The Faces of British Wrestling
by Nathan Gough, 4th November 2016
Amidst the bingo halls and the community centres lies the heart of British wrestling today. There are no stadium tours on a regular occurrence unlike our American counterparts who have the privilege of going from venue to venue, like Madison square garden to the Staples Center. While British wrestlers usually must go from heaven caravan park to the local community centres (insert your town here). This is where the debate starts. Why can’t wrestlers go from SSE Hydro to Wembley on a regular occurrence. We believe there are many causes for this.
The first point in this would be, the lack of babyfaces able to get reactions and sell tickets, this is down to several reasons. One being a lack of exposure to the fans. If your fans are not able to build up a familiar connection to the superstars which the owners want them to view they aren’t going to buy tickets to the shows. The companies’ brands generally aren’t strong enough to sell a viewing alone on name of the Company. They are not WWE so therefore they need the Faces to build a connection which the crowd and to invest in their Stock, if they do buy in then they will come back show after show to support their favourites, which is vital for wrestling.
Secondly it is no longer cool to be a babyface. Babyfaces are not able to truly express themselves in British wrestling. They usually should fall in a certain cookie cutter mould, i.e. you should drink your milk, say your prayers and take your vitamins. Whereas we are missing opportunities to introduce new types of heroes to British wrestling we need anti-heroes, as we live in a time where heroes don’t always stick to the law to do the right thing, in this sense British wrestling is falling behind the mark it isn’t moving with the times it is stuck in a rut of what worked then will work now where as the best successes have come from things that were new and innovative.
Another point that affects British wrestling and this no fault of the performer, it is the lack of exposure as fans can go weeks or months at a time without seeing the stars of a promotion. Due to the age, we live in with it being the internet age we can lose interest in something extremely quickly and if we don’t get exposure we tend to forget about said person or programme. To add to this if the owner doesn’t decide to stick with a stable roster and keeps swapping from performer to performer then a crowd can see 2 or 3 new babyfaces at a time. The new performer will often in area come out to a dust ball reaction as the crowd has no reason to get excited for their appearance as they have nothing invested into this character as they are unknown to them.
To close this argument, we believe that British wrestling does not have its own identity as it is trying to live off the American counterparts. Most promotions feel that they need to import a Former World Wide know Superstar to streamline and get themselves over. This is to boost general ticket sales as we don’t have enough home-grown Superstars that stay over here. This could be down to payment or for bookings, which is an argument for a different time.
What are your current views of British babyfaces? Do you think there is room for improvement? If so, please either leave a comment or send us an email via the contact us page.