Sunday, 6 January 2013

In search of the Holy Grail; Lucha Britannia

So then onward in my Holy Grail search. Today we look at Lucha Britannia who are kindly enough to follow me on Twitter so I think I should do be goodly enough to look at them here. First stop is their website which is amazingly well done. They  have a clear understanding of presentation and style that is refreshing to see. It matches their aesthetic well and their booking philosophy. What we learn from the site is this; It looks like fun, they clearly are trying to be different, the company matters more than the stars. Lucha Britannia is the draw in itself, the whole concept not the feuds or the matches. This is good for long term prosperity and it attracts a different kind of fan. It taps into the punk rock aesthetic beautifully, the kind of people that like Roller Derby and Burlesque, they will be into this. It is an alternative playground, a Hipsters ideal of what wrestling should be. For some companies this has been a ticket to great success, ECW was founded on similar principles. This also gives the company long term stability, because as people come and go they are not bound to that particular star. History dictates you need a compelling overview not just a compelling series. 

So what is the wrestling like? Well it does what it says on the tin. It is Lucha Libre presented in a very British manner. The best comparison I can give is Chikara with adult content. Like Chikara there is a complicated back story of Rudos and Technicos that binds the whole thing together. This cartoon like presentation may seem over the top, but that is the whole point. Also over the top story lines does not necessarily mean over the top matches, if you can make the story compelling you do not have to have your stars shredding each other, good for the long term health of the company and the workers.  

Presenting wrestling as performance art is nothing new, this company does it well. They have been sold out for years. What impresses me more is their willingness to go out and find new revenues and fans like putting on shows at music festivals and trying to develop relationships with different areas of performance. They appear to be looking at the Edinburgh Festival where they will fit like a hand in a  glove. They do not seem to have any DVD availability as far as I can tell at the moment, maybe I am wrong. However they make the news a lot and it is that kind of mainstream crossover British wrestling needs. The downside of that is much like ECW, it is not for everyone, indeed the burlesque portions of the show are decidedly un PC. There is a lot of buzz about this company right now and I hope they go on to do good things. Good story telling and presentation is the key to their success, I hope it continues on a bigger platform. 

Lucha Britannia Youtube Channel

Friday, 4 January 2013

In search of the Holy Grail; Pro Wrestling EVE

Okay so if you are going to start a revolution you have to know what you are dealing with. Information is the key, that's how you inform people. So it makes sense for me to give some information on what is happening on the wrestling scene in the UK right now as this Blog is about UK wrestling and as you may have noticed I am all about the #HolyGrail #Thetimeisnow at the moment. So where do I start. Well I like Joshi and I like British Wrestling so the first place for me to go would be Pro Wrestling  Eve .

You may or may not know I am a ludicrously poor person I can not shell out on DVDs and PPVs as is my will. What I can do is give and over view of what is happening in a few spots and give some light to them and try and help this thing a long a bit in my own small way. So then Pro Wrestling Eve. I like the biblical name (works well for NOAH works well here). The first port of call is their website. Tastefully and professionally done, easy to navigate. The information I find is intriguing, they are opening up a Catch Division with rules somewhat similar to MMA or more closely to the old UWFI which is an interesting development, the increase in visibility for the female MMA fighters that the signing of Rhonda Rousey to UFC is a good thing to capitalise on in my opinion. Different is good, no one wants to see a card of matches where everyone looks the same and fights in the same style. Their roster reflects this to; different heights, sizes, weights and looks means more people to appeal to. You don't have to look like Aja Kong to make it in the womens wrestling game. Their shop offers a bit of post modernism in the Star Wars esque DVD designs and Doctor Who homages in their merch, something Chikara do very well and it pays off with the kind of crowd wrestling is appealing to now a days. They have strong testimonials from Shimmer personnel who note that they are widely professionally regarded throughout North America. They also have a mix of world wide stars Angelina Love of the Beautiful People fame is a recent signee as well as the award winning Alpha Female as current champ.

