Posted by James Tee
Whether it is on my side of the Atlantic, or in the United States, there are numerous companies providing shows on weekly, fortnightly and monthly basis’, with the pure reason of bringing exciting action to us, the Wrestling fan.
I must start and say I don’t know much about how Wrestling is broadcast in America outside of the big three, though I do understand that every state has different television networks. However, here in the UK, things are a lot more simple. We have Free to Air TV, which TNA is broadcast on, and Digital Satellite, which WWE airs on.
Challenge TV has helped bring Wrestling to a wider audience in recent years, with the TNA TV rights, and in recent months, WrestleTalk TV and The British Wrestling Round-Up, which have given a weekly and monthly platform respectively for British Wrestling to stand on. In particular, a huge amount of credit has to go to Patrick Lennon, a journalist who writes for British Tabloid, The Daily Star, and Alex Shane, who has always been a great believer in the product that is British Wrestling, running numerous productions, as well as being one of the UK’s greatest ever wrestlers.
Now, as it as all over the world, Wrestling is becoming more and more popular, something not seen since British Wrestling left television screens in the early 1980’s. But could the biggest player in Sport’s Broadcasting, Sky, do more to help the progression of British Wrestling Promotions?
British Wrestling has never been so prominent as it is now. Both WWE and TNA have had numerous British and Irish stars on their books in recent years, such as Magnus, Doug Williams, Wade Barrett, Hade Vansen, Rampage Brown, Kenneth Cameron, Sheamus and many more. Like any performer, not everybody can be an instant success, with Brown an example of preferring to leave WWE’s developmental territory in favour of a return to Britain, after feeling like he was being under utilised at the time.
Now Brown is one of the biggest names on the British scene, yet there are many other men who have potential star quality, and are only being shown to those who go to regular wrestling shows. Some people, myself included, work unsociable hours, limiting the number of shows they can go to, and are missing out on some top quality.
So what do I suggest?
Sky Sports/Challenge take the step of making British Wrestling highlights a one hour weekly show, giving fans an opportunity to witness some of the best matches that this country has to offer. Yet I know this is easier said than done, and probably would cost an amount of money that only a company with huge financial backing could produce.
If I’m suggesting this, why should anyone listen to me?
Head over to Twitter, and follow names such as Dave Rayne, El Ligero, Kris Travis, Martin Kirby, Josh Bodom, Noam Dar and Marty Scurll to name but a few. Look at their pages, and often, they will post links of past matches they have had in promotions all across the UK. It offers fans the perfect opportunity to watch matches they may have missed due to travel issues or simple lack of knowledge of promotions.
I recently attended what was my first British Wrestling show, and was rewarded with seeing one of the best Wrestling shows I have ever seen, on TV or live. FutureShock 66 had everything from entertaining Tag matches, to a Last Man Standing match and to round it off, a Title match between two men who would be classed as Super Heavyweights, in Dave Mastiff and Cyanide, yet managed to produce a match that WWE’s own 300 lb men could only dream of being allowed to show.
Since that show, I have learnt that many promotions have shows like this on a regular basis, and I had missed out by not going to local wrestling events, something that I am now trying to make up for. And these high level shows can only be good for the talent that work the circuit making a living.
With the new developmental centre in Florida opening, it seems there is now an emphasis on the part of WWE in finding men and women who are simply in need of perfecting their craft. On top of that, it is believed that the WWE see the UK as their main market outside of North America, so would there be any harm in showcasing the excellent talent the UK has to offer on a regular basis, giving fans the chance to see the work of future Main Event talent; any person we see today on the UK scene could one day headline Wrestlemania.
If you ask me whether I think this is likely to happen in the near future, I have to be honest and say no. That is not to say that there are not ways to watch British Wrestling. The Wrestle Talk TV Youtube channel has plenty of matches and interviews to whet your appetite. On top of that, the above list of Wrestling Promotions should provide a company who produces shows near you.
Whether it gets more TV exposure or not, British Wrestling is strong.
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