Okay, “fight” may be overstating it. In fact, it’s probably not even a “conflict” – more a grumble, but it came to our attention through headlines in the Daily Post and we found it interesting.
Wrestler Barri Griffiths from Tremadog (it’s a village near Porthmadog) plays a character called Mason Ryan in the WWE wrestling series. That character is indeed Welsh, but comes from Cardiff, not Tremadog.
Not surprisingly, WWE says fans in the US are more likely to have heard of Cardiff, than Tremadog. Sorry, Tremadog, but we think that’s probably true.
Does it matter? Well, it would be nice for a village to be recognised for producing a world-class sportsman, but WWE wrestling is arguably more entertainment than sport. Griffiths is playing a character – and that character comes from Cardiff.
But being creative with people’s hometowns isn’t confined to wrestling. Back in the 1970s and ’80s, when stock car racing (in Britain, at least) was so loosely-governed that individual promoters ran their own national or “world” championship events, we knew of a promoter who changed a driver’s hometown-listing from North East England across the border to Scotland in order to give his “European championship” race an international competitor.
And there was another who even renamed several British drivers to claim them as foreign visitors. We recall Alan Cox became “Alain Coix”, the “French champion”.
Those spectators who saw through the deception just laughed it off, and those who didn’t probably didn’t care. It added to the entertainment.
Indeed there’s a fine line between sport and entertainment, and where an athlete comes from is probably not the biggest issue.
Whether Tremadog cheers for Barri Griffiths or Cardiff supports Mason Ryan, one thing is for sure – it must be good for Wales to have a competitor in a global sports show such as WWE.
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