IPW:UK Owner Speaks Exclusively To PWMania On 8th Anniversary Show, WWE & More
Daniel Edler is a British wrestling promoter and owner of IPW:UK, based out of Kent in England. Coming up on November 17th is one of the biggest shows of his 8 years promoting events – it’s IPW:UK’s “8th Anniversary Show”. He takes the time out to speak exclusively with PWMania.com on why it’s going to be such an important event, working with Daniel Bryan, IPW:UK alumni in WWE and more.
Q: Having been involved in promoting British wrestling for the past 8 years, who have been some of the biggest names you’ve worked with?
A: Current WWE star Daniel Bryan did a few shows for us before being signed by the WWE a few years back and Antonio Cesaro is a former IPW:UK tag team champion. Being taken around a cemetery before one of our shows by Vampiro (filming his documentary) was a pretty once-in-a-lifetime situation (thankfully…!).
Evan Bourne, Harry ‘DH’ Smith and Samoa Joe all appeared for us in our early years and were tremendous, but having Ultimo Dragon on our shows was one of the most special moments in our 8 year history.
Ask me that question again this time next year and I’ll be able to rave to you about Martin Stone, Joel Redman and Pac, all of whom are IPW:UK alumni who are all now signed by the WWE. Watch this space!
Q: What are some of your major successes during the past 8 years?
A: Number 1 would probably have to be having a 12-week TV run on the now defunct Wrestling Channel on Sky TV a few years ago. It was great to see our shows, which were selling out and getting rave reviews, on TV. As anybody who ever meets me will know, I play a lot of poker with my spare time, and every Friday night at 11pm I’d generally be in a casino playing – having my wrestling product on the TV in the background was a surreal feeling.
Another one would be promoting the first ever PWG European Vacation (England) in 2006. The building sold out in advance and we probably had too many people in there. It was an absolutely amazing show with some amazing matches – I pop the DVD on every 6-9 months just to watch it through again.
Q: IPW:UK have been through some big changes recently – explain.
A: Yeah, that’s a fair way of putting it. When IPW:UK was born, we ran 40+ monthly shows in our then “home” venue of The Orpington Halls, but that venue was demolished in 2008. It was a really sucky situation – we’d gone from promoting sold out shows every month in our “home” venue(s) to having to re-establish ourselves in a different part of Kent, and I didn’t want to have to go through that process again. From the get go me and my team locally promoted and paid for every show, but it all became a bit tiring and I became really burnt out.
Our matchmaker at the time, Andy Quildan, took up the reigns of promoter and kept the IPW:UK name alive in a new venue in Sittingbourne, but after 3 years of shows there I had to make the tough decision to move IPW:UK back in the direction that we were going in when we were in our prime – The Orpington Halls days. This meant parting ways with somebody who had worked for us since our 6th ever show in July of 2005, but all for the greater good.
Q: When did that change take place and is there animosity there?
A: It happened during the middle part of last month (August 2012). A lot of people have asked me
that question – there’s no animosity on my part, but I get the feeling that the whole thing has been a bit of an ego bruiser for Andy, so I wouldn’t expect to be on his Christmas card list.
Q: What changes can we expect (if any) and who are going to be the stars of your upcoming shows?
A: The biggest change is just returning to our core values – promoting great wrestling events that cater to everybody. That’s always been the premise, but I think we lost sight of how to actually do that in the past couple of years. You come to an IPW:UK show and you’ll get the best heavyweights, the best high flyers, some comedy, some drama – everything inside of 6 or 7 matches and at affordable prices – now I’m back involved in a hands on capacity, I can guarantee it.
We’ve just announced the return of the British National Championship , a year-long tournament featuring 28 matches over the next 12 months to crown the #1 wrestler in England. Every show will be recorded for DVD release at ipwukshop.com, and you’ll see some of the best new British talent coming through from the IPW:UK Academy (http://www.ipwuktraining.com).
Making his debut for us on November 17th will be Rampage Brown, a huge British heavyweight . He was signed by the WWE and spent time over in Florida in their developmental system, but is back touring England (for now!) and will be entering the British National Championship tournament. His match will kick the whole thing off, in fact.
Q: Pick one name that the readers might not have heard before, but they should be on the lookout for in IPW:UK.
A: An easy one to go for would be Zack Sabre Jr, who has just started his 3rd tour of Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan. But that would be an easy one, so I’m going to instead point out Scottish wrestler Noam Dar. He recently wrestled for Adrian McCallum’s Pro Wrestling Elite in Ayr, Scotland against AJ Styles, and the praise that Styles lavished on Noam after the bout was incredible. He’s one to keep an eye on for the future without any doubt and he’ll be on every single IPW:UK show his scheduled allows.
Q: And finally, sell IPW:UK to fans reading about you for the first time, either in Britain or Internationally.
A: The best way for me to sell IPW:UK to fans would be to invite them to come and see a show in person. The British wrestling scene has been on the increase for years, and many of our best talents are now reaching their peak abilities all at the same time. Check out our website, http://www.ipwuk.com and like us Facebook. We promote mostly in Kent, which is only 15-20 minutes on a train outside of London.