to pay admission In to the show. Firstly, where you aware of this rule and secondly, as a promoter, do you agree with it?

Adam Bowler: Yes I agree about letting the driver in free. But there were 2 people in that car, plus the wrestler.

AJB: So you believe only the actual driver of the car should have been let in for free and not the other person concerned?

Adam Bowler: Yes. I believe only the driver should get in for free. If the wrestler in question had stuck to the deal we had arranged, this issue would not of happened.

AJB: What was the agreed deal? If you don't mind me asking.

Adam Bowler: I was told he would be coming with someone else and me and this other person agreed the price.

AJB: Do you think you went too far in the way you tried to get them to pay? From what I've heard you threatened him to pay or he would be throw out the venue. Is this true?

Adam Bowler: I don't think I went too far. Reason being, I did not want to look bad in front of the venue and I did not want the police involved. In a shop, you can't just take things and enjoy them without paying. It goes the same if you want to watch a show, you would have to pay.

AJB: During this, voices where raised and it got very heated. It was resolved when one of the workers got involved and brokered a deal to let them stay. Afterwards, reports came backstage that you had left your own show, leading to your father asking the aforementioned worker to run the show? Is this true? Run me through what happened after the disagreement happened.

Adam Bowler: I don't know what the Manson deal was. All I was told was the guy paid in the end.

AJB: Did you walk out of your own show at any point?

Adam Bowler: 4 times, due to not wanting to break the law.

AJB: Did you leave the venue to calm down, before your angry got the better of you and you struck out, either verbally or physically?

Adam Bowler: Yes. If I attacked the people I wanted to attack, I could of stayed face. But I did the right thing by walking away to cool off

AJB: Do you suffer from anger management issues? And is it something you struggle with in everyday life?

Adam Bowler: Yes, and its only been worse since the APB Bully page. If that page came down, I would be happier and nicer to people.

AJB: Through all this drama, and yet another low draw, the show went ahead. I think it's fare to say, the wrestlers where not taking it overly serious. Yet every wrestler did stay and perform, as agreed. Did you actually see much of the show? And what did you think of it?

Adam Bowler: Only saw Caz Crash, Cruz coming out and MVK coming out.

AJB: Did you get any feedback from your friends/family that saw the show?

Adam Bowler. No. All it sounded like was them defending Kris Travis, who threatened me.

AJB: We will get to that in a minute. Many figures have been given about how many came to this show. A lot saying 7, with 4 paying. On the record, do you have an official number?

Adam Bowler: 11.

AJB: Is that 11 paying?

Adam Bowler: If Travis's friend paid, and this other person, it'd be 13.

AJB: So, after the show there was a situation with Kris Travis. Can you talk me through what happened, What has started it all?

Adam Bowler: Mr Travis lied to my family about ripping me off, like he's done to everyone else, and made me look like the bad guy. So I called him out on it. He said something like “I am gonna fucking punch you in a minute”. I went to the back to collect my things and, I think, Travis was trying to get to me and others were pushing him back or something. I said a few things back in defence. At the end of the day, Mr Travis should not have threatened anyone. I admit I said a few things back, but I stand by what I say about him. He's nothing but a rip off and I would never book him again.

AJB: From what I saw, he was stood on the stage. Your dad came over and Travis asked him for his travel expenses. At this point you shouted over not to give Travis any more money, leading to a shouting match across the hall before you walked off. Does any of this sound familiar to you?

Adam Bowler: Yes. He was suppose to come with someone else at the time. I personally think Travis did that on purpose to get more money out of me.

AJB: Do you think he was trying to charge you more travel money then needed? Did you agree on a figure for travel before the show?

Adam Bowler: Yes. Yes, with the other driver.

AJB: Speaking of threatening behaviour, since the show, you have posted public statuses on your own Facebook stating you regret not hitting Kris Travis. One saying "Travis fears Bowler" and many calling him a rip off. Do you think this public backlash against him is fair? Specially thinking you are accusing him of threatening behaviour towards you.

Adam Bowler: He did rip me off and he did threaten me. So the truth had to be told.

AJB: Do you think it's hypocritical to accuse someone of threatening to punch you, and then go on Facebook and threaten to punch them. Are you both in the wrong when it comes to making threats?

Adam Bowler: Both in the wrong, Yes. But I don't deserve the bullying on facebook. The harassing calls. The fake email and facebook pages.

AJB: I don't think anyone deserves to be bullied, even if they don't help themselves... Just a few more questions. Your title belt has gone missing since the show. Do you think someone has stolen it?

Adam Bowler: Yes. I asked around, no one's seen it. But when I was in the room where the ring was, I did see some kids come from backstage. I am not going to accuse anyone unless I have proof. I suspect Travis took it in spite. We will never know.

AJB: If there was one thing you could say to the UK wrestling fans, about your company and you as a person/promoter, what would it be?

