Ringside with Haskins and Winter
IMPACT WRESTLING comes to you this week from Wembley Arena in London, England. We're excited to see the reception the great British fans have for the wrestlers and Knockouts, as the country is rich with pro wrestling tradition. British wrestlers like Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki and "Exotic" Adrian Street entertained fans throughout the UK for years. In fact, Big Daddy, considered the most popular wrestler in the history of Britain, had a fan in Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher!
Let's take a look at some of the other battling Brits -- two members of the IMPACT WRESTLING roster who hail from the other side of the pond.
Hometown: Chelsea, West London, England
No women's wrestler in the history of Britain has accomplished as much in the United States as Winter, and IMPACT WRESTLING fans have fallen under her spell.
She was born in Germany and came to London at 18, where she studied under Alex Shane in Britain's Frontier Wrestling Alliance. She worked in FWA from her 2002 debut until 2006, when she left to join Ohio Valley Wrestling, which is now a training and development territory for TNA.
During her tenure in OVW, she reigned as the Women's Champion for over 200 days after finishing off Beth Phoenix in a gauntlet match. She and Phoenix would feud through much of 2006.
Winter would debut for TNA in August 2010 where she put a spell on Angelina Love, and seemed to have one of The Beautiful People in her complete control. The two were Knockouts Tag Team Champions for approximately three months. Last year, Winter became the first British Knockouts Champion in history when she defeated Mickie James at Hardcore Justice. She would repeat as champion, again after beating Mickie, a little over a month later.
Winter lost the Knockouts Championship at Bound For Glory this past October, but with her wicked determination mind-bending abilities, it may only be a matter of time before she captures the gold again.
Hometown: Farington, Oxon, England
At the tender age of 23, Mark Haskins is a can't miss prospect who is already turning heads
across TNA's highly competitive X Division.
For one of the sport's young lions, Haskins is well-traveled, having seasoned his game in Dragon Gate in their English debut and later with a tour of Japan. It was with Dragon Gate in his hometown of Farington where he teamed with Bison Smith against Kotaro Suzuki and the late Japanese wrestling legend Mitsuharu Misawa.
"It was just days before my 20th birthday," Haskins told Slam! Sports. "In front of my family, my friends and I was stood across the ring from one of the all time greats of the business."
Haskins made his debut in TNA during the European tour in January of 2011, and his signing with the company was announced on August 18. He's held singles and tag team championship across England, and surely has his sight on Austin Aries and the X Division Championship.
Haskins has already had great matches with Brian Kendrick, Alex Shelley, and Douglas Williams. With his intensity and high-risk style, there's no question that Mark Haskins has a bright future in TNA.
Image Courtesy: TNA Entertainment