Before I kick off where we left the last Future-Shock Id like to start by saying hey to Chris Wyld who was “adopted” by LA Muscle as a sponsored athlete. I said here, on this site, that yours truly getting the inaugural acceptance from a high profile supplement company as a UK wrestler was a vast achievement because, if nothing else, it opens the door for others to follow… If that’s at all the case then it makes me very proud. Congrats Chris, and good luck for the future. Your in great company!
Where did we leave things?
The question of age and experience comes up time and time again when looking into the potential of any new promoter. This may ruffle feathers, but I challenge you to call me inaccurate.
Age and Experience
We live in a time where the Internet relays an incredible amount of info about the wrestling business. We can learn everything from last weeks TV ratings to who Lita is dating. This is great for fans, but dangerous for young promoters. I’ve spoken with a few promoters over the years that base their credibility on being a promoter on the fact that they never miss an episode of RAW. They think that they know it all because they write on web forums. Trust me – you don’t, and if I can help it Ill see you coming and avoid you damaging my career. Knowing that the Undertaker is really called Mark impresses few.
For these young or inexperienced promoters the first dive into wrestling promotion usually ends on the floor of an empty pool. In other words a headache.
What these “Virtual reality promoters” don’t understand is that wrestling is a culture of it’s own, with it’s own rules, and it’s own etiquette, and you don’t learn how this works by seeing what they put out on TV. Wrestling was around before the Internet, and is still operates in much the same way, at it’s core, as it did back then. You still have to learn the hard way – hard graft. I enjoyed the series “Jamie’s Kitchen”, but I’m not about to crash the kitchen at the Ritz and tell them how to create a masterpiece. Just because you know the WWE, NWA-TNA, or whatever TV output inside out, that does not make you anything but a viewer. Now if you have frequently spoken at length with Jim Ross or you have laced up the boots with Jeff Jarrett you are an authority and have my attention. If not, keep reading.
I have spoken with many of the UK’s top wrestlers and we agree that wrestling for young promoters is a gamble. Don’t get me wrong – if your 15 and you can prove you know what you are doing I’ll wrestle for you, but this is not usually the case. Young promoters are yet to taste failure, and before a fall comes pride. The pride in the upcoming show is always overwhelming, and often the thought of being a promoter takes up more of Mr X’s concentration than marketing the show in an adequate way. Actually, this is not an attack, I know many very good promoters who will tell you that their first show was a disaster. There’s nothing wrong with failure. What is concerning is how young and inexperienced promoters don’t protect themselves with damage limitation. That’s when it all goes pear shaped. That brings me to professionalism. Being young makes promoting an uphill struggle. But even if a 15 year old WWE fan club member is professional, he has a chance.
I receive email on a regular basis from promoters offering me a spot to wrestle on their show. How do I judge these emails? I look at the spelling and the grammar and figure that if they take the care to write a nice letter, they must take care with their shows. My work outside of wrestling relies on me being at the cutting edge, to be professional, and I bring that with me into wrestling. Bad communication is bad news. There is exception to this rule of course, but on the whole there is a proverb that reads “judge the fruit by the tree”. In other words if the words are bad, so may be the brain they come from. Now that sounds kind of harsh huh?
Yes, a little, but someone who is promising to create the super-show of our time can surely write a decent string of text. The next question I ask myself when this electronic request comes in is, do I feel that this person knows what he is talking about?
You’d be amazed how many suggestions I have heard some promoters come up with over the years that simply defy belief. That’s because they haven’t been around the inside of the business long enough to see the error’s. Professionalism goes along way. Good communication from a promoter building up to his show is very important. It provides trust for both fans and staff that the show is on the right course. Why would a wrestler accept a match, or a fan buy a ticket, if they didn’t have faith the show was on the right course?
Promoters need to respect wrestlers because they are the ones night in night out having their bodies wrecked. In this case, it’s good for a promoter to have tried his hand at wrestling so that they know the skills involved, how crowds react etc… It’s no good booking a difficult match between two wrestlers and coming down hard on them when the crowd “doesn’t get it”. Promoters as active wrestlers can be a problem, but some experience and professionalism goes along way.
Be honest with the fans and the wrestlers, be professional. Hype is good for the latter stages of promoting, but get your self in gear before you promise fans the first ever match between Austin and Goldberg because maybe, just maybe, you might be biting off more than you can chew!
We’ll start next week with Background. Stay tuned!