Wednesday 2 January 2013

Those British Boot Campers By Derrie Catton

As the date began requiring a 13 after the 20, wrestling fans of a British disposition were ushered to tune into Challenge TV in order to witness a battle for the TNA contract. A party animal here, a pair of twins there and a baby Jesus of professional wrestling was all they needed for a contest to commence. So began Impact Wrestling’s attempt at reality television, TNA’s British Boot Camp.

I first ask that you to not be fooled by the label. Reality TV is about as real as… well wrestling. Now no one around here is set to complain about something like that. It was long ago that we understood what watched, accepted it as brilliant entertainment, and began enjoying it just as we do with all good mediums. The same set of rules can apply here, as we prepare ourselves for the orchestrated drama that can entice viewers in. So what are you watching it for? Look to the personality clash between Rockstar Spud and Marty Scurll, and their many ‘hang on, this might actually be real’ confrontations. The pair hold a documented rivalry, and watching their relationship dance around boiling point is the selling point of the series so far. Taking up the other half of the promotional poster are the Blossom Twins, as talented as they are beautiful and holding a heartwarming story as they come from helping young children to stomping people in the face. Joking aside, the stories of the aid they have provided for youngsters give you firm ground to root for the gals in this venture. Add in the trials and tribulations of the rise and falls it takes to earn this TNA contract, and you’re taken a holiday to drama city for fun times. The fact is, British Bootcamp is well worth watching.

What the show isn’t however, is fair representation of a competition. Not even the Late Zone on Challenge TV can give you that accolade. The reason this article stresses that point, is because it doesn’t want you to get the wrong idea about the talents on display. (Those yet to see the Boot Camp and less fond of spoilers may wish to skip a paragraph) The opening double episode showcase provided three trials that tested the wits of the competitors, the first being a test of wrestling ability. While the Twins and Scurll were allowed to shine, Spud was represented as outmatched and underwhelming. Most people will understand this as an unfair representation of Spud, who may not be capable of locking in a Moss Covered Three Handled family Credenza, but is a credited and entertaining performer when he steps through the ropes. To those who don’t, remember that it takes two to tango. In the later contest the four were challenged to rule the mic, a field which Spud often dominates which was instead awarded to Scurll who won under the terms of a popularity contest. The final contest of media heralded little to remark, and served simply to push Scurll as Party Marty. Don’t mistake these victories for representations of wrestling calibre. Holds do not make the wrestler, and cheers do not make the personality. Entertainment and charisma is what audiences seek - one who gains the biggest reaction and provides the highest level of entertainment. Boot Camp has yet to provide a fair gauge of that.

One worries about what actual format this competition takes. A popularity contest denies those less liked but more talented, and would be criminal against a man like Rockstar Spud. One both hopes and expects that the people behind the scenes take true stock of each wrestler’s talents, and choose the man set to entertain a worldwide audience in the many years that come. Of course the biggest question is, who is that man… or woman. Who can wear those pants…. Or skirt. Who has the balls… metaphorically speaking, to grace the television screens of Impact Wrestling’s fans. Let’s nutshell it.

The Blossom Twins

Two ladies with an outstanding talent of being born on the same day and having the same face. It’s nothing to shy away from, a prospect like that is an attractive one and every little helps towards getting an audience. What’s more is that Hannah and Holly stand up without their mirror image. Both show themselves to be capable wrestlers, as well as displaying the heart and determination that would make a WWE documentary maker foam at the mouth. The most domineering characteristic is sure to be their unadulterated likeability. Twins – Yay. Beautiful – Yay. A pair of teachers who helped a troubled child’s education through the medium of wrestling – Very yay. Their unique traits are what look to push them forward, and give them a chance of taking the winner’s crown.

The Rockstar Spud

The small man may not grace anybody’s top 8 friends list, but at any time he can be your favourite man in the arena. Whether between the ropes, on the apron, or walking on the mat beside the ring, Spud has the ability to be the center of attention, and when he has the opportunity he is most likely to steal the show. This star can make you laugh, boo and then cheer for the other guy and it’s a talent that stands up in spite of whoever takes on the opposing role. The self-entitled Baby Jesus of Professional Wrestling should be labelled the Epitome of Entertainment, and in something dubbed sports entertainment, such an accolade can act as a ticket to victory.

Marty Scurll

His biggest advantage over his only male opponent is that he holds a good size. Being big and built helps Party Marty look like a wrestler, and TV can often make perception become reality. Scurll doesn’t just look the part though, he holds up in the ring having grown in experience and talent over the years and having shined with his tag team antics. Most importantly, from London to whatever they put on the other side of this little island, Scurll pulls in the fan support and can win popularity from coast to coast. A crowd behind him may be the thing that sees Marty Scurll reach out and grab that brass ring.

There you have it, three entities which each offer a threat to the others through their unique talents. Good as gold twins, a fun loving party man and one you love to hate – these three personalities will surely be interesting to watch on the road to the Impact Zone, and the highest point of interest lays in which one will triumph. If it’s a prediction you want, this article lays it’s eggs in the basket of Rockstar Spud as the only wrestler with a presence capable of global domination. Opinions are just that though, and the only way to find that out who wins is a matter of four more episodes. TNA’s British Boot Camp is one to watch.

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