To the fans and wrestlers of the Southern California independent wrestling organizations:
My name is not important, although some of you will flame me for not “having the balls” to attach it. My reasons for not attaching my name are fairly simple. I would like to get booked in the area without having to feel a negative backlash from a predominately “internet” fan base or, perhaps worse, not be booked at all.
By saying the above, of course it’s plain to see that I am a wrestler. In fact I have been for years, and with few exceptions, I would surmise that would be a “senior man” on any card. I have competed in the WWF and WCW, wrestled internationally, and have been in most “major” independents at some point or another. I give you this information only to give a glimpse into my credentials, to show that I am NOT some guy spouting an opinion. In fact, anyone reading this would surely know who I am. I’ve already told you why I’ve chosen to not include my name.
The purpose of this is also very simple. It’s a plea for help. For help in fixing your place in the industry in which you’ve chosen to take an interest. “Your place” meaning the Southern California “wrestling territory”. I use the term territory figuratively of course.
Some of you will be wondering, “What needs fixing?”Those asking that are precisely the people I am targeting. Let me be frank. EVERYTHING needs fixing. The promoters, the wrestlers, and the fans alike. Now before you get defensive, please, hear me out.
First, the promoters. Those who “promote”. Why does PWG only draw between 100-250 fans with stacked lineups when ROH has gone over 1000? Why does AWS do the same? What about other groups such as Martin Marin’s? It’s an easy answer, really. ADVERTISE. Get the word out. Put your name in people’s faces. Offer your wares to a larger audience. Promoters today think that means post on the net, or tell other internet followers. NEWS FLASH! The internet fans will be at the show. Drawing the families and other fans is a much more daunting task. And yes, it takes money. No one said it was easy.
Second, the wrestlers. And honestly, I have a really hard time using that term with the performers in Southern CA. Truly, I can count on one hand the locals in your area that I consider “wrestlers”. Wearing a mask and flashy tights doesn’t make you a wrestler. Forearming someone in the face because they do it in ROH doesn’t make you a wrestler. Jumping through tables and using weed whackers doesn’t make you a wrestler. Working the opener and then sitting in the crowd for the rest of the show doesn’t make you a wrestler. Having a match and then running home to your internet connection doesn’t make you a wrestler. I suppose my biggest gripe with SoCal is to its “wrestlers”. Please guys and girls, learn your craft, the nuances of it. Listen to your veterans, ask their opinions, and PLEASE for the love of God get trained. By a reputable trainer preferably (i.e. NOT Ron Rivera). But you’ve heard all this before…just repeating banter….
Thirdly, the fans. Oh, the fans. Southern CA’s fans suck. And it isn’t their fault. Why should wrestling be exciting or a spectacle to anyone when half the roster sits in the crowd after their match? Why would these people be so special as to cheer for them when they go out to eat with the fans that bought a ticket and discuss booking ideas? Why should they buy the merchandise that their “buddy” is selling? One could blame the internet, but that’s too easy. I blame the wrestlers. They are the ones that forgot that successful wrestling suspends reality. You never see Ric Flair sitting in Denny’s with a group of fans, and as a result it IS cool when you do see him. Same with Samoa Joe. Or CM Punk. Or Adam Pearce. Or Chris Daniels. Or the luchadors at AWS. Or the name talent that Rick Bassman brings in. Or anyone else that has wrestled in your area that I’d consider a “wrestler”. I ask you, is there not a pointed difference in those names when compared to other Socal regulars? Be honest. The “wrestlers” have killed their own crowd. And it isn’t a secret amongst “the boys” either. Everyone knows that the Socal crowds are horrible. But they aren’t horrible because they choose to be. They are horrible because they don’t know any better. Of course that can be changed, all it’d take is a little kayfabe, a little respect for the business and those who came before you, and for the smart fans to realize if they were really in tune with what wrestlers want, they’d cheer the babyfaces and boo the heels. They might even have fun while they’re at it. But that can’t happen as long as EVERYONE is IN the business.
I am aware that this sounds scathing and trite, and I honestly don’t mean it to be that way. I am just afraid that this area may be killed off so badly that it will invariably inhibit anyone from doing decent business, be it as a promoter, wrestler, or a consumer buying the product. Be open minded.