It’s always nice to see a local success story, especially one you’ve followed for a while.
So, New Generation Wrestling, or NGW as I’ll refer to them from this point, have been around since 2008 in Hull, Yorkshire (my home town, represent) and started as a small show in a recreation centre on a housing estate, originally in front of a threadbare crowd, they’ve since built a following which sees them sell over 1,000 tickets regularly for their Hull City Hall shows as well as shows all over Yorkshire.
The first time I went to NGW in late 2011, six years ago now, at said recreation centre, the Eastmount Recreation Centre in East Hull, I don’t remember much of the show, looking on the website it says Nigel McGuinness was on the show, I wasn’t a fan of indies back then, so didn’t know who he was which is probably why I don’t remember it. The main event was Nathan Cruz vs Matt Myers, a main even that is still getting booked by the company today, with Cruz having dethroned Myers again for the NGW Undisputed Championship earlier this year.
It’s strange that given NGW’s success that it isn’t more talked about in the British Wrestling conversation, I think it’s more to do with the product than anything, NGW is very ‘sports entertainment’ in its approach, a family-friendly setting that doesn’t jive with a lot of the ‘indy style’ in a lot of British Wrestling, for example, Will Ospreay was booked on an NGW show back in June, just after his final appearance in the Best of the Super Juniors, and while he got a good reception, a fair chunk of the audience (the kids and parents) probably didn’t know who he was, but enjoyed his performance after a while of his breath-taking dives and stunts.
That isn’t the criticism it sounds like, as NGW presents a story-driven family friendly show that gives a bit of variety to the scene, it’s also televised all over the world, such is its broad appeal, it’s given a stage to many British and international talent, such as Nathan Cruz, Mark Haskins and even way back when, Spud. One show even boasted an appearance from Kendo Nagasaki, which was bizarre to say the least.
It’s also nice to see a product that appeals to all walks of life, kids see the faces as heroes (especially Matt Myers, kids are mad about him) and boo the heels, which is refreshing in these modern times, even the parents of the kid’s seem to enjoy themselves, joining in with chants and booing heels, there’s a few hardcore fans sprinkled about, but they get lost in the show too and end up coming back for the next show, in such cynical modern times it’s nice to see such a simple formula appeal to this broad a spectrum.
Who knows what’s next for NGW as it enters its tenth year? I imagine the promotion will carry on putting on its shows for large audiences throughout the year. Put simply, NGW is the latest success of the KISS formula. Keep it simple, stupid.