UK Government Launch Inquiry Into Professional Wrestling Following Speaking Out Movement
British Wrestling had a spotlight shone on the worst behaviours inside the industry earlier this year during the Speaking Out movement and now a cross party grouping of members of parliament are hoping to hear as many stories as possible in an inquiry into the industry.
The Inquiry is open and submissions can be sent until 27 November 2020 to [email protected]mail.com
Speaking Out brought to light stories from performers and fans alike at the awful ways they had been treated by other performers, promoters and others in the industry.
It led to some performers being sacked from their jobs whilst others are still under investigation from big companies, like the WWE, and left those still in the industry to look at how to proceed and make it safer.
Now the All Party Parliamentary Group on wrestling is launching an investigation into the industry in this country and looking to improve it.
Led by co-chairs Alex Davies-Jones MP and Mark Fletcher MP, the inquiry wishes to review evidence from across the board to best see how the group can help the industry.
Speaking exclusively to SPORT bible, Davies-Jones, a big wrestling fan herself, explained how those affected by Speaking Out will be supported by the inquiry.
"It's making sure they're being listened to, that's the biggest thing we've had so far from wrestlers and people within the industry who have told us their stories, they want to be heard and want to have their story heard. So being listened to and making sure they're being taken seriously and someone actually cares.
"Whatever we can do to recognise what needs to change in the industry to make sure these horrible practices and this behaviour is stamped out and so we can make sure there is no space for this behaviour and this treatment in the industry, then I'll be happy and I'll know I'll have done my job."
:point_down: Today the @appgwrestling received an update from @OliverDowden on the guidance for #wrestling training schools as we continue to move through the #coronavirus pandemic. See below...: @TWMWrestle pic.twitter.com/mjGapJPNMX- Alex Davies-Jones MP/AS (@AlexDaviesJones) September 23, 2020
The WWE's NXT UK brand has even been in the headlines, with some talent sacked from the company and others still suspended indefinitely having been implicated and accused during the movement.
There has been pressure from fans about the company and MP for Pontypridd confirmed that she would be talking to the company, and AEW, during their enquiry.
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"We will be speaking to WWE, we'll be speaking to NXT UK, we will be talking to AEW, all the major promoters, the headliners. We will be reaching out to them, asking them to give evidence and questioning them as well because this is going to take everybody within the industry.
"It's going to take everybody, from the top down and from the bottom up, otherwise we're not going to stamp it out of the industry.
"If any investigation proves and they're found guilty then they should absolutely be removed, we want to take evidence from everybody who was affected and we want to make sure this is taken seriously and to stop this practice we need to get rid of the bad apples from the crop."
The Labour MP confirmed that the potential of a governing body for wrestling will be looked at during the inquiry and that safety both at shows and in training schools, getting trainers and others to be DBS checked, is high on her list of things to look at.
Davies-Jones is hoping for the first draft of the inquiry to be done in January and hopes to speak to as many people as possible before the end of November.
Speaking about everyone feeling safe in the industry, from fans to performers, Davies-Jones said that was her priority, adding, "Yeah, safety's the big aim of the inquiry and of the group. We're a group of MPs who love wrestling, first and foremost, and we want to make British wrestling the best it can be, we want to make it safe for every body and have everyone enjoy british wrestling. Whatever we can do to support that we will do.
"I think the main thing is people know we're listening, someone has heard them, that's the most important thing, and I'm hoping we can make some improvements."
The MPs involved are all wrestling fans and it really sounds like they hope to make a difference.
The fans and performers who bravely came forward earlier this year may be asked to tell their stories again and maybe they can make a difference to how British wrestling is run.
The Inquiry is open and submissions can be sent until 27 November 2020 to [email protected]
Featured Image Credit: Oli Sandler/www.olisandler.co.uk
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