Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thanks Holzy!

Once upon a time there was an impressionable wrestling fan-who thought he could book matches. Come to find out that I don't know jack shit about booking. My "early" style was a hybrid of Russo with a side order of the drizzling s***s! . A few years ago Tom Holzerman called me on it, and I of course called him every name in the book. That world famous Kayafaber temper struck again. I thought I lost a friend.

I did deserve some of the blame. Back in 2001 I was given booking duties at Yes that same indy fed all the kids flock to today. If you read the first 2 shows that's all me-and boy does some of that stuff STINK. Don't ever ask me to script out a match-EVER! You want a "finish" ok, you want a germ of an idea. Great. If somebody comes to me today and tells me. "I wrote myself into a corner-I need a finish!" I am confident enough that I can come up with that.

Ok enough online booking stuff. Let's get back to WHY we are all here. WRESTLING! 

I guess I am getting old. I want my pro wrestling to get back to the basics. 2 guys fighting over a championship, and having great matches. See young talent bust their ass instead of phoning it in. I don't watch Raw and I have given up on TNA. The big boys have lost the plot.

I came across Holzy's blog over at So I started my own.  Hell I even came up with some booking stuff again.Just as an outlet. If I get an idea I'll post it. Do most of my ideas suck. Of course they do. 

Originally I started writing booking scenarios on FACEBOOK and for some reason I tagged Holzy. I respect his opinion. Those "ADD Booking" segments have migrated onto this blog. Along with everything else I like about the indies.  

Today I logged onto my FB and I see that Holzy via THE WRESTLING BLOG! gave me a mention. I don't think my blog is gonna set the world on fire, but for someone who has been at this a lot longer than I have-its a great compliment.

Thanks Holzy I appreciate it!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Fantasy Booking Time-New CZW champion.....Bryan Danielson?

Almost 4 years ago, Chris Hero challenged Bryan Danielson for the ROH title. This ignited a cross-promotional feud bettween ROH and CZW. What would happen if the CZW champion issued an "open" challenge to anyone from any company to come and face them at a CZW show. Enter Bryan Danielson, who not only accepts the challenge, but who WIINS the CZW title-much to the shock of the CZW faithful and management. Problem is where do you go from there.

A. Danielson promises to be a fighting champion and takes the CZW title all over the country and puts it up against any one, Champion or not! He evntually loses the belt to a homegrown CZW talent.

B. Danielson threatens to defend the CZW title hostage. He will not defend it in any of CZW's usual locations, or against any of CZW's top tier talent. He will defend it against anyone else

Friday, June 25, 2010

Buy those indy wrestling DVD's when you can.

I never got on the ROH bandwagon-not until Death Before Dishonor IV. Death Before Dishonor IV was the culmination of the ROH vs CZW feud. I couldn't see my self spending $20 a pop for a monthly show. I loved the presentation and the actual wrestling but what can I say I was a cheapskate. I wish I could of bought those DVD's when they came out or when they were on sale. Finding a few on EBAY but some of these people have got to be out of their minds $50 for a USED DVD? Reminds me of when I use to spend ungodly sums of my hard earned money for Led Zeppelin bootleg CD's out of Japan. 
I spent almost $150.00 for the above item. Why? Because it had a recording that was not commercially available. Plus I was nuts! Here's the clincher for you guys. Indy wrestling DVD's are not some deep dark secret. You don't have to kiss some tape hoarder's ass to get a 12th gen copy of a 3rd gen digitized reel. Companies like EVOLVE, or NWA Force 1, or your local indy probably tape their own shows. Or they go through a taping service like SMART MARK VIDEO or WORLD WRESTLING NETWORK.

Right now due to monetary strain (broke as a joke) I am only following one brand and that is EVOLVE. I wish I had gotten on board with DGUSA but who knows maybe after their 1st anniversary show. CHIKARA does a great thing and puts out a best of for a given year. That way you can get caught up. There are so many indies out there you would have to have a huge wad of cash to follow them all.

I can see why a tape traders circuit built up with indy wrestling. Its the only way to keep up. When I use to trade live shows for other live shows by bands like Zeppelin, and the Grateful Dead all I asked for was enough blanks (tapes, CD's DVD's) and postage to make it worth my while. I use to spin dubs of shows for people all the time. Half the fun was tracking down tapes, and making friends for life.

With wrestling the same kind of ethos cannot be established. So if you can't buy every single fed's DVD at least stick with one good one and support them. Maybe the indies can get together and offer direct downloads of their events, cutting bootlegs off at the source. Better yet maybe some enterprising soul will network with all these feds and make a LEGAL bit-torrent service, supported by fans FOR fans.

