“In professional wrestling, the independent circuit or indy circuit is any independent professional wrestling promotion that is smaller than a major televised promotion. They are roughly analogous to a minor league for pro wrestling, or community or regional theatre” – Wikipedia definition.
This is a definition that reads true but emotionally false, how many fans of wrestling have gone to see a live event and witnessed some of the best technical and storytelling matches they have seen, beating that of what they have witnessed on television in recent years.
For one year, so far, I have gone to live wrestling shows throughout the UK, rather than sitting and watching them at home via television or internet. Don’t get me wrong, there have been sterling matches and the Internet allows the casual fan a chance to see shows or matches they would have never seen before.
However, a year ago, I grew tired of watching bad wrestling, aweful booking and stories that made no sense, to the point I was questioning why I was investing so much of my time and passion without any emotional reward.
If you like wrestling and you go on the internet, there are wrestling forums, wrestling companies that provide you with up to the minute news also wrestling companies who tell you were events are happening that week, I did this and discovered a barrage of information.
If you have a free weekend, night or you want to take the family away to enjoy something different, a night of wrestling could work and I guarantee you that whatever wrestling event you go, that promotion that will host the best show they can.
I had the weekend free and I did just that, from there, that weekend turned another and another then graduated into a passion.
Before I continue on this article, I should mention there are alot more different promotions in UK, the one’s mentioned are the companies I’ve seen so far.
I live in Glasgow, home to the Insane Championship Wrestling and sister company, Fierce Females, they primary focus on female wrestling, I have yet to go to a show where I haven’t been caught up in the hardcore atmosphere or seen fantastic wrestling from both. There’s more, an alternative to the hardcore in central Scotland, Premier British Wrestling, Scottish Wrestling Alliance, Pride Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Elite, all four more family friendly oriented shows that strike the balance between adult and kids entertainment but that doesn’t stop the great wrestling being shown. It should be mentioned that sometimes children can be the worst to entertain it seems, I’ve seen wrestlers who can seize an adult’s attention for a match, but the same wrestler can’t even get a child to look shocked or shout during the bout.
After I visited these shows I kept going, but not staying focused in one area of the UK, It’s a train or bus to travel, in Scotland you have, in no order, Scottish Wrestling Entertainment & Reckless Wrestling. Each company unique in there styles of wrestling, yes you may see similar faces, however, they have different gimmicks, one night, the wrestlers may high five you on the way to the ring, the next night, shout or ignore you.
Now, thats just in Scotland, later during the year, I got on the megabus down south to England to see, in no order, Preston Championship Wrestling, Kamikaze pro, Southside Wrestling Entertainment, This is Progress & Tidal Wrestling. Again, unique in very different and brilliant ways these promotions are fantastic.
If you are regularly fed on a diet of WWE or TNA, where the production value is alot more, theres piro-techniques, mammoth screens and ramp entrances you may be surprised when you visit a town hall or wrestling gym to see a show, the venue smaller, the attendance lower and no fireworks, not even a party-popper I’m afraid, however, the action and passion is alot more infectious.
In my travels, I’ve seen a spectacular thirty minute match between two men who wrestled in front of at best a hundred people and then seen a wrestling show on tour from America try to entertain thousands in attendance with dancing. I’ve learned that this past year is that if want to see the best of something, in my instance, wrestling, go and try to see more than one aspect of it, the phrase “variety is the spice of life” and it’s never more true than in the world of wrestling.
Another aspect is the stars you’ve seen or heard about at these promotions could be the people you see in WWE, TNA or ROH in the future.
Don’t believe me? recently from WWE, Paige, Drew MacIntyre, Adrian Neville, Prince Devitt & William Regal, to name only a few. TNA has seized on the UK talent as well, Magnus, Doug Williams, Rockstar Spud & Rob Terry again these are only a few names to mention all stared in the UK scene.
UK shows have continually been a growing attraction, British Wrestling has been catching the mainstream eye since it appeared on ITV World of Sport, decades ago, a show that used to get viewers up to the millions and it was because of Wrestlers like Kendo Nagaski, Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Johnny Saint & Marty Jones all wrestled on the independent circuit.
I believe the wrestling talent within the UK are priceless to wrestling market in the world at the moment, not just by providing amazing shows but giving young stars the chance to preform inftont of them.
The promotions I’ve seen don’t just organise shows to entertain but give people who have the ability to be wrestlers a chance to become one as well as they host Wrestling Schools across the country to make sure there is a future for the sport.
There is, Source Wrestling School, PBW Academy, Progress Wrestling School, Pro Evolution Wrestling Academy and the new Pro Wrestling Elite Performance Academy coming soon to say the least, there are mountains of other wrestling schools and seminars across the country.
For me to become a wrestler is too late, but in this year alone, I have gained and learned much more from wrestling than I ever did in the twenty plus years watching it on TV, I suggest if you haven’t been to a show and you love wrestling, do it.