Moving on to what the website doesn't tell you about the company. They have in the past and currently worked with TNA British Boot Camp members The Blossom Twins. One of their roster Kay Lee Ray went to the JPW dojo which for any gaijin is a high honour as most wrestlers will tell you. They have an IPPV deal with Diva Dirt which means their big shows are are well publicised to the people that matter. Holly Rocomora has been all over wrestling media for the last year and they do seem to have built a reputation otherwise why would all those people be interested in them?

As you would expect the match quality is excellent, and to be honest I doubt I would find any bad matches in any of these round ups I am going to do of British Promotions. If they have got to IPPV they know what they are doing or no one else would be interested at this level. What does show a high level of professionalism is the quality of the production. This isn't Japan unfortunately, where even indie Joshi shows like Reina get high quality TV production, but its a three camera rig that catches all the action very well and very close up. Their video presentations are slick and professional. 

So what really appeals to me as a fan? Well its womens wrestling of a high standard and in an international market thats important, why spend money on EVE when you could spend it on say Sendai Girls? Well you probably guessed if I had money I'd spend it on both, but the homegrown talent means a strong base for a British market. What I do like about it is because its an all women promotion you have none of the "well they are female so they are not as important". Women wrestlers over the last 25 years have proved they can go just as hard, and in a lot of cases a lot harder, than the men. Greatest consistent in ring performer of the last 25 years? Manami Toyota, no arguing we just aren't interested. Yet TNA and WWE continue to put these performers in a secondary role, so with a one gender promotion you don't have that to worry about that. If only everywhere could be like Chikara, but never mind.     

Is the Holy Grail here? There are certainly some stand out stars in this promotion, Alpha Female, Nikki Storm and Kay Lee Ray. Will they transcend? That is debatable, this isn't Japan a place in which the Jumping Bomb Angels could tear the house down with the Crush Gals and make more money than any female wrestlers ever before. Having said that, breaking out into the main stream is about unpredictable x factors. Maybe one of these stars can make it, but it may take a sea change in the way that male dominated wrestling is promoted, or for Pro Wrestling EVE to get a TV deal and a lot bigger, they definitely have the tools to do it.

For more information on Pro Wrestling EVE go to;

Fine them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter @prowrestlingeve

Follow me @SheriffLonestar 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Holy Grail

So I guess I gave up after a while, I wrote as much as I could for as long as I could and then time got the better of me and the day job took hold and I didn't have the energy to write for a while.

Then something happened. This blog chronicled me falling back in love with wrestling. I had access again thanks to TNA Impact Wrestling, Wrestle Talk TV, Rudo Reels, IVP Videos, Chikara, Ice Ribbon, Reina, Sendai Girls and all the promotions I could watch for free and or cheap. There seemed to be a conversation going on. Just a small one, but a conversation, maybe I was right maybe the time was now. That all my heroes had not been forgotten and that feeling of excitement I had when I turned on the TV on a Saturday afternoon was not gone forever.

Then came the work and the lack of time and everything else. This week though I have been invigorated by a few things. First and most importantly there is a bunch of people looking for the Holy Grail. As Greg Lambert puts it; The Holy Grail is to return British Wrestling to the days of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, to be part of the zeitgeist, to have that cultural cache (he wrote a book about  it, you can buy it here ).

The next step in this evolution of thought was a television development. TNA's British Bootcamp. The first national syndicated show in a very long time that features British Wrestlers. Maybe not about British Wrestling, which is no bad thing. The product today does not resemble the product of old, but that link is brought together by the appearance of one my heroes Mark Rocco. The next step was to start talking and sharing ideas and I found some cool people to do it with here. In a couple of days I was posting regularly on TNA Fan Forum and shared this blog with them they liked it enough to encourage me to write more so here I am. I will probably rattle off some more about the good old days, but for now I am looking to the future. If you want to talk about it more you can find me on Twitter under my nom de revolution of Sheriff Lonestar.

The basic gist of all this my 700 or so readers (damn that numbers small I need a decent url), is that we are in search of the Holy Grail, not just me but every right minded fan in this country. We are all going to keep looking, blogging, writing, tweeting and making TV shows about it until its is actually happening. Till then it has been a wonderful couple of days feeling like your part of something, even the tiniest, tiniest part.

End things with a banner that is what I always say;