By Tom Humphreys
So, for the first time in it’s modern history, the professional wrestling scene has had an elongated off season, whether we wanted it or not because someone apparently scranned a bat. However, distance makes the heart grow fonder, and whilst we’ve been away from the ring, whether we be performers, fans, analysists, commentators, announcers, we all have a role to play in the performance, All of us, from so many different backgrounds, are brought together by one thing: our love and admiration for professional wrestling in Scotland.
The hiatus that the COVID-19 pandemic provided isn’t all negative however, as many have used the time to better themselves and wrestlers have had time to further refine their characters, social media presences, started side projects, get shredded and improve their physique and physical aspect as all of us wait for the moment to jump back into the ringside seats or step back in between the ropes again.
For this reason, I have a strong gut instinct that Scottish wrestling is going to come back with a nuclear blast rather than just a bang, and it’s about to become bigger than we’ve seen it be in years.
I touched on it earlier but lets shove the elephant in the room out the door from the off – we’ve all been through it during this pandemic. However, a lot of us have made developments during that time, and even if you haven’t, that’s okay. We’ve all had a different experience with the past year or so.
Due to the lack of in ring competition for a lot of the year, a lot have been able to start side projects, such as Twitch channels with the likes of Emily Hayden and Ian Skinner being able to present a lot of their already big personalities to their audiences through multiple medias from video games to memes, maintaining a great level of interaction with their fans. Podcasts have taken off and has given a lot of wrestlers a great chance to tell their stories and be able to get themselves in front of new eyes and ears.
However, most importantly, its given our voices and bodies a break, depending on which side of the ropes you are against, and it means we can all come back with renewed passion, energy, and motivation to hit constant home runs when local independent shows open back up.
ONLINE TRAINING & SEMINARS
One way wrestlers and trainees have been able to continue their development and knowledge throughout the pandemic is with online training and seminars. As everyone went from offices to working from their bed in pj bottoms, and that one guy who can’t figure out how to turn his camera on, so did wrestlers. Trading bumps and stiff shots for pens, pads, and psychology, there were a plethora of seminars from many sources for Scottish and international talent to learn many different aspects about wrestling and develop their aspects away from the ring and focus on the entrepreneur aspects of being an independent wrestler.
The two main learning spaces online for Scottish wrestlers at the minute is through the FPWA with Andy Wild, where they’ve hosted many incredible guests from WWE NXT UK superstars and international indie insights, everyone always have something different to bring to the table, and something different for their students to think about when it comes to their personalities, in ring ability, and how they tell their stories.
Another great source is the LKS Online Dojo, with wrestlers from over 10 different countries involved and almost 300 members. With great international information coming from the likes of legends such as Justin Credible and Doug Williams, to modern stars like MLW’s Salina Del La Renta, and former WWE NXT star Bull James. The Dojo has so many great opportunities for any wrestler of any experience level to learn more about the industry and be able to develop the many skills required for being such a high-level athlete as a pro wrestler.
These online learning places should not be passed up on, as they have helped so many stay in the look and be able to apply so may lessons to their current and future opportunities.
If you’re interested in the seminars to come from both you can email the FPWA about your interest at: email@example.com and can you join the LKS Online Dojo on Facebook.
DIFFERENT COMPANIES AND OPPORTUNITIES
Want to know what’s great about the Scottish indies? Diversity! There are so many great companies of many different sizes which can provide a different atmosphere and a different experience of wrestling to their respective fans, and companies of many different sizes and it gives both the fans across Scotland and the wrestlers who entertain said fans also get to work in many different areas and develop their skills across Scotland.
These many different companies offer different pros, with many great companies across Scotland including:
– Pro2 Wrestling, which, whilst it is yet to run a show, it has a great roster of talent that has been announced including not only great top and up and coming Scottish talent, as well as some of the best veterans from across the border. With the unique design of their title belts and the diverse and very interesting Joker Division, Pro2 Wrestling is going to be one to look out for, make sure you attend their shows in Ayr when they’re up and running!
– Pro Wrestling Scotland, whilst being a young company, pre pandemic had some of the best mixes of young talent and Scottish veterans. Having great matches across the board, it is a great showcase platform for so many amazing young talents to be able to prove themselves as well as having the veterans put the young yins in their place!
