Fact: Curtis Axel is a Paul Heyman guy

May 29, 2013

Hands up those who shed a quiet tear when Curtis Axel was revealed as the newest Paul Heyman guy?

It’s the music – the remixed version of Mr Perfect’s theme – that got me.

I may have my reservations about his new rebrand, although I appreciate the sentiment of paying homage to his father and grandfather, and may still refer to him as “Joe”, like the smarkiest of smarks, but I love that they’re explicitly making his lineage important now – not just with his name, or with the music, but in the ring too (that Perfectplex on this Monday’s RAW!).

I really hope that he has found his niche (pronounced nitch, if you’re Heyman) now, after his bumbling around in NXT since the dissolution of the Nexus. He deserves it.


Podcast: Interesting People Talking Wrestling, episode 8

May 25, 2013

interesting-people-itunes-logoThis week, TOWIS editor Carrie Dunn features on Martin Hines’s podcast ‘Interesting People Talking Wrestling’.

She talks about the forthcoming ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’ – out next week – as well as British wrestling, WWE, the classic Channel 4 documentary ‘Faking It’, and musical theatre. No, really.

Give it a listen.

Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops is available to pre-order on Amazon.

RIP Mick McManus, a legend of professional wrestling

May 22, 2013

I’m sure you’ve seen all the obituaries and tributes by now, but in case you hadn’t, the legendary Mick McManus died today, at the age of 93. (Internet sources have quibbled over his exact year of birth, but 1920 seems to be the general consensus.)

One of the great joys of digital television has been the access to all the World of Sport episodes, and thus I include here a clip of McManus taking on Johnny Saint from 1976.

Interview: Crazy Mary Dobson on Scotland, Japan, blood and staples

May 22, 2013

crazy mary dobson 1jester havoc dobsonShe stunned the Fierce Females crowd with her match against Bete Noire – and then took on Jack Jester and Jimmy Havoc in a brutal hardcore match at ICW the next night. It’s fair to say Crazy Mary Dobson made a hell of an impact in the UK.

“It couldn’t have gone any better!” she enthuses. “Both of the matches I had were great and the people I stayed with were incredible hosts.”

Yes, yes, back up a bit, though – the internet was abuzz with one particular spot from the triple threat match with the menfolk. Not to be indelicate, but a staple gun to the lady bits?

“Yes! I was in fact stapled to the lady bits, but,” she says, with amazing  indifference, “no balls, so it didn’t hurt as much as it hurt Jimmy when I stapled his!” Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: you should be voting Nikki Storm in this week’s TNA Gutcheck

May 21, 2013

photo (4)OK, so TNA Gut Check’s public voting has been a bit of a mess all things told, but you need to get clicking this week, because Friend of TOWIS Nikki Storm is up.

She’s in Bracket 13, which is open for your votes from tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

Facts from Future Pro Wrestling Crowning Glory, Wallington Hall, May 12th 2013

May 12, 2013

20130512_145528[1]One of the things I enjoy most about wrestling is when there’s something you can get behind and follow – someone to root for and to urge on to triumph, someone to want to see suffer and get their comeuppance. Not too difficult to do (one would think) when you’re broadcasting globally every week; but a bit tougher when you’re a UK company and run a handful of times a year, and your audience is bound to have a collectively short memory.

How fortunate, then, that FPW, for their second anniversary show, ‘Crowning Glory’, hit on the simplest and best of all wrestling fables – the title challenge.

It might seem odd that FPW have managed to run for two years without crowning a champion; as compere and co-founder Matt Burden said in the ring today, it was something they’d discussed as soon as they came up with the idea for a promotion. So this may be judged as long overdue, and well deserving of the occasion being immortalised in cupcakes (see image, above left).

And it was just as straightforward and compelling as anyone could have wished. Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: The Bhangra Knights are running a tag-team training seminar

May 9, 2013

bk1Any wannabe tag-team wrestlers should get down to IPW:UK on Sunday, where the Bhangra Knights will be leading an in-ring seminar.

It’s billed as “for anyone wishing to become better versed in the details of tag team work, and learning how to better apply tag psychology to matches” – so it’s not for beginners.

“You need to have a very basic level of experience: being able to bump, run the ropes and know some basic holds,” says RJ Singh, one half of the Knights. “Tag-team experience isn’t needed as we will be covering all the basics of that too.” Read the rest of this entry »

Preview: ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’ – behind the scenes at FPW

May 8, 2013

 740788_510234235664175_1422120349_oThis is an extract from the forthcoming book ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’, taken from a chapter profiling some of the top promotions in the south-east of England. Obviously this isn’t the complete section – you’ll have to buy the book to read that! – but some edited highlights. Hope you enjoy.

When you walk into the Wallington Hall, it’s a state of organised chaos. Something about it is reminiscent about an end-of-term disco, as a clutch of boys huddle together in the corner, and the grown-ups march around setting out the furniture, with a group of men wiring up the lights and a group of women in the kitchen laying out the wares for the tuck shop.

Except this is February 2013, not the height of summer before six weeks of holidays, and this is the venue that Future Pro Wrestling have declared home. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: Mad Man Manson on business, sports entertainment, money and maths

May 2, 2013

mmmI hate to break kayfabe, but I don’t think Mad Man Manson’s actually that mad after all.

That’ll come as no surprise to anyone who saw him in the pre-PCW Festive Fury Q&A alongside John Morrison, Chris Masters and Eugene, when he held forth on the state of the UK wrestling scene and what he perceived as unprofessional, unbusinesslike conduct.

And that’s what we’re discussing now.

“It is a business. It is a job. You charge your price,” he says. “I’ve got my price; if you can’t afford it, fair enough, good luck with your show, and if you need me again, give me a call. But other people, who love wrestling so much, they’ll go down in their price. They’ll say they charge fifty quid, and the guy will hum and hah and say, ‘Oh, well, I can’t really afford that, can you do forty?’ and they’ll say OK.

“That doesn’t work in Tesco if you go in to buy a loaf of bread and it’s priced at 50p and you say, ‘Well, I’ll give you 40p.’ It doesn’t work, because Tesco doesn’t love you. But these guys love wrestling so much that they’re screwing themselves.”

And they’re screwing the other wrestlers on the scene, of course.  Read the rest of this entry »