The Wrestler Panel (Repost).By G · · 3 Comments
A Celebration of Professional Wrestling Continues!
G’s Note: I organized a project a year ago in honor of the art of professional wrestling. It was a massive endeavor, and one that I enjoyed doing. Originally, I intended on doing it in a theme of a fan panel where fans submitted the questions and then answered each other’s questions. However, my friend Big Bad Chad, helped me coordinate this panel with a number of independent hardworking gentlemen… a true exclusive conversation by wrestlers about wrestling. As we approach the weekend of WrestleMania XXVII, I wanted to bring this article back out of obscurity in honour of all wrestlers who graciously donated their time to allow this project come to fruition. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it!
Special thanks to whatever who designed the banner last year!
Welcome to Project Wonderboy’s celebration of Professional Wrestling! We are right around the corner of the biggest wrestling event of the year: WrestleMania! However, we are not going to focus on merely the WWE, or TNA for that matter. Today is about giving a nod to the art of wrestling, the thrill of the suspension of disbelief, and the respect that fans hold for the warriors of the squared circle.
A professional wrestler merges athleticism, storytelling and artistry. The result is something unique unto itself… a thing of beauty. While it would be one sided if we focused our celebration to professional wrestling on fan input. So, it seems only fitting to kick things off by speaking with the people who live and best understand the craft: Professional Wrestlers. With all “smarkiness” aside, On this WrestleMania weekend, we are graced and honored to be joined by some dedicated warriors of the squared circle.
Click on the name for biographical information.
Question 1: Since the WWE/WWF is the bar-none most watched wrestling program, it defines what the casual and non-fan considers “wrestling.” In the last ten years or so, we have seen a gradual change of the WWE product which has virtually eliminated hardcore/garbage wrestling, managers, the cruiser-weight division, and to a lesser extent, the tag team division. Of these four areas, which one in particular being lost has hurt the product most and why?
Big Bad Chad:
Managers. They add a whole other level to things. Like Paul Ellering look at the AWA Road Warriors day he added depth to the whole thing not to mention jim cornette or paul e dangerously.
Probably managers: the WWE seems to have a lot of talented guys that look good but aren’t very good talkers. A new wave of Jimmy Harts, Bobby Heenans and Jim Cornettes could get some great mileage out of guys like Jack Swagger, Mike Knox, etc. Matt Striker was doing a good job of that with Big Daddy V and Mark Henry, for example, before getting sent to the booth. JBL could be a great manager in the style of Ted DiBiase, etc.
Dr. Marty Goldstein:
Tag teams. It used to be important to follow, and it is so downgraded the fans don’t care.
The tag team division is hurt the most. Wrestling from past years had great tag teams. Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard, The Rockers, The Road Warriors,The Minnesota Wrecking Crew , The Wild Samoans just to name a few. Plus all the tag teams that Captan Lou Albano managed. Tag team matches use to be full of psychology. If you watch Arn Anderson ,Tully Blanchard vs The Rockers in any match they ever had ,fans would be on their feet at all the right moments. Their matches for me were absolutely the most entertaining on the card and used the most ring psychology. I think due to tv time constraints tag team matches are way too short and do not have the same impact as the matches of earlier years.
Question 2: Due the medical issues wrestlers seem prone to, such as injuries, drug use, and short lifespans affect your ability to enjoy the product? And as a fan/wrestler, what level of responsibility do you feel for the perpetuation of these problems?
Dr. Marty Goldstein:
I really got soured on watching the product after Eddy when they exploited his death in angles. I saw little kids I was raising, emotionally invested in Guerrero, and it was impossible to explain the angles that followed after the tribute to them. It was sickening.
Having lived the life to some extent I don’t feel at all responsible. Theatre has alcoholism, drug abuse, high drama, and no one calls for them to be lily-white. This is a business that will by nature attract free-spirits, high strungs, aggressive athletes, ego-driven showoffs, and even the odd half-normal person. They all must find ways to get by, cope, and survive. Almost without exception they are responsible for their own decisions and actions.
