Finding Out More: Scottish Wrestling Live

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I was checking out the current Kickstarter fund for the History of Scottish Wrestling book (see the ad to your right) and noticed this project called Scottish Wrestling Live.

It looked interesting, I put a pledge towards it of £11 but then read the project story a couple more times.

About This Project
 
I recently met with the Director of Content at a major Scottish Television station. We had a cordial meeting to discuss the UK Wrestling scene, despite the fact I left the meeting without the goal I wanted. There was a glimmer of hope.
 
We agreed if I could produce a pilot based on the script I have already created, it would be viewed and shopped around to interested parties. This is our chance as wrestling fans to prove it has a market. This has been the major blocker to putting UK wrestling back on TV, the view is it’s susceptible to ‘trends’ and does not have a stable market of viewers. This means they would not be interested in funding a pilot…so we have to do this ourselves.
 
I plan to use UK based talent with perhaps 2-3 International talents included on the roster. Lucha Underground has been a massive success so far in presenting a product authentic to it’s roots. This is my dream for Scottish Wrestling Live, a stiff European style product with compelling story lines targeted at 18-34 demographic.
 
I’m targeting a 2 hour product, with a split of 50-50 to Wrestling and Story lines (No 30min opening monologue here!).
 
If the pilot is successful and the show is commissioned for an extended run, the product will be directly accountable to fans! If you love someone that someone will be shot to the moon without any brass rings to grab.
 
I also know I don’t have a monopoly on good ideas, so prior to filming the pilot i’ll be contacting backers for feedback on what you would like to see from the show, including talent and match style/length.
 
Risks and Challenges

1. Budget is a big factor for any television product. Keeping within budget is going to be a massive task, the pilot episode of Scottish Wrestling Live will initially be at a smaller venue to cut down on costs. Focus being on in-ring action instead of flashy entrances or pyro’s while still having a professional look to the product.
 
2. Obviously with any Wrestling related product there is the chance of injury. Production insurance will also need to be taken into account, as will the need to rewrite the script if talent is unavailable or injured during the time of filming.”

Sounds grand but vague, so I had a little think and initially sent a comment;

“have you thought about working with ICW or other pro wrestling companies in Glasgow to work towards this goal?”

Quick as a flash I got a reply,

“Hi Billy!
I would consider it if someone would maybe make the introductions 🙂
David”

This peaked my curiousity further and I had more questions. So I wrote the creator an email.

“A couple questions about your project and what you want to achieve with the budget attained.
 
I’d love to see Scottish wrestling on TV as there is a big market waiting to be capitalised on. The Insane Fight Club documentaries are proof in itself that it’s something people want to see on tv and with Mark Dallas actively working on trying to get ICW on TV I fear that this project would be nothing more than a dream. The 2 hour show is adventurous for a pilot, WSX on MTV was an hour long in a studio with established names like Sean Waltman and Vampiro. Lucha Underground is only an hour long also but is able to fit in wrestling and storyline. Having £30,000 is great (if successful) but where would the money go? Would you rent a warehouse like Reckless Intent do in Livingston? How would you go about signing talent? Would you talent share with a pre-existing company, like SWA, which could mean using their facilities and ring? A script is fine but without any wrestlers, or wrestlers that fit that script, it isn’t worth much on paper. Do you have any experience with recording TV and with that do you have contacts for recording the pilot or would it be the case of recording with a hard cam and getting someone to edit it? Have you promoted wrestling before and booked shows, if not, would you bring in someone to do that?
 
Sorry for so many questions but I have been backstage at wrestling events in Scotland and have watched promoters setting up shows and it’s a lot of work and would be even harder to set it up from scratch to market it on TV. I have backed the project as I would like to see it.”

I currently await a reply but will keep you updated.

UPDATE 13/02

Hi Billy,
Thanks for getting in touch. While speaking to STV I actually mentioned ICW as an established brand they should speak to, however they told me that they had already held discussions and felt it was too adult orientated for them.
Also I brought up the success of the ICW documentaries as well as RTE’s coverage of Fergal Devitt and was told ‘They are made for people to laugh at weird subcultures’ which annoyed me greatly but I had to remain professional.
Regarding budgeting, £5,000 would be spent on production costs this would include Camera’s, Lighting and sound mixers as well as post-production editing.
£5,000 for talent including if dates match AJ Styles and Alberto Del Rio who have both agreed to work on the project if they have free dates. Along with talent from across the UK from top promotions such as ICW, Progress, IPW:UK and so forth.
I’d be using a local venue which will cost £250 to hire and setup for the event with a standing capacity of 800 people.
I have not promoted a wrestling show before, however my background at Intel is extensive in promoting shows such as Iggy Azelia in London and No Doubt in Paris for Hewlett Packard’s music on demand service. In terms of actually producing the show i’d only be writing the script I have a colleague that has worked on successful BBC1 shows such as Waterloo Road that would take care of production.

UPDATE: 27/02/15

“Hi there,
We’re writing to let you know that Scottish Wrestling Live (Canceled) has been canceled by the project creator. As a result, your £11.00 pledge has been automatically canceled and your card will not be charged.
If you’d like to follow along with the creator’s next steps, stay tuned to their updates. You can even drop them an encouraging message or comment on their project page.
Thanks for supporting this project.
Best
Kickstarter”

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