Monday, 1 March 2004

29th February 2004

Last year, the Frontier Wrestling Alliance unleashed their latest rookie sensation on an unsuspecting world in the form of Burchill. During many of the events, Burchill would appear, unannounced, and would destroy several of the FWA's heels in a display of power that had many thinking that the company had found their equivalent of Brock Lesnar.
This way of booking British wrestling's newest man-monster continued for a number of months, while he continued to hone his craft at the FWA's training facility. It wasn't until last May that Burchill finally took part in his first proper match, a handicap match against Double Dragon at the Frontiers Of Honor show. However, before Burchill appeared, The Twisted Genius himself, Dean Ayass, who had been absent from FWA shows since the demise of the Old School faction, introduced himself to the crowd as Burchill's new manager. This once again brought forward comparisons with Brock Lesnar, with Ayass now taking on the Paul Haymen role.

Burchill was a devastating force at FOH, destroying not just the Double Dragon tag-team, but the Hampton Court stable as well, who were Burchill's original opponents but had to pull out of the match because of the Duke Of Danger's wrist injury. The following month at Vendetta, he destroyed FWA veteran Mark Sloan and the fan's favourite butler, Simmons. He followed this up with further knockout victories on the Northern Exposure tour over the pair, before finally getting his hands on the Hampton Court stable and destroying the Duke and Simmons in a handicap match. The man-monster was showing that he was a star of the future, capable of throwing anything the FWA bookers could at him.

But.....

While he tore the house down at FWA shows, at other shows, it was a different matter. While competing for other promotions, and on the FWA Academy shows, Burchill showed another side of his wrestling character. Aspects of the man-monster were gone, to be replaced by a more technical type of wrestler. He was still Burchill, big as a house, but it wasn't the Burchill who tore a path of destruction through the main FWA shows for six months last year.Some fans feel disappointed by this. When they see Burchill kicking ass and taking names for the FWA, they think they're going to get the same when he wrestles for someone else. Granted, Burchill's power-based game probably isn't suited to a company such as Premier, but his technical game is.

It also doesn't help when the FWA try the build him up as an unstoppable force, but on other shows, he is defeated. The most recent occurrence of this that comes to mind is the Premier Heavyweight title tournament a few weeks ago, when both Doug Williams and Ricky Knight defeated him. Some would say that it doesn't say a lot for Burchill the man-monster when an ageing veteran like Knight can knock him out.

So herein lies the problem - the FWA are trying to portray Burchill as an unstoppable force of nature, while the rest of the wrestling world is promoting him otherwise. What to do?

Burchill's career is still in it's infancy. Barring serious injury or illness, he can still go on to great things. But those who are promoting him have to decide just how to promote him, otherwise, Britain's loyal wrestling fans will end up becoming confused, and in the end, they may lose all feeling for the man.