Wednesday 1 January 2014

BWA: Controversy Creates? Part 2 By Craig Jarrett (@Craig_Jarrett)

In December 2013 I did an article regarding a West Yorkshire promotion known as BWA (Bradford Wrestling Alliance) and in particular what happened on a show that took place earlier in the year and the fallout from that shows with speculations, rumors and a public debate between BWA owner Gareth Thompson (known by his ring name Gareth Angel) and Harvey Dale. Having read and not entirely agreed on some of the issues raised in my article I thought it was only fair to allow Gareth the chance to answer some tough questions and get his side heard, I asked him ten questions regarding what happened and what was said and this was his response.

What do you have to say regarding claims of you not having insurance for BWA shows?

Not true, we had insurance for all the shows, we even had disclaimers signed as a precaution. I didn't deal with the insurance at the start, that was my "partners" job, Ryan Lord, after he quit and walked out the night before a show, I had my back up partner who I cant name deal with it from there on out.

What do you have to say regarding claims of wrestlers not being paid?

Again untrue, everyone got paid, there was one show where we didn't have enough cash on site, I asked everyone who was willing to be paid the next day or next time I saw them and 4 guys were cool with it, they were paid at the first possible time.

Do you regret using drawing pins and blood on a family show at a working men's club?

The drawing pins were a silly move but at the same time we advertised the hardcore match for over a month, and stated several times during the event itself. The only blood you saw was hardway, no blading, no gigging, no juicing, so we hadn't planned for that and honestly it wasn't that much.

What are your opinions regarding Harvey Dale who was very vocal against yourself regarding BWA?

Harvey was right to have something to say, but maybe not in the way that he did. I said multiple times to him that a private message would have been better, he didn't even have the right information, he was way off and if he had messaged me and asked instead of presuming then he would have had a better picture. I still think he is good at what he does and I cant take that away from him, but his methods are pretty much bullying.

Do you think the incident hurt your career as a wrestler not just a promoter?

Probably, but it wasn't the first time my name was dragged through the mud by someone who never met me and it probably wont be the last. I wasn't surprised to see others jump on the bandwagon and come out with stuff to say and give their opinions on me, BWA and the talents we used. The thing that gets me is that certain people had booked these guys before themselves, had told lies and then twisted things and really just stuck their noses in. everyone who had something to say had not even been to a show.

Have you had a chance to go over things with Harvey Dale since the conversation you both had?

No, Harvey blocked me and went on his way.

Do you think BWA was a worthwhile product?

I think BWA was different, we had a good following, we did things a bit differently, the people were as much a part of the show as the talent and real relationships were formed. I didn't treat them like idiots, everyone had direction, the booking was logical and there were great stories, which would have had a good payoff, had we continued.

Would you ever run a wrestling show again?

Errrr maybe. If I did then I would back my ass up at every possible decision, I made some mistakes that I learned from, I certainly would provide documents upfront and get everyone to sign everything twice, probably get a lawyer involved so I can sue someone (maybe not the last bit) but I would certainly be open to it down the line with a bit of cash.

Has the whole think left you bitter towards British wrestling?

No, I was already bitter, British wrestling is full of backstabbers, childish behavior and selfish people. I am just happy that I had a place were non of that was present and I'm happy I work for a few promotions now where that is not the case. British wrestling has so much potential but a select few wreck it for everyone.

Would you ever bring BWA back?

Again maybe, depends on if its the right thing to do, I don't have the money to run a promotion, that's one of the mistakes I made first time around. I know if another promotion came to Bradford they would have a crowd ready for them, but if I did it would certainly make a noise.


I know Gareth has been compared to the likes of Adam Bowler or Danny Rodd but I think the guy wanted to have his own little promotion so badly that he just didn't do any research into what was needed to do so. I would like to thank Gareth for taking time out to do this and if Harvey Dale is ever open to giving his side of what was said that I would be open to conduct that interview too (pimping myself out). If you would like to follow Gareth you can through his two Twitter handles @GarethAngel and @GazThompson87

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