On the 4th July 2019 ‘We The Independent’ will launch. Spearheaded by David Starr the brand/union will seek to lobby for improved workers rights for wrestlers, seeking employment benefits for independent wrestlers, such as pensions, healthcare, and maternity/paternity leave. While no one could ever fault Starr and others from wanting to improve workers rights, one cannot help but notice that (once again) things have broken down into a ‘signed vs. unsigned’ debate. Granted this was spurred on recently by Starr’s actions at OTT’s WrestleRama 3 on the 23rd June 2019 wherein a match with current WWE United Kingdom Champion WALTER, Starr picked up the belt and stomped on it. This was met with outrage by the previous champion Pete Dunne who tweeted out his frustration:
Once again people have interpreted this as a battle between ‘signed and unsigned’ talent which, in my opinion, couldn’t be further from the truth. I believe the ‘We the Independent’ brand was set up with only the best of intentions, to better the experience and conditions of all professional wrestlers at a time when issues surrounding the nature of WWE signed talent as independent contractors has reached the mainstream. With David Starr, a man who has never minced his words when discussing corporations, leading the charge many have seen this and his most recent actions as an attack on not just the WWE but those who also decide to sign with them.
To address this, no one should ever attack anyone for following their dreams. For many people who get into the professional wrestling industry, their number one goal is for them to reach the WWE, and the NXT UK brand can allow people to reach that dream; and those worried about the contract restrictions placed by these WWE contracts, this is now a great opportunity for new British talent to break through and show the world how good they are, such as Chuck Mambo, Spike Trivet, Jack Sexsmith, Beno, Cara Noir, Chakara, Charli Evans, Kanji and so many more! For those who are calling Pete Dunne anti-independent then again, you couldn’t be more wrong. Alongside fellow NXT UK members Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis, Dunne co-founded DEFEND Indy Wrestling, a clothing brand which helps to highlight British independent talent.
To pit the two sides against each other is fundamentally wrong in my opinion. Anyone who is associated with either ‘We The Independent’ or NXT UK only wants what’s best for the UK Scene, for it to thrive, for it workers to be offered great opportunities and work in an environment which promotes the well_being of its talent. All these things we should be celebrating because BritWrestling is undoubtedly the best wrestling scene in the world today.
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