Real Talk 8: Fuck outta here with that “Pokemon Go” shit

On this special edition of Real Talk, I take a look at what promotions could be considered strong candidates for the 2016 Southern California Promotion of the Year. There’s a few of them. I really this we have a strong field this year. Also, shit not worth writing paragraphs about and Scorpio Sky vs. Adrian Quest. Read my shit or go fuck your face.

Promotion of the Year 2016: The Race So Far

The Southern California wrestling scene went through this very long trend since 2003 when it came to the awards, as Pro Wrestling Guerrilla held the honor of being named SoCal Promotion of the Year since they first started all the way up till 2015, when Lucha Underground took that spot from them. Whether Lucha Underground and PWG remain the Top 2 promotions in SoCal as far as the awards rankings go remains to be seen, but as of now there seems to be more strong contenders for Promotion of the Year in SoCal than ever before.

  • Pacific Coast Wrestling – The Debutantes

Pacific Coast Wrestling debuted on January 9th, 2016 in Torrance, CA and has garnered a good amount of hype by showcasing established SoCal wrestlers such as Scorpio Sky and Willie Mack. PCW has also brought in bigger name stars from outside of the area such as MVP, Timothy Thatcher, Jeff Cobb, and have lined up Pentagon Jr., Yoshi Tatsu, Brian Cage, Sami Callihan, and Puerto Rico’s Mr. 450 for their next event on August 20th.

Along with solid lineups, PCW has also gained praise for their live event production values and ability to do something a lot of independent wrestling companies wish they could do: get sponsors. Independent wrestling promotions with sponsors is a rare thing, and PCW appears to have done a good job so far at succeeding where many promotions (including top independent promotions across America) seem to fail. Another business aspect that PCW has succeeded in has been advertising and promoting their events. PCW has done things beyond passing out flyers to promote events and awareness of their brand. Before their first event was even announced, PCW gained a following after a heavy social media campaign, and when their first show was booked, they took out an ad in the LA Weekly to promote the event. Despite having been running since January, PCW has yet to release any shows or matches from their shows due to production issues, however, they have recently opened a Youtube channel with promos and footage from their events.

With that said, if PCW runs enough shows by the end of the year, they could be a strong contender for SoCal Promotion Of The Year, but that all depends on whether the company can remain intact as time goes on. Recently, PCW figurehead Mikey Freedom departed from the company. It’s unknown as to what kind of effect this will have on PCW in the future and their ability to run shows, but if PCW can continue improving and getting fans interested, they could end up being a strong contender for SoCal Promotion of the Year.

  • Empire Wrestling Federation – The Old Guard

Celebrating 20 years of putting on shows in Southern California, the Empire Wrestling Federation has continued to do what they’ve been doing in the Inland Empire since 1996 while beginning to embrace the 21st Century and turning heads at the same time. One reason being Gary Yap’s Man In Black angle, where he took an established SoCal wrestler, put them under a mask, and created a simple story about a manager guiding a wrestler to the top of the promotion, all while filming and releasing matches and promotions on Youtube. No other promotion in Southern California has really done that this year, and for the EWF and Gary Yap to produce something like this sets them apart from everyone else in SoCal.

In addition to the Gary Yap’s Man In Black angle, the EWF has also been releasing recent events and matches on Youtube.com, allowing fans to check out matches featuring wrestlers such as Scorpio Sky, H.A.T.E, B-Boy, Brandon Gatson, and Frankie Kazarian, while also giving fans the chance to discover new stars such as Andy Brown, Adrian Quest, Douglas James, and Ty Ray. With digital technology and streaming becoming people’s main sources of home entertainment, the EWF is one of the few companies in Southern California that’s smart enough to be capitalizing on showcasing their product through platforms such as Youtube.

With plenty of shows under their belt in 2016, the EWF will most likely be the most active promotion in Southern California, as they have been running at least three shows a month so far this year it seems. While the EWF isn’t always going to be bringing in major stars like promotions such as PWG and Lucha Underground are, the EWF will be bringing in Chavo Guerrero Jr. in October to face Scorpio Sky. If the EWF can continue what they’re doing, they will remain one of the top promotions in SoCal. Will they win or end up in second place? Doubtful, but there’s no denying that they’re one of the Top 5 promotions running in SoCal right now.

  • Finest City Wrestling – The New Thing

The one SoCal company that seems to have been garnering the most hype in SoCal (outside of PWG and Lucha Underground) lately has been Finest City Wrestling down in San Diego. In three events, FCW has produced several Match of the Year candidates, has drawn very strong crowds, and helped produce one of wrestling’s most talked about moments in 2016 when Joey Ryan proposed to his girlfriend Laura James during a match. FCW has also received positive reviews here on SoCalUncensored.com. So far, FCW has been having the kind of 2016 that most SoCal promotions wish they could be having and is probably the top promotion in the San Diego area.

 

 

Not only is FCW putting on shows that are getting good reviews and attention, FCW is also building towards their future after opening Battle-U, their official wrestling school with head trainer B-Boy, and will also be the home of monthly Sunday events. FCW also has five bigger events scheduled for the rest of the year, with a huge double shot taking place during Comic Con weekend that will feature Pentagon Jr., Fenix, and Rey Horus.

