Wednesday, May 4, 2011

True Story... HSP 4 Life

So a few of you have asked me how Great lakes Championship Wrestling (GLCW) started and how did Blizzard Brawl come about.  Well to be honest if it was not for Herro’Sports Page, none of this would have happened.

I opened Herro’s Sports Page (HSP) in August of 1996 and the timing could not have been better, the Green Bay Packer were on their way to an eventual Super Bowl Championship and I was a Green and Yellow selling machine.  Life was good. As much as I loved the Green and Gold I was making, wrestling was always my first love.

During this time I had started a relationship with SportsRadio 1510 WAUK (eventually ESPN Milwaukee) and that’s how Herro’s Squared Circle Report was born.  Every Tuesday afternoon at 3:50pm I would give a 10 minute recap on RAW and Nitro with Bill Johnson.  It was a blast, wrestling was never more popular or exciting and I was thought of as an “expert”.  The ten minute segment eventually morphed into a one hour Saturday morning show with longtime friend “Milwaukee” Matt Marchese.

America Online was the hot new thing at the time and I was chatting with Kimberly Page, yes the Nitro Girl and wife of Diamond Dallas Page (DDP).  I told her how I was interested in bringing in some wrestling talent for a public appearance and she was able to point me in the right direction with the people of World Championship Wrestling (WCW).  After a few phone calls WCW told me that if I was willing to produce a live radio remote from HSP that they would provide the talent to me free of charge when WCW Clash of Champions would come to Milwaukee in January of 1997. As Charlie Sheen would say that’s “winning”.  Since I was already in with ESPN Milwaukee I was able to get a great deal with them for an on site remote and my first wrestler appearance was on it’s way to HSP.  WCW had asked me who I would like to have at the store, we agreed on the Steiner Brothers, unfortunately they had to pull out and a replacement was needed….. Feel The Bang…. DDP was that guy.  The night before he was to make his appearance at HSP he appeared on WCW Nitro and gave the Diamond Cutter to all of the nWo. A star was born.

The next day at 3pm on a Tuesday after noon DDP walked into HSP wearing a full length fur coat that was once owned by “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes and signed autographs for over 400 people.  Did I mention that it was 3pm on a Tuesday!!!  That was crazy.  DDP was absolutely amazing, he signed and talked his way until the very last person got his autograph.  The fans were so happy and I was super pleased with the experience. The WCW reps were pretty impressed with the way the remote and the signing came together and assured me that anytime WCW was in the area that they would be more than happy to have someone from WCW stop in for an appearance. I was also able to secure an order form from WCW and was able to purchase the same tshirts that the stars wore on TV and sold at the arenas.. I was on my way to getting the hottest wrestling tshirt in the world at my store the nWo. Now that was #tremendous. So thanks to DDP and Kimberly I was put on the wrestling map.

Two weeks later I had the official line of WCW mwechandise in my store, Sting, Four Horsemen, nWo, Hollywood Hogan, DDP, & Macho Man, you name it I had it, well except for the WWF.  I picked up the phone and called Titan Towers, I explained to them what I did with WCW and I offered them the same deal the of radio remote in exchange for the talent, the seemed very interested but decided to let the local promoter in Milwaukee make the final call.  I asked for his name and number and I could not believe what I heard.  The local promoter was my Cousin Jack, Jack Koshick.  Again “winning”. I called Jack as I was hanging up with Titan Towers and I pitched him the idea.  Lets just say magic happened and I was able to score a press conference at my store with Big Van Vader.  Vader was fresh off coming back from Kuwait after roughing up the news reporter so I had no problem getting the NBC, FOX, CBS, and NBC news TV cameras and ESPN radio at my store for his “press conference”.  Vader was fabulous, he came across as the ultimate villain and even made the local media a little nervous.  But that my #SuperFriends was just the appetizer.  The main course was better than I could have imagined.  The legendary tag team The Legion of Doom, The Road Warriors were scheduled to sign autographs at HSP for two hours.  We had well over 1,000 people in line on that Sunday afternoon.

The WWF agents that came along to “supervise” the signing were also very impressed and loved the idea of a sports and wrestling store.  They just did not care for the huge wall of WCW merchandise that I was offering to the Milwaukee fan base.  When asked why I was not selling their merchandise I told them the truth, “nobody called me back”.  Well needless to say the following Tuesday I had received a huge box from Titan Towers with about 100 t-shirts with a note saying “Hope this holds you over until we get your first order”.  In that box were t-shirts of Austin 3:16, LOD, Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Sunny, Marlena, The Headbanger, etc etc… #Tremdous.

So with that being said within two months I went from having a small corner of my store dedicated to WWF action figures to the whole line of WWF and WCW tshirts, dvds, music cds, action figures, jewelry, and masks.  I was now living the dream.  After that I was privileged to do signings and appearances at HSP with such greats as Kane, The Headbangers, Sable, The Honky Tonk Man, The Crusher, Nick Bockwinkel, Road Dogg Jesse James, Mick Foley, Edge, Christian, Val Venis, test, Luna Vachon, gangrel, Gillberg, Kurrgan, Debra McMichael, Triple H, Chyna, X-Pac, Buff Bagwell, Lex Luger, Ivory, Tori, Miss Jackie, Scotty 2 Hotty, Kevin Nash, Kimberly, Curt Hennig, King Kong Bundy, Goldberg, Jim Cornette, Sunny, Marlena, Dawn Marie, The Iron Sheik, Bret Hart, Al Snow, and The Rock.

HSP was the very first public appearance that Kane had ever made and HSP was also the last public store signing that the Rock did for the WWF.  With the way HSP was rolling I couldn’t imagine life could get any better, then a man named Rich Finke showed up one day and the idea of Great Lakes Championship Wrestling (GLCW) was born…….  TO BE CONTINUED


  1. More "winning" with HSP is that you sold the place before the sink holes attacked that area! I'm really glad things have worked out for you Dave. Life is so much more enjoyable when you are doing something you love. Keep up the great work brotha!

  2. i attended couple of the signings was vawsome place i bought my shirts there and when i wasnt able to go to signings there was extra pics with autographs to buy great place

  3. WOW... that was tremendous, what a story. Way to leave us hanging amigo, very clever art thou.