First off what a response from my last column! I received a handful of emails after last weeks writing, and a number of them prominent names in the current British Wrestling scene. Sorry, but out of respect I wont name names, but suffice to say that the points I made last time out were well heard. Although these names may indeed be “prominent” that doesn’t make them proven. The Internet can make anyone famous. To that end what I write isn’t, and still will not be shaped by the arguments of others who can’t articulate a valid point. I have to say all the emails I received were respectful and to that end I’d like to say it’s great to receive feedback.
So were the emails positive or negative?
Not one email countered any point that I had made regarding the make up of promoters and the observations made. Whilst a couple of people were quick to point out that they were running things correctly, and I’m not here to dispute that, the point was taken on board by every subject, saying that observations regarding age and experience were on the mark. Let me say for those who may not know whom Scott Future is, and what he is about, that I don’t make personal attacks via the Internet. I leave that to those beneath me. I also don’t think that youth is necessarily a finger pointing to disaster as a quality in wrestling promoters.
I want to first explain that it’s easy to critique others, and I’m the first to make an argument that most critics are not of an educated level to judge… especially here on the net… but I do speak with a voice of experience that extends not just in the UK but also, and very prominently, through experiences in the US. I also come to you from an academic business point of view, having a degree in Business Management, Journalism and Media. Don’t forget, as a wrestler I have worked for promoters in a number of countries on hundreds of shows, and I have seen what works and what doesn’t.
So that leads me nicely into “Background” and how this affects the ability to promote in wrestling. I come to you from a wrestling background. I also come to you as a professional businessman. I come to you with these qualifications because I have studied, and worked very hard, and taken the lumps and bumps necessary to be here today as a wrestler after 6 years. So why am I telling you this? Do I want to be a promoter? That might be the question on your lips, but truth be told that is irrelevant – what is relevant is that I am fit to judge the many promoters we have on some level or another, and if you disagree with my points, that’s not a problem for me, that’s business.
In WCW, one of the major concerns, and it’s now become a concern in the WWE, is that the board is made up of many people who are very qualified in the field of entertainment, but do not have a wrestling background. By “background” I’m not saying you need to have parents who were involved with wrestling. I mean that the person hasn’t devoted previous time to other wrestling ventures.
These non-wrestling businessmen, who frequented WCW and to some extent now the WWE creative office, are not in tune with exactly what the fans want. (Remember Katie Vick?)
The problem is that wrestling fans don’t want stories unrelated to wrestling… it’s not rocket science, they want wrestling.
WWE TV, although not so much at present time granted, was being scripted like a soap opera who’s theme wasn’t wrestling, but rather what goes on backstage at wrestling shows. These backstage storylines, and they do still exist to this day, gave these non-wrestling, entertainment types, more scope to create feuds. The problem is that the majority of these feuds were not wrestling related. Over the past year or so the WWE has devoted time to stories of racism, car accidents, family death and more of the same. The problem is that wrestling fans don’t want stories unrelated to wrestling… it’s not rocket science, they want wrestling.
Not having a wrestling background puts you instantly out of touch with wrestling fans, because unless you do a lot of research, and fast, you have no idea what they want. So it all ties in with start up promotions here in the UK. On the positive side the majority of our promoters do have a wrestling background. They have set up rings, tried their hand at wrestling or done their research as to the viability of a show. Having a grounding in the business before you take on your first show is so important because wrestling has its own etiquette, its own culture, and believe me if you habdle things wrong not only will you upset the fans, but you will upset your proposed stable of wresters. More on background in the next Future-Shock.