Attitude has been replaced with Arrogance. WWE Arrogance.
Not content with their status as the clear market leaders and overlords of the American wrestling scene, the WWE has launched its first salvo on the UK. Varsity Pro Wrestling – VPW – has upcoming shows in Portsmouth on the 12th February and Basingstoke on the 13th February and actually had the temerity to use the phrases “former WWE superstar” and “former DX member” on the marketing. How dare they?! How dare they try to draw a house by marketing the previous accomplishments of a performer. WWE have never stooped to that. By the way, I’m absolutely loving these guest hosts each week… it’s nice to see people that I’ve never seen before in my life. Who is this William Shatner guy? He’s a hoot! And Timbaland? His parents must be ker-azy… that Mike Tyson fellow looks familiar but I couldn’t quite place him. Ah well, it’ll fall into place.
So then, WWE, it seems, has decided that one of the top two UK independent promotions can’t use the words “WWE”, “DX”, “Hardcore”, “Billy”, “Gunn”, “Road” and “Dogg”. Wow. That’s pretty hardcor… hang on… I’d better not use that word. It’s jumping the gu… hang on… I probably shouldn’t use that either. Better keep it in the middle of the roa…. hang on… better not use that either.
Let’s take a moment to look at the WWE from the perspective of the southern British wrestling fan. They charge Â£15 for PPV. We have to pay Â£50 a month to get Sky Sports. If we go to both live events in London (yep, just the two) to see the “real” wrestlers, we fork out at least Â£40 for a ticket and likely about Â£25 in commuting costs. So, the price of following the WWE per year is what? Over Â£900.
Let’s say that you live within an hour of Portsmouth or Basingstoke. It’ll cost about Â£10 to commute there. A VPW ticket will cost you Â£15 for premium ringside and Â£10 if you’d rather spend Â£5 on merch. Heck, the Â£10 tickets are great value, it’s not like you’re stuck in the heavens – there are between 600 to 800 people per show. VPW promote about six tours per year. To follow them for an entire year, a Southerner will pay less than Â£150. VPW will appreciate the business much more than WWE will too. Heck, for that level of support, I’d bet they’ll give you backstage passes. You might not see Triple H, nor John Cena. But let’s be honest – Bob Holly, The Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, D-Lo Brown, Shawn Daivari, Chris Masters, Al Snow – these guys aren’t scrubs – they’re not the usual fare you’d get on an indie house show. They’re not Tatanka or P.N. News… Â£15 for a show including Bob Holly and Billy Gunn, along with some of the UK’s best talent is basically an absolute bargain. Don’t believe me? Have a look…
Am I a shill for doing that? No, I’m just a guy who believes that WWE isn’t the be all and end all of wrestling. With each month, they get more complacent. Rather than creating a product that makes the audience vote with their wallets, they are now trying to systematically eliminate ANYONE who dares attempt to make an honest buck by promoting a good wrestling show.
I disagree with their view.
Long live VPW.
Tags: Billy Gunn, Bob holly, road dogg, uk, VPW, WWE