The New Phenomenon Of British Wrestling
July 18, 2006 by Langdon Beck
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On October 2nd, 2005, I attended the debut show of British independent promotion Main Event Wrestling. Coming out of the show, there were three things fans were talking about. One: the surprise appearance of the unannounced Sandman during Raven's match with Austin Aries. Two: the fact that D'Lo Brown is a legend among men. And Three: A young high-flyer by the name of Pac.
Going into the show, the match involving Pac - which also featured Spud and four other cruiserweights from north-east England - was not the most anticipated part of the card. In fact, it's fair to say that before this show, Spud was the only one of the six competitors that most fans had even heard of. The other participants had wrestled mainly for small local companies and had received very little exposure outside of these companies. Regardless, they tore the house down in a frantic fast-paced match with some insane moves. Every participant came out of the match looking good, but it was this kid Pac that had impressed every person in the building. He had the athletic ability and spectacular moves (such as his extraordinary Shooting Star Press) but he also had a good, well-built physique and charisma by the bucket load. Pac had already perfected a cocky heel persona - the kind of guy who'll tell you how good he is, and then SHOW you how good he is just to rub it in - as evidenced right from the get-go, hitting moves and following them up with an arrogant "Oh aye!". He made his way to the ring mouthing off to the ringside fans, throwing insults and remarks about his superiority, before telling them to chant "Pac Is Mint" (a local word for 'great'). By the end of the match, we didn't need to be told. We knew it!
Following this event, the word began to spread - "Have you heard of this guy Pac" He's an AMAZING high-flyer..." "You've got to check Pac out, he's phenomenal" - and Pac's star began to rise. It wasn't long before fans were predicting he would be the next breakout star from the UK (following in the footsteps of Doug Williams, Jonny Storm, Jody Fleisch and Spud) and some were even hailing him as the next Fleisch. Coincidentally, in early 2006 Pac and Fleisch faced off in a high-profile match at MEW's second show. Jody won the match, but Pac was able to showcase some of his more innovative offence (for example, a standing Yang Time variation and a corkscrew SSP) and prove he could hang with the big names of the UK wrestling scene.
In additions to matches for north-east promotions IWF, WZW and 3CW, in 2006 Pac began to make his way across the rest of the UK, an extremely important thing for any up-and-coming wrestler to do. At the moment, the UK scene is quite territorialized, insofar as someone who's a big star in the south of England means nothing to fans in Scotland and vice versa, so it's important for wrestlers to get their name out there by appearing for as many promotions as possible. Pac certainly accomplished this, appearing for the FWA (winning their Flyweight Title soon after his debut) as well as IWW in Ireland, WXW in Germany and IPW:UK in Kent, where he has become a star to the extent that he is scheduled to represent the promotion at the upcoming Frontiers Of Honor II show, also featuring wrestlers from FWA and ROH.
However, being primarily a north-east wrestler who had had no television exposure, fans of these promotions viewed Pac as an unknown quantity. Many had heard the hype surrounding him (which continues to grow to this day), and by the end of his matches they invariably believed it. Those that had not heard the name certainly knew it after seeing him live. He was rapidly becoming known as one of the most impressive high-flying wrestlers in the UK, reflected in his new moniker - The Man That Gravity Forgot. It wasn't long before 1PW came calling.
1PW is currently the biggest promotion in Britain, regularly putting on shows in front of over 1500 fans, and featuring international stars like Steve Corino, Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christian Cage, Abyss, and Blue Meanie whilst also showcasing home-grown talents. At May's Know Your Enemy/Fight Club weekend, Pac was one of these talents, and took the opportunity to exhibit his unbelievable gracefulness and agility and win some new fans. Very few, if any, of the 1PW faithful will have attended the events because Pac was wrestling, but many, if not all, would point to him as one of the definite highlights of the weekend. Another group of fans had been converted!
In June, Pac made his televised debut on the premiere of Irish Whip Wrestling's Whiplash TV Series 2 on the Wrestling Channel. His match was short, but it showed what 'The Man That Gravity Forgot' was all about, and it undoubtedly won over yet more fans who'd only heard of him previously. He continues to be a feature attraction on Whiplash TV (which can also be seen from IWW's website), wrestling top IWW stars such as 'Heretic' Red Vinny, and has even earned a namedrop on TWC's promos for the show. Very soon after his IWW TV debut, Pac appeared on the first (and second) episodes of 1PW's TV show. If announcers Dean Ayass and Joe Dombrowski are to be believed, 1PW fans will be seeing a lot more of Pac in the future. As if national TV wasn't enough mainstream exposure, pro wrestling and MMA magazine Fighting Spirit regularly mentions "the spectacular" Pac as someone to watch out for.
