Over the weekend one of Britain’s top wrestling academies Knucklelocks, which was formally owned by Progress Wrestling, closed their twitter account. Some fans have accused the company of hiding, stating the only reason they are doing this was so they would be able to monitor and remove negative remarks on the Facebook and Instagram social media accounts.
Co-Owner of Knucklelocks Aisling Twomay has responded to these accusations directly, I reached out to Aisling to get a comment regarding these accusations.
Firstly we discussed the reason why Knucklelocks had chosen to close the their twitter account, she would note that the simple reason being they do not have the time or resources to run the account and that it does little to actually contribute in any way financially for them.
Aisling on closing Knucklelocks’ twitter;
“perhaps its best to be really totally honest, and explain that Knucklelocks has been pretty much closed for a year, the business has never turned a profit, none of us take any wage from it, we pay the people who teach for us and one of the things that we discussed was where our customers come from and where they will come from in the future and in real terms twitter has never brought us a single customer where your not waged or salaried, to all of the administrative work of running a business we were trying to make decisions about what to keep and what to get rid of so we could focus our intentions on trying to save the business going forward and twitter is the thing that brings in the least in terms of money and without money a business can’t survive, if you’ve not got capacity on a channel to actually manage whilst also running the business the channel gets gotten rid of it, we cut it and that’s our decision for getting rid of the account.”
Aisling would go on to how she was shocked at the fans reaction to closing the twitter account.
“I cant believe that decision got turned into people leveling accusations on twitter that I am some sort of sexual abuser or aligned with people accused during speaking out that’s not appropriate and its not fair.”
We did discuss one of reasons that the promotion had been dragged into baseless accusations was the companies connection to former head trainer Darrell Allen, Aisling would discuss how Allen had never been a full time employee during her time as owner.
“so I took over the business as of July 2019 I think he was working a different job because the gym had been closed and it had been closed for about 3, 4 or 5 months not entirely sure but it had been closed for a while and I think he may have taught a handful of classes for us between that July and about September, in total of those 3 months its was about 4 or 5 classes, it wasn’t significant but because he did have a different job, he went to that job full time and therefore had nothing to do with us any more, he doesn’t own any part of the company and he is not part of the company’s management structure.”
When the accusations were made against Darell Allen, he was no longer working for Knucklelocks at that time. Aisling would note that they (Knucklelocks) had been made aware of the allegation prior to them coming forward and they did all they could to help the victim whilst also informing Allen he would never be welcomed back.
“When the accusation (against Darrell Allen) was made during speaking out (June 2020) I want to be super clear we were told about it in advance and we supported the person who made that accusation, she spoke with us we helped her as much as we humanly could and we told him that would simply be no more work going forward. Same day same hour same situation”
We then discussed the relationship between the gym and Progress Wrestling, Progress were the former owners of the gym setting up in 2012, the gym was moved over to Darrel Allen and became Knuckelocks in 2017 however after financial difficulties the gym was closed. Aisling and Oisin stepped in at this point in July 2019 to become the new owners and financial backers, since they took over Progress have had no input into the management of Knucklelocks.
“I think it was originally set up by Jon Briely of Progress and at some point, like I say wasn’t invloved, at some point it got handed over and when it failed financially we stepped in because people needed a place to train and that’s it, that’s what my role is here I stepped in because people needed a place to train.”
When I asked if they have any close working relationship with the new management team at progress, she told me they have no input in the management of Kucklelocks, that they know the people in passing but that is it.
Aisling on having no relationship with Progress
“We know them in passing if were in room together you would know them and say hello to them I mean they have no role in management of knucklelocks, they know nothing about what we do or what our plans are nor do I know anything about what they do.”
She would continue;
“They are a promotional company, they put on shows that’s not what my business is therefore it’s got nothing to do with me in anyway shape or form.
We also discussed trainees who worked for Progress such as Danny Black who competed for progress as part of the Natural Progression series. Aisling would tell me that Knucklelocks does not get involved with where their trainees perform, she only got involved to bring in financial capital to provide a place for kids to learn how to pull off moves safely.
Aisling on having no connections in wrestling and trainees performing where ever they want;
“I got into this to provide financial capitol I have no connection to wrestling in any way, shape or form, nothing so I don’t have any opinion or knowledge or notion of who is doing what or why, it just doesn’t matter to me its not what I got into it for”
Continuing on Aisling would note;
“Its got nothing to do with me in real terms logically if I was responsible to know what every trainee does and what shows they chose to work on we’d get nothing done it’s not the purpose of our business our business is teach people to safely execute moves in a ring that’s it, that’s as far as it goes I cannot be held accountable for other peoples actions I am accountable for me and that’s it.”
It is very unclear what the future of Knucklelocks is currently, following these accusations from a certain section of wrestling fans, it maybe that knucklelocks may not continue in it’s current form. Once allegations of this magnitude a levied against a company, whether based in facts or not, it can be very difficult for companies to bounce back, Sadly this could see one of the UK’s top wrestling academies shutting their doors for good.
You can Follow Andrew More on Twitter @GBOtaku82
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