When 21CW debuted in 2001 with a cutting edge high-flying action-oriented product, they quickly gained alot of fans in the South and Midlands of the UK. Although a critical success, commercially they were a flop and struggled badly, under owner and founder Tyler Baker. Many people within 21CW knew it was going to be a tough battle heading into a car crash for them to survive and succeed. Baker tried his hardest, using his years of being a businessmen and his natural motivational speaking ability to push his workers on. However, in September 2006, on the brink of bankruptcy, they were taken over by UK celebrity Jeff Nova.
His vision was to take the Sports Entertainment style that had made SWF a global power and give it a uniquely English twist. He used his fame to get them a TV deal, gave the promotion a virtual makeover, and the result was a complete change in fortunes. Nova's vision and fresh injection into 21CW worked, they turned over a profit and for the first time had the UK taking notice of professional wrestling outside of North America. The promotion has gone from strength to strength, and for the first time ever the UK has a promotion that has the potential to make a genuine impact on world wrestling.
When 21CW first opened its doors in 2001, it offered London something that hadn't really seen before - Professional Wrestling up close and personal. This was wrestling without the glitz, without the glamour, it was straight up wrestling to find out who the better man was. However, it wasn't the traditional British Catch-as-Can style either, it was faster, more daring, it was Cutting Edge. It had been Tyler Baker's dream to own his own Wrestling Promotion, and with the money he had made from the Dental Industry, he did so.
When 21CW first opened, Arson Wells was one of its more established stars, before retiring from in-ring action in 2006 to concentrate on his announcing role, and rest his aging body. For 3 years he was 21CW main heel, with his pre-match work up of the crowd leaving them begging for him to get a good hiding.
For the most part 21CW had a small, close-knit roster that were used to working with each other. However, this would later be its own downfall as the crowds gradually grew tired of seeing the same faces every night.
2005 saw 21CW try to turn the boat around and regain some of the fans they had left behind.
Commissioning of TitlesEdit
Strangely, and probably another part of 21CW downfall in the early years, 21CW's first title wasn't commissioned until July 2005. It was put on the line at an invitational tournament, designed to both attract new wrestlers and new fans into the fleeting halls of London. The first ever 21st Century World Champion was Pit Bull Brown, Booker and long standing member of the 21CW roster.
However, the introduction of the title did help 21CW attract some new stars, Danny Patterson, Davey Celtic, Davey London, Johnny Highspot, Merle O'Curle, Rod 'The God' Todd, Stardust, Thunderbolt and Travis Cool all made their debuts leading up to the tournament and in the months afterwards. Most notably Rod 'The God' Todd gained a lot of heel heat for his highly controversial religious gimmick, that was fueled even more so when he started to team up with resident heel Arson Wells as 'The Prophets of Doom'.
The new Rookies took part in the race for the newly created 21CW Tag Titles in September 2005, which were won by Genocide and Suicide Agent, better known as The Elimination Agents, the long standing members of the 21CW roster.
And a month later at the next show, they competed in a chance to become the first ever 21st Century Strong Style Champion, a belt designed around pure wrestling, something 21CW had tried to deliver since day 1. The first champion was the relative new comer to 21CW, Merle O'Curle.
Despite the influx of new rookie talent, 21CW still struggled to recapture their original audience, who had since grown bored of the same faces and been caught up in the glitz and glamor of American Professional Wrestling - that was until Jeff Nova arrived.
The Arrival of Jeff NovaEdit
No one is 100% sure why or how Jeff Nova took over 21CW, though for several years, the Glasgow born Worlds Strongest Man, had made special appearances as Highland Warrior's tag team Partner in Men of Steel Combat. It's possible that Warrior advised Nova of the financial problems 21CW was having, and Nova took it upon himself to check it out. One thing was for certain though, Jeff Nova sat ringside during the invitational tournament that had crowned Pit Bull Brown as the 21st Century World Champion. It was only a few months later that he sat down with Tyler Baker and took over the company, injecting cash, a fresh look and a clear out of the roster.
Nova's roster clear out saw: Arson Wells, Aurora, Brilliant White, Danny Patterson, Johnny Highspot, Kevin Jordan, Merle O'Curle, Nick Adams, Stardust, Thunderbolt and Ultra Fly. No less the half of the roster was asked to leave and then replaced, as Nova started to rebrand and restyle 21CW. His idea was to bring all the style of America Wrestling over to the UK and give it a British Twist - he'd keep the same fast paced style that 21CW had been producing for the last 5 years, only now, he'd have camera's, backstage segments, interviews - PERSONALITY!
One of the last acts Tyler Baker did as Owner was ask Pit Bull Brown to drop the title to Red Dragon as a 'thank you' for working hard since the opening of 21CW. Pitbull dropped the title at the first show of 2006 to crown Dragon as the new champion, and only the second in the history of the promotion. However, Dragon's reign as Champion was almost the final nail in Baker's coffin, as attendances dropped even further. Many fans just didn't buy into Dragon being the Champion after someone as engaging and demanding as Pit Bull Brown.
Nova was quick to see this, and with a TV deal only weeks away Nova asked Pit Bull Brown to pick the title back up to start the new era. Brown defeated Dragon in May 2006 to become the Third and Two Time holder of the 21st Century World Title. Since that day Red Dragon has fallen down the card, some say his desire was sapped away, though it hasn't stopped him putting sound efforts in the ring.
