5 Star Wrestling produced a live show that broadcast on FreeSports in the United Kingdom, but they are a relatively unheard of promotion.
This company’s name may ring a bell, with them offering CM Punk $1million to perform in their inaugural tournament; the tournament was later suspended until February 2018.
But, they have a TV deal which is crucial to keeping the company alive. FreeSports will continue to broadcast their events as well as them being streamed online which will undoubtedly bring in substantial ad-revenue.
A downside of getting that television deal has been at the risk of losing a certain section of the audience. WWE produces PG friendly content on a weekly basis whereas many of the independent promotions choose to put on more daring and explicit styles of wrestling. In New Japan, foreigners regularly swear in English. As WWE is easily accessible, it may be hard for 5 Star to get a proper fanbase build if they don’t produce the style of wrestling that the majority want.
This was noticeable on Thursday night as the Metro Radio Arena audience were quiet and the Newcastle filled with voices of children rather than passionate adult fans, especially during the main event between John Morrison and Jake Hager (FKA Jack Swagger).
Their early success has been due to the money made through video games. Before becoming their own promotion, 5 Star Wrestling was an indie game developed on PlayStation 3 before an updated version was released in early 2016 for PlayStation 4. The game got mixed reviews, with PlayStation Magazine giving it just 20%.
This money has been used primarily to get world-wide talent onto their shows. In their early shows, 5 Star Wrestling attracted names such as Will Ospreay, Marty Scurll, and Ricochet. Their first champion is John Morrison who has been headlining shows all around the world since his release from WWE in 2011. Rey Mysterio and Rob Van Dam are also WWE alumni that featured on this week’s show.
5 Star Wrestling don’t just shun their British talent for the American’s though – BT Gunn, Mark Haskins, Zack Gibson, El Ligero and Love Island’s Adam Maxted, who is one half of the 5 Star Tag Team Champions, are amongst the many of high-level UK wrestlers that feature on the show.
As for the broadcast itself, it was very ‘middle of the road.’ The matches were nothing new, and they were in a very similar style to WWE. The commentary team were excellent though, with Joe Hendry working well as the color commentator. I watched it through Twitch, the online streaming service, and sometimes was left waiting for a couple of minutes, but I presume this is where adverts would usually be placed. One other point I must mention is the horrific design of the title belts in 5 Star, the shields look cheap and undesirable.
To summarise, it will be hard for 5 Star Wrestling. They have booked extremely popular venues including Belfast’s SSE Arena and Leeds’ First Direct Arena which will be hard to fill unless advertised well. Their style is different to most other independent wrestling companies in the UK which does make them more marketable, and if the UK audience can really get behind them, 5 Star Wrestling could be on their way to dominating the UK scene financially.