The New Golden Age of British Wrestling
August 11, 2005 by Ben Pye
As a wrestling fan in England, I not only enjoy to watch the best wrestling from the U.S.A (e.g. TNA, WWE, ROH), I also enjoy watching promotions that are local to me, and therefore keep an interested eye on British wrestlers that are making names for themselves on both sides of the pond. Many fans may or may not be familiar with names such as Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki, Jim Breaks, but these are the names that made wrestling a true phenomenon in Britain decades before Hulk Hogan elevated the WWF to main stream publicity around the world. However in the last ten years there have only been a few breakout British wrestlers; Dynamite Kid and Davey Boy Smith were the pinnacle of British wrestlers who made a mark overseas, however they both credited a large part of their training to Stu Hart in Calgary, Canada, after they had left Britain.
For what seems like a very long time, the only major British wrestler known by most wrestling fans has been William Regal, who has done a good job of being a prime example of someone who displays the British style of wrestling, but what happens when he retires" Whilst he is still having great matches (especially with Benoit recently), he has been wrestling a long time now and someone will need to become the new best known British wrestler, so what are the options"
"The Anarchist" Doug Williams - Possibly the greatest technical wrestler in Britain today, known across the globe as he has not only appeared for British promotions such as Premier Promotions, WAW and FWA, but has also been a large part of the roster for NOAH in Japan, he often wrestles throughout Europe, as well as making regular appearances for Ring Of Honor in America. He has the skills to wrestle almost anyone in a good match and uses many of the technical and painful maneuvers that have always been associated with British and European wrestling.
Nigel McGuinness - Very similar to Doug Williams in size and style, Nigel has a tendency to be slightly more athletic than Doug using moves such as a handstand in the turnbuckle - luring his opponents in before executing a quick move. Nigel is now based in America and mostly wrestles for Ring of Honor and is definitely a man who could be wearing the ROH Pure Title at anytime.
"The Wonderkid" Jonny Storm - Possibly the best British high flyer at the moment. Jonny has wrestled all across the world from TNA to CZW in America. He wrestles all across the U.K and is probably best known in the FWA and also has wrestled and helped to run a promotion all the way in Thailand! A true international star and a very gifted performer who can seemingly do it all. He can do highflying moves easily but also wrestle a ground based contest which makes him extremely entertaining to watch. He really is the Wonderkid!
"The Phoenix" Jody Fliesch - Another contender to be called the best British High flyer, Jody is amazing in the ring and has to be seen to be believed. When in England he is mostly seen in FWA. In America he has been seen in ROH and CZW where he has amazed crowds with his Phoenix Splash (hindu press) and his Phoenix DDT which is an unbelievable Springboard 720° DDT! After retiring in late 2003 at only 26 years old due to personal issues, Jody finally returned to wrestling earlier this year and fans can't wait to be enthralled by his amazing skills all over again.
Paul Burchill - A product of the FWA Academy training school, He may truly become the next big British star of professional wrestling in America. At 6'4" and 281 lbs he was billed as a true monster when he wrestler throughout Europe gaining valuable experience and exposure. Not only versed in power moves, he can do amazing athletic moves such as a standing Shooting Star Press and even a Rolling Senton from the ring, over the turnbuckle post to the outside! Thanks to this incredible ability and promise he managed to secure a WWE developmental deal and is currently in OVW being trained until he is ready to be brought into the main WWE roster. This is a talent to keep an eye out for in the near future.
That was just a brief guide to five British wrestlers that have made an impact in America and in Britain, there are many more fantastic prospects from the U.K which I hope people will take a look at in the profiles section of this site. British wrestling has had a real boom recently and is producing exciting and entertaining wrestlers and promotions, it is time that fans began to broaden their taste and take in all different forms of wrestling from across the world to truly appreciate the art form that professional wrestling is.
I hope that this has allowed fans from across the world to see the talent that is being produced in the U.K, and I hope that I have enlightened some fans to the European style of wrestling and the excitement and entertainment watching it can give.
This has been my first column so all feedback, positive or negative is welcomed.
by Ben Pye ..
Langdon Beck wrote:
Right now, British wrestling is more high-profile than it has been for quite a while, and that's definitely a good thing. The guys you mentioned are definitely help put the UK back on the wrestling map, and all are great ambassadors for wrestling in Britain. I think props also have to be given to the Wrestling Channel and 'Showstealer' Alex Shane )aka the most hated man in British wrestling) who organise 'Supershow' events for British fans, bringing guys like Mick Foley, Matt Hardy and Mitsuharu Misawa over to the UK and giving the British scene more attention.
That's also been returned by the US, with Jonny Storm and British legend Robbie Brookside heading over to America for this year's IWA:MS Ted Petty Invitational.
The fact that US stars like Chris Hero, Colt Cabana, CM Punk and Petey Williams are all fans of the old British style of wrestling has also helped raise the status of wrestling in Britain. With Paul Burchill heading to the WWE (I can't wait!), up-and-comers like James Tighe, Aviv Maayan and NWA-UK Champion Johnny Moss and the likes of Doug, Jonny, Brookside et al continuing to do what they do best and promote British wrestling around the world, you could be right; this could be a new golden age.
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