AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
First, comments on last week’s column about independent promotions using or not using the Internet as one way to promote their shows:
From Lee Schwartz, who worked for the original ECW:
Best line in the entire article…
“What should that website consist of? If nothing else, it should use intelligible English. Use spell check. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE use spell check, and ask someone to check it for grammar and spelling mistakes before you send it out.”
I’ve seen so many mistakes on Indy websites as well as ‘Rants’ that wrestlers post on other websites. Hint…DOI! Ugh, they should be ashamed of themselves…such as ‘I have no doubt that (The Celebrity Boxing Promotion) will not be successful.’ AMAZING!
Also saw that ACPW was asking fans to visit their ‘SPONCERS.’ Granted, you don’t have to be a Wharton graduate, but a grade school education might be nice.
Would love to see you do an article on the ‘drama’ behind the scenes. I admire anyone would become a Pro Wrestler. The bumps, the bruises and, in many cases, are barely enough to cover gas if you get paid at all. However, I could never understand all the whining that goes on in the back. ‘I worked for XYZ and now ABC won’t book me.’ I can’t job to this guy because THAT guy beat him and it makes me look weak” etc. I know you know what I mean. UGH!
The “drama” part would fill a book (and has many times), forget a column.
Then, from Mark Bland of Fox Sports’s Absolute Wrestling Radio in St. Louis:
I just got done reading your article on promoting local indies. A good piece. As a sidenote for you to think about…I am a radio personality in St. Louis, MO that hosts the ONLY wrestling/MMA show in the entire area. Since I do all those things (that you put into your story) to promote my own show, I know the struggle that it is.
When we first started Absolute Wrestling Radio on Fox Sports, I decided (being a former indy wrestler) I was going to show love to the indy promoters and try to promote their shows for nothing each show. I would do a quick rundown of the show dates and a website for more information. EACH WEEK I had to go out of my way to get info and dates for their shows. Never once did they call me to feed me the info and promote themselves.
On top of that, NEVER ONCE did the local promotions ever ask me and my radio show partner to any shows in St. Louis. Never once did they try to work with us and promote our show through their channels. And finally, they never once THANKED us for trying to illuminate STL indy wrestling at all.
Currently, I am embroiled in the hottest indy wrestling angle in the Midwest (legitimately) and I still get no love from indy wresting promoters. I have done more for Indy Wrestling in the MIDWEST as a radio show host with this wrestling angle, than all the organizations combined have done in the past 8 years! I got legitimate sports superstars such as Cam Jansen from the Blues, Kevin Randleman of Strike Force, Phil Baroni, and many others to get on tape and choose sides. This scene has never seen an angle of this magnitude because they don’t have the contacts.
Maybe I am a cynic for believing that the indy scene could benefit from a good radio show like mine. But in the end, it doesn’t matter….they will still do their shows at KC halls, and I will be on a major radio network talking about WWE and TNA because the indies never cared….
I hope all is well Bob and I really did like that piece you did on promoting indy wrestling.
From Georgie Makroupoulos:
“I am always telling my photographer Bob how horrible some of the e-mails I receive are. It appears to me that people nowadays are so uneducated. Its a shame. Sometimes spell check won’t help, when they do things like use “their” when it should be “there”.
I have gotten to a point, I don’t change the e-mails anymore, if they want to look stupid, it’s ok with me. It’s too much trouble to change them all. Sometimes I have to list about 19 emails of upcoming shows all at once. It gets to be too much.
Thank you for educating them.”
The only problem is…when people read something on your website, they attribute it to your website, not to the promotion sending it, so the typo winds up reflecting on you no matter what. I even remember PWinsider.com telling promoters that they would stop editing submissions for spelling and major grammar mistakes…along of the lines of what Georgie said. It seems that it made no difference. The submissions came in exactly as they had before.
With all of this, something else is important to note. Promotions can’t promote SOLELY online. The seemingly old-fashioned methods that have been used for years and years; namely leafletting, postering with local businesses and on telephone polls (where its legally or semi-legally allowed), leafletting other wrestling shows, and so on are still juist as valuable. The point is in a competitive market, you have to use EVERY means to advertise…old school advertising and new school advertising.