– Fair City Wrestling has tapped into a place in Scotland where wrestling is scarce in Perthshire and Dundee, and been able to show some of the top Perthshire talent as well as some of the best talent in Fife. Having banger matches out the wazoo, with the likes of Ollie Silverstone versus Spike Tierney and still to crown their first women’s, jr. heavyweight, and heavyweight champions. One for the future for sure, and a great place to go if you stay in the Perthshire area!
– Discovery Wrestling is the Edinburgh staple for Scottish wrestling as they have had a great portfolio of incredible matches with some of Scotland’s best talents and had them mix it up with some of the most recognizable international talent around the world with the likes of The Elite’s Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Tommaso Ciampa, Chris Hero and main more mainstream names, who will surely make their way back to mix it up with the fired up next generation of Scottish stars and the veterans who continue to prove their worth.
– British Championship Wrestling is a Scottish Wrestling staple which has had an amazing showcase for the best Scottish wrestling mainstays but has also provided amazing opportunities for younger talent.
– ICW is the biggest company in Scottish wrestling with it’s hardcore roots and amazing storytelling and moments across the decade and a half it’s been around. Great high impact matches from young future stars as well as great current talent, ICW also is presented on the WWE Network and Peacock Premium which is great for the exposure of Scottish wrestling as it broadcasts our talent worldwide and can help bring in so many eyes to our isles and the prospects that come from it. ICW as of late has put on banger after banger from the Lionheart League, Zero-G Championship Tournament, as well as many other matches since they re-started after the pandemic, and they’re only getting re-started!
Plus more like WrestleZone, Respect Pro Wrestling, Source Wrestling, Fierce Females, Reckless Intent Wrestling, Scottish Wrestling Alliance, Combat League Wrestling, and World Wide Wrestling League.
No matter where you watch your first match back, make sure to support your local indy promotion when you can and when it is safe to do so because they need your support now more than ever.
Want to know another great benefit of having so many great companies? So many amazing training schools, that help develop the next wave of Scottish and British wrestling. There are so many great school for beginners to attend and for trainees to hone their crafts in. Some examples of great schools and trainers across the country include:
- GPWA: Stevie Boy, Wolfgang
- FPWA: Andy Wild, Johnny Lions
- Pro Wrestling Scotland: TJ Rage, Krieger
- Respect: Bobby Roberts, Lou King Sharp
- Reckless Intent Wrestling: Aspen Faith, Dickie Divers
These are just some of the top minds in the business from across the country, and if you need a school to get back to it, these are just some of the options out there that can help you along your journey.
More schools. More talent. More personalities. More amazing matches. Wins across the board.
EMBARASSMENT OF RICHES
When you look across the talent pool in Scotland, it’s straight up unfair. We have so much talent stacked up to the brim across the country and there’s still SO MANY MORE to come post pandemic. A lot are still only getting started which is startlingly scary. Great up and coming talent from across Scotland who have already made a name for themselves include the likes of Daz Black, Alex Parker, Umar Mohammed, Ian Skinner, Tallon Jr, Stone Malone, Ewan O’Raw, Jason Hyde and so so so so so many more amazing young men and women who are ready to absolutely tear up the scene and put their flags in the ground as the next generation of Scottish stars.
If you want to know more about the next generation of the Scottish wrestling scene, I have a myriad of articles covering some of the names above and many more in the Future Shock series, and many more to come! If you’re interested, you can find the series here.
THE FLOOD GATES ARE ABOUT TO OPEN
So, prepare yourselves and get ready, because as the world starts to open up, you already know the Scottish professional wrestling scene is going to burst from the scenes. The wrestling community as a collective is going to make the return of Scottish wrestling the biggest it has ever been. You think us mad scots are loud now? Ha! Just wait until you hear us all at the next wrestling events we attend. Voice boxes will be burst, bangers will be had, and most importantly, we’ll be connected by the thing we love the most – PRO WRESTLING!
I would take cover if I were you!
Do you agree with my take on the fact that Scottish wrestling will have a post pandemic boom? If so, let me know why! If not, let me know why also!
You can find me and my antics and ramblings on Twitter @tom_humph75, and, as always, any constructive criticism is appreciated.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this article and my words will meet your eyes again soon!