THE TWO SHEDS REVIEW by Julian Radbourne
Here in Britain, as the once mighty Frontier Wrestling Alliance was dying a slow and painful death, there was one piece of talent coming through that caught my eye. Having been in and around the company for a couple of years, it was a while before he actually got his big break. The guy has that “it” factor about him, and when I first saw him, I knew there and then that he would become one of British wrestling’s top stars. That man was Martin Stone.
Which is why I wanted to see the IPW:UK shoot interview he filmed. Originally released in 2006, Stone takes us on a journey that begins with his training to become a mixed martial arts fighter, which gradually led to his change of career when he began to watch professional wrestling again in 2000 and decided that was what he wanted to do for a living.
Even though, at the time, he’d only been in the professional wrestling business for the proverbial five minutes, Stone worked his backside off to become one of Britain’s best known stars, helped, mainly, by his exposure on Daniel Edler’s shows. Daniel saw enough in him to put his main title belt on him, a belt that he would go on to hold for over a year, something which is almost unheard of in this day and age, and while Stone speaks highly of those connected with IPW and of the chances they gave him, it wasn’t always sweetness and light in his career.
Take his time in the FWA for instance. He first appeared for them working security, and after promise after promise after promise was made, it was two years before he made his debut proper, and shortly afterwards he was teamed with a guy called Stixx (Stixx and Stone, get it?), and in only their second match together, they became FWA Tag-Team Champions. But by then the once biggest wrestling promotion in the country was on it’s way out. It was having problems producing it’s weekly television shows, the headline performers that they’d built up were starting to get regular work away from the FWA, the big name imports didn’t come over as much, and the company had failed to elevate enough of their undercard talent. From their biggest crowd of nearly two thousand for their landmark British Uprising III show, their crowd numbers went down drastically. So Stone’s dream of working for the company took a battering.
But he dusted himself off and went on to build a strong career for himself, working for some of the most prominent promotions in Britain, something that he continues to do to this day.
Normally when I watch a shoot interview by someone who has only been in the business a few years, I’m not impressed. This wasn’t the case with this one. Stone comes across as someone who is truly passionate about his chosen profession, and as someone who is always willing to learn, and unlike other shoot interviews I’ve reviewed this year, the nameless and faceless man asking the questions had really done his research, which was good to see, because as the old saying goes, it takes two to tango.
In conclusion – even though it’s a couple of years old, Martin Stone’s shoot interview gives us a very good take on the state of the modern British wrestling business, through the eyes of one of it’s most promising stars, and while the likes of Paul Burchill, Katie Lea, Hade Vansen, Doug Williams and Nick Aldis are flying the flag for Britain in America and Japan, I have no doubt that it won’t be long before Stone is joining them, and may it be sooner rather than later.
With thanks to Mark Sloan of A-Merchandise for supplying a copy of this release. The IPW:UK Shoot Interview Series – Martin Stone can be purchased online by visiting http://www.ipwuk.com/