Question: do US audiences want to see British wrestlers?

One of the things I enjoy most about Twitter is the way you can accidentally eavesdrop on people’s conversations. After all, if you’re following all the participants, their messages to each other just pop up in your timeline – what are you supposed to do? (Except perhaps suggest that they take their chat to direct message, just so as not to incriminate them in the future.)

So I was interested to see a group of male British wrestlers complain about three elements of tour booking. Let’s take them one by one.

1) “British promoters should be booking British talent, not imports.”

Yeah, this old chestnut again. British promoters will book whoever’s going to draw and make them money. Sure, some will book imports just for the sake of believing they have an “international promotion”, but most of the best promotions will just want the people whose names will sell tickets and merchandise. They’ll book the best British talent too.

2) “US promoters should be booking British talent because British promoters are booking US talent.”

They’ll book British talent once they think you’ll sell tickets and merchandise. It’s just the same. Promoters the world over aren’t going to book you because you think it’s their moral obligation. They want to make money.

3) “British women wrestlers aren’t helping the cause by flying themselves out to places and wrestling on shows.”

I’m kind of with you on this one. I do think it’s problematic when wrestlers cover their own costs and wrestle on shows without getting paid. But I also think it’s problematic when wrestlers bitch about each other; it looks just as unprofessional as when promoters bitch about each other. I’m not going to take it as far as saying wrestlers ought to set up their own union (although they totally should) but have a little bit of class, guys. The ladies paying for their own bookings isn’t taking a slot away from you.

It all comes down to that question of behaving professionally – yet again. I wrote a whole epilogue in Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops about the ways to improve British wrestling, so I’ll add a codicil – if you want wrestling to be not only your living but something that takes you around the world, working for scores of different promotions, stop acting like a whiny child on social media – it’s not going to endear you to anyone.

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6 Responses to Question: do US audiences want to see British wrestlers?

  1. tholzerman says:

    To answer the question in the subject, yes, they do. Every crowd I’ve been in has loved British wrestlers like Mark Andrews, Johnny Saint, the Knight ladies, Pete Dunne, Zack Sabre, Jr., and Johnny Kidd.

    • Carrie says:

      Hi Tom, really glad you commented. Did you know anything about the Brits you’ve seen before you saw them? Most of the US guys who get booked over here tend to be “names” rather than randoms. There’s also been a bit of bitching about Pete and Mark, who you mention, so that’s interesting!

      • tholzerman says:

        the Wrestling Is Cool crowd really took to Andrews and Dunne. They had a really good match with the Osirian Portal, and the crowd ate it up. As for your other question, I knew nothing about any of hte Brits who came over excepting Johnny Saint the second time he came over, mainly because he was at the first indie show I had ever attended (King of Trios ’09). Usually though, the British wrestlers tend to be the best ones.

      • Carrie says:

        That’s really interesting. Saint is a legend. This question applies to the Pocket Volcano too – do you notice a difference in style with the Brit wrestlers as well?

  2. Speaking only for myself, as an American wrestling fan, YES! I want to see as much wrestling from as many places as possible, and in person if able. Mark Andrews and Pete Dunne have been creating all sorts of buzz while they’re here, and a few friends of mine who wrestle in the Midwest were blown away by their stuff at DREAMWAVE and VWAA. I’d imagine most wrestling fans are open to seeing new stuff…at least I would hope they are.

  3. Regarding style: Yes, I notice a difference between the British style and American most definitely. Brits seem more…methodical, I think. Preferring to take you down to the mat and twist you around. It’s hard to put into words but if I watched someone like Johnny Saint and then watched someone like…just off the top of my head, AJ Styles, I’d notice a difference.

    For what it’s worth, I started getting into the independents in late 2009/2010 and didn’t start branching out into other countries until 2011. I didn’t know anything about Kidd or Saint until I watched them at CHIKARA where they teamed up with Quack and Cabana. I was blown away. To be still so good at that age and to capture the crowd (which I know several of them couldn’t have known who they were) – it was stunning. Made me want to see more.

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