Thanks for the credit on Tea O'Five Live, Joe. I'm gonna give my leeengthy thoughts on the BritWres Turmoil 2017, and not even touch chappin' chappin' or Kidani.
The best of Trent Seven has been in his home promotion, Fight Club Pro, which I checked out after BWR put it over huge. It's a very strong style, grimy warehouse-running promotion out of Midlands who have had some really good events, superb atmosphere and Trent is the absolute star of it. One of Trent's matches in there ended up on my MOTY list just due to the sheer energy in the building, which amazingly translated even over VOD, combined with an incredible match that ran at a breakneck pace. It was a story match (ie you had to watch a few events to get it) but man was it good. It's also where I first took note of Dan Moloney and Pete's still their champ and Tyler's a big babyface. It's essentially the origin story of the British Strong Style - these guys came to PROGRESS and were like "You say you're strong style? Fuck off, we're strong style."
I love that I got into the UK scene when I did because had I been late, I would've hated coming into the battlefield that the scene will become over the next year. The next BWR Euro Draft podcast is basically just an honest reflection of the scene at this point. Really sucks for Conners, who was heavily featured on WCPW, which has money behind it. He feels like the "we don't want you, we just don't want others to have you, either" hire, more so than the no name guys or the youngsters like Moloney or Johnson (who's only 2 years into wrestling, he started out as just a guy who liked going to PROGRESS shows), who work regularly but aren't big names yet. It's utterly depressing to a fan, though, because there's no telling of the strings WWE can pull for no apparent reason, especially if they get all their buddy promotions under their thumb. If they don't want ITV talent to work PROGRESS, can PROGRESS say no?
I think you guys are 100% right that Ospreay and Scurll are better off without these 19k deals. Both are gonna sail through the storms of 2017 safely and go into 2018 stronger than ever, both financially and assumably in terms of booking, too. I suspect this is going to give surprising career boosts to unsigned talent who are really good like Ryan Smile and Travis Banks, who both are now working these FloSlam-related shows but also RevPro and various other smaller indies. 2017 was gonna be the year of the next group of talent rising through the ranks anyway but this is going to expedite that by a lot.
You know who's an interesting case study? Nathan Cruz. Dude's done shots with NXT and EVOLVE, but isn't ITV-contracted. He's strongly a character-based wrestler so you know his end goal has to be WWE. He's also one of the few full-time wrestlers in the UK. So why didn't he take his deal? You have to think he was offered one.