Monday, 2 June 2003

2nd June 2003

An interesting question was asked of me some time ago  why don't I stage my own wrestling show? The feeling was that as I was a man full of ideas, I would, therefore, make a good wrestling promoter.

I have been in and around the wrestling business for about eighteen months now, and the first thing I learned was that although it seems like an easy job, actually promoting a show is a damn sight harder than it looks.

Although I don't speak from experience when I say this, but if you are an aspiring, wannabe promoter looking to make a quick few quid by putting on a wrestling show in your local town hall or sports centre then you're in the wrong job. Speaking to a few people who have staged a handful of shows, most of them will tell you that they actually made a loss on their first show.

Promoting a wrestling show is a hard and thankless task, there is so much to do, and so little time in which to do it.

Possibly the most important thing is the advertising, which in itself can cost you an arm and a leg. And, if course, there are many forms of advertising. Promoting your show in the local newspaper is a good start, but then again if your advertisement isn't eye catching, then no-one will notice.

Another possibility is getting the aforementioned newspaper interested in running a story about your show. This sort of publicity would do your show no end of good. If you can get your local radio and television stations interested as well, then so much the better.

Advertising in the local press isn't enough though. You must also be willing to walk a good few miles while getting local retail establishments to carry your posters, promoting your show.

Postering the local area can be frustrating, depending on the area. Most of the times I have been postering, the towns I have visited have been more than willing to help. However, there have been times when postering teams have left towns shaking and scratching their heads, annoyed at the fact that local businesses have been unwilling to help. This is because some people still view wrestling as a "down-market" form of entertainment. You and I know that this is far from the truth.

The content of your poster is also very important. It has to be eye-catching, it has to grab the attention of the man in the street as they walk past their local corner shop. It's all well and good using a basic word processor program, but if you have a top-notch graphics program, or know someone who has, use that. The saying that presentation is everything is very true in this case.

Many people would have you believe that in today's world, you can't promote a show without the help of the Internet. In my opinion, this isn't the case. Although you can get some good exposure on the web, you are never going to fill a hall with people who have only found out about your show on a web site. It just isn't going to happen.

Then we come to two of the most important parts of any wrestling show. You can't have a wrestling show without a wrestling ring, as I'm sure many of you who were in Blackburn a few months ago will realise. As far as hiring a ring goes, I would hire a ring from someone close to your venue, not on the other side of the country. And once you have booked your ring, always have a back-up plan, someone who can get a ring to you should something happen to your first man. Again, think back to Blackburn a few months ago.

Then comes the most important part - the wrestlers themselves. What sort of performer should you go for? Should you bring someone in from overseas that would appeal to the Internet crowd, or should you go for someone more local, who you can trust? This is entirely up to you. You could put on a show that would appeal to you, but would it appeal to the average wrestling fan?

Of course, all of this would mean nothing if you haven't got the cash to pay for all of this. What could be worse for a promoter than a dressing room full of wrestlers who haven't been paid? Always make sure you've got enough money to pay the wrestlers before the show begins.

I'm sure that many promoters will tell you that there's a thousand more things to do. As with everything in life, unexpected things will crop up. There is no way you'll be able to account for everything.

Just thinking about all of this is enough to make you wonder if it's worth bothering with. For every wrestling company that achieves a degree of success, there will always be several others who fall by the wayside after just a few shows, some after just one show. In this aspect, the wrestling industry is just like any other business. By all means yearn for success, but expect failure as well.

So would I ever stage my own show? Perhaps. But at the moment I'm more than content to let more experienced people take the strain. Why try to prove I can do something when I know there are people who can do the job far better than me?