Better yet. Pick your favorite promotion. That promotion can offer subscriptions for the entire year. Instead of paying $20.00 a pop the promotion can offer you a year's worth of events for a flat fee. Offer single matches so fans can make their own comps. You know they're gonna be doing it anyway, so why not give them the chance to do it LEGALLY.

Just wish there was some kind of buyer's guide for indy wrestling DVD's. There use to be one for bootlegs called Hot Wacks, hell there use to be a magazine that offered objective reviews for bootleg CD's called ICE. Trust me one bad review from that magazine and that label kissed away any chance of any future sales with bootleg buying fanatics like me.

You can tell which companies actually give a s*** about their product, and you can tell which companies are out for the quick buck. I don't care if your DVD is on DVD-R or pressed DVD. If you release a show on great quality media (WITH NO TRACKING ERRORS), and if your product actually looks professional and is priced reasonably you'll get buys. If not, well you'll become like that bootleg CD label that gets laughs from punters even to this day OIL WELL!

In the meantime I am going to scour EBAY for some old school ROH right up til Ring of Homicide II. Yeah I am late for the party but better late than never. EVOLVE wrestling has 2 DVD's under its belt with a 3rd to follow very soon. Its too bad I cannot find Empress Valley Supreme Disk Zep CD's on EBAY....

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Interview With EVOLVE/DGUSA's Gabe Sapolsky

WHAT: I had asked members of the website to submit fan questions an interview. Those who took me seriously had their questions answered.
WHO: Evolve and Dragon Gate USA booker Gabe Sapolsky.

When did you become a wrestling fan?
When I was a kid. I was switching channels one Saturday morning, I think there were like 5 at the time, and saw Greg Valentine cutting a promo for an upcoming Boston Garden show and was hooked.

Favorite Fed?
The original ECW was such a great time as a fan and a place to learn.

Do you wish that the territory system was still in place?
It would be impossible for it to be in place now since the internet and national TV have really connected us all. The territories were a perfect system for wrestlers and bookers. When someone got stale, just move over to another region of the country and you were fresh again. It really insured work and kept things fresh and moving. I wish I was able to experience the territories first hand.

Will we ever see a time when the best of the independant feds come together for one huge super show?
Anything is possible, but I don't really see what it would accomplish now. Everyone is using similar talent. What makes the indies different from each other is the overall brand. For instance, CHIKARA and AAW and FIP and DGUSA and EVOLVE might use some of the same talent, but the overall vibe and structure of each promotion is different. You need a complete show from each promotion to show that difference. A supershow with just one match from each promotion couldn't accomplish that. It would be pretty pointless besides just spreading the names of various indy companies.

Why is Atlanta, Ga such a dead zone for pro-wrestling despite being WCW's seat of power of years? Any plans to run shows there?
That is a great question and I wish someone out there had the answer. However, it does look like we'll have Dragon Gate USA there for Wrestlemania weekend.

If you could have kept one of the talents that left for another fed, to bring to any fed you ran, who would it have been.
Well, that's a loaded question because I've been fortunate enough to book so many great talents. I couldn't really name one. I mean just look at the matches Samoa Joe, CM Punk, AJ Styles, Evan Bourne, Homicide, Low Ki, just to name a few, could have against the DGUSA and EVOLVE talent roster. There are so many match possibilities it would be hard to narrow it down to just one.

Is there any wrestler you felt another booker made more from than you did?
Chris Sabin looks like a guy I definitely dropped the ball with. He immediately comes to mind. He's had so much success in TNA with the Motor City Machine Guns and he didn't really have that kind of opportunity when I was booking him.

You're never going to be involved with TNA are you? ARE YOU?
LOL, good one.

Do you think you'll ever be able to infuriate eight year olds and the "It's still real to me" crowd like the NXT invasion of RAW did, or are fans "too smart" for that?
It's always possible, its just about everything clicking and coming together. It's magic when it happens.

How can one tell one indy fed from another? (the really good one's from the fly by nights?)
This is something that I feel really hurts indy wrestling. It is hard for casual fans to really tell one from the other, when there are huge differences between them. The fly by nights, which are run by amateurs, can really do a lot of damage and turn fans off. If they have one bad experience, then they won't give anything else a chance. We actually had this problem down in Florida with FIP as there were several towns that were killed by bad promotions. Then FIP comes to town and the average fan just sees it as the same thing and won't give it a shot. It is definitely a problem. I'm not sure what the solution is besides slowly building a reptutation and hoping word of mouth spreads. Either that or hoping that fans will do their research and see what gets a good buzz and why.

