Thursday, 12 July 2007

FWA Revival - TV Review

This past Sunday I, along with millions of other wrestling fans in this country, saw something on television we had not seen since 1988, a British wrestling show on a British television channel.
Revival, a show produced by former Magpie and Wide Awake Club presenter Tommy Boyd, drew a crowd of around 2,000 hungry wrestling fans, and was regarded by many as one of the best shows seen anywhere this year.

Although I enjoyed the show a great deal, I couldn't help but feel a little disappointed. Even though it was produced under the Tommy Boyd Promotions banner, Brian Christopher and Eddie Guerrero aside, this was essentially an FWA show.

Don't get me wrong. Personally, I have nothing against the Frontier Wrestling Alliance or any of their people, but the wrestlers featured were mainly FWA wrestlers, and even though the likes of Doug Williams, Alex Shane, Jodie Fleisch and Jonny Storm are regarded as some of the top stars in this country right now, I couldn't help but think of all of the other wrestlers who could have added something to the show.

The match of the night for me was probably Doug Williams v Eddie Guerrero. It showed that Eddie seems to have gotten over his problems. It also showed why Doug is regarded as one of the top wrestlers in Europe.

If I have any major criticisms of Revival, it's this; the ladies match was very disappointing. I had heard a great deal about Nikita in the past few months, but I couldn't help but feel disappointed with her match against Lexi Fyfe.

My other major criticism was that a certain type of match was missing - the tag-team match. There are many good teams currently on the British circuit who could have put on a good match for the television cameras.

So, now that British wrestling has made an albeit brief return to British television, I find myself wondering, what's next.

One reviewer on the Internet decried the production values. It seemed he was making the same mistake I made with regards to WAW. Comparing Revival to a WWF pay-per-view is a mistake. The cost of the pyro for a single entrance would probably be the same as the entire wage-bill for Revival. There is no way that a British wrestling promotion could put the same amount of money into a show that the WWF does. British wrestling can learn a few things from their American counterparts, but in no way should they try to match their efforts financially.

But if a British wrestling promotion, such as the FWA, could gain a national television contract, the effect on British wrestling, including WAW, could be tremendous. If one television company took a gamble on one promotion, and it proved successful, then other television companies could look to other promotions for a show of their own.

But the problem would be actually getting a show on television in the first place. Whenever a television executive in this country hears the words wrestling and British in the same sentence, their thoughts turn back to 1988, to the likes of Big Daddy, and to the reasons why Greg Dyke booted wrestling from the ITV schedules.

Despite the apparent success of Revival, British wrestling still has a long way to go, if it's ever going to achieve the same amount of success it did in the 1970's.

One final thing is the statements Tommy Boyd has been making in recent weeks. Tommy has been extremely vocal, calling himself the British Vince McMahon, even though he has promoted just one show.

It took Vince McMahon many years to become Vince McMahon, and for Tommy Boyd to make such statements is quite arrogant. It would take someone with a great deal of ambition, know how, and deep pockets to ever achieve the success of a Vince McMahon. Tommy Boyd is a hell of a long way off from doing this.