As a wrestling fan, I feel under-represented by the WWE roster. Hold your horses. Don’t back slowly away from the page. I’m not about to go on another immense ‘women in the workplace’ rant. This feeling of being left out relates to my nationality. I know what you’re thinking… “What’s her beef? There are plenty of British born wrestlers in the WWE!” True, there’s Drew McIntyre, Finlay, Layla, William Regal, The Burchills, Alesha Fox etc. And to satisfy my Celtic blood further, I also have Sheamus. WWE champion, no less.
But what about my Welshness? It’s as important as my Britishness but Wales is always the poor relation to Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland. While in America, it’s all I can do to maintain my polite exterior as I’m asked “Which part of England is Wales in?” AAAAARGH! I’ve also been asked on several occasions if I’m Australian, which is weird. No, I’m not an Aussie, but I want to go Sydney sooooo baaaad! I digress. You could say that a small province stuck to the side of England and with a population of three million people has no right to representation on a global wrestling product. That would be a fair deduction, I suppose. Thankfully for me and the other 2,999,999 people in this strange little place, Vince McMahon thinks otherwise. This, my friends, is Barri Griffiths:
Fabulous, isn’t he? And yes, you’re right, he does look like a younger, more handsome Dave Batista. He’s Welsh. VERY Welsh. He speaks the Welsh language AS HIS FIRST LANGUAGE. That’s huge. I speak fluent Welsh and spent every day from the age of 4-18 in Welsh medium education. But being dirty, filthy, Cardiff kids, everyone at my school spoke English at every opportunity; much to the despair of all our teachers.
So why am I telling you about this guy? Because he’s been signed to a developmental contract with the WWE and he’s making his way over to Florida this month to begin his amazing new life as an employee of the McMahons. I’m sure he’s very excited, but surely not as giddy as I am. Ok, maybe he’s a bit more excited than I am. Just a dash.
I’ve never paid a huge amount of attention to FCW, but from this month onwards that all changes. Barri’s not on the roster page of the website yet, but he needs to settle into the Florida way of life and get some training under his belt before stepping in front of an audience. Not that Bazza’s any stranger to an audience. He was ‘Goliath’ on the 2009 UK Gladiators……..
…… and he’s wrestled locally. Although, he’s been going by the name ‘The Celtic Warrior’, so that’ll have to go. Unless he ends up in a feud against Sheamus where they battle it out for who gets to keep that prestigious moniker. Oooh and he could come out in Welsh flag trunks and drop whole sentences of our mother tongue into his promos the way Rey Mysterio drops Spanish into his. Then again, we could have some kind of Celtic Alliance where Drew McIntyre, Sheamus and Barri team up together………I’m getting ahead of myself. Observe his wrestling while I relocate reality:
Admittedly, 99% of people won’t have a clue what he’s saying, but in this next video he’s basically telling the story of how he was signed to his WWE contract and how he’s looking forward to moving to Florida. This video is from Uned5 (pronounced ee-ned-pimp) which is a daily TV show for teenagers on S4C, the only Welsh language TV channel. If you live in the UK, think of it as a less trendy version of T4 but a cooler version of Blue Peter. Got it? Sidenote: I was actually in the same year in high school as one of the girls who hosts this televisual gem, though as she was in the ‘cool-rugby-players-and-their-girlfriends’ group, and I just wanted to be, I doubt she’d remember me. Enough of my pitiful high school years, let’s get back to Barri. Watch and be transfixed:
And if you want another one, click here. Again, it’s in Welsh but it’s my favourite of the lot. Unfortunately it can’t be embedded, but in this one he takes part in a quiz about himself, two teenage girls struggle to stay composed in his presence and he reveals that he’s actually got red hair and eyebrows which he dyes black. Oh and his favourite meal is tuna and broccoli. Riveting stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Just in case Barri happens to be reading this….. Pob lwc i ti yn yr UDA. Da ni’n edrych ymlaen i dy weld ar y teledu. Ddangosa i’r byd beth mae’r Gymraeg wedi eu wneud o. Cariad mawr o Gaerdydd!
There will be more on this young man. Oh yes, there will be more. Stay tuned.