Sunday, August 23, 2009

Post BIRTHDAY BASH 9 Shockwaves Continue as NECW Announces TV Deal

It's been just over 2 weeks since NECW's 9th anniversary show, BIRTHDAY BASH 9: RAGE IN A CAGE and the announcement that NECW will premiere a weekly one-hour TV show on Comcast SportsNet New England starting in January 2010.

While the announcement and the huge implications of it dominates the public and not so public discourse on the event, let's not lose sight of the fact that it was one hell of a wrestling event in front of a great crowd.

The NECW roster was at its best, perhaps energized and inspired by the TV announcement. That announcement was kept secret from the roster and crew until a pre-show meeting at 5:30 PM that night.

The main event was a tremendous cage match between NECW Triple Crown Champion, "The Enforcer" Max Bauer and "The Golden Greek" Alex Arion, which saw Bauer retain the title in a thrilling battle with former Triple Crown Champion, D.C. Dillinger as the special guest referee.

Alexxis Nevaeh regained the World Women's Wrestling Championship over "The Portuguese Princess" Ariel in a match that can best be described as a clinic.

"The Heat" Kris Pyro defeated "Superstar" Ryan Matthews to become the new NECW Television Champion in a fantasic opening bout.

All the results can be found at

But results only tell a portion of the story of this particular night.

Wrestling, like any other form of sports or entertainment, is a field of dreams and dreamers. Independent wrestling, in particular, is a place populated by those who have a dream to become stars. Some fulfill that dream in front of small crowds in armories and halls of all shapes and sizes and are content and satisfied that they journeyed the road less traveled. Others are intent on following that road to a bigger destination. And while everyone in our business dreams of being a star on TV, not everyone will make it.

The Quincy Armory at 5:30 PM EST on Saturday night, Auguest 8 was a collection of all types of dreams and all types of dreamers. There were some who have wrestled on Monday Night Raw. There were some who have wrestled in Japan, Mexico, Europe, Puerto Rico, Memphis, Louisville, Canada and on and on. There were some who perform at a stellar level, even though they've been told they aren't big enough, tall enough, jacked up enough, etc.

In introducing the video that was shot in the studios of Comcast SportsNet officially announcing our TV deal, I told them all that in 5 minues their lives were about to change. As the video played, I watched the faces change. Expressions that ranged from bug-eyed, jaw-dropped shock to childlike excitement to tears of joy from grown adults appeared before me. When the video ended, all were on their feet cheering.

I am used to people looking down at what New England Championship Wrestling is and does. I'd been told countless times that it was never going to survive, never going to work, never going to be anything other than a little operation than put on shows in front of a few hundred people. I never listened to any of them.

By 5:45 PM on Augsut 8, 2009, the roster, crew and staff of New England Championship Wrestling saw that they now had something everyone in our business hopes for and dreams of - a real chance.

This week's NECW TV, which you can watch by clicking here, shows how the announcement was made to the audience. What the clip doesn't accurately convey is the emotion of the fans. After the announcement was made and at intermission, I was literally mobbed by people who wanted to offer their congratulations. One fan told Joe Matterazzo that it was like they got a TV deal too, and they did.

Since that night, I've received literally hundreds of well-wishes from fans, family, friends and associates. I haven't been able to scratch the surface of responding to them all, but please know that mere vocabulary can't convey the depth of my gratitude.

The shockwaves have yet to settle down since August 8th. Naturally, there's been a boo bird or two, criticizing our announcement and predicting the same doom and gloom for NECW that's been predicted for much of the past 9 years. You'd think they'd get it by now.

The NECW team looks forward to the coming months as we build toward our television debut. I would not miss our next event - the 1st Annual NECW TAG TEAM CLASSIC - which takes place on Saturday night, September 19th. Go to for tickets and info. You'll be hearing more as the weeks and months go forward.

Thank you again for your support.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Pre-BIRTHDAY BASH 9 Notes, Mouthpiece Milestone

Wow, I can't believe it's been so long between posts!

It's been a very busy time here for all of us in New England Championship Wrestling, as we get set to celebrate our 9th anniversary this Saturday night in Quincy at the Armory.

Those of you who are regular fans get to see the great action and the great production and presentation. What you don't see is the greatest team in this end of the industry putting their hearts and souls into delivering these great events, DVD's and TV broadcasts. The real joy of promoting wrestling is not what I do myself, but the company that helps me to do it. Tomorrow night is their night and it will be a very special occasion for all of us.

