AS I SEE IT 2/4: The good, bad and ugly of indies this week
AS I SEE IT
This week, an update on a few recent items....ala the good, the bad and the ugly (but not in order), and they're connected. If you read all the way through the column, you'll get the connection.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
First, the (potentially) bad of our column, is an update on the proposed regulations from the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission .
In the originally proposed form, these regulations would kill independent wrestling in the State. Further, WWE has already indicated that if these regulations are implemented (and applied to them), they will no longer run in Georgia.
The next session of the Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission is scheduled for February 12. Should the Commission agree to modify the originally proposed regulations in light of what a promoter's committee proposed on January 15, the modifications will be published and will be made available for public comment. However, the Commission still has the option of passing the regulations as initially proposed in November of last year without modifications. If this takes place, the Commission will vote to pass and implement the original proposed rules at this February 12 hearing.
As a wrestling fan, you need to contact Kelly Farr, Georgia Athletic and Entertainment Commission Executive Director at KFarr@sos.state.ga.us, and let him know that as a wrestling fan, you do not want regulations implemented that will kill the business you enjoy within his state. Tell him that if any regulations are to be implemented, they should be the version that promoters have worked on so that the business can be regulated, but in a way that will allow promoters to continue to do business in Georgia.
Here's an update on the CHIKARA Pro Wrestling King of Trios...which is very definitely, the 'good' of our column:
CHIKARA Pro Wrestling presents a weekend of trios madness beginning Friday night, February 29th, and continuing on both Saturday, March 1st, and Sunday afternoon, March 2nd. Half of the participating teams will wrestle on Night 1, the other half on Night 2, and the survivors will clash on Night 3. All three days of the tournament will be hosted at the New Alhambra (the former ECW Arena) in South Philadelphia.
Here's an updated list of participants:
The Colony (Fire Ant, Soldier Ant, and Worker Ant)
F.I.S.T. (Gran Akuma, Chuck Taylor, and Icarus)
The Golden Trio (Incoherence, and Helios)
The Order of the Neo Solar Temple (UltraMantis Black, Hydra, and Crossbones)
The Fabulous Three (Mitch Ryder, Larry Sweeney, and Shayne Hawke)
Tim Donst, Drew Gulak and Andy Sumner
From Ring of Honor:
ROH Grads (Shane Hagadorn, Alex Payne, and Rhett Titus)
Sweet n' Sour, Inc. (Tank Toland, Bobby Dempsey, and Sara Del Rey)
From IWA and CZW:
Naptown Dragons (Drake Younger & Dustin Lee & Scotty Vortekz)
The BLK Out (Eddie Kingston, Sabian, and Joker)
From Elite Professional Wrestling:
The Soul Touchaz (Acid Jaz, Willie Richardson, and Marshe Rockett with C-Red)
From Minneapolis's F1rst Wrestling:
Team F1rst Wrestling (Arik Cannon, and The North Star Express)
From Hawaii's Action Zone Wrestling:
Team AZW (AkuA and The Immortals)
From the UK:
Team IPW:UK (Martin Stone and The Kartel of Sha Samuels and Terry Frazier)
Team BSE (Super Xtremo, Kobra Kai, and La Sombra Canadienese)
Team IWS (El Generico, and Super Smash Bros.)
From Booker T's Pro Wrestling Alliance:
The Southern Saints (Shawn Reed, Marcus O'Neil, and Chris Styles)
From WWF's past:
Team WWF (Demolition Ax, Demolition Smash, and One Man Gang)
From Japan independents:
Team Japan (KUDO, MIYAWAKI, SUSUMU)
Team El Dorado (Mototsugu Shimizu, Go, and Michael Nakazawa)
From Kaiju Big Battle:
Kaiju's Sea Amigos( Call-me-Kevin, D.W. Cycloptopuss III, Unibouzu)
Las Chivas Rayadas (Chiva II & Chiva III & Chiva IV
Los Luchadores de Mexico: Lince Dorado and El Pantera & Incognito
Tickets are available online at the CHIKARA US online store, CHIKARA international online store.
Saturday's events will also feature an afternoon fan conclave, with tickets $5.00 each, ONLY sold at the door. The event consists of separate autograph sessions with the Technicos and Rudos, a 30 minute Q&A session, and an opportunity to play Fire Pro R with the 'CHIKARA company Playstation' hooked to the ECW/New Alhamabra Arenatron.
IWA Deep South Wrestling, a hardcore-style independent in Alabama is closing its doors with some bitterness, claiming in an announcement post that "there is no money in the wrestling business anymore... MMA seems to be the wave of the future." and "We have Vince McMahon to thank for that". Partner promotion IWA Mid-South Wrestling is also on a winter hiatus from shows, although it has a March show scheduled.
Now, as I promised, the connection between all three of the "good, bad, and ugly"
Independent promoters are under pressure to survive from all sides, from MMA, other forms of entertainment, online and home videogaming, and State athletic regulating agencies. Independent wrestlers struggle to make a living from the craft they love. More than a few go home from a show after driving hundreds of miles with nothing more than a thank you and and empty pay envelope.
At the same time, many of you write to me and post hundreds of messages on message boards bitching about Vince McMahon and WWE or Dixie Carter and TNA.
Well, if you want an alternative to WWE or TNA, its time to put your time and your money where your mouth is. If you don't, more independent promotions will go the way of IWA Deep South...even your favorite ones. Hell, even Ring of Honor has had to make cutbacks in talent fly-ins for the coming year. If that doesn't drive the point home to you, I don't know what will.
When a State Athletic Commission tries to implement regulations that will shut the doors of promotions, do something about it. E-mail or call and raise hell.
Think it doesn't help? When enough people bitched to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission and the Pennsylvania Governor's office two years ago about the blatant hypocrisy of allowing Vince McMahon to advertise a No Way Out barbed wire match (at that time illegal in Pennsylvania), but banning CZW and others from running the same matches, something was done about it.
When CHIKARA puts on a weekend in Philadelphia like King of Trios, get your ass in a car, your friend's car, or carpool with someone you don't know except for a message board (CHIKARA's message board to start asking around is at CHIKARAFans.com). Save a few bucks and fly in (Southwest Airlines and other low-cost airlines fly to Philadelphia), take a Greyhound bus, ride a bicycle, or use whatever means you have to, in order to get to the ECW/New Alhambra Arena on February 29.
Don't tell me "you're busy". Don't tell me it's "not your type of promotion". Save your money far enough in advance to get to at least one of the weekend's shows. If you don't come to one or more shows at a weekend like this and make this King of Trios tournament profitable for CHIKARA, such a weekend won't happen again.
In the same way that Americans in 22 states will get a chance to nominate the major party candidates for President this Tuesday... but most will instead stay home, then bitch this summer and fall about the 2 nominated major party candidates being only a choice of "the lesser of two evils"; if you don't want to be forced to choose between than the lesser of two evils in WWE and TNA, and nothing more...time to put your money where your mouth is.
Until next time...
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