AS I SEE IT - 8/04/2002:
XPW Promoting 8/31 Philadelphia Show Without License
by: Bob Magee
The scheduled August 31 XPW show at the ECW Arena... a show which has had tickets sold, bus trips scheduled (from New York City), two commercials aired before and after the competing CZW promotion's TV show this past Saturday, and TV infomercials scheduled to advertise it (at 2:00 am on a local Philadelphia TV
station)... is doing so without a license with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.
Repeated communications by myself with sources within the State Athletic Commission over the last two weeks indicated that this was the case.
Further, it seems that XPW was not aware of the need to obtain a license, obtain a $10,000 surety bond, and officially inform the State that a show was to be held; all of which are Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission requirements.
Yet XPW has continued to sell tickets, rented the ECW Arena (reported to have paid twice the normal price, due to the late renting of the building), and a bus company has scheduled a bus trips to the show from the New York City area.
On August 1st, in a direct communication with the State Athletic Commission, Steven Bryant of Socaluncensored.com was told that XPW does not have a license to run in the State of Pennsylvania.
This story is being reported elsewhere; most notably in an early form by Dave Meltzer in this weekend's print edition of the Wrestling Observer, and by Jess McGrath of 1wrestling.com. Given Jess McGrath's usual care for stories, it is likely that he obtained independent verification as well.
On August 3rd, I received an e-mail by an Anthony DiBlasi on Wrestling-News.com, who states that he is the person responsible for obtaining licensure for XPW, that the necessary paperwork has been sent to the Pennsylvania State Commission, and that they're "just waiting for the license".
Further, he suggested that it was merely websites that "publish negative stuff" that posted this news.
Then another webmaster, possibly echoing the above news... a site that runs this column, claimed in an e-mail to 1wrestling.com reporter Mike Johnson that I "hadn't done my homework".
One problem with both of those comments.
Those posting this news aren't just your average 13 year old kid doing a cut and paste site posting rumors about Goldberg signing with WWE or nude pictures stolen from WrestlingVixxxens.com or WWE.com.
The fact is that a number of reputable websites have reported this item along with PWBTS; namely Steven Bryant on Socaluncensored.com, Jess McGrath of 1wrestling.com, and Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer in this week's print edition.
XPW has played the "us against the world" card for the last two years'; in a manner similar to ECW. They claim that their promotion is ignored by mainstream websites, and criticize Dave Meltzer for not covering them, 1wrestling.com for not covering them, as well as others.
There's one major difference. ECW had a product that a significant number of fans liked, and that they were willing to aggressively promote by word-of-mouth. When stipulations for matches were advertised, ECW delivered upon them. The same can't always be said of XPW.
As for the license, the fact that a license has (or may have) been applied for means absolutely nothing.
It's a fact that various people representing XPW have said the following on different message boards or to other individuals over the last 1-2 weeks:
1) "We didn't know we needed a license".
2) "XPW has had a license for 3 months".
3) "We're working on it".
4) "XPW got a license on August 31st."
Until a show is licensed, the show is illegal according to Pennsylvania law. That does
not mean that the promotion gets to sell tickets until the license comes in.
Here are the basic Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission regulations, available for all to read at this URL:
1) All promoters must have a valid promoter's license from the Commission - fee is $100 per year and the license will expire on December 31st of each year.
As of this writing, XPW does not have a license.
2) A surety bond (on a form supplied by the Commission) of not less than $10,000 must be on file with the Commission before the event. Cash or certified check may also be used instead of the bond.
As of this writing, XPW has not done so.
3) At least (10) days before the scheduled event you must notify the Commission, in writing, stating the time, date and location of your proposed event.
This may or may not have been done, depending on whether or not the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission has received the package that is alleged to have been sent to them.
4) Within (10) days after your event each promoter is required to complete and return a 5% Gross Receipts Tax Form (supplied by the Commission) along with a CHECK or MONEY ORDER made payable to the Commonwealth of PA. This 5% tax is on tickets sold at your event.
Obviously, this would not occur until after an event.
5) Before any event can take place a physician must be at ringside and stay at ringside throughout the exhibition. The physician fee is paid by the promoter. Also, an ambulance or paramedical unit must be present - unless the medical unit is located within (5) miles of your event and has been notified of your event. There must be adequate security personnel in the arena to control fans and the wrestlers.
XPW will need to obtain a physician. The ECW Arena is clearly within 5 miles of area hospitals.
6) Wrestlers MAY NOT deliberately cut themselves and all wrestlers must be over (18) years of age.
We all know how consistently the first is and isn't enforced...both here and in other states.
The age 18 is generally enforced, although there have been exceptions everyone is well aware of.
7) A Commission representative may be assigned to your event to monitor activities. The cost for this representative is $100 and is paid by the promoter. This fee can be paid along with the same CHECK or MONEY ORDER for the 5% tax.
Typically this representative in the Philadelphia area is Frank Talent.
A note on the surety bond: Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission regulation require promoters to put up $10,000 surety bond in order to prevent promoters from doing what, for example, Joel Goodhart did back in 1991, when he took ticket reservations for a show at the Philadelphia Civic Center, even though he knew he was going to go on his Saturday morning radio show and tell fans that he'd run out of money, and the promotion was closing down.
The regulations requiring such a bond allowed at least some fans (such as I) to get partial refunds for the ticket money we'd already spent, up to the $10,000 bond limit.
Incidents like that and promoters like that are why shows must be licensed in Pennsylvania. Despite what many of us think of government and outside forces interfering in our entertainment (including yours truly)... promoters like that are why shows must be licensed, $10,000 surety bonds must be arranged, physicians must be arranged for, and the State must be officially informed of such events.
All of the above are why I stick by my story, as should others reporting it, until definitive proof to the contrary is issued by the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.
If it is, you'll read about it here.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by
e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)