Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend DOUBLE INTENSITY Preview

I am really excited for this weekend's DOUBLE INTENSITY events. Years back, Thanksgiving night used to be one of the biggest nights of the year for pro wrestling. Many of the great territories had special Thanksgiving night shows, and especially in cities that didn't have a lot of major league sports in those days, they always drew well.

So here in NECW, we are experimenting with something that I would like to see become an annual tradition - the Thanksgiving weekend 2 night spectacular - NECW and World Women's Wrestling back to back on consecutive days.

Saturday night's NECW show should be a hot one with a six man tag on top, the tag team championship gauntlet match, a WWW title match, a mixed tag and much more. Sunday's WWW event, with Malia Hosaka challening the winner of Saturday night's championship match between Ariel and Taeler Hendrix should be an excellent bout. I look forward to welcoming Malia back to our company as she is a great asset to any company fortunate enough to employ her services. The WWW shows have been known for being fun and unpredictable, and if you haven't experienced one, make sure you get down to Quincy this weekend.

Another important aspect of this weekend's events is the price. You can buy a 2 night VIP front row ticket that includes a free WWW T-shirt for just $35. If you're just interested in general admission, we have a 2 night package for just $22. That's $22 for both shows. I do not anticipate our company raising ticket prices in the next year, as we extremely conscious of being affordable to families with children, which makes up the bulk of our business.

I hope to see you in Quincy this weekend.

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If you haven't checked out the 4th anniversary episode of NECW TV, it's available by clicking here. I thought it was a great episode with a mix of old clips and good build up to this weekend's shows.

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This Friday on The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show, it's a special on women's wrestling in honor of the return of World Women's Wrestling to live action. We'll have the current WWW Champion, "The Portuguese Princess" Ariel in the studio, joined by Dave Prazak of Shimmer who will be on the phone. Joe Materazzo co-hosts this week and Mike Johnson of will have all the top stories of the week.

We'll also have another 3 question Trivia Challenge. Be the first to answer all 3 questions correctly and you'll win a big prize package from JR's Family BBQ and WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, plus DOUBLE INTENSITY Tickets and the NECW or WWW DVD of your choice.

Join us Friday from 6 to 7 PM EST on Boston's 1510 The Zone or

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thoughts on Lexxus, Pro Wrestling & The Economy, NECW - The Best NE Promotion? and NECW TV Celebrates 4 Years

As my schedule lightens up this week, I finally have a chance to catch up on things like this blog.

The big news from Friday's Mouthpiece Wrestling Show, which you can listen to if you missed it by clicking here, is that NECW/WWW star Lexxus will be changing her ring name due to a threatened legal action by Toyota Motor Corporation. Toyota consider the ring name "Lexxus" an infringemment of their Lexus automobile brand. I'll be posting the story here on this blog for you to read, but collectively, NECW and the wrestler currently known as Lexxus, have to just take this situation in stride. As I said in the story we released, this is actually more of a compliment to us than anything else.

Oh, and just one of the reasons NECW is the top promotion in New England is that no other local company received such a letter from Toyota's law firm. That alone should tell you how a multi-national conglomerate views things from the outside. More on this later in this post.

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Two weeks ago on The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show, we scratched the surface of a discussion of pro wrestling and how the current economy will affect it. We've already seen roster cuts at WWE after a recent stoockholder's report citing a 37% decrease in revenue for the company. I have heard of numerous promotions around the country citing major drops in business.

So exactly how bad is it going to get for pro wrestling? Is there a silver lining to the dark cloud that is our nation's current economic condition?

During the Great Depression, pro wrestling more than held its own for the most part. Historically, during down times, sports and entertainment tend to suffer the least.

Today, however, the world has changed. Where local pro sports franchises used to thrive off the average fan and a family trade in decades past, today pro sports tickets are largely consumed by corporate and well-to-do clients. The average working person tends to be frozen out of that end of the marketplace.

Pro wrestling was always at the lower end of the spectrum of pro sports and entertainment ticket prices. However, with today's high arena costs, even WWE and TNA are charging relatively high prices for house show tickets.

Also, society has changed. Today, more families see both parents holding jobs. People are busier. Entertainment options are far more plentiful, and many of those options, like DVD movies, cable TV and the Internet, are consumed at home.

In short, people are far more selective about their entertainment choices than they ever were before, simply because there is so much more to choose from. Boston, in particular, has far more entertainment and leisure options than most cities.

Do I think pro wrestling is going to be hurt by the current economy? To some extent, yes. We have seen a big drop in PPV buys for WWE, and that may well be because there are too many PPV's and fans are just picking and choosing the ones they will go out of their way to spend money on. The same thing applies to house shows. TNA did record business when they brought a PPV event to the Tsongas Arnea in Lowell, MA. But a regular house show a few months later, died at the gate.

A company like NECW operates on a different philosophy. Regular, low priced events, with quality content and good continuity have kept our business relatively strong. I see the future of independent wrestling as one with future potential for solid operators like NECW. I don't think the rash of newcomers to promoting in this area have any chance at all to succeed. They just aren't going to be able to do a better job than anyone currently in the area using the same talent pool.

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A couple of weeks ago, I was reading an article recently in a leading wrestling publication which shall remain nameless that claimed that a certain CT based promoter was the best promotion on the independent scene based on the fact that he bases his shows around big names and generally draws big crowds.

