Recap: TNA British Boot Camp, episode 1; or The One Where Spud Expels Bodily Fluids

Tx: January 1, 2013; 10pm; Challenge TV

I decided that as there’s so much interest in TNA’s British Boot Camp, I’d do an episode-by-episode recap for those who missed the show, or those who watched the show and fancy a bit of smarky comment or just plain old snark.

So we open by looking at the back catalogue of British wrestling, from Big Daddy to Doug Williams, while Hulk Hogan talks to Dixie Carter about how great British wrestlers are. I should point out at this stage that Dixie has her phone in her hand at all times during these segments. I like to think she’s tweeting.

“Hulk is talking at me. No idea what he’s saying, am distracted by that weird beard thing he has going on.”


They introduce the concept of the boot camp – to “see who wants it the most” and give them a TNA contract. Dixie shakes hands with Hulk and says, “There you go. Brother,” while looking really pleased with herself, which is oddly hilarious.

So our contestants are introduced to a rowdy crowd at Dingwalls in Camden, and, of course, they are:


Marty basically does the same promo to sell himself as he gave to the ladies on Take Me Out. Maybe not the best of omens. Magnus pops up to say, “Marty Scurll’s my best friend!” No, that’s literally what he says, because they are. Adorable. Magnus does then add that it’s tough for him to see what his friends have achieved. He probably doesn’t mean it to come across as arrogant as it sounds, because he’s not in character here, he’s being srs television pundit Nick Aldis.

Marty then moves smoothly into his X-Factor-style promo, which even has the quieter plinky-music-of-sad, as he talks about his tough life growing up and how he now wants to achieve his dreams with TNA to make his parents and grandparents proud.

He then makes the interesting point that it’s not about being talented, it’s about making it in the big leagues – the division between wrestling and sports entertainment is being ever more clearly delineated and I find it interesting that British wrestlers are finally acknowledging that. Although I guess he has to, on a TNA show.

Next up, we have:


Spud says he’s tried being entertaining and tried having the best matches but he never got Dixie’s attention. He enthuses about the charisma of Hulk Hogan, who in turn endorses him by saying that Spud “said his prayers and took his vitamins”. As the estimable Mark Haskins noted on Twitter:

Spud says: “Every time someone tells me I can’t do something, I want to say, ‘Yeah, I can.’..Of course I can! I’m Rockstar Spud! Of course I can!” This is the first of many intervals where you can insert your own textbook kneejerk Spud-is-short joke – YOUCAN’TGETTHINGSOFFTHETOPSHELFWITHOUTASTEPLADDERSPUD!!!!!111!!!1 would be where I’d go with this one, but feel free to use your own. He too gets the Aldis seal of approval, and then Spud gives the middle finger to everyone who’s said he’s not big enough. I could make another joke there, but I’m not going to, I’ll run out of ’em by the end of the series. Oh, and then he says, “I’m going to be the biggest star in the world!” Spud, you’re just making this too easy for me. Make me work for it at least.

Finally we meet:


Their selling point is being nice wholesome young women, so we get to meet their family and see them in situ in their classroom, because they love their family and they love children because they are NICE GIRLS. Have you got that? Just to hammer that home a bit more, Magnus says, “Their reputation is good,” and Tara calls them “sweet, beautiful and very respectful.”

One more time, Dixie reiterates the principle behind the show, and informs them, “Boot camp starts tomorrow.” She’s asked a British wrestling legend to put them to the test. You’ll have to wait for that, though, because first there’s some trash-talking.

Spud mocks Marty for going on a dating show in order to get a girlfriend. Again, I must reiterate: Spud went on Snog, Marry, Avoid. Anyway, Spud slags off Marty a bit more, and says him being there is a shock.

Marty then calls Spud a complete wanker. Which isn’t the most thoughtful or eloquent of insults, particularly when the Snog, Marry, Avoid card is just SCREAMING OUT TO BE PLAYED. Or maybe it didn’t happen in TNA’s universe. Maybe this is all being broadcast to us through the medium of Jeff Hardy’s all-powerful internal monologue.

Dixie tells the camera that she doesn’t expect her contestants to get along, but she does expect them to be professional. Hmm, maybe she should be telling them that rather than saying it in an office to a faceless cameraman.

They all do their “I’m going to win!” thing – Marty tries to put on a mean and moody face, the Blossoms are confident yet likeable (although Hannah does say they are “over-prepared”), and Spud is Spud, saying he’ll cheat to win.

