BRITISH WRESTLING COMPANY LUCHA FOREVER ARE TO NO LONGER PROMOTE WRESTLING EVENTS, EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY.
Lucha Forever co-owner Ryan Smile released a statement on their website and social media outlets that will be closing its doors for good.
“As 2017 is set to close out, there have been many questions and speculations regarding the future of Lucha Forever in 2017 and beyond into 2018.
We can officially confirm that as of December 2017 Lucha Forever Wrestling Ltd will no longer be a trading company. This affects any listed events going forward unless stated otherwise within this statement. This is no decision made lightly, but a decision made correct in light of the current state of the company.
Our aim with this statement is to provide much needed insight into the events and situations that have led to this decision and to again as noted above to provide much needed information on how this may affect any other persons involved, fans, staff and talent.
In an effort to be completely frank regarding this decision, simply put, our business plans and product proved to be unsustainable. When launching Lucha Forever we never dreamed it would of populated as quick as it did. We picked up some immense traction and seemingly started to run before we could walk. We ran so much that even once the company slowed down to a light ‘jog’ so to speak, it had already worn itself down.
There were many times where I, myself, personally should of perhaps stood in and pumped the brakes, but I constantly felt a drive to continue and to push forward, a decision that in hindsight I wish I could have been more alert to sooner. When you put all of your energy, be it mental, physical or financial into something, you grow an emotional connection to it, this can blur the reality at times and as sad as it is to have to type such a statement, I also have to take responsibility.
The truth is, is that as a private limited company unable to continue trading, we could exploit our options to liquify this company and walk away, however I want to ensure that before I do that, that I put everything right.”
Smile also states that he will ensure that any outstanding dates they were to run will be filled by other UK promotions, and they will keep their on-demand service open until March 2018, where that will also move over to another existing on-demand service. (UPDATE: IPW:UK have confirmed they will run the Manchester dates in 2018.)
The biggest question is, however, money. At the tail end of this year, a host of Lucha Forever events were cancelled with people not receiving refunds and several members of staff and talent not being paid. Smile addresses this by saying he will be sorting a timetable to refund and pay everyone affected in the next seven days. They will also be hosting a question and answer session on their twitter site to answer any outstanding questions, before closing their social media down as well.
Lucha Forever was a promotion co-run by wrestlers Ryan Smile and Will Ospreay which started seven months ago with a number of high profile events, reaching its apex with a huge show in London with Pro Wrestling NOAH star Naomichi Marufuji wrestling in the UK for the first time in ten years.
But now, with cancelled events and seemingly no communication between the promotion, the talent, and the fans; the end of Lucha Forever comes as no surprise to many.
Photos: © Oli Sandler / The Ringside Perspective