For a while, November used to be “that month where wrestling companies start to wind down towards Christmas”. Not this year.
As an excuse, it makes sense, didn’t it? Potential customers were expected to shy away as they had Christmas to prepare for. This year, nobody seems to have told the British scene that!
Typically, November’s biggest event was the bi-annual WWE tour, with Glasgow’s SSE Hydro getting Raw and SmackDown tapings on the 7th and 8th respectively. Less than two weeks’ later though, Scotland’s Insane Championship Wrestling will be visiting the Hydro for their biggest show ever, as ICW’s “Fear & Loathing IX: Bigger, Badder & More Insane” sees them break their attendance record with a packed card featuring the likes of Raw GM Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Velvet Sky, the recently-released Team 3D and Ricochet.
Away from Glasgow’s little spat, it seems that other promotions have tried to get a piece of the pie. Ring of Honor announced a three-date tour of the UK, landing in Liverpool on the 18th, Leicester on the 19th, and London on the 20th. To help with their latest incursion into the UK, ROH have signed some British talent you may have heard of: Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay.
On the surface, that’s a good thing, but unfortunately the first major match that’s been announced for those two was… against each other in London. In the last eighteen months, they’ve already wrestled each other seven times in just singles matches, with PROGRESS, WrestleCon, Rev Pro, WXW and WCPW having hosted their bouts… and at this point, you do have to wonder what else can they do? Especially with little being at stake, these two excel when something’s on the line, but if you’ve spent much time following ROH, you’ll not exactly be shocked by their questionable decisions.
Speaking of: ROH’s tour of the UK caused some ructions with Preston City Wrestling, who’d been promoting their annual “Supershow of Honour” dates that would have happened less than a WEEK after ROH’s tour concluded. Understandably miffed by ROH’s lack of cooperation (and them running a date less than an hour away from where they’d be back for a co-promoted show seven days later), PCW dropped their alliance with ROH… and signed up with three different companies.
So, instead of the traditional ROH/PCW shows, fans in Preston will get three shows in two days featuring PCW (of course), German promotion WXW, plus American groups CZW and Beyond Wrestling. On the surface, that could be seen as a downgrade, but given that PCW’s swapped out for three companies who don’t (yet) have designs on touring in Britain, and are also going to be using talent that are somewhat fresh to the UK scene, this has to be seen as a massive upgrade. Even if they’re no longer able to use the ROH logo (which, according to a statement from ROH, was their big concession in all of this!)
On top of that, Revolution Pro Wrestling’s annual collaboration with New Japan seems to be threatening to go under the radar – partially due to some weird dates as they run on Thursday November 10 in Bethnal Green, London and Friday November 11 in Walthamstow, London. Already announced for those shows from the New Japan end are Katsuyori Shibata (injury permitting), all four current members of Los Ingobernables de Japon – Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, BUSHI and SANADA – Tomohiro Ishii, Michael Elgin, Tomoaki Honma and Jushin “Thunder” Liger, whilst the “home team” will feature Chris Hero, Trent Seven, Marty Scurll, Mark Haskins, Tyler Bate and many more. A loaded set of rosters, with the cards to be released… yet because of the dates, these could become criminally un-noticed.
So, how about that for a “quiet” month? WWE and ROH touring, on top of PCW’s rebranded “World Wrestling Championships” with guests from CZW, Beyond and WXW. Add in banner events from Rev Pro and ICW, and November is going to be busy. Then you’ve got PROGRESS with a chapter show at the end of the month, plus the return of 3CW in the north of England, NORTH Wrestling’s second event, Tidal Championship Wrestling’s third anniversary show, another OTT Wrestling show in Dublin, and the myriad of local shows.
It goes without saying that this sort of run cannot be sustained indefinitely, but if you’re a wrestling fan in Britain and can’t find a show near you in November… either you’re not looking, or they’re sold out.