Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Attack of the Funzie-Onezies

You see them more and more of late. "Promoters" running shows who have never run anything before. They book the talent established promoters in the area use. They bring in "big names" if they have the budget. They tell you they are going to "revolutionize the area" or "change the industry."

And every one of them meets the same fate. One and done.

I don't understand how people think they can walk into pro wrestling and be a promoter, never having done it before and never having been around the business before. Do these people honestly think that because they watch wrestling every week and read the inside scoops on the Internet or subscribe to the Wrestling Observer that they are qualified to promote wrestling?

Years ago, I used to produce plays. I had a few successes too. But when trying to raise money for these projects, I would continually run across people who had never been in the business, but wanted to tell you who to cast, what to change, how to write. etc. Before I started producing, I worked as a press agent for different producers and theaters. I saw many a well meaning person lose huge money because they wanted to call shots they had no business calling.

Like these amateur wrestling promoters, these people were doomed from the start. All manner of leeches attached themselves to these folks, in hopes of a run in the spotlight and an inflated paycheck.

In wrestling, I call these people "funzie-onezies." They are not in the business to make money. They are in it to be happy. They are in it to convince themselves they have a talent that doesn't exist. They don't want to work with established promoters, because they think they know what it takes or they know better.

What they all end up learning is the pro wrestling, like any other business, is a highly skilled profession. If you have never been around it before and don't know what you're doing, you are certainly going to lose money and lots of it.

Another by-product of these "funzie-onezies" is that often unwittingly damage the very business they purport to love so much. They over pay talent or don't pay them at all, leave buildings in disrepair, and allow things to happen on shows that either kill that building as a venue for wrestling or sour fans on independent wrestling altogether. I have seen promoters run shows so badly that the town they ran in actually banned wrestling from ever coming back.

When I started promoting wrestling, I had been around indie shows for over 10 years (working at them and not just attending them), and I didn't know nearly as much as I thought I did about putting on wrestling then as I do now.

So when you see one these "funzie onezies" - shows that pop up from an organization you never heard of before, don't bother. 99 times out of 100 they are dead before they start.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree with you more. It's so hard to promote without idiots messing it up for others. They see the good shows that some of the established companies put on and they think it's easy. Then they don't promote and think they can put up 2 posters and they'll draw. Wrong again.

It's frustrating, but like you said, most of them are 1 (or 2) and done.

Bob Evans
EPW Wrestling

Josh Ray said...

Some of us that try to get involved with promoting wrestling take a different approach. I've been wanting to put on a show in October 2009 for some time and have been doing my homework, talking/working with promoters and wrestlers, and generally getting ready for the possibility by building a network of people I trust.

I agree though, there are too many promoters that fit into the bubble that you just wrote about.