By Dustin T. Hull
This season of British Boot Camp has proven to be a successful venture. Jeremy Borash recently spoke with Dixie Carter in a great interview, and one of the things she stated was that the numbers for Boot Camp 2 surpassed the expectations and results from the first season. She made note of a few facts that the three finalists are facing, most notably the Rockstar Spud element. His success is such a high bar to reach, but that means Dixie must be wise in her decision as to who will be this year’s winner. Here’s my view of the three finalists she has to choose from.
While his freestyle skills might have impressed the judges, the fast paced action of this 22-year-old from Cardiff, Wales is equally as impressive. What he lacks in height and weight, he makes up for with a high petrol injected style that is fully captivating. In the 8-man tag, his portion with Noam Dar seemed like a throwback to the original days of the X Division: the “don’t blink” mentality.
He has a natural charisma on screen and his ability makes me feel that he would be comfortable working with Tigre Uno as easily as he would work with Low Ki or Manik. He has the building blocks to be a future mainstay in the X Division, but I don’t see his stock – based off a small sample size admittedly – rising beyond that of Austin Aries or AJ Styles in the past. That's not a bad thing to me because he has the ability to shine as a centerpiece of the X Division moving forward, based on his impressive in-ring style alone.
With the look of a man you wouldn’t want to cross, this 31-year-old from Leeds is explosive in the ring. After the second episode, a lot was left to the imagination for his ability to talk to the audience, but that was proven a fallacy when he purposely walked out and cut a promo for the live crowd. Brown has an impressive look, but is more than just a body. He has an explosive amount of power in his moves. If you don’t believe me, go back and watch that match with Mastiff. He fits in with the current heavyweight division, and I feel he could have some great matches with the likes of MVP, Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe and Lashley.
His in-ring will definitely get the wrestling purists behind him, but with a micro sample to work with, I am unsure of his ability to hook those who are more captivated by a story with a microphone. Don’t get me wrong, this man can tell a hell of a story with his matches alone, but I am concerned that he could just as easily end up as the “Bad Bones” John Klinger of this season. If given time, I think he has the ability to not only prove me wrong, but shove that comparison down my throat, stomp on my head, and laugh the entire time he is making me look foolish.
KAY LEE RAY
The first thing many noticed when they were introduced to the 22-year-old from Glasgow, Scotland was the fiery red hair. Her kind-hearted story warmed people’s hearts, only to have them step back when they watched her perform. Her four-way match was definitely a highlight this season. Kay Lee Ray is one the internet fans have heard about, but those who might not be aware of a certain “Miss X-Factor” will still be impressed by the style she works. I hear people say she resembles Lita, but I would compare her more with Jeff Hardy.
Incorporating her style into the Knockout Division would be as easy as it was for Havok. Ray has a unique ability that sets her apart from the rest of the roster. Pairing her as the underdog against Havok, the rookie against Angelina, or even the student against Gail… Any of these potential pairings could prove successful. I feel the division is ripe for this addition, and this young star has the talent to make it work. The biggest concern for many would be her accent when she is on the microphone. For me, I think she is young enough to catch onto the subtle nuances and her fan pleasing in-ring action will automatically connect her with any crowd.
If it was up to me, I would pick Kay Lee Ray. The Knockouts have that position open for her to come in and make an instant impact. With such a massive success in Rockstar Spud from Season 1, making this choice to pick the performer that is most needed gives them the best shot at continuing the success we have seen from this competition. Ultimately, Dixie will make the decision she feels is the best fit, which I am fully confident in. After all, she chose to bring in Rockstar Spud, and I DARE anyone out there to explain how that was not the best choice possible.
Check out our partners at Talk TNA Podcast, and follow Dustin on Twitter @MrDRG_WIR