Another busy week in wrestling is coming this weekend. The Do It Yourself Wrestler on the Month is Raze, follow the jump to read more. Saturday will be Cincinnati Red’s funeral. I have the latest updates for the United Wrestling Network powered by Patreon and 2 matches that are in the vault I’d like to see. 11 Shows this weekend, find your niche and support good indie wrestling.
DIY Wrestler of the Month: Raze
Last month I spoke to Yuma about merchandising in the sport of wrestling. Because let’s face it, more important that wins and losses in wrestling is developing a brand. Being recognized and potentially getting your name/face exposed to a greater audience will ultimately lead to greater opportunity and greater career advancement. This month I’m recognizing Raze as the D.I.Y Wrestler of the Month. The manager turned wrestler has really created a following and she’s certainly has established her brand.
What was your inspiration for starting a website?
My inspiration for starting a website was actually to sell my products and build my brand and web presence. I saw Allie Parker had a page just for merch and when I asked her about it she clued me in to a site (Big Cartel) that gives you a page for artists to sell their items for free. Looking further into it, you can actually make more pages and bigger presence for free as well. So I built what I felt was adequate, but I’m in process of designing a whole new site independent of the confines that Big Cartel gives it users.
How is having a website better than just using Social Media to advance your brand?
Social media is so restricted to what social media will allow you to do. For instance, you can only do so much with a Facebook page, but with a website you can personalize it around your personal brand, change the user interface to make it more intuitive, lead with what you want to highlight etc. Honestly, the internet is like Alice in Wonderland. You gotta figure out what you want Wonderland to be, figure out your rabbit hole and Alice’s path to get to Wonderland and how you will lead people through the trail? Social media, in my opinion, should always be a rabbit hole or along the trail, never Wonderland. Social media is too fleeting and you give up too much of yourself advancing and building up someone else’s Wonderland by putting too much of your content on these sites.
How’d you come up with the T-Shirt design?
I don’t think it’s any secret, I may have spent the majority of my adult life running around Hollywood at night, but I grew up and my heart is on the beaches of SoCal. That being said I’ve always been a huge fan of the old school, in your face aggressive SoCal surf/skate style, local pride, and the chicano influenced art that accompanied it. I think, if you grew up even quasi-creative where I did you at least tried to imitate that art style. This shirt is me showing my roots a bit, but there’s no way I could have drawn this on my own. I actually have my own artist, Jetti Lewis, who I’ve worked with through the years and she took my outline, my vision, and we worked together to come out with the front design then I added the back typography to complete it.
You were one of the first local wrestlers to sell pins, what made you think that pins would work?
The thought to even do pins came from Anthony Maris (owner of Pro Wrestling WAR, partial owner of Magnum Pro, etc). We were going to literally DIY some pins as a limited run to help promote something, but the time passed and honestly every button press we saw cost too damn much. Then Sage clued me in to BuidANation and I forged a working relationship with them. I wanted the same DIY, low class feel behind them so I birthed my simple black and white “signature smurk” button and it was a hit. I honestly had no idea if pins would work, but for the potential ROI I decided to give it a shot and I wasn’t disappointed. I think that ROI and inventory are things a lot of people don’t think about, and then they end up sitting on merch that isn’t selling or burn out their brand and audience.
Explain the #NotASpecialAttraction motto. How do you feel this expands the Raze Brand?
I hope that first and foremost when you think about me you remember that I am an Equal Opportunity Ass Kicker, and my series of matches against men reflects that. In March at Finest City Wrestling (FCW), Kikyo and I were having fans requested rematch off of being the company’s inaugural women’s match in January. When I was standing behind the curtain getting ready to be make an entrance the announcer said it was time for a “Special Attraction Women’s Match.” WHAT THE FRICK. Why is two women getting in the ring so different than 2 men getting in the ring? That night Kikyo and I busted our asses, as per usual, and ended out with “That was awesome” and “5 mins more” chants. The owner, Gus, came out and offered us a 3rd match, in July, but it’s a falls count anywhere match. When Gus turned to me I asked for the mic and told them that I would do so when they stopped announcing the women’s match as a special attraction match.
Still salty, I posted the video on Instagram and hashtagged it #NotASpecialAttraction cause I’m not. In that ring I’m a wrestler, not a woman. And I’m sure there are plenty of guys, and promoters, even girls who hate that, but it’s how I feel and I think a lot of females can connect to that feeling be it in sports or even walking down the streets. In the ring I ask for no quarter nor do I give it and I hope that people see how this all ties back into me and my aggressive, in your face style type of person I am – It comes from my upbringing, I come from a family of wrestlers, boxers, and fighters (literally); I’ve always been the girl that was a little too fearless but it’s me, it’s who I am; or, in marketing terms, it is MY personal brand and fuck em if they don’t like it. Those who like me and my brand will embrace it and embrace me, and from what I’ve seen there’s enough to keep me active.
Why is merchandising important?
Merchandising isn’t important; good merchandising and good design is. On Twitter a random person RT’ed my shirt design when it came out. Someone else saw the design and tweeted me that they had never seen me wrestle but they loved the shirt design enough to buy one. And they did. I also tweeted them links to matches and made a fan out of them. See how it works? I tried to step up the merch game and make my shirts something a person in my target audience would like, even if they don’t know me or like wrestling…and it worked. Good merchandising not only helps spread your brand but brings in money as well.
