A new report published today by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wrestling urged Holyrood to help support Scotland’s wrestling industry and pay tribute to those who have excelled in it.
This All-Party Parliamentary Inquiry was commissioned by Alex Davies-Jones MP and Mark Fletcher MP, Co-Chairs of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Wrestling.
The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland is a non-profit entity founded in 2015 to preserve the heritage of the Scottish professional wrestling industry.
Set up to celebrate the “performance art, science and sport” of professional wrestling, the report labels it part of Scotland’s “cultural fabric”, and demands support from the Government.
It explains: “It achieves this mission through a series of annual public ceremonies dedicated to the celebration of each nominated inductee.
“Typically, these services occur at historic wrestling venues which were relevant to the career of the selected recipient.
“Each ceremony is hosted by the figurehead of the local authority relevant to the induction location and culminates with the presentation of a commemorative plaque.
“The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame for Scotland is an excellent initiative; one we recommend the Scottish Government should officially recognise and support.
“We hope that with support from across Great Britain this might be expanded further, preserving and appropriately memorialising great British wrestling talents and will engage the Department for Culture, Media and Sport about this.”
The report, which is the first parliamentary inquiry into professional wrestling, also claims both Westminster and Holyrood failed to support the industry properly during the pandemic.
The report explains this was because while theatrical, the key Arts body in England still sees it as a sport.
It says: “Unfortunately, the historic difficulty in classifying professional wrestling meant that when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the Government, through no fault of its own, found itself in a difficult position having to advise promotions and training schools what to do.
“According to Scottish promotion ICW, the position in that devolved administration was similarly unhappy."
The report also raises concerns over Wrestling’s issues with sexual abuse in the industry, and calls for the hardwiring of the voice of abuse survivors into British wrestling, the development of practical guides for first responders and working to establish case management systems to address allegations of abuse.
It also demands more protections for minors in training schools and that wrestling coaches be considered sports coaches.
Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston said: "The Government welcomes the APPG's report and will be carefully considering its findings.
"We want to see a successful wrestling industry for its participants and many fans right across the country."
Shadow Sports Minister Alison McGovern MP said: “This is a detailed report covering both the performance and sporting aspects of wrestling that many love dearly, but which also have long standing issues that need attention.
"The APPG have done a great piece of work here, and I hope DCMS will look at it closely.”
SNP MSP Annabel Ewing said: "If re-elected, the SNP would be happy to support anything that preserves the heritage of the Scottish professional wrestling industry - something I now know more about after a recent twitter mix-up with WWE legend Mick Foley."