The Arrival of TVEdit
Nova hounded the United Kingdom Broadcasting network, pulling in favours from hosting the Annual World's Strongest Man competition for them, until they eventually agreed to put 21CW on UK Broadcasting Digital. The show would be called 21CW Best of British Wrestling, and it would be the turning stone that 21CW needed kick start itself, earn some money and make British Wrestling a favorite across Britain once again.
The arrival of TV for 21CW saw a huge power shift happen within British Wrestling as Men of Steel Combat lost their hold and attraction, to the newer, more glamorous realm of 21CW and its TV show. It's not sure how Highland Warrior took it, losing some of his bright young talent to 21CW, after helping Jeff Nova into the wrestling world, and not to mention 21CW to him only a few years before. Ring of Fire lost some of its best stars to 21CW as well, as 21CW quickly became the #1 promotion in the UK.
The TV GenerationEdit
With 21CW gaining a TV Show Nova went about hiring talent from around the UK he thought would help create the product he was after. Initially he raided his Men of Steel Combat's roster once again of their charismatic talent, before turning his attention on Ring of Fire. Being the only promotion in the UK with a TV show was certainly a big drawing power to gain unique deals for some of the UK's top talent.
The Strong StyleEdit
Having only just created the Strong Style title in November 2005, it quickly became a popular title throughout 2006. It concentrated around the ability of real wrestlers, something 21CW had always aimed to deliver when it opened its doors. For most of 2006 two wrestlers would fight and complete for the title, Merle O'Curle and Rod 'The God' Todd. The pair would often go all out and put on the match of the card, when they'd compete against each other for the 21CW Strong Style Title. The two couldn't be any less alike then water and oil if they tried; O'Curle was a technical master, and some say the Title was created for him (though this is just heresay as Tyler Baker later said in an interview that title wasn't created for O'Curle), while Rod 'The God' Todd was a microphone master and something of a flashy wrestler. 'The God' would run his mouth before matches, getting the crowd interested enough, then O'Curle would carry the match with his in ring ability.
Retiring the Strong StyleEdit
Despite the internal success of the Strong Style Title, Nova's revamping saw him retire the belt that had became something of a 'cult' title amongst the die-hard fans of 21CW. However, there was no stronger way to stamp the word 'change' into 21CW then to drop this title, as it didn't embody the exciting American Sports Entertainment Style.
Some say that Nova didn't like the idea of the having a title with the word 'Strong' in it, as he thought people would believe it was a reference to his work with the World's Strongest Man competition. Others believe it was his own ego, that no one was stronger then him on the roster, so they didn't have any right to be a Champion of such a title. The following month the 21st Century United Kingdom Title made its debut, with Daniel Francis Black winning.
Tag Team DivisionEdit
Throughout 2006 the Tag Division, while small in numbers, also started to gain some interest from the fans. With 4 teams battling it out weekly for the Titles, The Elimination Agents, The Anglo-Scots Connection who had formed back in 2005 in the original battle for the tag titles, the newly debuted The Ivanoff Brothers, and finally long standing 21CW members The Party Animals. The 8 wrestlers would battle back and forth for weeks trying to gain #1 Contender Spot to face the Tag Champions, The Elimination Agents.
Towards the end of 2006 random attacks started to happen to workers in and around the arena before, after and during shows. No one was sure who was behind these attacks, until a calling card was left simply saying 'Assassin's Guild'.
Towards the end of 2007 Joss Thompson, Kathleen Lee and Leo Price formed 'The Takeover' a stable driven on success and determined to 'take over' 21CW. Driven by jealousy and rage at losing the 21st Century World title to Jonathon Faust, Thompson put about recruiting members to join him in a quest to, not only regain the 21st Century World title, but all the titles in 21CW and hold it to ransom. Thompson gained huge heel heat for his declaration with the crowd hating the idea of an American taking over the #1 Promotion in the UK. Thompson recruited Kathleen Lee as his Executive Consultant, her years of working on the British Wrestling scene giving him the cutting edge needed to maneuver himself into title shots. Next he recruited Leo Price, the suave Englishman who had joined 21CW in 2006. With Lee as their mouthpiece brokering deals for them, the stable went about trying to capture all the titles within 21CW.
- Founded: January 2001
- Founder: Tyler Baker
- Location: London, England
- Size: Cult
- Prestige: 25% (E)
- Money: USD $1,000,000
- Adam Matravers
- Black Francis
- Boris Celtic
- Davey London
- DJ Reason
- Genocide Agent
- Igorr Ivanoff
- Ivahn Ivanoff
- Jonathan Faust
- Joss Thompson
- Leo Price
- Louie Peyton
- Luke Cool
- Phillip Cooper
- Pit Bull Brown
- Red Dragon
- Rolling Johnny Stones
- Stefan Raynor
- Stevie Stoat
- Suicide Agent
- The Anglo-Scots Connection - Davey Celtic & Davey London
- The Assassins' Guild - Stefan Raynor & Louie Peyton
- The Elimination Agents - Genocide Agent * Suicide Agent
- The Ivanoff Brothers - Igor Ivanoff & Ivan Ivanoff
- The Takeover - Joss Thompson & Leo Price
Current title holders Edit
|Championship||Current Champion||Date won||Date aired|
|21st Century World Championship||Jonathan Fast||July 15 2007||July 15 2007|
|21st Century United Kingdom Championship||Black Francis||December 21 2007||December 21 2007|
|21st Century Strong Style Championship||Retired||October 31 2006||October 31 2006|
|21st Century Tag Team Championship||The Anglo-Scots Connection||July 15 2007||July 15 2007|