The FWA's current Head of Creative Direction and former multiple-time
British Heavyweight Champion Alex Shane is the main guest on this
week’s "Art of Wrestling" podcast. The podcast, which is hosted by Colt
Cabana, is a worldwide smash getting between 30,000 and 40,000 listeners
a week and has featured some of the top names in wrestling.
everything from the FWA's creative direction and company ethos to
Shane's beginning in the world of pro wrestling, the former
"Showstealer", as always, pulls no punches and talks also about some of
his most controversial non-wrestling views to date. Always a man to
generate a stir, Shane exclusively told FWAUK.com "Myself and Colt go
back almost ten years and it was a great honour to be asked to do the
interview, particularly at a time when he is such hot property in the
He continued "I have already had some great
feedback from the interview, particularly from people overseas who are
just hearing about the new FWA and myself for the first time so it's
been a really tremendous thing to be involved with."
has been at the centre of much controversy recently after his name was
heard around the world during CM Punk's history-making WWE promo in
June. Of course, this continued and the fresh public link between Shane
and Cabana will only add further fuel to the fire of speculation
surrounding the two, coming off of the return edition of FWA Front Line.
The episode implied that Shane and Cabana, along with Punk and the WWE
itself, may have tighter links than have first been let on to the
public. The episode was met with much uncertainty from insiders on the
UK scene, and now the timing of this podcast could not be more
To listen to the podcast, or to see the first edition of FWA Front Line Season 2, go to the FWA's YouTube Channel now.
Following RJ Singh’s appearance on BBC Asian Network during the week (One day left to listen on the BBC iPlayer - http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011x1x6) Alex Shane took part in yesterday’s Sunny and Shay show BBC London 94.9. The interview covered the new rise of the UK scene, the BWC system, the FWA's booking philosophy, deaths in wrestling, the Indian wrestling scene, the fall of British Wresting on TV, Leroy Kincade, “The Bollywood Dream” RJ Singh, “Rockstar” Spud, next weekend’s Lucha Future shows and more.
Those who were not able to catch the show live, the show is now online on the BBC iPlayer. The link to the show can be found http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/p00h9mp6. Alex’s segment starts at around 1:07 in to the show.
BEHIND THE MIC
commentator Dave Bradshaw begins his blog of FWA Season Two by looking
ahead to a potentially turbulent weekend at the Birmingham NEC…
There was no telling what could happen when the Frontier Wrestling Alliance came back in to existence. Anyone who thought they knew what was going to happen was in for a huge shock. From the formation of the Agenda, to the constant turns for and against the Resistance, to the massive battle to gain the Flyweight Championship and the horrific injuries which were caused along the way, it is clear for anyone to see that the FWA was back, but who would end the Season in control is still the topic of much debate.
When Martin Stone entered the tournament to crown a new FWA World Heavyweight Championship, everyone knew he was a top contender. By the time he faced Andrew Simmonz in the final (British Uproar 2010), everyone was behind the much-decorated UK star. What happened next was a huge shock – Stone distanced himself from the fans, the FWA management and anyone else who had ever supported him. He made it clear that “The Guv’nor” now had an Agenda, and little did anyone know quite how far his Agenda went.
Stone then went in to March of last year looking at his first title defence against Leroy Kincaide (Battle Lines 2010), but by the time his match came about it was clear that Stone was not alone in his Agenda. Dave Moralez was very quick to join “The Guv’nor”, making his intentions very clear when he took out one of the biggest fan favourites, Bubblegum, in a vicious assault. For a few months before this happened Dave had been under the tutelage of “Gentleman” Gilligan Gordon alongside Iestyn Rees and Joel Redman – two more men who quickly signed up to Stone’s Agenda. By the end of Battle Lines it looked like The Agenda may be in complete control of the FWA... who would be able to stop them?
