Now if you’ve seen my bio, you know Jimmy Havoc is my favourite indy wrestler right now and in my top 5 favourite active wrestlers. But now with Havoc getting a start in TNA, he is being shown to a wider audience which begs the question. Can the indy sensation, truly thrive in the main stream? Now when I say thrive, I’m not saying his wrestling style is below par, as he is very good in the ring with his brawling style mostly moulded through countless deathmatches & hardcore bouts. While in other areas being praised by the likes of Nigel McGuiness saying he doesn’t always have to do hardcore and is a strong technical wrestler. I’m talking about his character in the indy scene.
So who is Jimmy Havoc? Simply put, one of the best indy heels of today. A f*cking insane psycho who isn’t afraid to put his own body at risk to harm his opponent. A heel that grabs your attention with what he does in vignettes such as in PROGRESS Wrestling: destroying the old PROGRESS Championship staff on the anniversary of his championship win, and brutally stabbing a man saying he was doing it “…for fun…” He was also able to be hated, not even in a guy you love to hate fashion, but you really hated Jimmy Havoc. Now at first Havoc was a plucky underdog that everyone rooted for. Debuting at Chapter 2: The March of PROGRESS and going on a 6 match losing streak. This all changed at Chapter 9 when he attacked owner Jim Smallman due to being booked in another deathmatch saying his life was being shortened and that PROGRESS was his chance to show that he was a proper wrestler. Then at Chapter 10 he used a title shot open contract given to him by Smallman to beat Mark Andrews for the PROGRESS Championship to start off his legendary run of 605 days as champion and leading the stable known as “The Regression” Jim being the lovable owner, you were sickened every time Havoc threatened him or forced Jim to referee a match in a knocked out ref’s place. Just to see Smallman count a face out and hand Jimmy the victory, lovely story telling and personal favourite feud of mine. His mic skills were amazing, being able to curse effectively as oppose to just sounding edgy or cool, you believed every word of it, and even maintained characteristics of his in ring persona on his social media accounts. In the later end of his PROGRESS title run he even started threatening to chop people’s heads off with a bloody axe, and with his hard hitting brawl style of wrestling, you’d think he was truly out to hurt the people he wrestled with. While Jimmy has for now ended his run with PROGRESS with a face turn, even being helped to his feet by long time foe Jim Smallman, your truly remember Havoc for his heel tendencies.
Now, with all the fame and recognition Havoc has gained with this character. It makes me wonder, can TNA (For as long as he’s performing there) Package Jimmy Havoc effectively to a larger audience. Now with TNA being a little more off the radar lately, they can get away with a bit more which will work in Havoc’s favour. Also with TNA being more of a level playing field for pushes, and with how talented Havoc is, TNA can market him as a great main event heel. But can TNA market him without all of the things that made him so effective as a heel in the indy scene? So far TNA have done a good job with keeping his psychotic character intact as oppose to rebranding him all together, but will the lack of elements that made him such a big hit in the UK, make him still highly marketable in the US? With how touchy our society is these days with anyone being offended by anything, can we see Jimmy Havoc having vicious shocking promos with him wielding an axe or mutilating people? Or will we see a more sugar coated Havoc, with the same great in ring ability, but a lack of direction in terms of character and how to get around the barriers of what TV can allow?
Now I’m not saying without the indy Jimmy Havoc, he is doomed to a mid card career, but with how wrestling fans in general tend to dislike a main company character as oppose to their indy persona (Such as an NXT star being booked differently on the WWE main roster) I have a feeling fans may turn on Havoc if he isn’t portrayed to the standard he has built up in the UK. With the amazing in ring and mic skills he possesses, I feel we can still have an edgy TV persona that fans can love/hate without it pushing the envelope and getting TNA into stocky situations (They do that well enough by signing Hull Cogan as their new owner) Hell I could even see Havoc perhaps venturing off to WWE in the future, although the with “TV-14” mind set the fans have, it would be hard to get him over purely due to their ideologies despite how talented Havoc is. Now Havoc of course isn’t the only wrestler fans fear for in terms of going mainstream and being ruined by creative. Another recent example would be the “King of Strong Style” Shinsuke Nakamura. While my fears of Havoc stem from a character point of view, fans fear for Nakamura in terms of his wrestling style. People worrying that he’ll be watered down for wrestlers who aren’t use to strong style wrestling, and this what I’m afraid for Jimmy Havoc. Everything that made him one of the best on the indy circuit suddenly gets stripped away for a more kids gloves era of wrestling. He can still gain great success, but can he do it without all the tools at his disposal, more importantly, can TNA book him to where he doesn’t need them? Only time will tell but right now, I’m simply enjoying seeing the man I mark out for most on the main stage.
Do you fellow Havoc fans agree? Disagree? Have any other wrestler who you fear might meet similar fates? Comment below and don’t forget to share this post to all who love wrestling and check out all our other great articles, including our latest preview for WWE Roadblock. Follow @WeWriteWrestlin for updates on future articles and @WWWDylanOsborn for tweets from me.