Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Indy Scene... Box Office

This is just my personal take on the local independents and I am sure it applies to more than just Milwaukee….

I have been promoting shows since 1998 (Great LakesChampionship Wrestling) and I believe I have seen a lot of good and terrible talent over this time. I know some of the guys and girls have gone on to big things in the business and others have just stayed in the same place or have even left.

Independent wrestling is no longer about guys and girls that one day hope to become a star in the wrestling business it is now becoming a place where weekend warriors complain that they are not being used right or not getting their “opportunity”.

Where did this go wrong? I know the wrestling business has evolved and changed into something different, but “back in the day” people paid their proverbial dues. They got trained PROPERLY, they invested into real ring gear not just kick pads, they invested in their look, their body, their personality. Ever hear of tanning?

Today at most indy shows I cannot differentiate the in ring performer from the fan in the crowd. What happened? I believe it has become too easy to become a professional wrestler. Anyone can buy gear online find someone to “train” them for $100 and within a few weeks have their first match.

No longer do potential wrestlers pay a credible trainer (sometimes up too $5,000) to learn their craft. Wrestling school is just that a school. If you went to college and paid $100 a semester to get your degree I would have to wonder what kind of education you are really getting…?? Then after you learn the basics you would put on the ref shirt and ref some matches so you could learn from others from a different view point. Then maybe after six months or so you would get in the ring with someone that is a true veteran and work a match… Not anymore….

I get a kick out of talent that has that “sense of entitlement” that they should be booked on every show. Last I checked, the promoter runs the show, it is his or her money invested. Why does anyone think they should be able to tell the person with the money how to spend it??

Finally…. I hear far too often that a talent is being held back or disrespected or not being used enough. Well maybe if you had a fan base that bought tickets you would find yourself higher up on the card. Wrestling is a business that survives on fans buying tickets. If they fans do not buy tickets to see you perform, why would any promoter want to invest any time into you? Now before anyone says, “It is the promoters job to sell the tickets” you are wrong. It is the promoters job to make the people aware that there is an event, it is up to the talent to get over with the people that they want to come out and buy a ticket.

Just because you are the most talented and have the best matches does not mean you are getting over with the paying audience. Ricky Steamboat vs Randy Savage was the best wrestling match at Wrestle Mania 3, but 93,000 people paid to see Hulk Hogan body slam Andre the Giant.

Just keeping it real…. #DHHS

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Finally...... I will explain why The Rock is needed for the WWE

The WWE had their Royal Rumble PPV last Sunday and the headlining Main Event was WWE Champion, CM Punk defending against The Rock. 

For the past seven days I have been reading the comments, the complaints, and the nonsense about how The Rock as WWE Champion is bad for business. That CM Punk got robbed. That CM Punk is a better wrestler. That The Rock will just leave the WWE for Hollywood after WrestleMania. You know what, I am sure most of that is true. Was Punk robbed? Maybe so. Is Punk a better wrestler? Probably yes. Will The Rock leave for Hollywood again? Absolutely. So I guess most of you could be right.

The fact of the matter is, nobody on the current WWE roster (except Cena and maybe Punk) has been elevated to pop culture or mainstream status. WrestleMania is about the show, the experience, the event. The WWE needs The Rock more than The Rock needs the WWE.  

If the current roster was WrestleMania ready then the WWE would not need to call upon Brock Lesnar, Chris Jericho, Triple H, The Undertaker, and The Rock. As talented as guys like Dolph Ziggler, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, and Daniel Bryan are they have yet to become the larger than life stars that the brand needs.  Now I do not blame the talent for all of this. The creative minds at WWE have started and stopped and started and stopped many of the young talents pushes more than I can count.

The Rock is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood. He brings a humendous spot light onto the WWE brand leading up to WrestleMania. He will sell tickets. He will create buzz. He will be on all the talk shows promoting his main event match. When the general public flips thru the channels they might just stop and watch the great one.  Name one current WWE star that can create this kind of buzz on Leno, Letterman, or Conan? Nobody…..yet.

When The Rock headlines WrestleMania against John Cena (or CM Punk) he will pass the proverbial torch to one of them. Some of you say he does not need to be WWE Champ to pass the torch. The WWE title is needed for this match otherwise The Rock vs Cena does not get there without it. There is no reason for each other to challenge the other again. The WWE Title is the cherry on top of the Sunday. It is the exclamation point. The two biggest stars in the company will be fighting over the WWE’s greatest prize.

I understand that “Passing the torch” does not always work out (Hogan to Warrior or Rock to Brock) but right now the WWE needs this. Cena is a legitimate star. The Rock dropping the WWE title to him makes him Legendary. 

WrestleMania is about the spectacle... Remember Snooki, Maria Menounos Liberace, Muhammad Ali, Tommy Lasorda, Bob Eucker, Pete Rose, Lawrence Taylor, Pamela Anderson, Jenny McCarthy, Mickie Rourke,Donald Trump, etc etc all brought BUZZ to the event. Now the WWE has one of their own to elevate someone else to the stratosphere level...

Believe me when I tell you the three months that The Rock will be the WWE Champion will only make the business and the current product better. Guys like Punk, Sheamus, Ziggler, Rhodes, and Del Rio will have a larger audience to show their talents. The rub The Rock gives the WWE is well worth the three months as WWE champion. Still don’t believe me?? Then just wait and see, it will prove itself. #DHHS