The first man to step up to the plate was always going to be Leroy Kincaide. The hip hop star lost his Championship match thanks to the formation of The Agenda, and wasn’t going to take that lying down. From then on Kincaide was attempting to recruit whatever backup he could get, but this didn’t always go to plan. Most notably, Kincaide had a team put together for an eight-man tag match against The Agenda in Nottingham (The Art Of War). When Douglas Williams couldn’t make it, The Resistance thought that his TNA tag partner Brutus Magnus was an ideal partner. This was until he got in the ring and joined The Agenda. After that, Robbie Brookside came to ringside, but Martin Stone not only talked him out of competing, but also into leaving the arena without saying a word to anyone backstage, including his friends. In the end, Alex Shane made a sensational return to in-ring competition for the match. Shane was eliminated however continued to support The Resistance – right up until European Uprising.
It took Leroy Kincaide everything he had to get Martin Stone back inside the squared circle for a Championship match. When he did, FWA’s Head Of Content Alex Shane announced that he would be the special guest referee, making sure that there was no extra interference in the match. There was nothing extra – just the boot to the skull of Kincaide by Shane which marked the retention of the title belt by The Agenda and the rise of The Ascension. The footage of this moment cannot be described, and has to be seen to be believed.
Martin Stone therefore walked out of Season One as FWA World Heavyweight Champion, before leaving to wrestle in America. It has been declared that the title belt will be passed on to one of The Agenda members to defend from now on. At the same time, the FWA has been running a tournament throughout the season to crown a new Flyweight Champion. Many top stars such as Jody Fleisch and Mark Haskins were eliminated in the first round (New Frontier 2009), but at the same event, a new star emerged. He isn’t just a star – he’s a Rockstar. Spud’s complete image change was soon forced down our throats, but there was no doubting that he was one of the top flyweight contenders. Then, at Carpe Diem 2009, Spud took to the stage in his first live concert. This got mixed reactions from the crowd, but Spud didn’t hear anything like that. He simply rocked on, and has been doing so ever since.
That’s not to say Spud was the only contender for the Championship. The FWA’s own Bollywood star, RJ Singh, made it clear he would go to any lengths to get the title belt around his waist. If this meant he destroyed a man who would end up being his arch nemesis, El Ligero, in the process, then so be it. It seemed that Singh finally crossed the line when he came out to try and cut off El Ligero’s signature horns for a second time – only to stab Ligero in the eye with the scissors (Hope And Glory). At this point both men had been eliminated from the Flyweight Title Tournament – but Ligero would now be kept out of competitive action until European Uprising.
Both Spud’s attempts to become the top flyweight and the bitter rivalry between RJ Singh and El Ligero came to a head at the FWA’s biggest ever event, European Uprising. The Rockstar was all set to face Jonny Storm in a match that would catapult him to top flyweight status, and in the process earn him the name “The Wonderkid”. Unfortunately for Spud and all his supporters in the NEC in Birmingham, a long-term injury put him out of the match. In the end the fans were still given a thrilling contest, as Storm defeated Axl Rage and “The Showstealer” Nathan Cruz in a ladder match. Also at the same event El Ligero finally managed to get revenge on RJ Singh for putting him out of the squared circle for so long.
The FWA has also become a place for opportunities, and many stars from XWA Adrenaline made their debuts inside an FWA ring during Season One. On top of Rage and Cruz, we also saw the emergence of Nick Riley. A popular young man who can take to the skies at any opportunity, he had a number of vicious battles at the Expo events in London and then went on to join The Resistance in the six-man tag match at European Uprising. Along with this there have also been young tag teams such as The Dare Devil Dragons who have been willing to step in to a very competitive Tag Team Championship tournament. Despite losing to Stixx and Malen, they really proved themselves. Stixx and Malen have gone on to be an exceptionally destructive force in the FWA’s tag team division, defeating established duos such as Project Ego and (despite losing the match) completely destroying The Leaders Of The New School and hospitalising Marty Scurll after their contest at European Uprising.
