Picture Credit: Mr David J Wilson
Wrestling fans in the UK it has to be said we are spoiled when it comes to events held across the country. We have some of the very best promotions in the world when it comes to action, passion and development these are facts, no one can deny that at all. Easily I could name a variety of promotions that excell at hosting fantastic events as well as amazing shows and producing sterling entertainment. I mean I guarantee if I missed one company in a list of who is the best wrestling promotionthere would be a series of wrestling fans wanting to know why their favourite promotion was forgotten abllout.
Where else in the world could this happen, putting aside mainstream or world televised wrestling promotions like WWE and TNA as well as ROH. In South America, Lucha Underground and promotions there, are rebuilding, making their style and their athleticism known again. In Australia, Melbourne City Wrestling and many others are slowly progressing, building a worldwide fan base via their on demand service and in Germany, promotions like wXw and GWF are being known as promotions that produce excellent shows and they are finally getting the credit they deserve.
These are only examples of fantastic companies across the world, but they’re in number in relation to each country, other than say NJPW, NOAH and Stardom who have dominated the wrestling scene in Japan. The UK has multiple amount of promotions and wrestlers that fans across the world recognise, that is down to the promotion of the company as well as the ability for the wrestlers to identify with the fans and vice versa.
Now, what happens when an event doesn’t go as well as the fans wanted, we all take to social media and complain that “This wrestler should have won”‘ or “Why is this person not getting their push?!” and there is nothing wrong with that. If you are passionate about a promotion or dedicated to the success of a wrestler in a storyline why shouldn’t you be heard, you paid for your ticket so why not. However, what happens when a show has an abundance of issues, from production all the way to the booking of the wrestlers and this time the world is focusing on that event due to the world class stars involved, again you go on social media but the damage is more extensive in the long run.
At the moment as previously mentioned, UK wrestling as a whole is thriving and that is due to the teamwork of the promotions across the countries within the UK having with the sole aim to be successful, raisng the bar in entertainment and development for the fans as well the future of wrestling. When poor promotions appear and bring in world class talent then present disapointing shows to the fans, it allows cracks to appear in an otherwise united front, it breeds doubt from fans in why they should attend the shows and hesitation from those world class wrestlers in why they should allow themselves to be exposed to ridicule for being part of a bad show. In short, all the hard work that the wrestlers, the promoters, the organisers and the fans themselves would diminish over a period of time all because of bad promoters.
The setting of a wrestling event is a tricky thing, as a fan I write this, I will never assume to know the complexites of organising an event, delegating the duties of who does what, booking the right venue, building a fanbase, negotiate how to balance wrestlers pay and essentially book a show. As a fan I can’t help but think what you would need for a show to go from good to being a fantastic experience and my mind directs to the right venue also what it entails.
Wrestling shows in the UK require a special licence, which can be held by the venue, but if they do not have one then the promoter must apply for a temporary events licence, which takes ten days to process I remember reading, if you don’t hold a licence the insurance would be void. So, if your backing an unlicensed show your endorsing an event not insured to protect fans and wrestlers.
When you look at the venue, especially when a promotion is progressing it feel like that venue is that companies home, for ICW? it’s the Garage, in Glasgow after they left Maryhill, PROGRESS? it’s the Electric Ballroom in London, PCW? it’s Evoque in Preston, we can list alot more. But what else is there to look at:
The look of event.(hardcore – style of fans) family – seating)
The range of tickets sold and expected. (popularity)
The ease to get to and time home (travel)
New show or old (debut)
Paying the Talent? Wrestlers and your team.
Organising the time constrictions?
Booking, does it make sense? Enhancing the right talent? (short term and long term)
Set up. (presentation) speakers, entrances, wrestling, lights,
Intimate? spaceous? Merchandise?
Advertising? Sponsorship? Wrestlers? contract – import or regular?
Experience ring set up, style of matches?
Is there a meet and greet? do I have experienced and reliable team members.
What impact does the company want to have? short term and long term.
What date to use and not to interfere with other promotions.
Above, is only a list I assume wrestling promoters must deal with, I maybe wrong and I do know there is much more involved, but I know that the first thing I’m thinking of isn’t how much I’ll make or how great I’ll look to my friends standing next to wrestlers to at a show. Things like that you can get away with as a fan or even a journalist, but as a promoter in the UK wrestling at the moment, you represent alot more and the world is watching.