There is no debate that 2016 served as a true breakout year for British Wrestling. The likes of Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr, Pete Dunne & Trent Seven, to name but a few, not only made a name for themselves but also put the UK wrestling scene on the map. Aside from the aforementioned names, there is possibly one other man who can be deemed responsible for having a bigger single contribution to the British wrestling scene, albeit most of his contributions took place outside of the UK. That man is none other than “The Villain” Marty Scurll.
Scurll had quite possibly the best year of his professional career in 2016. He became the second ever British wrestler to win the prestigious PWG BOLA tournament, signed with American promotion Ring of Honor (don’t worry folks it’s a deal which means we still get to see him in the UK) and then winning the Ring of Honor Television Title in just his third match with the company. Add in some incredible in-ring performances against Zack Sabre Jr, Jimmy Havoc and Will Ospreay and it’s hard to argue that he wasn’t the most successful British Wrestler in 2016.
But with such a stacked year, and with the mind-set of a casual observer deeming you only as good as your last match, how does Scurll continue his incredible momentum into 2017 and look to eclipse such a historic year?
First and foremost I think that he needs to be given a good prolonged push in ROH and I have to say that I am very encouraged by the platform that they have given him since joining the promotion in November. He is getting regular TV time in the States and has been scheduled for upcoming PPV’s, performing against some of the very best that ROH have to offer. I certainly think that says a lot about the vision that the company have to push him as one of their major heels. In a somewhat unsettling time for the promotion (with lots of its talent’s contracts coming up to expiry) it is imperative that they hang on to their stars – they certainly have a star on their hands with Scurll.
Secondly, and in a way linked to the first point, Scurll needs to work to keep a major Title belt on him for the majority of the year. Be it the Television Title or the World Title it would be a huge boost to his brand in the States and would certainly keep him interested in sticking around with the promotion. By no means am I suggesting that Scurll would depart if he was without a Belt, but merely stating that a long run as a Champion in a major promotion ticks another box in his ongoing list of accomplishments.
Maintaining his presence as a Champion also opens up the opportunity for cross promotional match-ups and this leads on to point three, which is getting his brand across in Japan. It’s perhaps one of the only areas in which we are yet to see his “Villain” character shine. If you were to back only one man to get himself over in front of a, sometimes hostile, Japanese crowd, look no further. Having proven his place amongst the upper echelon of Western talent, it would also only improve his skillset/mind-set/ring psychology throwing himself in there against some of the very best that Japan have to offer.
With such an impressive year behind him, it is going to be extremely difficult for “The Villain” to surpass it in 2017. However, if there is one man or rather one “Villain” who you would back to perform such an act, that man is Marty Scurll.