The four go out on the booze. The girls keep telling the boys to slow down and drink less and generally stop being tossers. Marty leers at Hannah. Spud mocks them for “baking cupcakes”, and then sings. EVEN THOUGH HE CAN’T.

“I’m not sssssdrunk,” confirms Spud.


The boys wander off and the girls get annoyed with them for “acting like the children we work with”.

“Why are you such ssssstwo goody-two-shoes?” Spud demands, and Marty puts their concern down to the fact that they can’t leave him alone. The girls conclude the boys are “lousy drunks”, particularly after Marty pees in the street.

Spud rants about the girls, and says, “Rockstar Spud isn’t one of your six- and seven-year-olds!” All together now – NO, YOU’RE JUST THE SAME HEIGHT AS ONE!

Dixie muses over the small worldness of wrestling meaning that Spud and Marty have a history of animosity, but suggests they use it as motivation rather than bringing them both down. They bitch about each other some more. And then Spud pees in the street.

Back in the TNA limo, Marty and Spud argue about who has the most Twitter followers. the conversation runs thus:

“How many followers do you have?”

“I don’t need to.”

“How many followers do you have?”

“I don’t need to.”

“How many followers do you have?”

“I don’t need to.”

Marty appears to think Twitter followers is some kind of measure of true celebrity. Whatever, Scurll. You may have met Paddy McGuinness and have twice as many Twitter followers begging you for retweets, but you never met POD.


“Who cares who has more followers?” the girls try to interject, but they are missing the obvious – Marty cares VERY MUCH who has more followers. The more pertinent question would be “Why the bloody hell are you so bothered, Scurll? What are you trying to compensate for?”

At this point, Spud passes out, either through alcohol or boredom.


“Rockstar Spud, don’t pretend you’re asleep!” implores Marty. No, Spud! You may miss the continuation of Scurll’s Paxman-like interrogation skills!

Spud then sits up and repeats, “A DATING SHOW! A DATING SHOW! A DATING SHOW!” until everyone’s ears bleed. Hannah whispers, “Stop!” but nobody can hear her weep.

Marty then gets his phone out – following the boss’s move, eh, Scurll? Nice one – and Spud tells him, “If the girls weren’t here, I’d smack you in the face.” Marty replies that he wouldn’t. So he does.


Fair enough. I would have too. In fact I’m quite disappointed that the girls didn’t lay both of them out, the pair of boring pissing-contest walking egos. It would have been a service to humankind.

Marty is disbelieving that Spud hit him “just because I’ve got more followers than him”; Spud screams at the camera that it would have been worse “IF THE GIRLS WEREN’T THERE!” Dude, the girls are grown women and they are professional wrestlers. Like you. I don’t suppose they’d care one way or the other if you and Marty had a fight as long as you both SHUT THE HELL UP ABOUT TWITTER FOLLOWERS AND DATING SHOWS.

Spud gets out of the car and wanders off. The girls try to get him to come back but he was ignoring texts and calls so in the end they decide to get back in the TNA limo and go back to the hotel, as they have a tough day of boot camp tomorrow. See that? It’s called FORESHADOWING. Marty says something loathsome about “going back with the Blossoms”.

Meanwhile, in the Sussex Arms:


(Moar foreshadowing.)

Marty and the girls are back at the hotel. He’s carrying their shoes, for some reason. It’s not like it’s been a hard night on the tiles dancing – as far as I can see they’ve driven around the West End with occasional stops for the boys to pee in the street.

Meanwhile, still at the Sussex Arms:


(Moar foreshadowing.)

The four get a 7.37am alarm call. Oddly, the girls are sleeping together in a double bed with a camera filming them. They get themselves a coffee, and wonder who their trainer will be. Marty is in the gym. Spud, of course, is full of acid reflux and regret.


As is traditional in British reality TV, they are summoned to a car park to await the arrival of their illustrious mentor.


So who is it?



It’s ROLLERBALL ROCCO, bitches. Mike Tenay credits him with revolutionising the sport of professional wrestling in the UK; Hulk Hogan says he is a great choice to cut through the field.

“My decision will make or break you,” Rocco tells the four. He instructs them to ready themselves for a training session to begin in ten minutes, and three of them manage to do as they’re told.

“Where’s Spud?” the great man asks.


Holly’s face says it all.

This is where he is:


Oh, Spud.


Rocco is going to kick your ass. Literally and figuratively.

On the next episode.

Join us soon for the second recap of the series!


3 Responses to Recap: TNA British Boot Camp, episode 1; or The One Where Spud Expels Bodily Fluids

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