And this is by no means a comprehensive review of everything which took place in Season One of the FWA. There were twists and turns all the way, and nobody can predict exactly what is in store for The Agenda and The Resistance as we head in to Series Two. One thing which is certain is that the 12-disk box set of FWA Season One is available to buy from www.fwauk.com/dvds now!
They already share a footman, and now Her Majesty The Queen is set to share the Christmas Day spotlight with Alex Shane. Just over a month after his shocking betrayal of the FWA’s Resistance movement, the man now known as “The Ascension” will finally address the wrestling world as he explains his actions in an exclusive video for FWAUK.com.
The interview, which was filmed earlier this week, is said to be one of the most uncomfortable and tense exchanges ever seen in the FWA. It is conducted by play-by-play commentator Dave Bradshaw, who was previously considered to be one of Shane’s closest allies. That friendship came to a crashing end at European Uprising, when Shane repeatedly spat at a stunned Bradshaw while leaving the arena at Birmingham’s NEC. This interview was the first time the two men had met since that night, and unsurprisingly the atmosphere was therefore stormy from the very start.
According to the few people who have seen the footage in the past few days, what followed was a compelling, unpredictable and deeply sinister piece of verbal combat. It constitutes a glimpse into the real soul of “The Ascension” – a macabre world of cold-blooded blackmail, twisted philosophy and psychological puppetry. There was even a shock appearance by a major name from the US wrestling scene – this really does need to be seen to be believed.
This video is the first since the FWA channel was given special privileges by YouTube so that it can post videos of longer than ten minutes duration. Sources close to Alex Shane have claimed that he called in favours with some of his contacts to ensure that this important development was approved, especially since it coincides with the promotion's debut on Japanese television this week. It is also believed that this video is the first in which Shane's newly hired professional TV production team have taken over editing duties, which would explain the unusual style of the production. If these rumours are true, they add weight to Shane's claims that he has friends in very high places.
Nonetheless, the central questions remain unchanged: Why did Shane turn his back on the cause he has championed for so long? How long has he been a part of the plot to derail British wrestling? And what does all of this mean for the future of the Agenda and the Resistance? For answers to all of these questions and more, tune in to the FWA YouTube channel tomorrow, Christmas Day, for a discussion that will lay the foundations for Season Two of the Frontier Wrestling Alliance...
It could perhaps have been expected that 20th November in the Birmingham NEC would become one of the most memorable days in FWA history... but that is probably the only thing that could have been predicted in the course of a two-hour spectacular that was exhilarating and baffling in equal measure. Birmingham is unlikely to soon forget the day the stars of British wrestling collided in a European Uprising...
Shane betrayal brings Resistance to its knees
FWA Head of Content Alex Shane has often been the centre of controversy during his career, but what happened on Saturday afternoon went far beyond anything that he has done before – in fact, it left even the people who thought they were closest to him questioning whether they had ever really known him at all. It was the closing moments of the long-awaited World Heavyweight Championship rematch between Martin Stone and Leroy Kincaide, and despite the nefarious efforts of the Agenda’s leader it looked as though the gold was headed to the Resistance. Guest referee Shane, who had earlier been knocked out of the ring by Stone, had now recovered and was urging Kincaide to deliver a spear that would have sealed the deal. Stone was slowly getting to his feet, oblivious to the jeopardy his title reign was now in. Kincaide started to charge, and the crowd braced for a final impact that would change the course of British wrestling.
Then, in an instant, the world was turned on its head.
Kincaide was struck in the temple by Shane’s boot and crumpled to the mat. The former two-time British champion suddenly seemed possessed, ordering Stone to lift up his rival and drop him to the mat with a London Bridge DDT. Three seconds later, after Shane had screamed in the face of terrified referee Chris Roberts, Stone had retained the gold and was handing the championship belt over to the man who had apparently been his master all along. Half of the NEC crowd reacted with a chorus of jeers, while half retained a shocked silence.
