British wrestling is currently experiencing what is arguably its biggest boom in history. Promotions like PROGRESS, Revoultion Pro, ICW, and others are making international superstars out of scores of wrestlers, and are generating hype and cult followings that bring to mind the heyday of Ring of Honor and even ECW. WWE has been working hand in hand with these red-hot promotions to develop its own U.K. division and are likely to start airing some of these companies on WWE Network.
With all this interest, and with a lot of money flying around, perhaps it was inevitable that the surging independent scene in England would suffer some significant black marks. The first blow is that ITV — which taped a pilot for a revival of the hugely popular and influential World of Sport, and then partnered with Jeff Jarrett and Impact Wrestling to continue that brand — has postponed its World of Sport tapings (which were meant to happen this past week) indefinitely. Many are taking this as a sign that WOS will not be moving forward.
And perhaps a more ill-timed misfortune, and one that is riling up plenty of wrestlers, is the six-month delay for a massive, 128-man, 30-show tournament that was being presented by 5 Star Wrestling. You may remember that literally two weeks ago, the organizer extended a $1 million offer to CM Punk to compete in the tournament. He increased the offer the following week. This week, he announced he was pushing the shows back from August, to February of 2018.
The press release:
5 STAR TOURNAMENT AND SHOWS RESCHEDULED TO FEBRUARY 2018
We have decided to completely reschedule the entire 5 Star Wrestling tournament for February. We know this will be disappointing to many fans as it means we will not be running any further shows in 2017 but we assure you, this is not a decision we have taken lightly and it is a move that will greatly improve the shows we host going forward.
The new dates are as follows and tickets are on sale via 5StarWrestling.co.uk immediately.
LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA
The show that was scheduled to take place on June 10th will now take place on February 1st
The show that was scheduled to take place on August 12th, will now take place on February 8th
The show that was scheduled to take place on the July 1st will now take place on February 15th
LONDON COPPER BOX ARENA
The show that was scheduled to take place on August 5th, will now take place on February 22nd
BELFAST SSE ARENA
The show that was scheduled to take place on June 26th, will now take place on March 1st
ABERDEEN GE OIL & GAS ARENA
The show that was scheduled to take place on July 15th, will now take place on March 8th
The show that was scheduled to take place on September 2nd, will now take place on March 22nd
LEEDS FIRST DIRECT ARENA
The show that was scheduled to take place on July 22nd, will now take place in early 2018, we will be announcing the date in the coming days.
DUNDEE ICE ARENA
The show that was scheduled to take place on the July 8th will now take place on April 19th
BLACKBURN ICE ARENA
The show that was scheduled to take place on June 17th will now take place on April 26th
MOTORPOINT ARENA CARDIFF
The show that was scheduled to take place on July 29th, will now take place on May 10th
IMPORTANT CUSTOMER INFORMATION
If you have already purchased a ticket to one of the events listed, you will be automatically issued a new ticket for the rescheduled date. For example, if you have already purchased a ticket to the June 10th show in Liverpool, you will be sent a new ticket for the February 1st show in Liverpool.
All customers are entitled to a full refund within the next 30 days and can claim that refund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com we are expecting a large volume of emails so please understand that we will get back to you as soon as possible.
QUESTION: How can I get a full refund?
ANSWERS: Email firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTION: When will the new tickets be sent out?
ANSWERS: You should receive an email detailing that information in the next 7 days, if you haven’t please contact email@example.com
To say that wrestlers involved in the tournament are upset would be a pretty severe understatement.
Ryback also went on his podcast after the $1 million offer was made to CM Punk, and ran down the promoter, essentially saying the offer was likely all talk. The tournament was always going to be a massive gamble, and the promoters likely overreached quite a bit here. If the thing ever ends up going down, it might be surprising.