Each wrestler has to take responsibility for his or her own actions. Yes injuries are a huge part of this business. It is up to each indivdual on how he or she deals with them. No one makes wrestlers take drugs,or steroids. It is each wrestlers choice to do so. Short life spans are very unfortunate but , it is their choices that lead to early demises.
I will enjoy wrestling no matter what, but it gets depressing when so many people die young. I know the WWE offers rehab like any other big business, but at the end of the day, the responsibility lies in the individual: if you have a drug problem, grow a pair, own up to the problem, and get some damn help.
Question 3: Even in this era of the so-called smark fan base, what is the one false tenet or urban myth the the average fan believes is true which frustrates you the most?
There are some very knowledgeable smarks who come to the shows regularly. Believe it or not they do influence booking and storylines , but smarks have absolutely no idea of what it takes to do what we do. They have no clue on how much training, gym time and film studying we do. When it comes down to it smarks really know nothing about what really goes on.
Dr. Marty Goldstein:
McMahon saving the business by delivering it from the smoke-filled halls. That’s the worst.
Question 4: ). Now with over 15 years of internet presence (IWC), do you feel has benefited pro wrestling?
The Internet is a blessing and a curse: you can see so much more wrestling, and have access to so much great stuff from the past and hidden gems from around the world…and it has helped promotions like ROH become pretty big. But there’s so much crap out there, too: internet rumors and outright lies, career assassinations, con-artists and hustlers, the whole nine yards. But it’s definitely a necessary evil.
Dr. Marty Goldstein:
There would be no indy’s without the internet. And it has replaced the territorial phone calls/mailing 8×11’s/having a buddy try to get you booked, with emails, fan pages, streaming video etc. It’s a big part of how talent gets booked. Without the internet there would be next to no wrestling in most places as it gets virtually no coverage or access to traditional mediums.
The internet has helped wrestling greatly. You can easliy check out any indie promotion in any part of the world with just a few clicks. You can purchase memorabilia from just about all promotions or a wrestlers individual website. Check out www.honkytonkman.net
Question 5:Back in the territory days, staying loyal to one promotion (until it was time to move on to the next territory) was the accepted way of doing business; especially in an era when territories had to deal with “outlaw” promotions trying to do their own business within said territories. However, in this day and age of struggling independent promotions (many of which don’t run more than 2 or maybe 3 shows a month), several promotions throughout North America demand loyalty, yet can only offer their wrestlers 20-30 matches a year. Does loyalty of this nature even make sense in this day and age, or does it go against the very nature of what the word “independent” is supposed to mean?
Each wrestler should be able to work in as many promotions that he or she is able to do. If a promotion is only booking you once a month , you should be able to work other promotions freely.Being loyal to one promotion is good, but if you are only booked once a month loyalty is going to pay any bills.
Dr. Marty Goldstein:
Expecting basic loyalty makes sense. If some rival promotion is defaming your promotion, how can performers justify going to work for them and make them money to carry on that type of behavior. How can the promoter justify using them again?
In that regard, the boys are their own worst enemies because some are simply whores and don’t think of the big picture.
But– Just refusing to let guys work across offices without valid reason small time bullshit. Trying to tie up the market and monopolize the talent is also illegal. Exclusivity has to come with a guaranteed price for the talent.
Ultimately it’s up to the talent to be so invaluable as a draw or behind the scenes, that the offices respect their professional self-employed goals
Question 6: Is it wrong to stretch trainees and greenhorns?
Big Bad Chad: Stretch ’em…Time honoured tradition!!
No I don’t think it is wrong to stretch trainees or greenhorns. Many of the younger wrestlers today have attitude problems that need to be dealt with, and policing it ourselves I feel is they way to go
Question 7: What was the best moment you had and what is the one regret about your career?
Big Bad Chad:
Best moment was my first match against Private Todd Kelly back in 1999 at the old Eagles Hall in New West, That place was always CRAZY!! Good times! My biggest regret is staying away for so long but now Iam back and its good.