Has the internet helped or hurt wrestling?
It has done both. It has helped it tremendously because it lets you target your audience and affordably promote to them. There is no greater media at a cheaper price for spreading word about your promotion. Things like torrents and making bootlegging easier than ever have almost killed the business though, so that is a major negative. There are many major positives and negatives. The internet isn't going anywhere so we have to make the most of the positives and do our best to counter the negatives. For instance, for DGUSA was have tried to counter torrents and downloading by making our DVDs really special with 2 disc sets, deluxe packaging, optional commentary bonus matches and other things. We have tried to do the same with EVOLVE DVDs too. We want to make people feel good about owning them. It has meant we have had to step our game up and I feel we have done our best to do that.

Have "dirt sheets" (insider news letters) helped or hurt wrestling?
Some of both. They can ruin a great angle, but they can also create a great buzz. It's like the internet, but to a lesser extent. There are both major positives and negatives. Actually, there are a lot less negatives than the internet. The media can be really helpful when it comes to creating a positive buzz and that is a huge plus. The downside is really just spoilers. If you keep your nose clean and don't try to rip people off you really shouldn't have anything to fear with the "dirt sheets" as you call them in the question.

What to you is the ideal time for a wrestling match?
a. 10 min or less
b. 15-30 min
c. 45 min to an hr
d. Anything longer than that?
There is no right answer to this. It depends on the circumstances, the wrestlers, the angle, the building, the crowd, the place on the card, the goal of the matches, lots of factors. This is one of the most difficult parts of booking and wrestling.

Is tag team wrestling dead?
Not at all. Just pick up a Dragon Gate USA DVD or PPV and tell me that tag wrestling is dead. I love that style.

What to you is better: spot fests? chain wrestling? good story telling? combo of all 3?
Again, it depends on the talent involved, the circumstances, the crowd, the building, the place on the card, the goal of the match, and several other factors,

Looking at the Evolve roster right now if you had to crown an inagural champion who would it be?
Good question, but I can't give that away. Just keep watching. Thank you.

Where do you see EVOLVE and DGUSA in 5 years?
I've been asked this question for the various promotions I've worked for over the years and the answer is always the same. In 5 years they will be wherever the fans take them.

Would you use "legends" on any of your shows?
Sure, the right legends add to any show. Plus I usually mark out for guys I grew up watching anyway.

NXT Angle with Danielson-thoughts?
It was really awesome, easily the best and most excting angle in years. It was totally fresh.

NXT Angle WITHOUT Danielson-thoughts?
It seems like it still has steam, just not as much.

Would Evolve or DGUSA ever consider releasing compilation DVD's showing the best matches and angles for 2010?
Probably not right now. Part of the reason is that we feel we really deliver from top to bottom. We don't put filler on our shows. There wouldn't be much to edit off for a compilation DVD. You'd pretty much get the whole show anyway.

Anything you would like to tell anyone who has never heard of EVOLVE or Dragon Gate USA
Check us out and give us a chance. We are offering something different with both promotions. We put a lot of love and care into our products. We feel you will enjoy each if you give it a chance. You can go to or for more info on both promotions. We have free videos, articles, in depth roster pages and a lot more so you can really get a feel of each brand. Thank you for reading.

I want to thank Gabe for taking time out to do this interview. please check out the sites and spread the word. EVOLVE's next show will take place on 7/23/2010 at the Ace Arena in Union City, NJ. Dragon Gate USA's 1st year anniversary show will take place on 7/24/2010 at THE ARENA in South Philadelphia, PA. Both events will feature the return of "American Dragon" Bryan Danielson.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

From The Desk of the ADD Booker: Kong vs Martinez

Its real simple make it an open challenge at EVOLVE 4 on 7/23. Mercedes after beating another challenger gets on the mic, pushes Lenny Leanord out of the way and just yells: "KONG I am the hardest hitting woman in wrestling and I want to challenge you to a fight!" KONG meanwhile after disposing of the BDK at the CHIKARA show on 7/25 is asked by Gavin Loudspeaker about Mercedes' challenge. She shrugs it off. Mercedes then keeps issuing the challenge to KONG where ever she goes and KONG keeps dismissing her.....UNTIL Mercedes and KONG are booked on the same show....they then have face to face, but just as things are about to get out of control. They are pulled apart. A bidding war ensues to see which fed will host the showdown. In other words book it as a combo of Flair/Race and Taz/Sabu



KONG is coming to CHIKARA!!

If these two think they can get over on Kong they are mistaken. Only one way to catch the action and that is to go to the show on 7/25/2010. I am not even gonna fantasy book this because if the powers that be put over the BDK they are f***ed in the head. Now when are we gonna see KONG vs Mercedes Martinez? Oh great armchairbookeritis just flaired up next post. All roads lead to Kong vs Martinez

The Legend of Edward Bigflank!

