There has always been a representative of "Jolly Ol' England" (to quote Jerry Lawler) in the WWE going back to the years when Vince McMahon was a mere ring announcer, and before. What is it that makes them so appealing? Is it just the accent? Are they trained any different? Or maybe it is their well taught in-ring ability. As an Englishman myself, I am proud to see the "New School" of Brits in the WWE today with the likes of Wade Barrett, Paige and Drew McIntyre all flying the Union Jack high. Wrestling has always had a place in Great Britain, somewhat slightly different to the glamour of "Sports Entertainment" that we see on our screens currently. As angry grannies waved their umbrella's in the faces of the heels in bingo hall's across the country, far from an ECW show, the entertainment element has always been there and I find it fascinating. I'd like to take the time to talk about a few of my favourite British wrestlers in WWE, umberella in hand, so let's take a look back at some of Britain's finest.
British Bulldog - Any article on British wrestlers that doesn't include Davey Boy Smith should ever see the light of day. For me, he not only helped to bring something different to American Professional Wrestling, he also helped American Wrestling take off in Great Britain. Adorned with his Union Jack and Bulldog (Matilda), he gave British fans something to watch, a sense of home. Trained at the famous Stu Hart Dungeon, he went on to become a successful tag team along with Dynamite Kid, a 2 Time WWF European champion and 2 Time Hardcore Champion plus much more accomplishments in Stampede Wrestling. He was, in my opinion, the best British wrestler of all time to grace the WWF ring - Maybe given the new era, we may get someone not only as good as him but better. A Brit worthy of holding the WWE World Heavyweight Championship?
William Regal - Where to even start with someone who has had pretty much every job on the payroll for WWE!? I love his persona, and his color commentary these days on NXT has me in stitches, only recently he asked someone if they had "gone doolally", a total British bit of language. But he hasn't only been used in a comedy role - He served for 6 years in WCW before jumping ship to WWE in 1998, failing then going back to WCW. He rejoined WCW and then again came back once more to the WWE in 2000 as Commissioner, a role which I absolutely loved him in. He was trained in he UK by Marty Jones, and I hope we can see him continuing to entertain us in WWE. After seeing his 'Audience with a Wrestling Villain' show he seems happy in his current role and isn't bothered about a title run, nor a Hall Of Fame induction just yet. Let's hope maybe one year WrestleMania comes to England as that would be the perfect time to induct him!
Wade Barrett - For me this is a WWE Superstar who has had a really good turn around in terms of his career. A former bare knuckle boxer from Preston, England, and winner of Season 1 of NXT everything was looking bright for Barrett. I absolutely loved The Nexus, to which he was the leader, coming in and destroying everyone in their path. It made WWE exciting again. I thought breaking them up and making The Corre was a bad move, I wasn't a fan of The Barrett Barrage, I felt it lacked something but I'm sure we all agree Bad News Barrett is he best move yet to date! I'm so glad he has won the IC title, let's hope he can step up to the big league for a WWE World Heavyweight Championship run!
I know there are many British wrestlers to discuss but I thought I would choose three that are personal favourites to me, I will leave it open for discussion below and if there is any more interest may cover more in future columns. Who are some of your favourite British wrestlers?
I believe that finally the UK is getting recognition in WWE and the wrestling world today and as more wrestlers rise through the ranks, you can only wonder if they will get enough momentum that they deserve, and carry on through to a title run. Given that the current Intercontinental and Divas champions are both British, as well the Irishman Sheamus holding the WWE U.S Title, who can tell what is in store for the future?
- John Huxall, who you can find at @iHux on the Twitters