Photo Credit To Brett Hadley
“The Future Certainly Is Bright…..Unless You Only Employ 1 Referee!!!”
What can I say about the last week? Well I could start with WOW! I was lucky enough to make my debut at “Future Pro Wrestling” (https://www.facebook.com/FutureProWrestling) on Sunday and to be honest I was totally blown away by the thoroughly professional outlook and organisation of the entire show. A solid 350+ crowd (only my own estimate) who were totally vocal and into the show from start to finish, strong card and very solid ideas as to where the show needed to go from beginning to end setting up for their 3rd Anniversary Show in May this year. I talked briefly about RJ Singh (Ross Jones) in last week’s column after his ridiculous inclusion on the strawb page “Shit Wrestlers Exposed” ,well I am so pleased to be able to say that on Sunday, Ross was the winner of the FPW Rumble Match and the pop from the crowd as Ross was victorious was absolutely deafening! If that is the kind of reaction a ‘shit wrestler’ can get from a crowd of 350+ people then I would be more than happy living the rest of my life on the shitlist!! It is also worth me mentioning the demise of my own “Where’s Wally Boxer Shorts” courtesy of Doug Williams and Johnny Storm….. you will have to buy the DVD when it is released to see exactly what happened but lets just say that despite being in 2 pieces by the time the match was finished….I still had to remove my trousers in order to remove them fully from my person…much to the delight and amusement of Project Ego!
So what makes FPW such a good promotion? Firstly, I would have to say it’s the attention to detail, even for someone coming in new to the product, everything that had happened before was referred to so that the audience could follow who was feuding with who etc and where the stories/angles were headed. FPW put in an awful lot of effort with their build up video’s aswell to make sure that the product, despite not running as often as some, stays clear in the minds of the people who follow it. You see a lot of promotions going down that road these days, PCW and Southside are forever sharing new videos, backstage segments and build up videos, it is great to see as it constantly puts the product in the spotlight and can keep the fans informed on what is going on and help to build the anticipation prior to show day. In a country where we do not have a regular TV product showing, using social media to share such things is, in my opinion, the best way to ensure that your product stays in the forefront of people’s minds. You can always tell a promotion that spends time going that extra mile with its product rather than just going through the motions! My other highlight for the weekend was getting to work with a completely new team for the first time, “The Alpha Males” – Iestyn Rees & Charlie Garrett. Now, I was completely familiar with Iestyn’s work before Sunday, having even worked with him (when accompanying Stixx) in a match before but Charlie was a new entity to me. I was greeted with this fresh faced lad, in superb condition, standing a good 6ft3/6ft4 inches tall who right away gives of the impression that is missing from so many workers in this country….he LOOKS like a wrestler! I can never be one to preach the diet and the gym, clearly, but I do believe that people who are serious about being wrestlers, should ‘look’ the part…you convince the audience that you are a force to be reckoned with and you have won half the battle already! I’m not saying that all wrestlers need a rippling 6 pack and Channing Tatum style good looks but they should at least be able to give off the impression that they could take any one in that room in a fight….Dave Mastiff is your classic example, take one look at Dave and you can straight away see where the monika “Bastard” comes from and buy into the fact that he could rip your head off…. but does he have the same physique as a guy like Kris Travis or Iestyn Rees, no he doesn’t. Having worked with Iestyn and Charlie, taking time to understand their relatively new gimmick and team, it is clear to me that this is a pairing that could really make a name for themselves this year. If you are not familiar with the pair as yet then check out their facebook page, I guarantee you will be hearing a lot more about them as the year goes on! https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Alpha-Males/522921264448428?ref=br_rs
Over the past few weeks, I have touched on the importance of using managers and valets, the importance of keeping a tag team division alive and numerous other things. One more thing that I would like to highlight from my time at FPW at the weekend is the importance of using a good referee! I don’t think there are many in this country that would disagree with me if I went on record and labelled “Hotbox” Roberts (Chris Roberts) as the very ‘best’ referee that we have to offer. It is always a pleasure to work a match that Chris is in charge of, for one so tall, he seems to have the ability to make himself almost invisible during the action. Chris is also able to react to any situation that arises without panicking (although he did tell me several times on Sunday that he was going to punch me in the face lol) which again is a trait that is very much needed when you have to put a lot of trust in the referee to help the match run according to plan. I often find that a lot of promotions will cut corners when it comes to referee’s, often expecting just one referee to be able to do a full 6 or 7 match card on his/her own….all to save £20/£30 or so from the show budget! When it comes to getting the very best out of your product, why scrimp on having a second referee there? There are a number of good referee’s all over the country and more often than not someone travelling to your show from one of these areas will have a space in their car…why not stick another ref in the car? Look at it this way…. If you have a seven match card and only one referee, how can you possibly expect this poor guy to be able to get all the info he needs to know about each match, the finish, the interference, any time the guys want to go outside the ring without being counted out etc? More often than not, the wrestlers in a match will spend 30-40 minutes (if not longer) going over the match, you then expect the referee to be able to take in his info in a matter of seconds between matches during a mad dash from and then back to the ring!