CZW has scheduled its Chris Cash doubleheader for next month, when it returns to the ECW Arena on September 12.
It was nearly four years ago, on August 18, 2005, that CZW wrestler Christopher “Chri$ Ca$h” Bauman Jr. was killed as the result of a motorcycle accident near his home. Bauman had been riding a motorcycle on Ellis Street in Glassboro, NJ when a Ford Taurus turned in front of it from Higgins Drive, striking the car on the driver’s side of a vehicle driven by Daisy Gwin of Glassboro, NJ.
Christopher J. Bauman Jr., 23, died at the scene, as did his cousin 27 year old Jeremy Bauman, 27, of Franklinville, NJ the driver of the motorcycle. Gwin, 68, of Glassboro, died en route to Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Washington Township, NJ.
Chris was always genuinely friendly in a way that a lot of wrestlers aren’t, but had the wild side we all had at age 23. He was a nice young man, in every sense that the phrase used to mean; and always felt obligated to call me “Mr. Magee” when I came to a show (even when I told him he didn’t have to), would always say hello when I saw him at a CZW show and tell me he’d seen something or another on my PWBTS.com site. Bauman worked for CZW from 2001 through 2005, with many non-CZW fans even taking notice of him at Cage of Death 5 in his absolutely psychotic ladder match with Blackout’s Joker (who left the promotion shortly afterwards to serve in the US military over in Iraq for one of his tours of duty).
The oddest thing is that this match wasn’t even supposed to happen in the way that it did; as it was originally scheduled as a tag team bout, involving Deranged and Azriael, who were working the Jersey All Pro Wrestling show in Rahway, NJ, then come down to Philadelphia for CZW. But in an almost unprecedented moment for those who know CZW… the show was actually running ahead of schedule. As a result, Deranged and Azriael were not yet at the building. Another version of the story had the two calling the building, telling CZW they were just leaving…and were told not to bother, because they’d never make it in time.
In any event, this forced the promotion to go ahead with a singles ladder match, which turned out to be the best thing that could have happened, as it made two stars for CZW in one night with Cash and Joker nearly stealing the entire show. Psycho spots in this match included Cash bulldogging Joker while his head was inside a rung of a ladder off the ropes onto a chair, a top rope superplex onto a ladder stuck at a 45 degree angle into the rungs of another ladder; ending with one of the sickest spots I’ve ever seen in my years of shows at the ECW Arena, as Joker hit his Joker Driver (tiger driver from an electric chair position) off the top of a high ladder with Cash through a table for the pin.
Cash also main evented Cage of Death 6/War Games, as part of the babyface Team Ca$h (Nate Webb, Sexxy Eddy, Cash, JC Bailey) against heel team (turned babyface and heel again) Blackout (Ruckus, Sabian, Kingston, and Jack Evans. As usual, the match featured the daredevil spots for which Cash was known throughout his all-too-short career; including dumping Jack Evans via backdrop off the COD to the floor, and giving Sabian a Cashflow off of the scaffold through four tables, landing in the second row of the ECW Arena.
All I could think when I heard the news was: God…Chris was easily young enough to be my son. Sons aren’t supposed to die before the parents…or their contemporaries. At the same time, I can’t imagine Chris as a 40 or 50 year old. His spirit was too free and wild to have ever been anything but young.
So now… it’s nearly four years later. Here’s the memorial video done by CZW for Bauman: this link. Watching it as I did this column this weekend still gets me choked up…even years later.
Go to PWBTS for news on the matches scheduled fo this doubleheader as they are made public.
Until next time….
If you have comments or questions, or if you’d like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at the address above. If you’d like to add advertising on PWBTS.com (the flagship website of this column), banner ads are available for $400 for one year. These ads would appear on each newspage appearing on the newsboard. Cube ads are available for $200 for one year, which would be placed on the main newsboard page.