This is the beginning of what will become a weekly segment that may also be done a couple times a week. Ladies & Gentlemen Welcome to The Rampage Rant. Today's Edition We Talk Indy Wrestling.
When I first started in the wrestling business around 2002 the Wrestling Commission in Illinois had just been lifted about one year prior. For those that are NOT aware Illinois used to be a licensed state for Professional Wrestling events and you could not run a show without one of these licenses. It wasn't until the Commission was lifted in Illinois that we started to see an abundance of companies pop up all over the state. Wrestling around this time was really hot because you had all the guys that were making names for themselves like C.M. Punk, Matt Sydal, Claudio Castagnoli and several others that would go on to become BIG TIME stars and make it to the grand daddy of them all in Professional Wrestling. But let me stop there for a minute and emphasis this the guys listed above were Professional Wrestlers that were turned into Sports Entertainers. The big times have not focused on the basics of wrestling for a very long time its more about the drama and the bull**** then it is about the wrestling anymore.
Anyway back to the rant... In this time period you had wrestling companies that put emphasis on the wrestling and they were able to put butts in seats each and every month because they made the people on their rosters the stars and put the emphasis on them. They also didn't focus in bringing in the former television names each and every show they did it sparingly to make it mean something and never brought in the top name you could get in at that time right away because they had the philosophy that you had to be able to outdo yourself the next time you brought in a name You fast forward to today and you've got companies all over the state of Illinois and beyond that can not figure out to put asses in seats because they aren't doing everything they could be doing for their company. You've got companies in Illinois that have to bring in names each and every show just to survive because they themselves are the ones that started that trend over 5 years ago. Its not just one area of IL that there is a problem it is the whole damn state from north to south from east to west there are wrestling companies EVERYWHERE you turn all over the country. People in the business have NOT protected it enough to make it to where every tom dick and harry could NOT get in. Now if you've got money and can buy gear, a ring, sound equipment, & beyond you can run a show, even if you've never been trained to be a wrestler yourself ( I can name quite a few companies like this). Then you have companies that want to run but they are "Non for Profit"... HOW THE **** DOES THAT WORK???
You have companies all over Illinois that don't understand the concept and the power of TV Advertising... their excuse is it's costly... It ONLY is if you do NOT plan accordingly. Your main market is the people that watch RAW, TNA, & Smackdown each and every week and the ONLY way to reach them is to advertise during those shows. Everyone thinks that they can put up flyers and put their event information up on here and its going to put tons of butts in the seats. I speak from experience and say that NOTHING could be further then the truth. It is your job as a promoter to make sure you are getting the word out there in every single solitary way you possibly can. The more people that know about your show and more ways of getting the word out there the better your chances are of drawing a full house. But you also have companies out there that want to put a **** product out there and then wonder why the **** people do NOT come back the following show.
Ed Chuman once told me it takes a LIFETIME to gain a fan, but it takes a split second to lose them and a lifetime to gain them back if ever. Meaning if the product is consistently good the people will return each and every time but if the product hits a low point you may lose them and once you've lost them they are gone for good unless you are lucky enough to regain them by some miracle. This is NOT just a problem in Illinois its a problem in ALL unsanctioned states for professional wrestling. Wrestling is something that is one of my passions and something I find that is sacred to me. I'm not saying wrestling can be restored back to it's glory days from the 70's & 80's, but I am saying you can break yourself away from the trend that has been created and put the emphasis on the wrestling itself and the story telling that you would see asses return to seats month after month and you would see yourself turn a profit. People want WRESTLING! Not a comedy show, some soap opera drama, or a spotfest, or an absolute bloodbath massacre for that matter. You have to find a good balance and know that your job as a promoter is to dictate to the fans what they want, how they want it, and when they are going to see it... NOT the other way around and several promoters in Illinois & Across the country need to learn this.
People we can make Professional Wrestling come back it's not DEAD, it just needs a breath of fresh life breathed into it. You also have people that believe that Kayfabe is dead..Its ONLY as dead as YOU make it. It's your job as a promoter to make sure that the mystery factor and suspense factor is there at all times. You also have promotions all over the state of Illinois and the whole country that are running the same areas and over saturating the areas instead of working together with the same goal in mind. Pro Wrestling used to be a family, but now you have every tom dick and harry out for themselves.
You also have promoters that do NOT understand booking 101 that if your the promoter and your actively wrestling in your own company that you NEVER under ANY circumstances put the MAIN belt on yourself because that's what your paying the guys on the rest of your roster for and if you don't have a guy worthy enough of holding your main title to carry your company that you prolly have no business running shows in the first place. If ANY promoter is actively wrestling in their own company and puts their MAIN title on themselves it's done to inflate their already overly large EGO.