While the recent talk has been surrounding the vitality of the British wrestling scene now that NXT UK is signing performers to more exclusive deals, what has failed to get a lot of attention are the new promotions that have popped up in the United Kingdom over the past year such as Breed Wrestling, Courage Wrestling, Frontline Pro Wrestling and WrestleGate. These promotions have not only helped grow British wrestling, but have also provided a launching point for some of the new names who are poised to take over the main event scene come 2019.
One of these promotions, Fight Forever Wrestling, just had its debut show on Thursday night. Loaded with top British and global talent, Fight Forever is in the midst of a four-day tour of shows in order to properly launch the company. At the first show, FFW Phenomena, from Birmingham, Fight Forever crowned its first men and women’s champions, Flip Gordon and Millie McKenzie. Combined, the two have just five years of wrestling experience, which is somewhat hard to believe given the path both have been on this year. Despite being relatively new to the industry, both Gordon and McKenzie have already found themselves as top names to watch going forward. The two are rising stars and both no doubt, have bright futures ahead of them.
Millie McKenzie Wins Fourth Title of 2018
— Millie Mckenzie (@MillieMcKenzie0) December 7, 2018
Wrestling for just two years, the 18-year-old Millie McKenzie has absolutely lit BritWres on fire over the past year. And that shouldn’t be a surprise given McKenzie counts Pete Dunne and Travis Banks, two of the top names in the industry, among her trainers.
McKenzie began her career with Full Force Wrestling in April 2016. In her first year, she also wrestled for Monmouthshire Championship Wrestling and Ironfist Wrestling, where she won her first women’s championship against Bea Priestley and Lana Austin, just a few months after her debut. The following year, McKenzie started to break through into the heart of the British wrestling scene, taking part in matches with PROGRESS, Fight Club: PRO, DEFIANT, Pro-Wrestling: EVE and International Pro Wrestling United Kingdom among others.
This past year however, was really McKenzie’s coming out party. She continued to work heavily throughout the British indies, upping her match total from 44 a year prior to 106 and counting in 2018. McKenzie became a fixture at several top companies including PROGRESS, DEFIANT (where is a former women’s champion), EVE, FCP and ATTACK! Pro Wrestling, working 10+ matches for each. Additionally, in 2018, McKenzie took part in several well-known tournaments including Femmes Fatales, Queen of the Ring and the SHE-1, and has now won four titles, including two of which, the Kamikaze Pro Tag Team Championship (alongside Chief Deputy Dunne) and Fight Forever Women’s World Championship she currently holds.
McKenzie also added Westside Xtreme Wrestling, Southside Wrestling Entertainment, Revolution Pro Wrestling, The Wrestling Revolver (where she won the tag team championship alongside Pete Dunne) and most notably, WWE to her resume. McKenzie took part in the NXT UK tournament to crown the first-ever women’s champion and has worked two additional matches as part of NXT UK tapings.
At Fight Forever, McKenzie had no easy task, needing to defeat Viper and Kay Lee Ray, perhaps the two best women on the UK scene not signed to WWE, in order to win the belt. In her first title defense, at FFW Deep Red, McKenzie retained her title in another triple threat, this time against Viper and Bea Priestley. She’ll face Priestley, Viper and Brandi Rhodes in a four way at FFW Inferno and against Priestley, Ray and Lana Austin at FFW Trauma to end the tour.
Flip Gordon’s International Success Continues
FIGHT FOREVER‼️ pic.twitter.com/N4x9mfaH4S
— uopɹo⅁ dıןℲ ? (@TheFlipGordon) December 8, 2018
For some reason, be it off the coast of the Bahamas or in the West Midlands of England, the soon-to-be 27-year-old Flip Gordon has been having a lot of success lately wrestling outside of the U.S. First, was the Sea of Honor tournament, which Gordon won aboard Chris Jericho’s Rock’N’Wrestling Rager at Sea, granting him a yet to be used, Ring of Honor world title shot. Then, came the Fight Forever Men’s World Championship, which Gordon won by defeating Rampage Brown in a ladder match.
A former member of the Army National Guard, Gordon’s pro wrestling career began in 2015 with Brian Fury‘s Chaotic Wrestling. Staying mainly local in and around the New England area, Gordon also wrestled for Beyond Wrestling, Limitless Wrestling, Xtreme Wrestling Alliance and Northeast Wrestling in his first year on the circuit. By 2016, Gordon’s profile began to expand as he became a regular for CW, where he is a former New England Champion and NEW, where he is former heavyweight champion. He also added promotions such as EVOLVE, Game Changer Wrestling, New York Wrestling Connection and Combat Zone Wresting to his resume.
Gordon joined ROH in April 2017. He took part in that year’s Honor Rumble, was involved in Survival of the Fittest, had the most high-profile match of his career against Will Ospreay and faced other big names including Jonathan Gresham, Matt Sydal, Dalton Castle, Hangman Page and Marty Scurll. Gordon also began an association with Bullet Club as he became someone who the boys liked to do not-so-harmless ribs against. This led to Gordon becoming a regular on Being the Elite, a show where he is currently the only non-Bullet Club/Elite member to actually receive billing in the credits. In addition to ROH, Gordon made debuts for Consejo Mundial De Lucha Libre, The Crash, SWE, WrestleCircus, Over the Top Wrestling, RPW, PCW Ultra, CHIKARA, AAW: Professional Wrestling Redefined, House of Glory, wXw and DEFY in 2017 just to name a few.
Much like McKenzie, by 2018, Gordon had fully broken out. He reached the finals of the King of the Indies tournament and most notably, took part in his first-ever Best of the Super Juniors for New Japan Pro Wrestling. This was a huge opportunity for Gordon to showcase his talent in front of a tough, well-versed wrestling audience and he managed to come away with a respectable six points.
Also notably in 2018, Gordon came to prominence thanks to an angle ran by Being the Elite that revolved around the Army veteran unable to get booked for All In because Cody kayfabe hated his guts. The #BookFlip hashtag was born and Gordon eventually got the last laugh, disguising himself to win the Over Budget Battle Royale on All In: Zero Hour, an opportunity which granted him his first ROH world title match later that night, against Jay Lethal. Gordon earned Lethal’s respect and would soon earn the rest of the ROH locker room’s during his recent and ongoing feud with Bully Ray. In the midst of all this, ROH signed Gordon to a three-year exclusive contract.
In his first defense with the FFW title, Gordon defeated Mark Haskins. He’ll face Jimmy Havoc for the title at FFW Inferno and will defend against Joe Hendry at FFW Trauma to end Fight Forever’s first tour.