The first half of 2006 appeared to be about Pac living up to the hype and building a reputation as the future of British cruiserweight wrestling, and if is this is an accurate description then the summer months should be about maintaining that reputation with a series of big matches. It certainly seemed that this would be happening. Pac was booked to face one of Pro Wrestling NOAH's best, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, for MEW in early July, and would team with CZW's Chris Hero against Kanemaru and GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion Takashi Suguira for 1PW at the end of that month. With matches against Doug Williams in 3CW and Matt Sydal at Frontiers Of Honor II also scheduled, 2006 was going to be Pac's summer. But unfortunately it wasn't to be. In addition to the MEW show being postponed (meaning Kanemaru would no longer be able to appear), in a match this past weekend, a Reverse Rana resulted in broken ribs for Pac that would take six weeks to heal. In the great scheme of things, six weeks isn't very long at all, but for an up and coming independent wrestler, it'll seem like a hell of a lot longer. He will no longer feature in the 1PW match against the NOAH stars, although the promotion has stated that he will be 100% in time for their August 19th show. Since the Sydal match is scheduled for the 18th, hopefully that will also be able to take place. I hope so. It's a guaranteed showstealer.
There's quite simply a huge buzz surrounding 'The Man That Gravity Forgot' right now. The star of Pac has risen and risen and risen some more over the last year, and there's no doubt that it will continue to do so. Those who have seen him know they've seen an outstanding high-flyer, and something special in the making. When he told us back on October 2nd, "Pac Is Mint! Pac Is Mint!", only a handful of diehard fans knew it to be true. Now a whole country of wrestling fans are in on the secret. If you live in the UK, make sure to check him out. You won't regret it.
by Langdon Beck --- [View Langdon Beck's Column Index]..
Rob Hitchmough wrote:
You beat me to it! This was exactly what i planned on writing about next. Cracking article, it was a good read and expressed the sentiments perfectly of pretty much every wrestling fan in Britain that has seen the man that gravity forgot. PAC is amazing, anyone that can standing shooting star but get the extra revolution to turn it into a senton deserves credit in my book.
I just wanted to add to your article if i could be so rude to point out the general good state of the British cruiserweight scene, call them juniors, flyweights, lightweights, featherweights, high flyers and everything in between, since Jody Fleich and Johnny Storm opened the door way for people like PAC along with Spud, Red Vinny, Aviv Mayaan, Stevie Lynn and many more to show exactly what they can do, it has never looked more appealing for a smaller guy to get into wrestling in the UK. Then look at heavyweights like Doug Williams and Nigel McGuiness tearing up the international indys and the mainstage exposure of Burchill, Regal and soon to be Nikita and Harry Smith on WWE television and oh my word British wrestling has never looked better
Good article, took the words right out of my mouth *grins* == God Bless British Wrestling, God Bless every promoter in the country and God Bless The Wrestling Channel
Joseph Kirwin wrote:
I have to agree Pac is mint though I refuse to chat it when he comes out. As someone who goes to WZW and IWF shows I have seen Pac grow as a wrestler and this March at a WZW show I thought to my self he is ready to play with the big boys. I would just like to say two more things one thank you for letting people know there is good British wrestling out there, and 2. I would say All-Star or FWA were the biggest companies in the UK no 1pw as they cover more ground. Thanks.
I to had the opportunity to see Pac live,at the Whiplash tapings for the first 4 episodes.He really tore the house down that night in his matches with Bingo and Vinny(A shooting star to the outside-wow).He can do these great moves that just leave the crowd in awe!I fully agree with you-Pac will be the next break out star of Britain.Unfortunately,you've seen his only 2 matches on Whiplash this season.But it's not long before RoH are calling for 'The Man Gravity Forgot'.
Jimbo Jones wrote:
I stopped reading this article after I read the words "D'Lo Brown" and "legend among men" in the same sentence.
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