Edward Bigflank is a big and burly mountain man. He is descended from British aristocracy, so he does have some manners but he is for all intents and purposes he is a brute. Think of a combo between King Ralph (played by John Goodman) and Bluto from Popeye. He decides to get into professional wrestling as a way to supplement his income, and to see the world. His wrestling style (if you can call it that) is to take his opponent and pummel him into submission. His one true love died while he was out on his day job (logger, trapper, et all), he came home to find her mauled by a bear. She was the best cook in the world and after every match he picks the preetiest girl from the crowd in the hopes that she can make him a homecooked meal! According to Ed he will never retire from the sport of wrestling, but he does take some time off to go back up to the mountains.

You too can create your own wrestling character  GO HERE Thanks to Tom Holzerman and his blog!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Evolve Wrestling Presents EVOLVE 4-7/23/2010

EVOLVE is very pleased to announce that there will be an EVOLVE event this summer. EVOLVE 4 will take place on Friday, July 23rd at the Ace Arena on 725 Sip Street in Union City, New Jersey. Belltime is 8:00pm. This is right by the Lincoln Tunnel and a heartbeat away from New York City. The Ace Arena is an intimate building with a fight club atmosphere. You will be right on top of the intense action. We will have ticket info soon right here on the News Ticker. Already signed for this event are:

-Jimmy Jacobs (3-0) -Drake Younger (1-0) -Sami Callihan (1-0)-Brodie Lee (1-1)
-Bobby Fish (0-3)-Jon Moxley (0-1)-Adam Cole (0-1)-Rich Swann (debut match)

Okay match possibilities here are ENDLESS with just these names announced so far. The armchair booker in me cannot resist. For all the talent signed on and that will be signed on why not have a tourney to determine a champion or in this case an ACE. Since they are having it in a place called the ACE Arena.

Who will Bryan Danielson face at EVOLVE 4?
Where is Chuck Taylor? The guy who wants to rub it in EVOLVE's face?
Are we gonna see any tag team matches? Dark City Fight Club vs Aeroform?
Will CHIKARA make an appearance.....and will Kamikaze USA be there?
Will Jon Moxley and Jimmy Jacobs continue their feud @ EVOLVE?
Will Drake Younger square off against Brody Lee?
Will the annoying Mr. Davis return? If he does will Mercedes Martinez slap some sense into him...somebody needs to? Every time I see him I have the same type of reaction that Joey Styles use to have every time JASON made an appearance.

Only way for you guys to find out is to GO TO THE SHOW!!. If you can't go to the show (like me b/c I reside in Sweatbucket, FL) buy the DVD when it comes out.

EVOLVE doesn't answer to stockholders, and corporate sponsors. EVOLVE answers to only one contingent THE FANS!  Support Indy Wrestling-the last bastion of TRUE wrestling left, b/c the big boys have "lost the plot"

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Giving Credit Where Credit Is Due-NXT Invasion of Raw

Last night the WWE showed why they are so far ahead of TNA. I know that this blog started out as a focus on indy wrestling, and it will continue to be that way. Last night the NXT season 1 rookies "invaded" Raw and took out not only John Cena and CM Punk but everyone and everything around them. Even the ring itself got trashed. We went from hyping the "A-Team" movie to the main event-and then we watched the devastation. No announcers needed to "hype" what was going on. What will TNA counter with? I am not going to poop all over this angle just yet. I want to see a slow build, and an eventual payoff!

***EDIT*** After reading my friend Tom Holzerman's blog about the events of last night-I have one more thing to add. This NXT crew could go on for years-eventually some of the original guys are gonna break away and become main eventers making room for other NXT'ers. Maybe in season 2 you could have original NXT'ers try to woo the fresh crop of rookies into the fold. Just a thought.

Monday, June 7, 2010

You Tube Stuff

If you go to you tube just type in the following phrases. "Wrestling's Hidden Gems" and "Rasslin Tonight" have fun!

Dutch Mantell vs. Nesbitt-MUST READ

A great "road story" by former TNA creative member "Dirty" Dutch Mantell. I could totally picture Lance Cade doing this with some "plant" in the audience. I know I am not supposed to talk up "corporate" wrestling, but this would translate very well on TV. No "insider" bullshit or reheated leftovers from 15 years ago needed. No over the top "histrionics" either. You can call it "lowbrow" but when done right simplicity and logic go a long way.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Evolve 1 and 2-Two Hype Vids for both cards

Two hype videos of a promotion that I think everyone should get into
check out
Both DVD's are available for $25.00 for a limited time offer
Evolve 3 should be out in a few weeks time.