Adam Bowler: Stop bullying, abusing, harassing, hacking, making fake profiles and emails and give me a fair chance. Yes I forgot the 1st licence in July 2011. Should of known. But people gave me grief and I never got a fair chance. Let me go away, sort my head out, and let me run again and prove people wrong.

AJB: If there was one thing you could say to the UK wrestlers, what would it be?

Adam Bowler: I am sorry for starting fights with you all. I really hope you give me a chance to prove I belong here and can put on good shows in Leeds. LWA will return, no matter what anyone says.

AJB: I guess that answered my next question. After three shows that must, in total, have lost you a fair bit of money, do you intend to promote again?

Adam Bowler: Yes I intend to run again, If the people give me a fair chance and stop bullying me. And the UKFF should unblock me. I got 1,000's of emails.

AJB: You say this, but what do you say to people that think you would be better off not posting online at all, as it tends to only lead to more trouble? Do you think the best way to stop the bullying is to just ignore it?

Adam Bowler: Why should I be bullied to leave the social networks?

AJB: Fair enough. Maybe you should just choose who you are friends with a little more carefully. To finish up, do you have any final words to anyone reading this? Any final statements about your company or any closing words for the people you have have lashed out on in the past?

Adam Bowler: I am sorry to the people I have lashed out to. I want to put things right with one person, of cause, Mr Fludder. And others I won't name. Just stop the bullying and I will be nice back.

Adam James Bullivant can be found at:
Twitter: @TME_AJB
Facebook: /adam.james.bullivant

Monday 12 November 2012

Professionalism and Politics in UK Wrestling By Robert Shade

Recently I wrote an article about Wrestletalk TV which elicited a fair bit of controversy including from the producer and host of the show but the hub of that article was me fiercely defending UK Indy Wrestling against what I felt was a show depicting it in not a very good light.

I am open minded enough though to realise that whilst the UK scene can be extremely good there are some issues with it which in reality are helping those who do like to try and shine a dark torch onto our scene and that is some people who work within the industry and I include certain promoters and certain wrestlers in that.

Now I am increasingly coming across and communicating with a number of the ‘players’ on the UK scene and the vast majority of them are really nice and terrifically passionate people who put so much into the business that we love that I hold nothing but the absolutely highest respect for them but they are being let down by others in the business whose constant public behaviour is bringing scorn onto the scene and when the UK scene does receive a blast from those who do not follow it but who seem to like taking a stab at it these individuals do us no favours at all.

First of all the use of Social media such as twitter and face book is from personal experience a wonderful tool to use to communicate with people in the industry, it is how I am getting to know many people and it is also how I obtained this writing column, I have to date not as yet met my ‘boss’ Stuart Rogers in person although I hope to change that in a couple of weeks time but I have held many private face book chats with him about my articles, ideas for them, feedback on them etc but the key to my point there is the word ‘private’.

Over this weekend just finished I have read a number of posts from current UK wrestlers and current UK promoters which I have to say are very entertaining to read and provide in many ways an insight into how the business works ‘behind the scenes’ that the rest of us otherwise would have no idea about but the point is should we know?

What would happen if a Premiership footballer started to write on public walls on face book about an argument he had had with his manager or a dispute he had had with a teammate and he went further still and detailed what the argument was about then the next thing you know his manager is on face book continuing the argument online and for all to see - it just would not happen would it as for whatever it’s faults football along with other sports is professional, you simply do not wash your dirty laundry in public.

A couple of months or so ago I listened to an interview on The Indy Corner pod cast with a current prominent UK wrestler who in what was a highly entertaining interview with plenty of insight spoke very openly about issues he had with other people in the industry right now including his issue with promoters or certain promoters, one of his gripes was the ‘unprofessionalism’ of a certain promoter because that promoter had hired out a venue whereby it was possible for the general members of the public to see the wrestlers going in and out of their changing room and also even bump into them in the toilets!

As an aside I was at that particular show and saw nothing wrong with it, let’s face reality they are talents that we enjoy watching but they are not Premiership Footballers or even WWE superstars they are UK indy wrestlers where if they walked past a 1000 people on the street they would be lucky if one person recognised them but back to the point I am making, that particular wrestler droned on and on during this interview about standards in the industry and how promoters can be very unprofessional etc etc yet this very same wrestler is one of the worst offenders on face book on public walls often airing in a very public way his personal grievances with promoters or other wrestlers including sometimes spilling the beans upon what the atmosphere within certain changing rooms are like on some shows - it cannot work both ways, the guys working on our scene are either professional or they are not, they cannot bemoan the fact that they feel they are being treated in an amateurish fashion yet then behave exactly in such a manner and constantly so.

It does open a question up about should wrestlers openly add as ‘friends’ to their face book or ‘followers’ to their twitter people that they know are fans who go to watch their shows but they do not know them in any other regard?

I see the argument from both sides they do not with to be aloof to those who effectively at the end of the day they perform for and who they get their wages from but is a line crossed once that social media communication is made? I realise that this happens in other sports particulary on twitter but I suspect that the interaction is not an open as it can be in our case.

