Thank You, Eddie

I got the news late on Sunday, and this would be a good place to talk about it.

If you’ve been around my blog for a bit, you know I’ve talked about the indie British wrestling scene AKA BritWres multiple times, usually in the context of film and a Top 7 list at one time. Some of you might remember the name Eddie Dennis mentioned here a few times. For those that don’t know or remember, Eddie Dennis is a pro wrestler from Swansea, Wales, who was a mainstay in the BritWres scene for 17 years and at one point was in the WWE’s NXT UK developmental program until late last year. He was the subject of a couple of short documentaries, including one I watched and reviewed called Eddie Dennis: A 5 Year Old’s Dream. Feel free to check it out here (the review even links to the doc, which you can watch for free). Dennis got some mainstream attention in the UK (especially his home country of Wales) for quitting his job as a teacher to wrestle full-time.

That changed last Sunday when he announced his retirement from in-ring competition. It legitimately shocked me since I saw some of his matches since returning to the indie scene at Progress, Riot Cabaret, MDRN NMD, etc.

I wasn’t a wrestling fan at first, even though I watched a little bit of it online, but watching that documentary was a rabbit hole that intrigued me about the scene. In my opinion, it was way more interesting than the mainstream American stuff with the more technical in-ring prowess, unique presentation, and eventually the improvement of the diversity of the scene outside of America. Not only that but some other wrestlers I support were trained by him. Some examples include Chuck Mambo (who was also in that same documentary), Roy Johnson, Warren Banks, David Francisco, Michael Oku/The OJMO, Levi Muir, and many others. Eddie broke the stereotype of most pro wrestlers by being intelligent and not looking like a steroid freak. Sure, he’s four inches taller than me and more muscular than I am, but he seems normal, even with the sleeve tattoos (nothing wrong with that). He comes off like a reasonable person in real life, and I respect him for not just being selfless in the wrestling business, but I also respected him more as a human being around the time of the George Floyd protests when he showed genuine allyship against racism on Twitter. That even goes the same for when #SpeakingOut happened which was a very dark time in BritWres, let alone the international scene at large. I was even surprised when he bothered to talk to this random American reviewer of obscure movies from and series where I messaged him on a whim not long after I reviewed his documentary. Keep in mind, this guy was just starting out in the WWE around the time I emailed him, let alone when the doc was released months prior to said review…

It was amazing that he appreciated my thoughts on that documentary, and I bought a t-shirt after the fact. I liked the tributes various wrestlers have been doing for Eddie. I thought he was a great all-rounder by mixing up powerhouse, technical, striking, and occasional high-flying, he was good on the mic, and was effective in playing both a face and a heel for the right reasons. He also co-founded the Defend Indy Wrestling clothing company with fellow Welsh wrestler/tag team partner Mark Andrews and current English wrestler Pete Dunne…or Butch if you only watch Raw and/or Smackdown. Let me mention some of his accolades in his 17-year career:

4X Attack! 24/7 Champion
2X Attack! Champion
One to Watch Trophy Champion (South Coast Wrestling)
TXW Champion
Knights of Chaos Champion w/ Alex Steele as The Steele Dragons (Pro Wrestling Chaos Tag Team Championships)
King of Chaos Champion (Pro Wrestling Chaos Heavyweight Champion)
Inaugural Progress Tag Team Champion w/ Mark Andrews as FSU (Fun Fact: Both Eddie and Mark are the first Welsh wrestlers to win Progress gold)
Progress World Champion (Fun Fact: Pete Dunne/Butch, Walter/Gunther, Big Damo FKA Killian Dain, Jonathan Gresham, and Will Ospreay have won that same title, to name a few.)

Eddie, if you ever read this, thank you for your tenure in the BritWres scene and for doing your best to make your dreams come true. I don’t know if you’ll still be training the next generation of wrestlers, going back to teaching, or doing something completely different, but I hope whatever you do gives you joy and peace. I’m glad you have other wrestlers and fans who appreciate you as a talent and as a human being.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Eddie!

Here are some matches for you to check out.

I know I’ve used this link before, but I’ve got three words: Pokemon Cosplay Wrestling!

All photos are property of their respective owners and are used under US “Fair Use” laws.

The screenshot is from Demand Progress and is property of Progress Wrestling.

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