BEW (British Empire Wrestling) is owned and operated by Declan Kellett (yes, he is related to the legendary Les Kellett) and Tim Birkett. Taking a different approach by not booking the same talent as everyone else and having a fully fledged women’s division are just two things that make BEW stand out from the crowd.
What was the driving force in starting BEW and what makes it stand out from the rest?
British Empire Wrestling was started to give deserving people a chance. What makes us different from the rest is; that we use different talent from the rest of London, what this means is that it’s a new product to sell to the local fans, for instance, if you’re a fan of say Will Ospreay or Marty Scurll, you can see them at 4-5 different promotions in and around London, if you’re a fan of Nixon Newell or Don Pedro then BEW is the place to see them. Also, considering the history of female wrestling within London, with it being banned for many years via the Greater London Council, before BEW there wasn’t actually a promotion who gave female wrestling a chance. The female division is a major part of BEW and it always will be.
With you being related to the British legend Les Kellett, was it a certain that you’d somehow be involved in the world of wrestling?
I have been a fan of wrestling since I was about 1-2 years old, being involved within the business was something I had wanted to do since a child.
I think my grandfather first told me Les Kellett was his cousin when I was 4 years old, by then, I had already wanted to be a wrestler or do something involving wrestling.
Tim Birkett is your partner in BEW, how did you two meet and how did you end up starting a promotion?
I’ve known Tim for I would say roughly 4 and half years, I can’t remember how we met to be honest, it was through wrestling somehow. We decided to start promoting and set up BEW back in March of 2014, it was something we both wanted to try. Initially, we said we would run a couple show’s to see how it goes, next thing we know where in our second year of promoting!
Dann Read, promotor of Pro Wrestling EVE and XWA, was someone you learnt a lot from, is he still someone you call for advice?
Dann Read, along with Samson from TAW, Nick Ashberry from EAW and David Sharp from 4FW have all helped me so much. I have learnt a lot from all four, I think it’s at the point now, where we all help each other wherever and when we can.
Dann is someone I would always go to for advice and there’s certain things Dann will come to me for advice on, we have a good working relationship.
The BEW cards have featured many talents including Kasey Owens, Toni Storm, Rob Cage, BT Gunn, Nixon Newell and Erin Night. Attracting top names isn’t a problem for you, are there any talents put there you’d like to work with?
British Empire Wrestling has had many amazing workers on the cards, personally, I am quite happy with my current roster. Having said that, I have always rated the work of Mikey Whiplash and Zack Gibson and would love to eventually see them on a BEW show.
Wrestling in the UK right now, is booming, do you see a time when the bubble bursts?
The scene in the UK is booming, especially up in Scotland. I believe part of the reason why it’s booming, is that WWE is the most popular it has been in 10 years. With WWE as popular as it is now, British Wrestling will just get bigger and bigger as there’s more of a demand and more wrestling fans about.
Some companies have overloaded their shows with imports, which has lead to disaster (FWA, 1PW etc), what’s your stand on imports?
Personally, I don’t like having imports on shows unless it’s the right person and for the right price. Wrestling is a business, so everything you do needs to be beneficial; having loads of imports on a show will cost the British guys and girls spots on the bill, which will eventually lead to bad moral in the back.
What’s in the pipeline for BEW this year?
In 2015, we entered our second year and this year, we will see the crowning of the Queen Of The Empire, in a 6 Woman Gauntlet this coming July at our anniversary show-Coronation of the Empire. We will also crown the BEW champion in November at Empire Fights Back 2.
Is there anything else you’d like to say, add or plug?
Check out BEW’s Facebook page for updates on events and results. Our next show is this Saturday, Live in Mitcham, South London.
Check us out on Twitter @bew2k14.
Thanks to Declan for participating in this interview.