9 years of promoting wrestling is a milestone for certain. When you come to NECW's BIRTHDAY BASH 9 tomorrow night, I promise you an event that will be talked about for some time to come. I look forward to seeing you there and thank you for your support.

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Speaking of milestones, The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show is now in its second year on WWZN 1510 The Zone in Boston.

We are now on Saturday afternoons from 4 to 5 PM as the third hour in a three hour "fight block" with the Mouthpiece Boxing Show at 2 PM and the Mouthpiece MMA Show at 3 PM. If you are a fight fan, this is great listening.

I have had a blast with Joe Matterazzo and Mike Johnson hosting the shows and talking to so many great stars and personalities in the world of pro wrestling. Thankfully, fans have responded with over 20,000 podcast subscribers listening to the show in addition to over the air and Internet streaming listeners.

The move to Saturdays has forced us to pre-tape the shows, but very soon we'll be going live once a month, which will allow us to take phone calls and perhaps see some of you in person as we take the show on the road.

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I'll have more at the end of the weekend with BASH 9 thoughts and big news.

Monday, June 15, 2009

R.I.P. Ted Tanabe

I was deeply saddened to hear that Japanese pro wrestling referee, Ted Tanabe, died suddenly yesterday from a heart attack suffered during a show for Osaka Pro Wrestling. Tanabe was just 46 years old.

Tanabe may be best known to American fans as the referee for Michinoku Pro Wrestling who officiated the great 6 man tag match at ECW's first pay per view, Barely Legal in April 1997. I was closely involved in Michinoku appearing at that pay per view and had the chance to get to know Tanabe a little bit during that period of time.

My first time meeting Ted Tanabe was in February 1997, when Michinoku Pro Wrestling owner and star, The Great Sasuke, brought a group of wrestlers to Boston to appear on an ECW TV Taping and a Century Wrestling Alliance show (the late Tony Rumble's company and the pre-cursor of NWA New England) headlined by then WCW booker, Kevin Sullivan. A deal was going to be made on this trip for the Michinoku stars to appear on the Barley Legal PPV for ECW with myself playing middle man.

Tanabe was more than just a referee for Michinoku at that time. He was clearly the guy who kept track of the boys, most of whom were young stars equivalent to the upper end of their American counterparts on the independent scene.

Ted Tanabe looked something like a Japanese version of Lou Costello - jovial, and obviously a huge wrestling fan. When I met him, I was told he had promoted independent shows in Japan and was also a referee for FMW and Battlearts, as well as Michinoku.

When they were in Boston before, Tanabe expressed an interest in American wrestling magazines, buying up whatever he could find on the newsstands. I brought him a number of magazines I had, as well as some old programs.

When I saw him again in Phildadelphia just prior to the Barely Legal PPV, he produced a whole pile of things for me, including old Japanese magazines, posters, trading cards and other assorted goodies. I reciprocated with bag full of things I’d brought to give to him.

My favorite memory of Ted Tanabe would be at Boston's Logan Airport when the Michinoku crew were going back to Japan after the February trip. It was time to say goodbye and the young boys did not know whether to bow, shake hands or what. Ted looked at them, looked back at me and then threw his arms around mem gave me a hug and thanked me. All the others lined up and follwed suit, including the great veteran Gran Hamada.

My deepest sympathies to his family and friends. Ted Tanabe was a good man and a person who made an impact on the business he truly loved.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Post IRON 8 Notes, Dr. Death Steve Williams, RIP Mitsuhara Misawa

So we are now just a little more than two weeks removed from NECW's 6th Annual IRON 8 Championship. I am still waiting for my feet to once again touch the ground.

The biggest and most important reason that I promote professional wrestling is that I am a fan. I flat out love this.

As a wrestling promotion, we believe that we know what it good and have a vision for how to present professional wrestling that suits our particular circumstance. To say that we have an old school mentality would be an apt description, although we have brought numerous innovations to our business that are absolutely "new school."

Whatever NECW (or any other company for that matter) does, it can never turn back the clock and make wrestling "like it was." The best we can do is to stand on tradition and build smartly on that foundation.

It was only fitting that we had Harley Race as our special guest this past Saturday night. No one epitomizes the values of "old school" like Harley Race, one of the greatest world champions ever and a true iron man in the annals of wrestling history.

