With numerous interviews and live reviews over the past few weeks, it is somewhat to our shame that we failed to give appropriate time and attention to two huge announcements with equally large implications for the UK wrestling scene.
First, the prestigious and highly respected Preston City Wrestling announced that they have entered a partnership with America's equally impressive Ring of Honor promotion. Avid fans will know that RoH was the birthplace or at least the platform to stardom for talents such as Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Samoa Joe and the Wolves.
This partnership is a major coup for PCW. It confers upon them added legitimacy and rightly casts them as a breeding ground for major talent in the same vein as RoH. The Press release that quotes senior sources, points to the mutual benefit of the arrangement which may see RoH start to increase its UK market share and PCW build on their already solid following.
Amongst the talent announced for the 'UK Supershow of Honour' (3 shows in 2 days) due to take place in late November are Michael Elgin, the Briscoes, Dave Mastiff and El Ligero. Tickets are here and if you book fast there is even a meet and greet/Q&A on offer.
In another big announcement Jeff Jarrett's new promotion, Global Force Wrestling, unveiled details of their partnership with independent European promotions. Hot on the heels of agreements in Japan and Mexico, GFW simultaneously publicised links with UK, German and Irish companies. Included in this field were Revolution Pro Wrestling in the south of England and Emerald Wrestling Promotion in Ireland. Doug Williams, best known in these shores for his tenure with TNA but also a RoH alumnus was the lynchpin for this arrangement. For us at Royal Ramblings, this just underlines the prediction we made in April that "The British Are Coming".
Another exciting prospect for British fans is TNA's British Boot Camp. Available on Challenge in the UK, this wrestling talent show is helping to shine a light on some of the top talents in the UK wrestling world. Where Boot Camp one helped spotlight 'Party' Marty Scurll and the Blossom Twins, the debate on TNA's UK facebook page alone has already brought added attention to respected British indie veterans like Grado and Noam Dar. Not only does TNA benefit in this arrangement with added viewer interest but the knock-on effect for independent promotions in the UK and ultimately, the fans, is entirely positive.
WWE as the biggest brand in the business, knows that in a global marketplace they must have international appeal. However, it appears to be increasingly clear that the UK is not only providing top talents for wrestling rosters but is becoming a key strategic outpost in the wrestling world.
Perhaps we can paraphrase the closing speech from the 2012 Paralympic games delivered by Lord Sebastian Coe. There are some famous words you can find stamped on the bottom of a product. Words that, when you read them, you know mean high quality, mean skill, mean creativity. We've stamped those words all over the wrestling world - 'made in Britain'.