Fact: some stereotypes of British wrestling linger for a reason

March 5, 2015

If you indulge in social media at all, or if you read newspapers, you’ll have probably caught some of the kerfuffle around a certain article in the Guardian this week.

Tying in with Simon Cowell’s musings about bringing British wrestling back to television, TV writer Stuart Heritage brought some of his ‘World of Sport’ memories to the fore when sketching out what this new series might look like.

If you have even the vaguest interest in British wrestling history you’ll know exactly the kind of thing it included – middle-aged men with beer bellies, angry grannies in the front row berating the heels, shows staged in local leisure centres, all a plodding, working-class contrast to the glamour and polish of WWE.

Wrestlers and fans alike have been outraged. Read the rest of this entry »

Interview: screenwriter and director Harvey Auzorst talks about planned Les Kellett film

August 27, 2014

kellett50Les Kellett is one of the most mysterious figures in British wrestling.

Simon Garfield’s epic quest to meet the man ended with failure despite the proliferation of letters he sent.

But the anecdotes from his co-workers of the time were terrifying. (Pat ‘Bomber’ Roach seemed to be the only one who found time to mention a kinder part of Kellett’s personality.)

He may have been hilarious in the ring, but he was also physically tough – and terrifying.

“To get to anything about Les Kellett is almost impossible – the myth, the nonsense,” admits screenwriter Harvey Auzorst.

Researching and writing a biopic of Kellett, then, must be one of the most difficult tasks – but Auzorst has had a helping hand along the way, courtesy of William Regal.
Read the rest of this entry »

Facts from Future Pro Wrestling Summertime Brawl, Wallington Hall, July 19th 2014

July 20, 2014

10443190_762168837137379_284521731173671993_oI usually do a little write-up of shows, taking care to personalise it and make sure that I’m documenting my experience and perception of facts.

I’m not going to do that for last night’s FPW show – but what I will do is state an undeniable fact…although it’s disappointing that Joel Redman and Martin Stone weren’t kept on in WWE for longer, it’s absolutely brilliant to have them back here in Britain.
Read the rest of this entry »

Exclusive interview: Chris Brooker talks ‘I Am The Tag-Team Champions’ & Announces New William Regal Show!

August 22, 2013

IATTCFlyerFront“Growing up, I had, like, one friend who was a wrestling fan,” says comedian and promoter Chris Brooker. “Then as soon as I got into comedy, it was like a dating service – ‘Have you met this guy? He likes wrestling too!'”

Brooker and Billy Kirkwood debut their show ‘I Am The Tag-Team Champions’ at Edinburgh this weekend. He describes it as a “love-letter to professional wrestling”; after a lengthy discussion about how they could make a show about wrestling appeal to a wider audience, they decided not to bother, and instead opted to make a show just for people who like wrestling.

The poster for the show is stylised artwork of several sets of tag-team champions, plus Brooker and Kirkwood. How on earth did they decide who to include and who to omit?

“We had a list we sent back and forth,” he says. “Some were no-brainers – the Legion of Doom, the Hardy Boyz, and Kane and Daniel Bryan, of course. Then as soon as we showed people in, they’d complain about who wasn’t on it. We could have made it twice the size and people would still have been like, ‘But where are David Otunga and Michael McGillicutty?'” Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: the Road to Wrestlemania is not interesting to watch on NXT

March 31, 2013

paigeYou already know how much I love NXT. Here’s a list of things (by no means comprehensive) I enjoy seeing on it:

1) Paige killing bitches by kicking them in the head
2) Big E Langston killing bitches and pinning them for five
3) Adrian Neville being amazing
4) The one true Ascension
5) A plethora of magnificent beards
6) Emma’s dancing
7) Kassius Ohno speaking truth to William Regal

Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: old pro wrestlers never retire, they just become…stand-up comedians?

January 3, 2013

posterwebAfter Mick Foley’s recent comedy tours, and William Regal’s ‘gig’ in the autumn, the next superstar to head to these shores to try his tongue at stand-up is Raven.

He debuts at the Good Ship, Kilburn, North-West London (and the venue for my birthday party three years ago, fact fans) on February 19 (four days after my birthday, fact fans).

Comedy promoter Nathan Neumann explains: “I heard Raven was doing stand-up last year and even though none of his material was available online I thought he’d be funny as he’d been quite funny in some shoot interviews I’ve seen, and he’s always been one of the best promo guys and most intelligent wrestlers around. I got in contact with him and he was really keen to bring his comedy show to London, and it turned out he was in Europe doing some dates in February so it made sense to have him come over to do this show then. Before we arranged this he gave me a preview of some of his material – and it is very funny!”

Funny he may be, but what’s with the current vogue for stand-up? Read the rest of this entry »

Fact: the new NXT is amazing

July 6, 2012

Thank goodness the epic torture of NXT Redemption is over.

What’s more, thank goodness for the new incarnation of NXT – apparently the replacement for FCW, which was regularly awesome in its own right but usually occurred in front of an audience of eight, albeit including William Regal.

Here are some reasons for the brilliance of the new NXT. And I will brook no argument. Read the rest of this entry »

Question: Do you want to see a feud between Daniel Bryan and William Regal?

January 23, 2012

I feel a bit daft even asking the question, because the answer is surely a foregone conclusion.

But that wily old rogue William Regal has jumped back on his hobby-horse – he still wants to be the first English WWE champion, and he wants his old pupil Daniel Bryan to give him a title match.

I particularly love this tweet from Regal: “One thing though,I don’t deserve a title shot, but I want one.” Fantastic. I’m so bored with challengers in WWE (and TNA, come to that) demanding the matches they reckon they “deserve” – being honest about wanting something is truly good to hear.

One can only hope that Regal’s dancing prowess on last week’s Smackdown is a first step towards getting him back on the main shows. After all, Bryan can’t continue to feud with the two monsters indefinitely, a) because it’s dull and b) because they’re both broken.

So – do you want to see this Bryan/Regal championship match?

Wishes for 2012: William Regal manages Wade Barrett to championship glory

December 29, 2011

Yes, this MUST be the year that William Regal finally pulls together his United Kingdom stable. And it simply makes sense that he’ll manage Wade Barrett in an attempt to overthrow of his former protege Daniel Bryan’s World Heavyweight title reign.

WWE ’12 is just a teaser and a tryout.

If the rumours about Randy Orton’s injury are true, then surely Barrett is next in line for the championship picture, where he can heel it up to his heart’s content (with his jacket). It all falls into place. Regal – get on it.

Here’s Regal v Bryan from Superstars in the UK this autumn:

Exclusive: Lionheart on WWE, William Regal, TNA, Jeff Jarrett…and Twitter

November 24, 2011

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – if William Regal rates you, then you know you’ve got talent.

So watch out for the UK’s very own Lionheart, then – a regular on the indy circuit, he came to international attention when he faced Jeff Jarrett during TNA’s last tour over here, and last month he made his WWE debut against Justin Gabriel on the Smackdown tour.

“The match itself came about fairly last minute, to be honest,” he explains. “I was selected to go to Liverpool as part of a group European talent for a try-out. I was put forward by one or two different people and I myself had of course made an application some time ago.

“Long story short: during the day the try-out consisted of both ring work and backstage promo work. William Regal, who was in charge of the try-outs, was impressed enough with what he saw to request I be put in a dark match to allow me the chance to give them a proper look at my work. Read the rest of this entry »