There are a lot of awards going out to those who have excelled this year. I won’t be doing any form of OSWtv Awards this year, who knows, I might do something for 2015. So instead this piece is about 5 wrestlers who have made a name for themselves this year by being a part of TNA British Bootcamp 2. OSWtv is a Scottish wrestling site so it’s only fitting that I talk about the Scottish wrestling standouts and how they have performed on the show in my opinion then a wee overall thought on British Bootcamp 2 before the final.
Viper – Second Round – Glasgow Auditions
Viper made it to the second round of the Glasgow auditions with a promo that showed her fire and passion. For me, Viper is an absolute star, on the surface she is a sweet and soft spoken lassie but as soon as the bell rings she becomes a monster, flinging folk left, right and centre. She was cut after the second round of the Glasgow auditions but after the show aired there were a lot of tweets about Viper and all I saw were positive about how she came across on the show. I’ve had the pleasure to see Viper work at SWE shows and she has a lot to give and always goes in with 100%. TNA British Bootcamp may’ve turned her down but I can’t see it being the last time Viper is the name of peoples lips.
Nikki Storm – Top 16 – UK Final
“The Greatest Wrestler in the Galaxy” Nikki Storm came out all guns blazing during her audition cutting a egotistical and menacing promo. What was clear when watching Nikki talk is she believes what she says and that is half the battle, if you don’t believe what you say then those listening won’t. She then showed so much character any time the camera was around her and went through to the UK Finals. From that stage she faced Kay Lee Ray and The Owens Twins in a fatal four way, winning the match with a quick roll up. During the match we saw Nikki only scratched the surface of what she can do. She was cut after the UK Finals but not without giving us another glimpse into her character by “storming” off (heh, puns are fun). Nikki Storm is one of those marmite characters, you either love her and everything she does or you just find her annoying and overbearing. I am in the former and anything Nikki does turns into gold.
Kay Lee Ray – Top 3 – Final
Kay Lee Ray is brilliant. But I’m not a fan of the fact that they put a story with her, they brought up her being a carer and one of her service users with her doing it for him. It’s not required. Kay Lee can preform spectacular moves and do things that are out of this world, why put a story on her? When I say story, I don’t mean it’s not real, I mean it’s just too X Factor for me. Kay Lee impressed the judges with her highflying ability and her passion. As mentioned above she was involved in the fatal four way with Nikki Storm and The Owens Twins and showed off her skills that has earned her the recognition as one of the most popular wrestlers in the UK. She made it through to the US Finals, she shined when she had her interaction with DJ Z with hitting a great hurricurana. She took part in an eight person tag team match with Mark Andrews, Grado and Al Snow against Rampage Brown, Noam Dar, Dave Mastiff and Angelina Love. I don’t think we got to see enough of Kay Lee in this match but it was a chance to see her once again take big risks with a great dive onto everyone outside the ring. She made it to the Top 3 (along with Rampage Brown and Mark Andrews) and will go onto face Gail Kim in the final. From what I’ve seen Kay Lee Ray lets her actions do the talking more than cutting promos. Which is fine, working to her strengths. There isn’t anyone like Kay Lee Ray in the TNA Knockout Division right now and she could certainly make an impact (no pun intended).
Noam Dar – Top 6 – US Finals
Noam Dar. As soon as he stepped into the ring he was my favourite to win the competition. He cut an intense promo right in Samoa Joe’s face and in Hebrew, it was soft spoken but with intent and you could feel the tension. He breezed through to the UK Finals and faced El Ligero to open the show and together they produced a great contest with Dar showing his technical prowess with great counter based wrestling. Noam was initially cut at this stage but was handed a reprieve after Kris Travis had to pull out of the competition. When they went to the US Noam had trouble with the six sided ring and the steel cables that were used as ropes with his neck snapping back several times. During the 8 man tag team contest Noam was the stand out when he entered, being a cocky son of a gun and interacting with Angelina Love and looked very comfortable upon entering. He looked a little more hesitant in comparison to others when hitting the ropes during the match, taking them a little softer but still had a great back and forth with Mark Andrews. I was hoping Noam would go through as he was due to face Austin Aries if he made it to the final which is making me salivate at the thought.
Grado – Top 6 – US Finals
TNA British Bootcamp 2 seemed to be built around Grado. He made it through on a majority vote at the Glasgow auditions exuding charisma and his cheeky personality. He then missed the second round as he lost track of time and went for something to eat. Al Snow kicked him out of the second round and from the competition for showing disrespect. Grado then turned up at the Manchester auditions and was turned away before being given a second chance at the London auditions after Gail Kim fought his case. He went through to the second round of the London auditions and was roughed up by Sha Samuels at the request of Al Snow. He faced Sha at the UK Finals and was victorious before making it to the top 6. He went through to the US finals and it seemed very much like “The Grado Show” with him irritating Mastiff and Rampage, wearing his wrestling gear everywhere and having the majority of the camera time. There was some backlash towards him on the social media as he started to overshadow the competition on a whole. Now, I pose no fault to Grado on this as he’s taking advantage of the opportunity that he’s been given and more power to him, but TNA have put so much time onto him that it takes away from the others. Grado would’ve faced Ethan Carter III if he made it to the top 3 and EC3 appeared during one of the training sessions to taunt Grado and Noam Dar had to hold Grado back with him shouting “Ethan Carter the Daftie”. It seemed very set up and fake which was a shame, more TOWIE or Geordie Shore or whatever. When he didn’t make the top 3 he called Al Snow out for being a “d*ck” then challenged Snow to face him at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow on the Maximum Impact Tour. Al Snow accepted. So a match that was due to take place for Discovery Wrestling back in October will now take place in the SSE Hydro in Glasgow for TNA.
Dixie Carter has announced that all six finalists would appear on the TNA Maximum Impact Tour which has shown, in my opinion, that the British wrestling scene is that good right now that Dixie needs them to boost the butts in seats. With many prospective matches to come it will certainly do that, Grado and Eric Young teaming up maybe or Austin Aries vs. Noam Dar there is a list of dream matches that could happen during the tour. The other big news is that every event will be taped for TV. I’ve enjoyed British Bootcamp as a way to see some of my favourite wrestlers get their shot at cracking America but sometimes the show is too set up and fake. It’s a nitpick, yes, but something that’s at the back of my mind every time I watch the show. It’s clearly meant to be entertainment and the “reality” elements are becoming the norm in terms of the influx of shows like the aforementioned TOWIE or Made in Chelsea etc. but it’s not always needed. I also think they’ve put far too much screen time on Grado and everyone should get more of a chance to be on camera.
Next Sunday is the final with Kay Lee Ray facing Gail Kim along with Rampage Brown taking on Bram and Mark Andrews stepping into the ring with DJ Z with one of them getting a TNA contract. Who is your pick?