In sad news, Defiant Wrestling announced they are closing their doors today after three years.
Defiant Wrestling, formerly known as What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW), is a British independent wrestling promotion founded in May of 2016 by the staff of WhatCulture Wrestling. It provided a home for wrestling in Newcastle during the growth of indie wrestling in the UK.
On Sep. 19, 2017, the company revealed that most of the notable on-air personalities from WhatCulture were leaving to pursue other ventures. In the following month, Stu Bennett joined the promotion as the new General Manager, and they changed their name to Defiant Wrestling.
What made Defiant’s humble beginnings so fascinating is that the promotion completely embraced internet wrestling culture in a way that no one else had at the time. You can sort of see its influences in what All Elite Wrestling is doing today.
The Defiant Women’s Championship has a short history, but it was instrumental in the careers of notable names like Bea Priestley and Nixon Newel, better known as Tegan Nox. Priestley, in particular, has grown leaps and bounds since her time with them as a two-time Defiant Women’s Champion.
Before she became the self-proclaimed “top gaijin” and World of Stardom Champion, her popularity really grew with the company.
It’s hard to deny there is some correlation between this news and WWE’s presence in the UK. However, this news can be attributed to more than one factor. This may not spell gloom and doom for other promotions, but this is no doubt disappointing for their fans and employees.
The company made wrestling accessible to a fanbase that didn’t have the opportunity to see such big names in their hometown. As noted, it also presented a stage for up-and-coming talent, so it made a positive mark on wrestling.
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