Generally such open communication again as I’ve found personally can be a great thing in terms of a community and there can be benefits on both sides to such a relationship but at the end of the day we are the wrestlers ‘clients’ and in most other walks of life you do not add your ‘clients’ to your personal social media as you wish to retain a professional relationship.

The issues I see with this are along the lines of how healthy is it for the business, for the general public those who pay the money to attend shows to witness an online argument between two or more wrestlers over issues such as changing room atmosphere or the reasons why such and such a wrestler is appearing on one promotion regularly and others are not and you then get ‘treated’ to the rather unsavoury writings of one almost taunting the other about how he is much better off than the other because he is on a show and the other isn’t.

I move onto promoters, I have read a lot and I mean a lot in the past 2 - 3 days on Facebook of promoters openly criticising other promoters, reading talk of defending their ‘territory’, I have read accusations from one promoter instantly going public accusing another promoter of stealing footage from his shows and asking people publicly who this other promoter is - this is just so unprofessional and just paints our industry in a bad light, to my mind if the promoter who was aggrieved really wanted to find out about his footage that this other promoter is purportedly using then he can simply type into the search box of face book the name of this other promotion, he had the name as he splashed it all over face book making allegations about them, therefore can only conclude that he wished to make bad publicity for the other promotion.

In the same weekend I have read about a separate promotion to the above two potentially losing a star perfomer which they were building their show around an import from America but hey presto this wrestler may not appear now because a mystery person has reported to the authorities that the wrestler may not have the necessary paperwork to enter the UK and the aggrieved promoter has publicly put it out there that he feels a rival promotion was responsible for this, my opinion on this one is I can understand certainly the anger but do not put it out publicly you are making the industry you work in look tardy and bitchy and again unprofessional.

The next one is about a promoter who I have only heard good stuff about but not actually been to any of the shows, this promoter was commenting upon another post (which I shall refer to shortly) and all of a sudden on comes a current wrestler and starts fighting on a public wall with this promoter about how well attended or otherwise this promoters shows are even going to the extent of posting a picture on the wall of a near empty venue to prove his point, the promoters retort was this was taken before the show started - again what on earth is going on, if they have a dispute settle it like men privately, do not air this stuff in public it makes you as individuals look sad and yep unprofessional and it paints the same image for the industry which you say you love!

Finally there is a promoter up in Yorkshire who I have read some quite incredible stuff on over the weekend, I have read similar stuff in the past where this guy puts on shows which basically nobody goes to watch, he then starts fights with whoever he can find (real ones not kayfabe), ends up leaving the building whilst his own show is in progress leaving it to one of the wrestlers to run and seemingly book the show and then when it is over amazingly he returns and starts a real! Streetfight with one of the wrestlers which I read was about a girl, this of course then gets plastered all over face book including comments from the wrestler, I went onto the promoters face book and all that is on his wall is aggressive comments and threats to people, unbelievable describing this as unprofessional does not even start to say what I truly think!

On a different theme as this was not something that happened all over the Social Media to quite the same extent although face book again in a way was involved was recently a promoter was advertising a show then suddenly stopped promoting it but said no reason why, various fans left messages including myself in terms of what is going on, what are the matches, how do we buy tickets etc etc, there was even a message on there from the guy who ran the venue which was supposed to be used for the event saying to the promoter if you do not respond by the end of the day I shall assume the show is cancelled as you have ignored all of my messages to date, the promoter also ignored the messages left by the fans of this promotion which previously had put on some very good shows - again so unprofessional and just lets the industry down so badly not so much the cancelling of the show stuff happens but the complete lack of communication with everybody and then when eventually the promoter did make a posting there was no apology or explanation and it has certainly ensured that I shall never attend a future show which they may put on and I’m sure others feel the same but it does not only harm his promotion but it taints the indy scene with the same brush.

To summarise I do find all of the above really sad in so many ways as most of what is happening on the UK scene is incredibly positive, there are some promoters out there who are absolutely professional in everything that they do, how they prepare a show, how they run it, how they communicate with the fans etc and equally there are so many outrageously good wrestling talents out there who put on incredible matches in front of crowds which in the decent promotions are growing with every show.

The support is there guys, as I say the crowds are getting bigger when you do put on a good show, wrestling is the most watched program most weeks both on Sky Sports and Challenge TV, the passion shown by the UK fans on Raw and Smackdown last week was a credit to this country and therefore if the industry as a whole can tighten up on its standards and pull together the potential to create something really special no matter what part of the UK you live in is clearly there but remember each and everyone of us whether wrestlers, referees, announcers,promoters,writers, fans etc are all doing what we do because we in common possess this passion for the same thing, just think how much better it would be and the perception of it would be if instead of politiciking, bitching, publicly berating others in the industry we acted together (or at least bickered in private!!!).

You can follow me on @Shadetheshoot.