The best moment for me was my first taste of success. This happened when I got the opportunity to wrestle Rocket Randy Tyler. I was fortunate to be put in a program with him for about six months. He is by far the best wrestler I have ever been in the ring with and I feel he is one of the best wrestlers in the country. I learned so much from him and after that program ,a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders due to my lack of ring ability.
Regrets I have many. I think maybe I should have been a little nicer to some of the newbies that try to come into the business. It is hard to break in to this business and I am sure that it didn’t help with my attitude to some of the newbies.
— BEST MOMENT: winning my first title, and having the crowd just totally getting behind me and celebrating that win with me: it was very cool.
— BIGGEST REGRET: lost friendships within the wrestling business
Dr. Marty Goldstein:
Best moment — I’d say the conclusion of One Ring Circus when Scotty Mac won the feature bout and climbed the corner. The pop was exactly what I had hoped for at the culmination of the show and Brian Howell (the author) was ecstatic. Actually, maybe the shrieks of horror when Moondog Manson knocked Brian out with a chairshot during an interview earlier in the show was the best. The chair is still mounted on his wall — his wife insisted. I was really really proud of that book launch event.
My one regret was that I didn’t come out to BC in 1986 when the Winnipeg guys (Denton and McColl and Bundy) were working for Al Tomko. I didn’t realize at the time, how well I could have done by getting that national TV exposure, not just in wrestling but for my broadcast career. More recently, when our PPW pitch in 2007 didn’t get funding on the Dragons Den. We should have asked for $125,000 because they would have bit at that price, they really liked Chris Tidwell and the impromptu wrestling segment we did.
Question 8: What would it take to develop a wrestling company in Canada that would comparable to the WWE or TNA ?
Dr. Marty Goldstein:
Federal funding and recognition as a Canadian cultural entity and art form. I think One Ring Curcus proved that in the bigger markets, the only way to succeed is to craft, advertise and present the product as theatresport. That style gives pro wrestling greater appeal to the masses (like fringe festivals).
This question I have thought about for a long time. First you would need a lot of money to start. I think there is more than enough Canadian talent to form a solid roster. A national tv spot would be a necessity. Then you would need solid people around you to make it successful. Not the snakes and cancers that plague this industry.
Millions of dollars, a cross-country TV deal, and someone with the guts/fortitude to perservere when times were tough. In short: a miracle.
Wrestler’s Websites and More
“The Great Canadian Talk Show on 92.9 Kick-FM – featuring Dr. Marty Goldstein”
“Lumberjack Bubba’s Biography at ECCW”
“Big Bad Chad’s Official facebook page”
Support Your Independent Scene – UPCOMING EVENTS!
We’d like to thank all of the wrestlers who contributed to this wrestling panel! Needless to say, it is an exciting weekend for fans, marks, and smarks alike. As we sit on the eve of WrestleMania, we here at Project Wonderboy hope you enjoy the spectacle Sunday night. But remember, there is much more out there than just WWE. Support your local wrestling organizations and the dedicated guys and gals who bust their humps to entertain you… the fan. Here is some promotions you need to check out:
The Pacific NorthWest and British Columbia, Canada
International Championship Wrestling
“Stairway to Gold” April 3rd in the Cloverdale Arena at the Fairgrounds in Cloverdale, BC! The show starts at 8PM, doors at 7PM. More information here.
“Stairway to Gold” The debut show in Kamloops on April 17 at the Pavilion Theatre in Kamloops! The show starts at 7PM. More information here.
Extreme Canadian Championship Wrestling
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Old School Championship Wrestling
Premier Championship Wrestling
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I think I'd like to pick the brains of some of the local WNY talent in a similar way. This was a pretty cool piece, and I thank you for sharing it with us!
I think it worked well because I was true to my word with them as to what it would be. And I promised to shill any show and promotion they wanted in exchange for their time. Most of the questions they discussed were submitted by the wrestlers themselves, which is the point of the whole article and made it a fun read for me too. You should totally try and hook something like this up.
That was a great read! Thanks for sharing! Always fun to hear the opinions of others regarding the mental world of pro wrestling!