Since the early years of World of Sport with Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki, Mick McManus, Robbie Brookside and Johnny Saint to the world travellers of The Dynamite Kid, British Bulldog Davey Boy Smith, Dave ‘Fit’ Finley, William Regal to the new breed of Will Ospreay, Marty Scurll, Zack Sabre Jnr, Jimmy Havoc and Pete Dunne, there’s been us, the fans, watching, witnessing pro wrestling at its most entertaining.
In the middle of these events, these electric moves is one man, one site, one wrestling fan who sees what we don’t always see. They are the mistakes, the fluffs, the botches. We here at The Moshville Times managed to catch up with the creator of Botchamania, Matthew Gregg.
Botchamania is a site followed around the world to see what sometimes we don’t see. This is the new age It’ll Be Alright On The Night and Matthew Gregg is this generation’s Denis Norden or Griff Rhys-Jones.
Explain your website Botchamania – how you started it, what it’s about and the response you’ve had since its creation?
Botchamania started off as something to pass the time when I was bored as an excuse to watch more wrestling. It’s a video series celebrating wrestling mistakes, bloopers and fluffs often scored to video game music. It started off as a weird-yet-understood thing but has been going for so long that many people (and wrestlers) have to come to accept that it’s never going to end. There’s still many that see it as disrespectful but as long as the love/hate ratio is in my favour, I’m OK.
What is your favourite Botchamania feature?
Probably extending the life-span of the series by introducing silly-edited endings, mixing pop culture (well nerdy shows and video games) to the end which prevented the series from becoming too stagnant. My favourite clip is The Shockmaster, who was a wrestler making his debut as a major new guy but promptly fell through the wall he was supposed to smash and fell over, dropping his mask.
There’s been a growing underground scene in the UK for some time. Why do you think it isn’t back on mainstream television in the UK?
From the perspective of a fan, I think what translates to a niche (although substantial) audience isn’t the same as what translates to mass appeal on TV. The different indie companies around the UK get to have their vision uncompromised and pay close attention to what their fans want, two things that likely couldn’t be controlled if it was in the hands of a TV corporation. Plus TV’s idea of mainstream wrestling isn’t exactly thrilling, the World of Sport pilot was over-edited and over-produced. They probably would have CGI’d the wrestlers into the matches if they could have.
What was the first wrestling match you saw?
First match I ever saw was a Butlins match involving the UK Undertaker. He did the whole retro entrance with a fog machine and everything. All the kids went nuts, all the parents laughed their arses off.
Which wrestler got you hooked?
First wrestler to get me hooked was Bret Hart. He was my childhood hero next to Jesus and Sonic The Hedgehog.
Have you had any comebacks from the videos on your website?
Only a few, surprisingly. The best one was from Joe Gacy who asked on Twitter ”How do you know what is and isn’t a botch?” and I replied ”By watching your matches.” So for a while people thought I was funny.
Which UK pro wrestlers would you tell readers to look out for and why?
Oh hell, how long do I have? Trent Seven, Jimmy Havoc, Viper, Prince Ameen, Bird & Boar… I could type all day. It doesn’t matter what genre of wrestler you’re into, there’s something for you to enjoy.
Why do you think wrestling and metal have a connection?
They’re both two forms of escapism covered in violence, manliness and beards. They’re both fine when cheesy too.
Now, some music questions… In your opinion, what is the best album ever made and why?
Easy, Faith No More’s Angel Dust. I listened to that album when my house was being re-structured so nearly everything was in storage or covered in plastic, but I had that album on a portable CD player. I remember the first moment I pressed play, expecting something that sounded like Chuck Mosley-ish funk and instead I got sleep deprivation mixed with hell. Such a staggeringly beautiful, evil little album. I want “Midnight Cowboy” playing at my funeral so I know The Void will be bopping its head.
Is there a band you haven’t seen, but have always wanted to?
AC/DC. Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap was the first album I bought with my own money. I love the classic rock bands that are still touring but no band is worth £200+ by themselves, kiss my arse.
What track would you have as your ring walk?
Being a puny frigger, I’d have something daft like the pause theme from Battletoads. But if I was made from girders like some of these wrestlers, I’d have “N.W.O”. by Ministry.
Scenario. You are the manager of five wrestlers. These wrestlers form a band. Which wrestlers would be in this band and what would the name of the band be?
This is like a Blind Date question. I’d pick Roman Reigns on bass because he’s got long hair and a goatee so he’s halfway there, Scott Steiner on drums because he’s got arms like legs (and legs like people), Jim Cornette on vocals as he wouldn’t need a mic, Brock Lesnar on security and Big Show as a roadie so we can throw the equipment off the stage quickly.
If you could describe yourself in the form of a fictional character, who would it be?
Boris Grishenko, the hacker from Goldeneye who got lucky enough to meet some exciting guys during his work. Then die horribly.
You’ve been given full control of a wrestling event of three matches. Who are your six wrestlers? They can be wrestlers from the past, present or future prospects you think we should know about.
Oof, good question. Scott Steiner circa 1991 vs. Matt Riddle, Randy Savage circa 1987 vs. Zandig and Brock Lesnar vs. James Ellsworth, just for a laugh.
Along with this event, you’re allowed to choose two bands to perform. Who would you hire and why?
Rammstein because I’ve seen them twice and it wasn’t enough. And The Refused so I can be one of those two million people that can claim to have seen them when they were actually around playing tiny venues.
What can we all expect from you for the rest of 2017 and in 2018?
Hopefully still motivated and pumping content people care about. If not that, then enjoying the finest in spiced rums and meeting new and crazier fans at shows.