Have you ever wondered what it would be like to start your own wrestling promotion. I think most fans have speculated, it’s the natural progression from the fantasy booking every fan does (whether they admit to it or not). The majority of us will never make that leap, but I had the opportunity to speak to one wrestling fan who did, Jeffrey Blight, in the run up to his debut show. Raging Falcon Pro Wrestling (RFPW) will run for the first time on September 17th, at the Civic Centre in Trowbridge. Here’s what he had to say.
Firstly, thanks for taking time out to answer some questions. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your promotion?
My name is Jeffrey Blight and I’m the owner of Raging Falcon Pro Wrestling. The name stems from my personal nickname, The Raging Falcon, and it just rolled on from there. I started with a virtual wrestling promotion, or e-Fed, in 2014, and it gathered momentum from there.
Was the e-fed your inspiration for starting a real-life promotion?
Yes, When I ran the e-fed, also called RFPW, I put the emphasis on new and upcoming young talent. Many actual wrestlers joined in on the project from 2015 onwards, which allowed it to grow, and that was the reason, some 3 years later, I decided to make it real.
Are you a lifelong wrestling fan, or did you come to it later?
I’ve been a fan since I was about 10 and started watching WWE, closely followed by back then TNA.
Who were your childhood favourites, and who do you admire now?
Matt and Jeff Hardy were my favourites as a child. At the moment I’m really enjoying David Francisco and Tel Banham’s work, amongst others.
Tell us about the process of starting a promotion. What have been the biggest challenges, and most enjoyable parts?
There’s a lot of details to consider. You need to be prepared for every eventuality. We ended up having to change the date early on in the planning, and that affected the card, that was a challenge. Finding a suitable venue was probably the biggest thing, and working out what the draw of your show above others will be. For me, the creative process was the most fun. Writing the storylines, and booking the card.
Were there any unexpected issues during the set up?
Actually, no. There were a few bumps and hurdles, but everyone encounters some issues, and I’d prepared well.
How do you prepare for such a big undertaking?
I visited Dropkixx Wrestling, WrestleForce and World War Wrestling, and the Dropkixx Academy, and got a feel for what it is like backstage and how shows are being run. That was very helpful.
You’re not based in the UK, has that added any extra complications to getting the show together?
Apart from costing a bit on phone calls, not really. It’s all run fairly smoothly so far.
Your line-up has been announced. Could you tell us about the card?
We have eight announced matches:
- Dexter vs Mike Check
- Mitch Davis and Lewis Barrett vs Chuck Mambo and Oliver Peace
- Jack Sexsmith vs Alex Cupid
- Iestyn Rees vs Taylor Essex
- Spike Trivet vs Ian Frost
- Harry Mant vs Dom Black
- Kurtis Norma vs David Francisco
There will also be an appearance by Tel Banham, and some surprises for the crowd on the night.
Note: We are delighted to welcome Jack Sexsmith and Chuck Mambo to the line-up as replacements for Mr Vincredible and KJ Riley, who are out due to injury.
There’s a lot of up and coming UK talent on that line up. Was that something that was important to you?
Definitely. There’s a place for imports, but they must have either a unique character, wrestling style or both to bring to the table. The UK scene has more than enough talent to fill a show.
What is your unique selling point? Why should people come to your show instead of another promotion?
I don’t want to say too much, because I want our unique ideas to stay unique. But in addition to the strong storylines and exceptional wrestling you’d expect from any show, we have plans for some unusual match types, and some interesting audience participation opportunities. You’ll just have to attend to show to find out exactly what we’ve got planned, but I promise it will be different to what’s being offered elsewhere.
Is there an age restriction, or is it a family friendly show?
Completely family friendly.
Women’s wrestling is all over the news at the moment. Was there a reason you decided not to have any women on your opening show?
Originally we had a women’s match scheduled. Unfortunately, the when the show date changed early on, one of the women booked was unable to make the new date. We are planning women’s matches for future shows, and I wouldn’t rule out an unadvertised appearance or two at this one.
So you have more shows in the pipeline then? How often do you plan to run?
Yes. Providing the first one goes as expected, we expect to run six to eight shows in 2018.
Will you be unveiling a title at this show, or is that something you’re planning for further down the line?
The main event of this first show will be for the brand new RFPW Championship.
Accessibility and safety are big issues with promotions at the moment. Can you reassure people that these issues have been considered?
Of course. The safety of the roster, and the audience, is paramount. The venue is fully wheelchair accessible, and there will be trained first aiders on hand throughout the show.
For those who’d like to check the show out, but can’t make it, are you planning a VOD?
Yes it will be recorded, but I encourage people to come watch the show for the actual live experience. We will try to have interactive elements in the VOD as well, but can’t simulate the real feelings experienced at the show.
Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. I can’t wait to see how the show goes. I’m sure it’ll be exciting to see all your hard work pay off.
Tickets for the show are available at the Trowbridge Civic Centre or here.