A few moments after the match had ended, the Resistance members flooded ringside and got a harrowing glimpse at the sheer scale of the conspiracy before them. Commentator Greg Lambert appeared to be in on the plot, grabbing a microphone and heralding the “great work of the ages”; Shane himself spoke of an “Illuminati” whose influence had shaped the course of history; and perhaps most ominously of all, Shane’s new apprentice David Deville – a footman for Her Majesty The Queen – stood in line with the rest of the Agenda and made the same Pyramid hand signal as his co-conspirators. First, the Agenda seemed to be a group of wrestlers wanting to make it big in America. Then it seemed as though top names from the big US promotions were involved. But now, something else seemed horribly apparent – perhaps the Agenda actually reached the corridors of power in the British establishment itself...
Wonderkid keeps his name in brush with British wrestling’s future
When Jonny Storm entered the ring on Saturday afternoon to receive a British Wrestling Council award for Outstanding Contribution to British wrestling there was quite literally a shadow hanging over him. As gracious as the “Wonderkid” was in his acceptance of the honour, his mind must surely have been elsewhere: he was moments away from defending the rights to his famous nickname in a ladder match – but worse still, he didn’t even know who his opponent was going to be!
Earlier in the evening, Storm’s long-time nemesis Rockstar Spud told the NEC crowd that he would not be able to compete in the match after doctors refused to clear him for action. Still bitterly favouring the neck that had been injured a year ago by Storm, the self-proclaimed Baby Jesus of British Wrestling was, for once, almost worthy of sympathy as he pulled out of the match and vowed that one day Storm would pay for the pain he had caused him. A few minutes later, Spud’s first attempt at revenge was revealed – he had selected BWC Scarlo Scholarship winner Axl Rage as his replacement for the ladder match.&br; &br;Unfortunately Rage wasn’t the only one who realised what a great opportunity he had just stumbled across. The obnoxious ”Showstealer” Nathan Cruz, who earlier had won an award for Breakout Star of the Year, interjected and goaded Storm and Rage into making the match a triple threat. Soon enough the action got underway and what followed was a spectacular display of death-defying moves that undoubtedly shortened the careers of all three men. Ultimately though, it was the veteran Storm who claimed the briefcase and retained the “Wonderkid” name, much to the chagrin of an increasingly bitter rock star at ringside.
Resistance proves futile in brutal six-man battle
The war between The Agenda and The Resistance raged on at the NEC, as Joel Redman, Iestyn Rees and Dave Moralez tried to subdue the fiery trio of Sha Samuels, rookie Nick Riley and the returning Bubblegum. The hatred between the two sides boiled over from the early part of the match, with Samuels picking up first a yellow and then a red card from the referee for punching his opponents with a closed fist. Eventually the popular East Londoner lost his cool one too many times, and was disqualified from the contest, leaving his team at a seemingly insurmountable disadvantage.
Fortunately, “insurmountable” is not a well-known word in Hubba Bubba Ville, and the fearless Bubblegum looked as though his decision to risk further injury to his vulnerable abdominal muscles might have paid off, when he launched off the top turnbuckle with a cross-body block to take out two of his opponents. But Redman rolled back into the ring just moments before the count-out, and his survival proved fatal for the Resistance. Moments later Nick Riley was booted in the face by Rees and German suplexed by Redman, who viciously pinned his shoulders to the mat for the 1-2-3.
El Ligero acrobatics puts Singh out for the count
No-one had seen El Ligero since the incident at Hope and Glory that apparently threatened the sight in his right eye. The man who most fans hold responsible for that injury, the remorseless RJ Singh, was as much in the dark as anyone when he entered the NEC and awaited the arrival of the masked luchador whom he had tormented for the entire 15 months since the FWA’s rebirth. Finally, the Mexican Sensation emerged, and as feared he had a patch over his right eye. But he also came holding something else – the disfigured mask from which Singh had sawn off his trademark horns in late 2009. Clearly, this was the most deeply personal match of El Ligero’s life, and he came ready to fight.
