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    ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops’ – The 7 Questions of Doom

    Want to know more about the British Pro Wrestling Scene?

    Interested about what goes on behind the curtain?

    Curious as to what work goes into putting on a wrestling spectacular?

    Carrie Dunn has all the answers and more for you in her new book
    Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops‘!

    We find out a little more about the author in our new (and possibly one off) feature; The 7 Questions of Doom.

    Rather ashamedly for a British Wrestling site (albeit one focused entirely around the WWE) we have to admit that we’ve lost touch a little with the British wrestling scene.

    In fact other than our resident wrestler ‘America’, who has appeared for numerous UK Wrestling promotions, the rest of the team haven’t seen a UK show since the days of 1PW.

    It’s something we’re hoping to attend to in the near future, and what better way to dip our toes back into the turbulent, sometimes murky but always entertaining waters of the UK scene than by checking out a brand new book that goes ‘behind the curtain’ of some of the biggest British promotions, and talks with some of the most well known Brit wrestlers (NOT Superstars) in the business today.

    Carrie Dunn is a full time freelance journalist with writing credits that include The Times, The Guardian, Cosmopolitan and Scarlet as well as numerous educational magazines and supplements.

    With the book set to hit the shelves on the 1st June we put her under the microscope with WWEBlog’s 7 Questions of Doom!

    Although in truth the name might be a bit harsh, as they are quite nice questions.

    Enjoy!

    -:-:-:-:-

    Q1: When did you first start to follow wrestling, and what was it that initially drew you to Sports Entertainment?

    As a kid, I used to watch the British wrestling on ITV every weekend; and I got back into the scene a couple of years ago.

    I like pro wrestling because it’s a mixture of sport and theatre, two of my greatest loves.

    Q2: Having previously written professionally about everything from Reality TV to famous Mothers of Fiction, was writing a book about Professional Wrestling something you had always planned to do?

    After founding and editing my website The Only Way Is Suplex (www.theonlywayissuplex.co.uk) for a year, I realised there was enough interest in the British scene to perhaps put a book together – wrestling fans seemed to like reading about the people behind the characters, and I thought it would be great to give the wrestlers I enjoyed watching week-in week-out a proper showcase.

    Simon Garfield’s ‘The Wrestling’ looks back at the golden age of British wrestling; I wanted ‘Spandex, Screw Jobs and Cheap Pops’ to explore today’s scene.

    Q3: Being a female wrestling fan, and having spoken to the parents of a WWE Developmental Diva, what is your opinion of the current Divas Division in the WWE? If you had free reign what would you change and why?

    Ooh, there’s a question.

    If I’m honest, at the moment I think the NXT Divas Division – featuring the UK’s very own Paige – is light years better than anything on the main roster, which has suffered significantly from losses over the past 18 months or so (notably Beth Phoenix, Eve, and Kharma).

    But then, on the optimistic side, that does mean that new talent is getting a chance, even though they might be a touch green at the moment.

    I also have all my hopes pinned on Sara Del Rey training a new generation of Divas – not the vapid combination of ‘sexy, smart and powerful’ we’ve been lumbered with for years, but ruthless, hard-hitting killing machines!

    As an aside, I have to say I’m really, really impressed with new presenter Renee Young, who’s a really talented broadcaster with bags of personality and credibility – I think WWE have done brilliantly to hire her.

    Q4: Do you think the lack of amateur wrestling in UK schools in comparison to the US has had an impact on how few British wrestlers made it in the main promotions until the emergence of guys like Sheamus and Wade Barrett?

    That’s an interesting point.

    ‘Wrestling’ as a whole is perceived very differently in the US, of course – as you say, amateur wrestling has had a high profile and is treated as a serious sport, and from a pro point of view it’s a source of new talent.

    It doesn’t have anything like that status in the UK – at London 2012, Team GB’s only competitor was Olga Butkevych, born in the Ukraine but now a British citizen, but who may now have to leave the country to receive adequate training after the sport has been earmarked to lose its Olympic status.

    Having said that, from my research for the book, a lot of the UK’s very best ‘professional wrestling’ training schools over the past 20 years or so have historically focused on making sure that their trainees have sound amateur wrestling skills – and yes, Sheamus and Barrett are graduates of that kind of programme.

    Before that, British wrestlers were trained in the old-school way – being chucked into the ring with an experienced pro and left to find their own feet!

    So yes, there’s a very different approach to ‘wrestling’ on both sides of the pond.

    And of course Sheamus and Barrett both have the kind of ‘look’ WWE have traditionally been interested in, which helps.

    Q5: What impact do you think it has had on the British wrestling scene seeing Sheamus holding the World Championship in WWE or guys like Brutus and Doug Williams doing so well in TNA?

    Interesting question.

    I think for those who have an ambition to make it in the US promotions it’s been immense for them to follow these guys who’ve trained at the same place as them or guys who’ve been on the same cards as them – it shows them just what’s possible.

    Of course, you have to remember that not all the wrestlers on the British scene have any interest in making it in the US promotions!

    Q6: If you could manage anyone in the wrestling industry right now who would it be, and why?

    Having thought about this carefully, I’d have to snare both Tamina and Natalya, and reinstate the women’s tag belts as my new charges crushed everyone in their way.

    (I’d love to be just like Paul Heyman, but then wouldn’t everyone?)

    Both these women can put on barnstorming batterings – we’ve seen it happen – and that’s what I want to see them do.

    I’d capitalise on their family heritage and the fact that both of them can be legitimately monstrous in the ring, and I’d stop putting more highlights in their hair and squeezing them into ridiculously tiny dresses.

    And Tyson Kidd could be their valet while he waits for his knee to heal.

    Q7: Finally, tell us a little bit more about your book!

    It’s billed as “a fun look at the thriving UK professional wrestling scene, and how it’s reviving itself for a smart, sceptical 21st-century audience.”

    I talk to some of the British scene’s top stars, including Magnus, Doug Williams, Nigel McGuinness, Zack Sabre Jr, Marty Scurll, the Blossom Twins, Rhia O’Reilly, Saraya Knight, Majik, Danny Garnell, Jimmy Havoc, the Owens Twins, Nikki Storm, Prince Fergal Devitt, El Ligero, Iestyn Rees, Noam Dar, Mark Andrews…the list goes on.

    I also talk to referees, ring announcers, promoters and fans, and find out what really happens behind the curtain.

    There’s also an exploration of that age-old problem of British wrestling on television – does the scene really need it, and will there ever be prime-time coverage again?

    Basically, whatever your interest in British wrestling, I hope there’ll be something in here for you.

    The book is available to pre-order from Amazon and all good book shops now!


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