To say that this individual is the best independent promoter in the country is buying Fool's Gold. Don't get me wrong. This guy is great at what he does. I give him props for running that particular business model successfully.

But dig a little deeper and put what he does in perspective. He draws houses based on name talents that were built by major promotions. Most of his shows are fundraisers and the local sponsor is responsible for selling the tickets. In very few instances does he run a town regularly. His shows have no storyline content. You are paying to see the stars and the local guys are just filler. Let me be clear, there is nothing wrong with this, and the man does an excellent job doing what he does.

But it's not a wrestling promotion. It's just putting on shows. If you took the stars away, he'd be done.

On the other hand, NECW has never used big names to draw. The company runs consistently with top notch show production, is storyline based, produces weekly TV and draws respectably month after month after month. No company in this area gets local talent over to where they are legitimate draws than NECW.

Are we perfect? No. There are downsides to our way of doing business. But if you look at what NECW produces and the effect it has clearly had on the local scene, it's hard not to give us props as the true leader in the area. But hey, that's just my opinion!

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This coming week, probably Tuesday, will see the posting of the 4th anniversary edition of NECW TV. Four years and nearly 150 episodes of television distributed worldwide via the Internet is a pretty impressive achievement.

NECW TV was a true pioneering effort. The first long form wrestling show produced specifically for the Internet, it currently gets between 23,000 and 30,000 views per week worldwide.

The shows have matured to where it is a consistently solid product and the best showcase possible for our talent. It's a real source of pride for us and it has been a real priviledge to be able to have shared so many great matches and moments with fans all over the world. We are very grateful for your support of this great experiment we call NECW TV.

One day, people will look back at what we did and realize how far ahead of its time it was. NECW TV was here before YouTube and iTunes.

Thanks for watching... and listening... and reading!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Random Thoughts & Considered Opinions

It's been quite a while between blogs, as my other work in the trade show industry has kept me super busy this month. Lots of early starts and long days, but the worst is over and I am looking forward to getting caught up with life.

There's a lot of territory to cover, so let's dig in:

I thought this year's TOXIC WALTZ was the best one of the three that have been presented under the post-merger NECW banner. "The Golden Greek" Alex Arion took home a controversial victory in the TOXIC WALTZ match, which is in my not-so-humble opinion, one of the most unique events in pro wrestling and a real asset to NECW.

The talent depth in the promotion is currently outstanding. Max Bauer is doing a fine job as NECW Triple Crown Champion. Ditto for Handsome Johnny as Television Champion. PRIDE's current domination of the tag team division is a reminder that great tag team wrestling is alive and well in NECW. The champs had a great match at the TOXIC WALTZ with NY's Team Zero.

The TOXIC WALTZ DVD will be worth getting for the commentary of myself and Joe Matterazzo, particularly where it involves the antics of one Pat "The Brat" Piper. Let's just say we found out what a Scotsman wears under his kilt and the commentary was a challenge from that point on.

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The DOUBLE INTENSITY Thanksgiving Weekend Spectacular is something not to be missed. We have a great card of NECW action in store on Saturday night, November 29 at the Armory in Quincy, and the return of World Women's Wrestling the following afternoon in the same venue with a special 5 PM bell time.

Triple W comes to Quincy for the first time ever and I am excited to see that product presented with the full NECW level of production. The Triple W shows always drew a loyal following and I am really looking forward to seeing both the fans and the stars. I have missed Triple W and I can assure you that we are going to have a great event on Sunday, November 30.

We have 2 great combo packages for the weekend shows which you can only get online at and We have a VIP package, which included front row tickets for BOTH shows, plus a free WWW T-shirt for $35 and a 2 night general admission combo for just $22.

Given the current state of our nation's economy, now more than ever, NECW is conscious of giving our fans the greatest value possible for your dollar. We pride ourselves on being affordable family entertainment. I do not foresee any price increases on our part in the near future.

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Some time ago I wrote about these one-off "funzie-onezie" promotions that seem to be cropping up in the area.

The most recent of these - and I won't dignify which one by revealing its name - is a particularly sad story. The "promoter" is actually a long time fan of NECW who is, as he put it, "living his dream."

The reason it is a sad story is that this individual has no idea that he is dead before he starts. He does not know that the talent are laughing at him behind his back. He does not fully understand the scope of what he's getting into, and when he finally does, he will understand that he was totally naive with his plans, a ton of money will be lost and he will wake up from that "dream" with a very different view of things.

There are no shortcuts in pro wrestling. It is a highly skilled profession. It amazes me that someone would be so dumb as to think you can just walk off the street with no experience in the business of pro wrestling and be a successful promoter. Can you walk into hospital without a single days worth of medical school and perform surgery? I don't care how long you've been a fan. That is no substitute from actually working in this business and paying your dues.

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I am pleased to be involved a couple of very important charity projects in the months to come:

Saturday, December 13, NECW & WWW will present a benefit event with 100% of the proceeds going to the Toys for Tots program, which is run by the United States Marine Corps. The show will take place at the Billerica High School with a 7 PM bell time, and we'll have more info next week on this.

Monday, January 19, which is Martin Luther King Day, we will be supporting former WWE star Christopher Nowinski and his Sports Legacy Institute at the Lowell Devils hockey game at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell. Game time is 2 PM. Your admission gets you a free autographed picture or photo op with Chris. I will be there along with some of the NECW crew signing autographs as well. We'll have more details on the NECW web site this coming week.