Earlier this month B-Boy, who will be marking his 20th year in wrestling next year, announced he was starting his own promotion, Ground Zero. With the debut show scheduled to take place on December 23rd in Imperial Beach, I had the chance to catch up with B-Boy and talk Ground Zero, his reasons for starting it up, working with other promotions, what his goals are with the promotion and more.
Steve: Let’s start with the most obvious question first, what made you decide to start your own promotion?
B-Boy: Well. Let me say this first… My school is my priority. After Battle U closed down I felt there was a responsibility on my part to open my own school where I was in charge of everything. The students have been with me almost a year and I felt for them the most out of the whole situation. I felt it was my job to do that for them and myself.
Steve: Has starting your own promotion been something you’ve thought of?
B-Boy: I never wanted to head my own promotion. I am a wrestler first and foremost. I have been, for close to 20 years. I know what it takes to head up a promotion because I have wrestled for many many promotions in my career and the stress level and the hard work they actually put in is beyond me. It was never my intention to ever open up a promotion, I never wanted to. However…
I felt that there was a responsibility and void to fill out here in San Diego. In the South Bay, pro wrestling and indie wrestling in general was starting to get hot. It was the talk of the town and the shows out here were drawing and getting better and better. It was slowly not just becoming just a regular show to work on but a destination. I always wanted San Diego to be a destination for wrestling… not just a show to work on that is one of my goals for this.
Steve: So Ground Zero wasn’t something that has been in the planning stages for awhile?
B-Boy: Ground Zero legit just started a week ago. There were no plans of doing this before or anything like that. I reached out to someone that is highly respected and told him of the current situation. I told him how I felt and there was a responsibility and stuff like that. He, along with a lot of people, said I should be the one to move forward with it. So I gave it a day to think about and I was asking wrestlers hypothetically if this was to happen how they would feel and all of that, you know my peers. I was just waiting on one person to say I shouldn’t and everyone said I should. I pulled the trigger.
Steve: You mentioned that wrestling in the South Bay was getting hot. Obviously we are talking about FCW, which over the last few years you were a major part of. It’s end has been pretty well covered but what is something from FCW that you felt worked that you would like to continue at Ground Zero?
B-Boy: It’s not about what worked and what didn’t to be honest. I feel that the fans in San Diego are what made it work. The fan base in San Diego and those coming from LA which is a lot to begin with, for me the main thing that helped this scene was the diehard fans of this county wanting wrestling in their region and capitalizing on that. The market for running a promotion is there in this city… if you do it right, with marketing and professionalism.
Steve: I know you are saying it isn’t about what did and didn’t work, but obviously something ultimately didn’t work. What is an area where FCW failed that you know you need to avoid those same mistakes?
B-Boy: Financial management and trust are huge things.
Steve: One thing that has bugged me personally in the San Diego area is you have four promotions that are running regularly, and three would run on the same day for some reason. Right away when Ground Zero was announced, one of the first things you did was make a post on Facebook promoting every other San Diego wrestling promotion. Why did you feel it was so important to do that?
B-Boy: One thing out here is that there was a rift between certain companies and that needed to be nixed. Southern California, and especially San Diego wrestling, could be such a dominant force in the indie world if people just worked together and put pride aside. Growth together is a solution to survive together. The reason I approved of what was said was simply to acknowledge the different brands out here. That was something that has never been done, to seriously just acknowledge people and credit what they have done along with promotions in this county. Everyone wanted to take credit and self boost themselves and their product but fact of the matter is this, the fan base that spreads in San Diego is due to the difference of styles of shows and rightfully so. Each brand has their own fans and all fans want is wrestling in San Diego. I wanted to show that there is a thing called unity and can be used in a positive way rather than a negative. The response is great and has been received very well.
Steve: Since making the announcement, is there anything early on you’ve found out about promoting your own show that has surprised you?
