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Future-Shock #31



23 June 2005

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With Celebrity Wrestling done and dusted, Wrestling might suffer another set back in the form of a long hot summer. Here are a few words on why the sun provides no heat for wrestling. Can we learn from the way shows are promoted state side?

As a younger wrestler, Id assumed that the summer was the best time for wrestling shows. That might be true of wrestling at holiday camps where
admission is free, but trying to convince a family of 4 to come to a wrestling show on a hot Saturday night is no mean task.

At the age of 18, I remember preparing for my singles debut in a most glamorous way. I, along with a couple of other young hopefuls, paced the beach and streets of Margate handing out flyers to advertise the night’s action. It’s amazing how enthusiastic I was, giving away free labour not withstanding, talking up and down the sand to prospective mat watchers… Prospective being the key!

That’s all part of the “paying your dues” process though my friends, and looking back I know that one of the most important things that was instilled in me whilst training as a rookie, was that getting in the ring and performing is a privilege rather than a right. It’s something that has to be earned.

In truth, we attracted more than 300 people on a blazing Saturday to come and pay to watch some wrestling action. That’s a rarity my friends. In the shows, and seasons that have followed, I have come to realise that getting seats filled in the summer is tough. I’m not a promoter, but as a wrestler I thrive off of a crowd, and the bigger the better. I’ve had the pleasure and the pressure of wrestling on some big shows. I’ve wrestled in some pretty crappy places too.

One of the better, and most unique places I ever wrestled in a summer was in the states, in Iowa. The ring was outdoors so the mat was so hot Jimmy Snuka would have hopped through his match had he been on the bill. On that show, marketed as a summer bash, the crowds came because thought had gone into making the show summer themed. There was a BBQ, music and it worked.

The summer is great for the family, especially given our usual depressing weather in the UK, because it means long walks, bike rides, drinking in beer gardens, and splashing around in paddling pools. It’s the time of the year that entertainment is free, easy to make for yourself, and leaves wrestling out in the cold. I’ve spoken to many of our wrestling elder generation who tell me that the summer has long been the quiet time for wrestling in this country.

Perhaps we could learn a lesson from the summer bash idea, since wrestling has always worked well in carnivals and outdoor shows. I know that booking a run of the mill show is usually less than profitable in this country, so for a promoter to simply book a show in some leisure centre, in the middle of a heat wave, and expect the masses to come would be like asking to shake hands with Doink the Clown. (Your in for a shock!).

See you Later Adam…

As a final note, just wanted to give a “see you later” to Adam Sibley, who is one of the most tireless wrestling writers on the internet. He’s one of the few that tried to get his facts right, and when he got them wrong he was man enough to get it right the next time. In an arena with so many so-called internet writers who are in actual fact nothing more than ego driven fans, Adam made his “Wrestling Scene” column a must for anyone who needed to keep up with the ups and downs in the Brit mat game. He’s an example to many aspiring writers and his shoes will be hard to fill. I imagine after that endorsement his hat will be hard to fill too!

I trust Adam will be back once he realises what a terrible job others are doing in his place!

Stay cool and catch you next time,

Scott



.

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