However, just like other promotions, FCW isn’t without its faults. One of the biggest faults FCW has is that their events aren’t released on DVD/Blu-Ray (and if they are, FCW isn’t doing a good job at letting people know about them) or even uploaded onto Youtube. Their last event was reportedly not even filmed. Promoters who don’t film and release their events for people to see are doing themselves and their wrestlers a huge disservice. Promotions aren’t going to make money or new fans through word of mouth along, they’re going to need to see what makes a promotion special. Aside from that, if FCW can continue booking solid shows and getting people excited about their shows, they could end up finishing strong in the race for SoCal Promotion of the Year.

  • Underground Empire Wrestling – The Underdogs From The Underground

Unlike other companies in Southern California, Underground Empire Wrestling has been creating its own niche here in SoCal, mixing local talent, students from their school, and deathmatch wrestlers to create a product that has many similarities to XPW. Much like XPW, UEW blends a variety of wrestling styles that include homegrown talents such as D’Marco Wilson, Nate Coy, and Max X, while also showcasing storylines such as H.A.T.E’s rise in Underground Empire Wrestling.

Like the EWF, UEW has been embracing 21st century technology by releasing their events on their official Vimeo channel, as well as releasing their events on DVD and Blu-Ray. While the EWF posts their events on Youtube, UEW’s approach is a lot more different as they upload their past events along with recent shows that can be rented or purchased on Vimeo. Not only has UEW been releasing their events, they’ve also been releasing their internet web series, Underground iTV, on their Vimeo channel, something that isn’t being done by other promotions in Southern California at the moment. Out of all the promotions in Southern California right now (except for PWG and Lucha Underground), UEW is setting the standard when it comes to producing and releasing their events for people to see. Promotions like FCW and PCW should take a look at what they’re doing in this department.

With all that said, UEW are still major underdogs and probably won’t finish strong in the race for SoCal Promotion of the Year for a few reasons. The roster doesn’t contain names or faces that people who flock to other shows are familiar with, deathmatches turn off a lot of people, and matches usually aren’t announced until a week, or even days before an event. And while the roster has good talent on it, it’s highly unlikely that these shows are going to be full of Match of the Year candidates or technical classics. But even with the negatives, UEW’s got a lot of positives going for themselves. As I said earlier, their production work is setting the standard on how SoCal promotions should be getting their product out their. They also might have the smallest fan base of the other promotions listed above, but their fan base seems to be loyal to the UEW brand

  • What about the rest?

There are other promotions that I failed to mention. Championship Wrestling From Hollywood has TV and runs every two weeks, but their product sucks and doesn’t draw shit. I really don’t think they should be considered for a nomination. Lucha VaVoom, while they don’t release their shows, draws the most fans and continue to be a Los Angeles institution. I really feel like they should get some consideration from people when voting for SoCal Promotion of the Year. Baja Stars USA in San Diego seems to do draw a good amount of fans with various Lucha Libre stars, as does UIPW in Los Angeles, but overall they don’t seem like they’d be very strong candidates for SoCal Promotion of the Year considering the heavy competition. Maybe if Bart runs enough shows by the end of the year, AWS will be strongly considered for the award? Who knows.

As for everyone else? Well, they’re not worth mentioning. Sorry. Not sorry.

With that said, in 2011 when I left the site and stopped watching wrestling, the race for SoCal Promotion of the Year was always just a question of who would end up finishing in 2nd place way behind PWG. Thankfully things have changed, and hopefully they continue to change. There are still a shitload of improvements to be made in some of these promotions, but the ones I listed above all have potential to either be strong candidates for 2016 SoCal Promotion of the Year, or at least make some sort of impact here in SoCal.

SHIT NOT WORTH WRITING PARAGRAPHS ABOUT

  • As I mentioned in my column, PCW figurehead Mikey Freedom recently departed from the company. This hasn’t stopped PCW from moving forward with their August 20th event in Torrance, which recently announced Sami Callihan vs. Alexander Hammerstone, and the Reno Scum taking on the Keeps Of The Faith to crown the first ever PCW Tag Team Champions.
  • Speaking of PCW, we’re still running our contest with them and are giving you people more chances to win. Head over to the SCU Facebook post and enter by Commenting, Liking, and Sharing the post. You can also enter on the message board by simply posting here.
  • Lately people have been telling me that guys like Mike Camden, The Hobo, and Levi Shapiro have been talking all sorts of shit on me and acting cunty cause of my Championship Wrestling From Hollywood reviews. All I’m going to say is that it’s very sad to see performers who are grown ass men acting like little bitches over someone’s opinion.
  • Steve is doing a column on the anniversary of Revolution Pro’s Spirit of the Revolution 2001. Be on the look for it today or tomorrow or soon.
  • I can’t wait for Zandig vs. Mr. California.

Match Of The Column

This edition of “Match Of The Column” features a really fun match between Scorpio Sky going up against Adrian Quest from EWF’s July 1st, 2016 event. This kid Adrian Quest is really fucking good, and Sky did a great job at letting the younger wrestler showcase his shit. Check this match out.

One Response to Real Talk 8: Fuck outta here with that “Pokemon Go” shit

  1. Mark Kausch 07/14/2016 at 5:32 AM #

    Just a note: FCW DOES have DVD’s. I’m looking at one from their Feb event. As I won it in a raffle I’m not sure where you’d buy it, though. Dino looks to be heavily involved, so I’ll check their table Sat night.