Regular readers of this column tend to know that I travel about the UK attending as many wrestling promotions as I can within reason. Why do I do this, you ask, because I always have believed that great wrestling isn’t limited to the most famous or the most well-known promotions out there. I’ve long championed the UK wrestling industry and attended many mainstream companies that are thought to provide amazing wrestling and entertainment. So to learn more about the UK wrestling scene that I champion, this year I decided to see what promotions are out there.
This month, I travelled back to a promotion who captured my interest last year with some great logical storylines and superb wrestling, PAID Promotions. Based in Morecambe, I visited them last year and I haven’t stopped going there since. Because of the reasons I mentioned already and the welcoming fans I’ve met. Now before you say, “what about Scottish wrestling and the wrestlers?” bear with me, I’m getting to that.
Last year I witnessed a group of unified Scottish wrestlers collectively known as The Referendum run riot over many of England’s top stars within that promotion led by Laird Grayson and cutting promos over how they are the 45%, the minority with the majority, and how they will bury many more stars under the Scottish saltire as the fans in attendance booed in unison.
Now it would be easy to play this off as a cheap heat or a comedy gimmick, believe me I’ve seen a few of those and the results have all been either embarrassing or played mainly for laughs but there is something different about the Referendum. A seriousness, a darker side, a genuine threat to any roster they’re part of.
So far in PAID Promotions they have punished anyone they have faced, continuing a menacing undefeated streak that begun last year and continues to June 20th where they aim to extend it by any means necessary, that is an amazing statement and devastating show of strength.
The one thing that is unique about The Referendum is that as their mantra states, ‘they are not a faction but a nation’ who stand united against whoever that may be a threat or stands in their way. Meaning they can call any Scottish wrestler they who is willing to battle against their foes. So far, the line-up has included; Laird Grayson, Bobby Roberts, Scott Renwick, Viper, Nikki Storm, Kay Lee Ray and Christopher Saynt. It has also giving opportunities to new stars in the Scottish wrestling industry like Courtney and Steven Myles to name a couple.
As eluded to earlier, new wrestling stars have had their chance to shine within the group, portraying themselves as an alternate version of themselves that fans in Scotland would normally embrace. In this new role, the advantages to their character development within their careers and collectively, the wrestlers now get to demonstrate their talents to new audiences who may have not seen them outside Scotland.
Now I may have witnessed The Referendum in PAID Promotions, but odds are before this year is out many fans across the UK may be seeing more of the group branching out and representing the Scotland in their own way. Hell, we could even be seeing fans buying the groups “Referendum Club” t-shirt in the future.
It’s simple to say that The Referendum is a controversial force that ties strongly with the vote that divided Scotland last year, but when you look closer and deeper at this alliance of Scottish wrestlers, the secret of their success isn’t the controversy, it’s the talent involved. It’s the sheer volume of fantastic wrestlers who maximise their talents in the promos and in-ring action that could have seen The Referendum alliance go down as a failed enterprise if they weren’t as good as they are.
Now this, this could be the best example of how strong and how much Scotland wrestling has to offer.