Do you find you have the same degree of difficulty in selling merchandise as your male counterparts?
Sometimes it’s more difficult than my male counterparts, like when you’re sharing a merch table with Adam Thornstow cause he’s a charismatic hustler. There are little things people don’t think about when selling merch, and placement at the merch table is a huge one. You should be strategic in all aspects of merchandising and selling. I digress. For me, selling merch is no easier or harder because I’m a female. It’s all about the hustle and good design.
What items do you currently have for sale?
Not a lot, I’m actually running really low currently. I have maybe 1 or 2 shirts, my buttons, of course the indy 8x10s (both regular and Razey Krueger)…BUT, I’m working with Anthony Maris to put something out that should be a treat for fans and wrestlers alike. It’s hush hush but if we can get our shit together it’s gonna be a really cool project. Also, if all works out well, I will have a new summer shirt design.
Lastly plugs… where can folks buy your merch, see you wrestle; interact via social media, etc.
Buy RAZE stuff here http://razerpops.bigcartel.com or message me on Facebook. I’ve even had people DM my Twitter. You can find me on just about every social media under the name “Razerpops” – Twitter, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, MySpace, Yelp, Ello….
Wrestling wise you can always find me taking out guys and girls alike at my home sweet home of Santino Bros Wrestling Academy, AWS, FCW, AOW, WPW, Cen Cal Pro, and NWA Vendetta Pro. Some big shows coming up include the lucha libre art show exhibition “La Bulla” for Santino Bros in conjunction with Kevin Kleinrock and Masked Republic on 4/11, as well as “AWS Ladies Night” on 5/30.
Funeral for a Friend– Cincinnati Red
Greg Daves ‘Cincinnati Red’s’ Memorial service will take place on April11, 2015 11:00 AM at The Church of Christ 960 East Oak Valley, Beaumont, CA. 92223.
2014 Promotion of the Year Polls are Open
Currently there is a tie between SoCal Pro and AWS for Promotion of the Year Award for 2014. The poll will be open through Wednesday, April 15th. The webpolls are worth 35% of the total votes, with the other 65% being awarded by committee voting. Pro Wrestling Guerrilla has been voted Promotion of the Year, every year for a decade. Since its inception, PWG has dominated in the Promotion of the Year category. Prior to PWG, UPW won the award in 2000 and 2002 and Revolution Pro won the award in 2001. Through out the years it’s been interesting to see who will finish second. Revolution Pro was the runner up in 02 and 03. AWS was the runner up in 04, 04, 06, and 13. EWF has been runner up in 07 and 08. IWL was the runner up in 11 and 12. SoCal Pro was the runner up in 09. And Mach 1 was the runner up 10. It’s odd to me to see a promotion like Championship Wrestling from Hollywood never get the Promotion of the Year Award, let alone a runner up. And I’m very interested to see where Lucha Underground will place in this year’s webpoll. There is still time to get your vote it, make your voice heard.
UWN on Patreon
Recently added to the video offerings of the United Wrestling Network are Episode 204 features Sgt. Major vs. Che Cabrera Sasha Darevko & Fidel Bravo vs. Leo Blaze & Cedric King Dom de la Vega vs. Jakob Austin Young Anderson Cruz vs. Ryan Kid Hollywood Heritage Champion YUMA & Kevin Martenson vs. Hobo & Willie Mack. And Episode 205 features Hollywood Heritage Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match Champions PPrAy (Peter Avalon & Ray Rosas) vs. Drew Gulak & Timothy Thatcher vs. Joey Ryan & Ryan Taylor of Vermin Evan Thomas vs. Dan Joseph Bateman’s $5000 ‘Step Right Up Challenge’ Hollywood Heritage Championship Match Champion YUMA vs. Hobo. Outside of the bonus match of Daniel Bryan vs. Sean Waltman and AJ Styles vs. Trent Baretta (which never aired on KDOC TV or MavTV) episodes start as far back as July and are being updated all the time with the shows before they air on KDOC or YouToo America. If you are a fan of wrestling, I can’t see a better value than $2 a month for that ever growing library and I can’t recommend it enough. And if there is a match you want to see pester David Marquez to put them up. I’m hoping for the long lost Daniel Bryan vs. Ultimo Dragon match and Christian defending the NWA World Title against Jay Lethal.
Upcoming Events in SoCal
EWF in Covina, Tonight @ 8:00 PM
Lucha Underground in Boyle Heights, Saturday @ 4:00 PM
Knokx Pro in Sun Valley, Saturday @ 6:00 PM
UEW presents “Malicious Intent” in Los Angeles, Saturday @ 6:30 PM
La Bulla Lucha Libre Wrestling & Art Festival in Los Angeles, Saturday @ 7:00 PM
MWF Lucha Libre in Los Angeles, Saturday @ 8:00 PM
OCCW “The Battle of Midway City” in Midway City, Sunday @ 1:00 PM
CWFH TV Taping in Port Hueneme, Sunday @ 3:00 PM
Lucha Underground in Boyle Heights, Sunday @ 4:00 PM
UIPW Lucha Libre in South Gate, Sunday @ 4:00 PM