The benefit of having a second referee could make all the difference to your show, I have seen it time and time again at shows, where a referee will not have had the time to go over a match with the guys involved, the guys in question will have put in something along the lines of a ‘brawl around the arena’ ,one will throw the other out…then follow him and a full on war outside the ring will start…. as should happen, the referee will begin a 10 count, you can hear him shouting, FIVE…..SIX…….SEVEN…..(no sign of guys stopping or coming back)……EIGHT…..(the pause gets longer)………..NINE………(still no sign of guys coming back)…… so the count stops and the referee follows the guys out to drag them back in or something like that……. the crowd will look at the referee and question if he knows what he is doing or why he hasn’t just counted both guys out! It becomes confusing for everyone and makes the poor referee look a complete tit! This could all be avoided if you simply stumped up a little extra cash to put a second referee on and shared the matches around!! What is going to look better in the long run…not making that extra £20-£30 or your product coming across as a lot more professional when you send out your DVD orders? The majority of referee’s do not even ask for a big wage….despite being involved in the show a lot more than most of the other members of the roster….sort it out promoters!!! With HOP:E, I have been using (and thoroughly intend to continue using 2 very capable referee’s, Russell Smith (Whitey) and Tony Allan. Russell trained as a wrestler at House Of Pain before turning his hand to refereeing so is more than capable of taking a very believable looking bump, something that is always useful when using a ref in an angle for a match, he is easy to get in a car from Nottingham and always keen to improve and get his name out there more. Having worked for Southside, HOP:E, House Of Pain, MAXD, XWA, PW4U and many others, his CV is ever expanding! If you are looking for a second referee for your show, or even just a single referee, I would definitely reccomend contacting Russ. Tony is based in Coventry and again, has an ever expanding CV having recently debuted for LCW in Leicester, he has worked at XXX Wrestling in Coventry and many, many other shows across the UK, another lad who will always give you 110% when booked on a show. Of course, if you can afford him aswell, there is probably the UK’s most recognisable official Steve Lynskey, fresh off the back of a very succesful TNA UK Tour!
It is worth me pointing out at this point that indeed, FPW did have a second referee on hand at their show on Sunday, Chris Hatch was a more than capable addition to have on hand to allow some breathing space for Chris Roberts (and to ensure he didn’t have to look after a 30 man rumble on his own!). For Manchester based promotions, Darren Bateman is always a very useful and entertaining addition, even if it is merely for my own amusement on commentary as I constantly liken him to The Simpson’s character “Hans Moleman” (Sorry Darren, had to be done). In and around the South Midlands area you have “The Safest Hands In British Wrestling” himself…. Marc ‘Paz’ Parry, another referee that I have a lot of time and respect for, with Paz, you always know that your match is indeed in ‘safe hands.’
I of course, must pay homage to a man who did a great job for so long, but sadly retired at the end of 2012 due to ill health…. Mike ‘Milky’ Bell (pictured at the top of the article), was a fantastic referee, a guy who made sure that he knew and understood every spot in a match before going out through the curtain, a real loss to British Wrestling as a whole when Milky had to hang up his shirt. I still get to see Milky a fair bit, some of you may know, he is the brother of Robbie X so still gets to show his face a lot and I am pleased to say that over the past couple of months, Milky’s health seems to be on the mend and it is wonderful to see. I feel there is one more referee that I MUST mention before I move on….. and this one may come right out of left field for some of you…. there is a referee, who is relatively new to the scene, based out of Sheffield, a referee who can not only do the job but can also look good whilst doing it….. “another Darren Bateman?” I hear you say…….. well no… not quite….. this particular referee sports a cropped referee’s shirt and hot pants…and i’m not saying that Darren Bateman couldn’t pull that look off…. but maybe not as well as Miss Fearn Wai does! Part of the “UK Bombshells” roster (Yes, I know, I know…its that f*cking UKW again but don’t judge her by association) where she has proven her ability as a wrestler as well, Fearn is one of a very small minority of female referee’s in the UK….so, if you are looking for something a little different or to add another dimension to your show…. I would say ‘look no further’ , I am pleased to be able to say that Fearn will be joining us at HOP:E in the very near future and having seen the stir she has caused so far when officiating at some of the Leeds ‘Tidal Wrestling’ shows, I for one am very pleased to have her on board!
Now…let’s be honest, you knew this was coming…. for every great referee we have in this country, there are again some absolute fucktards (yes that is a technical term) who’m spend more time trying to get themselves over than worrying about the match…one such ‘fucktard’ that springs to mind is a guy called Matt Willmore, who ‘referees’ (and I use the term loosely) as “Matt Castle” – a man who befriends people he does not know on facebook and follows up with a copy and paste message pleading for them to like his facebook fan page “Matt Castle Wrestling” – it is all very sad……. want to know the best bit? The guy referee’s in TRACKSUIT BOTTOMS! I think I may start giving out a ‘Fucktard Of The Week’ Award….previous recipients would be the mong that started “Shit Wrestlers Exposed” and of course, my old mate “Gareth Angel” , well this week, Mr Wilmore….you are my Fucktard Of The Week!
I shall now leave you in peace! Until next week………where I thoroughly intend to have a HUGE rant about training schools and the importance of proper training ha ha…. as always, thank you for reading and thank you to Stu at The Indy Corner for the webspace.