B-Boy: I have worked for many many people and top class promotions along with small ones as well. I know what it takes to be a promoter so the stress level along with getting a show together is definitely something I already knew when I took the responsibility. I’m not a dumb person Steve, I know what it takes to make a promotion succeed and what proper steps needs to be taken . On that end that did not surprise me. However the support and help from everyone in Southern California and throughout the indie world has been overwhelming. It’s definitely something that I didn’t expect due to everyone trying to be in competition however I was getting nothing from support from wrestlers, promoters, and promotions that are highly respected, which really surprised me.
Steve: One issue that gets brought up a lot is exposure. There are always complaints about how some promotions aren’t getting their footage out fast enough and aren’t getting the exposure that people think they should be getting. What sort of plans do you have for video out and letting people who weren’t at the show see the product?
B-Boy: I am going to be capitalizing on social forum aspects along with media services as soon as the promotion does take off. I’m focusing one thing at a time right now to ensure things will be there for the future. On the first show we will be filming and will be using the easy access of recording and applying and uploading to YouTube first and foremost but I will be reaching out to some people that I know at media outlets that stream wrestling in general soon. My main thing Steve, is I want to do things right, you know? I don’t want to build something half way through. In order for this company to succeed we have to have a strong foundation and the building blocks have to be in place. We also need to see how the fans receive the company and move forward and adjust with that. So far with everything it’s been very promising.
Steve: I know you’ve been really big on bringing up the next generation of wrestlers in Southern California, and have been willing to work with a lot of younger guys. You were also involved in creating FCW’s Proving Grounds tournament to kind of showcase some of the newer talent in the region. On the debut show you have a match you are calling “The Invitational” with two rookies, Alonzo Alvarez and Matt Vandagriff. Why do you feel it’s so important to promote the younger talent?
B-Boy: Proving Grounds was a brainchild to bring younger talent in SoCal together to prove themselves and more importantly give them a chance to perform on a maybe a higher platform then what they are used to. I feel that we need to get our younger talent ready for the indie world if it’s something they want to pursue. You are right I was heavily involved in the show and executed the vision but most importantly the younger talent executed the vision which why it was highly successful. I have an eye for spotting talent and potential. That’s something that I will give myself credit for. The Invitational is almost the same thing but in a singles match aspect rather than a tournament. I want to give younger guys a stage to perform. To give an opportunity for them to shine on an established card.
Steve: On the same token, will Proving Grounds, or some version of it, continue under Ground Zero?
B-Boy: I have an idea of something I want to do. I feel younger talent needs that platform and I have plans to go forward with a version of Proving Grounds.
Steve: What kind of plans do you have to reach new fans, maybe people who don’t know about independent wrestling?
B-Boy: I will be marketing in different areas of business along with marketing on different areas of media. Flyers are always a staple in every promotions growth, word of mouth is another form for growth. Media and other aspects will be worked on as well because I feel wrestling right now is one of the hottest and trendiest things in the world and people that don’t know business don’t know how to expose it to different markets because either a) they aren’t smart enough to do so or b) too intimidated to do so. Opening a promotion is always a risk. You have to jump to get off the ground and I feel reaching those that don’t know about indie wrestling is a MUST.
Steve: Ultimately, what would you like to see Ground Zero become?
B-Boy: Ultimately I want Ground Zero to be a destination where fans and workers alike want to be at. I don’t want this promotion to be just another promotion; I want it to be a destination. I want Ground Zero to grow into a place that has every aspect a good promotion has. I want to build that trust. Build the relationship between us and our community. I want Ground Zero eventually to be a promotion that is highly respected and give quality shows each and every time out that people will talk about. My vision for the company is to give Southern California a promotion the region can be proud of.
Steve: Is there any last things you want to say to people about Ground Zero?
B-Boy: I just want to thank those who support this project. Anything I do I always give 110% and on December 23rd it will be no different. San Diego needs this. The responsibility is now covered. Be a part of Phase 1 and be there when all of it first starts. I hope to have a successful debut show and continue something great out here. Thank you for the support. Let’s build together
Ground Zero will be holding its debut show, Phase 1, on December 23rd at The Imperial Beach Sports Complex in Imperial Beach. Tickets are on sale now. You can also follow Ground Zero on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.