Friday, 5 August 2011

James Brown: British Wrestling's Most Hated Man, and for All the Wrong Reasons

Brown appearing on ITV's Take Me Out
The name of James Brown Junior may not mean a lot to some of you reading this, but if you follow the British wrestling scene then it will mean a great deal.

Not because of his in-ring accomplishments. The man was regarded as a more than capable wrestler. No, James Brown Junior is known for entirely different reasons, as a trouble-maker, a teller of tall tales, a thief, a backstabber, and now a convicted criminal.

24 year old Brown, who has competed under the names of James Wallace and Jay Phoenix, was found guilty of possessing child pornography and of indecent exposure this week. He is currently awaiting sentencing. The story broke earlier this week, and was reported today by The Sun.

But the thing about Brown is that this isn’t the first time he has been in trouble. He has a history of rubbing people up the wrong way, and that’s probably the mildest way I could put it.

There’s a thread about him on the UK Fan Forum which makes for very interesting reading. As well as links to the various media stories about him there’s also discussions about his past misdemeanours. These include:

Annoying Samoa Joe by hitting him with a pillow while Joe was playing cards with other wrestlers. They were working for 1 Pro Wrestling at the time, and while Joe was annoyed by Brown, the incident was later worked into an angle, with Brown suffering a dislocated jaw during their match.

Claiming to have done charity work on behalf of 1PW, with the charity denying that Brown did anything for them.

Paying his own expenses so he could appear on a Chikra show in the States, then being caught stealing the wallets in the locker room.

Turning up at a Scottish MMA gym claiming to have trained with Georges St-Pierre in Canada, claiming that he made the great GSP tap out while rolling with him. He then proceeded to put on an extremely poor showing during training.

Propositioning the then-15 year old daughter of a well-known British wrestling promoter.

Working as a football coach for a Scottish Premier League team.

Training to compete as a wrestler at next year’s Olympics.

There’s probably quite a few more that I’ve failed to mention here.

Having seen everything that’s been written about him it’s hard to tell what’s truth and what’s lies. But a look at his Facebook appreciation group and an article that was published by The Digger leads me to believe that most of his claims are hogwash.

So now Brown is sitting in prison, waiting to find out how long he’ll have to serve, and while his future remains uncertain, it’s obvious that future won’t include another stint in the professional wrestling business.

The most ironic thing about this whole thing is that this past January Brown appeared on ITV game show Take Me Out as he attempted to woo 30 prospective dates. That same show was repeated on one of ITV’s digital channels the day he was sentenced. The phrase bad timing couldn’t have been more appropriate.