As we mull over TNA's British Boot Camp 2 UK final, we look at some of those that have made the final cut, some that haven't and others that are touring the independent circuit across the UK. Who will be the next breakout star? We're no experts but this is the second part in a trilogy of articles serving as a bite size guide to some of the top talent working in the UK Indy scene today:
1. Jimmy Havoc:
Havoc by name, Havoc by nature. Jimmy Havoc has been wrestling for a decade or so across the UK and Europe. He is the current champion for Progress Wrestling and runs their training school. Having built his name in "Death Matches", Havoc has committed his body in the most extreme way to the art of wrestling (as his personal blog explains). Having worked as a "Babyface" for Progress, Havoc is now a celebrated heel and working his gimmick so well that Progress "acknowledge" their champion but "do not endorse him in any way". Serious words for a serious talent. Just reading his Twitter bio will have his opponents concerned, Havoc likes "tea, cake, movies and the sight of my own blood. I have what my therapist would describe as 'issues'".
2. Martin Stone
Whether you know him as Martin Stone, Joe Riot, Danny Burch or Martin Harris, this man is emphatically "The Guv'nor". A stalwart of Independent promotions across the country (including ICW, IPW and RevPro) Stone was trained like Ollie Burns, through the FWA Academy and Dropkixx. He was IPW champion for over a year and had a key role in the IPW/FWA war. Having worked hard to build a solid reputation in the UK, Stone later competed for Chikara before drawing the interests of WWE where he spent two years working for the NXT developmental territory competing against Bray Wyatt and others. He was put through to the British Boot Camp 2 UK final and competed alongside his tag-partner Joel Redman. A formidable team indeed. Although he didn't make the final cut, Stone remains destined for big things.
3. Marty Scurll
Another UK veteran, Marty Scurll found fame in the first season of TNA's British Boot Camp after some 10 years working across the UK. Trained, like Martin Stone, at Dropkixx training school Scrurll would become their first Middleweight champion alongside Heavyweight tournament winner Wade Barrett. Working for amongst others, FWA, IPA, All Star wrestling, RevPro, and Southside, Scurll has developed a huge following both as a singles wrestler and in his tag work with Zack Sabre Jr as Leaders of the New School. There is plenty more to say about Scurll but we'll let him say it in his own words. Look out for our forthcoming interview with this king of indy wrestling.
4. Project Ego
Featuring this Tag Team allows us to highlight two supreme talents in one go. Martin Kirby, also known as the masked wrestler Ego Dragon, is a high-flying star who has been working the UK scene for a long time now. Both as a singles wrestler and in his tag partnership with Kris Travis, he is known for his daring and athletic ability. "The Shooting Star" Kris Travis is well known to crowds across the UK including Preston City Wrestling, where he has been dubbed "The Franchise". For over a decade, he has been putting is body on the line against top competitors including Chris Masters, Kevin Steen and Prince Devitt. Tragically, Travis was recently diagnosed with cancer and has had a tumour in his stomach removed. Donations to a welfare fund established by PCW leadership can be made here.
5. RJ Singh
The "Bollywood Dream" RJ Singh is a firm British favourite. A near fifteen year veteran of independent wrestling in the UK, RJ debuted as Ross Jordan (real name Ross Jones) and only metamorphosed into RJ Singh nearly a decade later. Both as a singles wrestler and in his tag team efforts as part of "The Bollywood Express" and "Bangra Knights" he has gained respect as a top talent. Trained by UK wrestling enigma Alex Shane, the skilled Singh remains a top draw on many UK cards.
6. Sha Samuels
An East End Butcher by profession and in the ring, Samuels is a menacing opponent for wrestling talent across the UK. Having wrestled for a decade, he is well known on the UK scene. He started as one half of "The Kartel" with Terry Frazier but since their split some five years ago, Samuels has excelled, going on to win titles in a number of promotions. Known for his tough brawling style, Samuels brutalised Grado in the recent TNA Boot Camp Final.
Coming in Part 3:
Kay Lee Ray, Nikki Storm, Joel Redman, Mark Andrews, Erin Angel, Zack Sabre Jnr