British Boot Camp moved to Manchester as TNA’s search for new blood continued.
We open with Al Snow, Gail Kim and Samoa Joe walking through Manchester, as we get clips from PROGRESS as they teased some names on the show. This week, they’re at the Futureshock Wrestling School in Manchester as new names and faces get wheeled out in front of the judges. Up first is Melanie Price, whose character is a waving “IT girl”. Al Snow pokes fun at the waving, while Melanie asked “what TNA can do for me”. She’d been training for seven years at this point, but had mostly been a valet (per Cagematch)… and she’s put through.
El Ligero’s up next. Remember, at this point in his career, he didn’t speak. Ligero’s asked to do something physical in lieu of a promo, and my GOD the ropes on this ring are loose. He’s also put through to “the dos roundo.” I don’t think Al Snow knows Spanish.
Heather Schofield is up next, she’s a bodybuilder who’s only had a week’s wrestling training at this point. That drew some skepticism from Gail Kim, who wanted some insight on Heather’s personality… so we get a promo, which wasn’t as much bare bones as it was virtually non-existant. She’s rejected on the basis of her lack of experience, as we get an interview with Rockstar Spud afterwards… she said she’d carry on training, which led to her being part of a WWE UK tryout in 2019.
Matt Fox is up next. He’s wrestling because it reminded him of watching it with his grandfather, but he’s a little frustrated with not being able to get onto shows. Samoa Joe chipped in, suggesting that not getting booked is perhaps a negative reflection of him. Gail Kim asks if Matt was willing to work for free to get experience, and all that didn’t sit well with Al, as he asked Matt to cut a promo. That didn’t help the judges shake their belief that he was too “self entitled”, not appreciating him blaming others.
After a break, we get a recap of what we’ve seen so far, before we’re shown Pyro “the Japanese sensation”. He’s not Japanese. The Baby Face Pitbull also gets shown, as does Kris Travis, and this is going to be hard to watch in hindsight. From that trio, Pyro’s asked to serenade Gail (which he does), Samoa Joe tears a new one in Kris Travis, who responded well, while the Pitbull was seemingly mocked for his run-of-the-mill promo. All three make it through.
Out next is “Alex” – better known as Cyanide or Crater to fans. He reckons he’s got something different… and talks himself into doing some cardio. Al asks him to do twenty burpees, then a promo, but he taps out at four and ends up going about halfway through before he does the promo. The promo’s good, but the conditioning was a bigger issue… as was his willingness to stop so soon. He doesn’t make it through, citing self-confidence, but did at least make it to TV in the end through WOS Wrestling.
Rampage Brown is next, he gets a video package, chock full of clips of him squashing Darrell Allen. He was apparently invited by Samoa Joe, and in the tryout they bring up his WWE developmental run, where he said he “fell out of love with wrestling” before rediscovering it in the UK. Al Snow asked Rampage if he was willing to not see his child often so he could wrestle, while Gail asked Rampage for a promo. The promo was a mis-step, but Samoa Joe vouched for Rampage, and he’s put through. The Nordic Warrior follows, bringing back all the memories of the Berzerker. He’s asked to remove his “head condom” so they could speak to him. Al busts out some penis jokes before dismissing the warrior over his character.
After another break, we’re shown Lana Austin, who was asked the same sort of question that Rampage was about dealing with wrestling and being a parent. Lana tells a story about how her being a wrestler inspired her daughter… the promo needs a little work, but they put her through to the next round.
They recap Grado’s shenanigans from last week, and sure enough, he’s in Manchester looking for another shot. Al Snow and his ridiculous jacket isn’t interested, as he ends up needing Gail Kim to calm him down. Grado’s talked away, as we get the comedy spot of his suitcase bursting open as it falls down the stairs.
Mark Andrews is up next, accompanied with clips from PROGRESS. He tells us he’s graduated with a degree in Creative Technology, and mentions Junior. Andrews cited TNA as an inspiration for him, as he wanted to wrestle in the X-Division… in the tryout, he brings up his singing. He’ll learn one day, as he’s asked to sing to Gail, who must be getting some danger money for this. Andrews gets a lot of credit for selling his own merch and all the legwork he’s putting in, before he’s asked to cut a promo and… it’s pretty damn good. Of course he’s put through.
Another break, and we get the physical drills, which saw a few slip ups as Melanie Price almost fell of the apron vaulting in and out of the ring, before Gail Kim sent her and Lana Austin home early during some chain wrestling drills. In the interviews with Spud, Melanie said that she’d not been training enough after injury, while Lana took it in her stride. The remaining men were paired off to do drills – bumping and feeding, with Ligero, Andrews, Rampage and Kris Travis particularly shining. There’s relatively little footage here shown, as we then go to the deliberations, which seemed to pick on Rampage’s promo, along with Ligero being a mute high flyer. The judges seemed unsure on Kris Travis, while they enthused big time over Mark Andrews.
So it’d be no shock to hear who went through: Mark Andrews, Rampage Brown, Kris Travis, and El Ligero.
Pyro and Baby Face Pitbull had their Spud interview, with Pyro sounding confident, while the Pitbull seemed more upset. As for the lucky four, Mark Andrews felt he’d not shown enough, while Kris Travis wanted to prove something to Al Snow.
Next week: we’re in London’s York Hall for a bunch more faces, including Sha Samuels, as British Boot Camp 2 continues. While some parts seem were glossed over this week, this format (so far) has been way more detailed as far as presenting the contestants – but if you’re waiting for some variety, that all comes after the final few have been selected…