As regular readers will know, the Royal Ramblings team went on tour for the first part of 2015 taking in live events from amongst others: IPW, Southside, Revolution Pro Wrestling, Progress, Fight Club Pro and ICW. This of course meant that we didn't get the chance to see shows from NGW, LDN, Evolve, Hope, ASW, BEW or the myriad of other promotions that are delivering quality entertainment on a weekly basis to fans across the UK.
Reflecting upon the various shows we enjoyed, we thought it might be useful to put together some brief handy hints for those of you yet to enjoy the tremendous British independent wrestling scene.
1) It's all in the preparation:
There are some great sites out there which can help you to choose which shows you are going to see, when and where. We have found Ringside World to be particularly helpful and there is a comprehensive list over at the UK Fan Forum which also benefits from handy hints and tips from other fans. Of course, the promotions themselves tend to run Facebook pages and in some cases these are better maintained than their websites. For our money, IPW has the most accessible and best maintained website. However you choose to do it, ensure you are well prepared, know where you're going and leave plenty of time to buy merchandise before and where possible, meet the stars after the show. Lastly, if you find yourself with a spare minute, it might be worthwhile checking the backstories to some of the rivalries as, whilst not strictly necessary, this can enhance ones enjoyment of a show.
2) Join in!
If you've ever been to a live comedy show, you'll know the MC's mantra that the more applause and energy you give the comedians, the more they'll make you laugh. The same approach is true of wrestling. One should never forget that the stars of the ring are quite literally putting their bodies on the line for our entertainment. So when they pull off a shooting star press from the apron to the floor, don't be shy to clap. When the bad guys - and we're looking at you Jimmy Havoc - make their entrance, don't be timid and ensure you join in with those "Die Havoc Die" chants.... Not only will you see the wrestlers feed off your energy, you might just find you are buoyed by it too. If you want to see top crowds in action, check out ICW and Progress.
3) Understand that Britwrestling rules
Too often, when we mentioned to friends that we were going to or had been to a UK event, they were amazed to know that Britain has such a thriving scene. For too many people, their only point of reference is WWE. Well, if you'd seen Mark Andrews and Will Ospreay go at it or witnessed the Ldrs in a ladders match against the London Riots, you'd understand why people are raving about the UK scene. Of course, those that have been watching live wrestling in the UK for years will have seen PAC, Prince Devitt or Brittany Knight live. That's right. Neville, Finn Balor and Paige all graced the rings of UK indy promotions and its no surprise that WWE continues to scout the great bastions of the UK scene. With seven or eight arena quality matches in a more intimate setting, you are not going to leave disappointed. Don't get obsessed with top flight US promotions when you've got great entertainment on your doorstep. That said, if you want to get the best of both worlds make sure to visit Southside who are masters at matching top British and International talent.
Speaking from our blogger's perspective it was also interesting to see how the promotions dealt with our inquiries. We would like to pay tribute and give heartfelt thanks both to ICW and IPW:UK who were incredibly professional, kind and giving of their time. We will repay that kindness by continuing to be vocal supporters of their brilliant promotions.
Ask anyone across the world and they will tell you that the British scene is 'hot'. This is thanks to those great promoters, publicists and management teams that deliver quality events, help to run training schools and nurture great British talent through their excellent promotions. If our tour taught us anything, it is that these companies deserve your support. Go, get a ticket. British independent wrestling, we salute you.