Not sure how to start this article off, I mean, the title says it all really. But I’ll try my best.
So, to people who pay attention to the professional wrestling scene, some of you in the UK, I’m hoping that’s all of you since this is a website run in Wales, may have been watching a show on Challenge called ‘TNA British Boot Camp’. If not, then what’s the matter with you? Erm, I mean, it’s okay, no really, it’s fine. Basically, the show had three judges touring through try-out camps in Glasgow, Manchester and London, where talent from the UK wrestling scene would audition to get the chance to be a full-time roster member for TNA Impact Wrestling.
One of these people was Cardiff’s’ own, Mark Andrews.He tried out during the Manchester show, got through to the second round and made it to the finals in a later show in London. During this show, it was revealed that him, alongside other finalists (Kay Lee Ray, Rampage Brown, Dave Mastiff, Noam Dar and Grado) all made it to the finals in Nashville where they would be narrowed down to three, and from there, being narrowed down to one. It came down to Andrews, Kay Lee and Rampage and all three were all on an equal level, meaning anyone could have gotten the contract. However, it seemed that ‘White Lightning’ (as Andrews is known) got to them enough for him to win the whole show.
Now, this basically means TNA has a Welsh wrestler in its roster, something none of the other main promotions currently have. To anyone who pays attention to TNA, you may know that they already have a Welsh wrestler on their roster, Swansea born, Rob Terry. However, he is currently portraying a character in a mask called ‘The Freak’, so as such he is not being acknowledged by his home origins. Hopefully, Mandrews will be able to bring a little bit of that Welsh attitude to a more national audience and do us proud… don’t give me that look, that’s what he calls himself, I didn’t come up with the name.
Now, on a more personal level, I actually got to talk to Mark during my first ever wrestling show, which I managed to write a review on, if you haven’t read about it already. And my impressions of him were of a genuinely down-to-earth kind of person who could instantly get that crowd connection, something he did as soon as he walked through the curtains. Whilst chatting briefly with him, I could also see that he meant what he was talking about when he wanted to ‘keep Indy wrestling alive’; I mean he’s being doing it since he was around 12/14, and he’s only 22 now! Well, at least he had enough personality to convey it anyway and managed to scrounge 5 pounds out of the broke university student in me on some Defend Indy Wrestling wristbands.
It’s such a shame that all the finalists couldn’t have been brought into TNA today, I can understand that it would be quite the hassle to bring in 6 new talents from the UK, that would be a little overwhelming and they could easily get lost in the confusion of being on a national stage like TNA Wrestling. I’m sure they may get signed somewhere down the line, maybe with all of them being a part of TNA’s Maximum Impact Tour next month they can impress TNA enough to bring them in full-time as well. Here’s hoping yet, Kay Lee!But for today, we should at least be proud that we have another Welsh born figure in the limelight, and Mark is someone who will do us proud, I’m sure of it. Congrats, Mark! Maybe with you in TNA we can actually start getting live events here again, that would be nice.
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