A group of cross-party MPs plans to wrestle with the question of how best to promote, support and improve the wrestling industry in Britain, it was announced today.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wrestling, co-chaired by Labour MP Alex Davies-Jones and Conservative Mark Fletcher MP will start taking evidence, written and oral, to inform a report due to be released in early 2021. Other MPs involved in the inquiry include Tonia Antoniazzi MP, Paul Bristow MP, Ruth Jones MP and Connor McGinn MP.
The British Wrestling industry has come a long way since the days of Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy, two very familiar names to households across the country. In recent years, homegrown talent has graduated to premier league wrestling with Brits in prominent positions in the WWE, AEW, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor wrestling and elsewhere. In fact, Drew McIntyre became the first Brit to become WWE World Champion earlier this year. However, the MPs are keen to point out that the industry constitutes more than the top TV promotions.
“From Bingo Halls to backroom brawls, British wrestling before the pandemic hit, was thriving in venues across Britain,” said APPG co-chair Mark Fletcher MP. “Professional wrestling is the hidden jewel in Britain’s entertainment industry”. “It needs and deserves our support”. “We want to hear from fans, wrestling talent, promoters and others what their views are on how we can support the industry”.
British wrestling has been rocked in recent months by allegations of sexual misconduct with far-reaching consequences. The MPs will seek to better understand how the industry can be better governed and are seeking out good practice examples to inform their work. In addition, the MPs want to know what practical measures might be put in place to make wrestling an attractive feature of Britain’s offer to the world post-Brexit.
Alex Davies-Jones MP, APPG co-chair said: “Our wrestling scene is a focus of world attention, and rightly so. Not only should professional wrestling be more widely promoted and understood, but it should also be supported. From Government to organisations like the Arts Council, we will be leading the parliamentary charge for a public love of wrestling.”
(on the feature image, from left to right, Mark Fletcher MP, Cara Noir, Rhia O’Reilly and Alex Davies-Jones MP. Thomas Dawkins who performs as Cara Noir is the current Progress Wrestling Champion and Attack! Pro Wrestling Champion. Rhia O’Reilly is the current EVE Champion. All these are British Independent wrestling promotions.)
Group picture courtesy of Oli Sandler www.olisandler.co.uk, Cara Noir picture courtesy of Rob Brazier, Rhia O’Reilly picture courtesy of Dale Brodie.