It was a good job he did, because the odds were clearly stacked against him. As well as his impaired vision, El Ligero had to deal with the ever-present Singh entourage at ringside – a task he approached by showing a characteristic lack of fear. After escaping the Sweet Bollywood Dreams and fighting his way out of a camel clutch, the high-flying fan favourite suddenly launched into the air, soaring over the top rope and crashing down onto Singh and two of his lackies in the aisle. Chaos ensued at ringside as the referee started his count, but with a second left El Ligero managed to roll back in the ring and won the match via count-out. It was perhaps only a small measure of revenge in a rivalry that is far from over, but El Ligero will take heart in the fact that he bested his most hated foe on the biggest show of the year.
Leaders decimated despite semi-final success
With either Northern Xposure or The Agenda waiting for them in the final, neither of the teams in Saturday’s tag title tournament semi final could be sure of championship gold if they won at European Uprising, but for either team it would have been a giant leap towards that goal. The ever-popular Leaders of the New School took the fight to the much bigger Stixx and Malen in a battle between two of the most dominant teams in the FWA. Zack Sabre Jr was soon taken out of commission thanks to a devastating Critical Condition from the Nottingham bad boys, leaving Marty Scurll to mount a fierce one-man stand for much of the contest. He did so impressively, giving his partner enough time to shake off the cobwebs and eventually hook in a cross armbreaker hold on Malen to force the submission.
Horribly, though, that was not all. Stixx and Malen continued to attack their exhausted opponents after the bell, now focusing their attentions on Scurll. With Sabre quickly incapacitated, the callous duo dropped Scurll with two consecutive Critical Conditions that left him completely unconscious. Sabre Jr tried to help his partner backstage, but both men needed medical attention after the match – Scurll was still unconscious as he was rushed from the building into a waiting ambulance, with medics fearing a fractured skull. It was an awful end to a moment that should have been jubilant for the Leaders, as they were left just one win away from the most valuable gold in European tag team wrestling.
Alex Shane, the man responsible for the much talked-about Agenda vs. Resistance storyline and a host of other unforgettable moments during Season 1 of the FWA, has stepped down from his post with immediate effect, according to the promotion’s managing director Tony Simpson.
According to Simpson, the decision was reached due to Shane’s desire to focus on his in-ring persona. As “The Ascension”, Shane was revealed as the apparent leader of The Agenda during the dramatic conclusion to European Uprising last month. His character’s first interview since that night will take place in the near future when he sits down with former friend Dave Bradshaw for what promises to be a tense conversation.
Meanwhile, outside of the ring Shane is known to be a firm believer that there is an inherent conflict of interest when an in-ring performer is also the person booking storylines, and those close to him believe this may also have contributed to his resignation. While Shane will continue to assist the FWA product as a Creative Consultant, his role as Head of Content has been immediately filled by XWA owner and FWA color commentator Greg Lambert. Lambert will head a new booking committee, on which Dave Rayne of Futureshock Wrestling and Rich Dunn from New Generation Wrestling will also serve.
Lambert is expected to address FWA fans personally via the Grapple Group’s YouTube channel in the coming days, but meanwhile he has apparently made it known that his approach will differ from Shane’s in important ways. In particular, it is understood that he intends to focus more on the physical action inside the ring and will downplay the prominence of the Agenda vs. Resistance storyline that has dominated the promotion for most of 2010.
"I want to thank Alex for his dedication over the past 15 months as FWA Head of Content," Simpson told FWAUK.com. "While we have not always seen eye-to-eye on every issue, I have the utmost appreciation for his talents and I fully respect his decision to move on from the role. Like all FWA fans, I look forward to seeing the new direction in which Greg Lambert and his team will take us in Season Two"
This unexpected announcement has clearly caught everyone involved in the FWA by surprise. Keep checking back for more on this developing story as it unfolds in the coming days.
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