As the coronavirus pandemic lays waste to the landscape of British wrestling, with cancelled shows causing concern for every company and the vast majority of wrestlers left without a source of income, a small but growing collective has sprung up to help through these lean times. The vast majority of wrestlers and company owners are self-employed, without the luxury of a contract. Very few British wrestling companies hold the kind of money where they can afford to cancel or postpone shows and may have already committed sums of money that could, potentially, be lost.
The success of Will Ospreay and WrestleTalk’s No Fans Monday show cannot be denied. With the streamed show raising over £10,000 and the stream having more than 12,000 viewers at the time of broadcast, it was a testament to the support of wrestling fans around the world and a showcase of talent in the United Kingdom today.
This wasn’t just a one-off thing, however. Wrestlers and wrestling companies have stepped up to offer their support for their colleagues by appealing to the fanbase.
Here’s a small sample of those hoping to bring some cheer in dark times:
- NXT UK star Amir Jordan has pledged that “that 100% of the profits will go to people that need it so they can continue entertaining you and us in the future.” You can read his full tweet here. You can buy from his Big Cartel store here,
- North Wrestling announced that money from sales of their pin badges will go “in the pot for wrestlers who are losing money from us having to cancel” on Twitter. Pin Badges can be bought from their Big Cartel store here.
- RISE revealed that they are running a “closed doors fundraiser” that will be streamed for free. You can read the full announcement here. For those wanting to support RISE further, they’ve issued “donation tickets” for £10 to help with the cost of the show from their Big Cartel store here.
- PROGRESS Wrestling announced their intention to use their social media reach to help others, with details to follow “over the next few days.” With over 71,000 followers on Twitter alone, PROGRESS have a considerable platform on which to build their plans. You can find the tweet with details here.
- WAW announced, via Twitter, that they’d be running a special event called Hard Times at 7pm GMT on Sunday 22nd March via YouTube. They have also started a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for their roster, many of whom are self-employed.
- Pro Wrestling Chaos (the company now owned by NXT UK‘s Flash Morgan Webster and The Wild Boar) announced that the merchandise they’d planned to put on sale at their now cancelled Brave New World show would be put on sale online with profits from the sale going to wrestlers and staff affected by the cancellation. The full details can be found here. The new T-shirts and hoodies can be seen here.
There are no doubt far more companies, wrestlers and other interested parties out there coming up with innovative ways to keep the British wrestling business alive and we’ll try to cover these as we discover them.