The IRON 8 event was, in my not-so-humble opinion, the greatest NECW event ever presented. It struck the perfect balance of action, storytelling, comedy and drama. All the talent on the event did phenomenal work in front of an enthusiastic and appreciative audience - an audience that included Harley Race.

If you watch the current episode of NECW TV (click here to watch it), you will hear Harley Race himself praise the IRON 8 and its participants. He told us after the show that we were the best independent promotion he's ever seen. And folks, praise doesn't come higher than that.

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This week's Mouthpiece Wrestling Show had "Dr. Death" Steve Williams as our special guest. The story of what Steve Willams has accomplished and the battle with throat cancer he endured and eventually won, is compelling radio to be sure.

I'm still waiting for the mp3 file, but when it is online it will be in our Mouthpiece Wrestling Show archive, that you can access by clicking here. All the past shows are online, and we've had some great ones.

Wrestlers Rescue is currently holding a raffle to raisde money for a hands-free voice box for "Dr. Death." Go to and buy some raffle tickets. You could win an autographed cowboy hat from WWE Hall of Famer, Jim Ross. I believe they also have a number of items for sale on eBay that you collectors may find interesting.

Wrestlers Rescue had a table at our IRON 8 event, and they have been invited to have a continued presence with NECW at our live events. I hope to be able to do more with this very worthy organization in the future.

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Mitsuhara Misawa died tragically in the ring yesterday in Hiroshima, Japan. He was just shy of his 47th birthday.

Misawa was truly one of the greatest stars in the history of pro wrestling, and it's a shame that American fans did not get to see more of this gifted athlete.

Misawa, who made his fame in All Japan Pro Wrestling after becoming a national amateur champion in high school, was President of Pro Wrestling NOAH, the company that continued the traditions of classic All Japan after the death of All Japan founder Shohei "Giant" Baba.

I never had the opportunity to meet Misawa, but former NECW star "Die Hard" Eddie Edwards, who toured for NOAH, always spoke of him with great reverence. If you followed his matches, particularly in the 90's, his talent spoke for itself.

The fact that the death was so public makes this tragedy even more monumental. My condolences to the family and friends of Mitsuhara Misawa, the staff and talent roster of Pro Wrestling NOAH and the legion of fans who loved this incomparable talent.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

This Year's IRON 8: A Can't Miss Night of Professional Wrestling

On Saturday night, May 30th, NECW will present the 6th Annual IRON 8 Championship, an event that has a lot of personal meaning for me. The event takes place in the hallowed halls of the Armory in Quincy, and I fully expect that this year's IRON 8 will be a landmark event for New England Championship Wrestling.

The IRON 8 has become a defining event for NECW - a signature of the company. That's because it is that rare occurance in professional wrestling - an original twist on an overused idea.

Years ago, Jim Kettner's East Coast Wrestling Association in Delaware created an event called the Super 8. It was an 8 man elimination tournament featuring the best talent on the independent circuit. It became the Super Bowl of independent wrestling - the one event everyone in the industry, at least on this level, looked up to as a "state of the art" event. In fact, the Super 8 was such a success that the 8 man elimination tournament became somewhat of an independent wrestling cliche.

In 2003, I was looking for something that would become the "Super 8" of NECW - an event that was unique to the promotion and to the wrestling scene here in New England. That year, in August, on NECW's 3rd Anniversary, NECW booker and former WWE announcer, Kevin Kelly, came up with a rather unique main event. It was Maverick Wild, then the NECW Heavyweight Champion, defending the title in a 4 way, 45 minute Iron Man match against, not one, but the three top contenders for his title - "Brutal" Bob Evans, "The Golden Greek" Alex Arion and Antonio "The Promise" Thomas. The match was an all time classic in NECW history and such a compelling athletic display, that the bell immediately went off in my head, that this kind of match could be the culmination of a tournament and exactly the kind of signature event I had been searching for. Thus, the IRON 8 was born.

The first two years of the tournament saw the IRON 8 held as a two consecutive night event. While the first year had a tremendous field, including British stars, Doug Williams (currently in TNA) and Paul Tyrrell (a terrific worker from England, who gets nowhere near the pub he should), the two night format spread the audience out and took away from the effectiveness of the event.

In 2006, after the merger of NECW & PWF, the IRON 8 became a one night event and really came into it's own. The audiences have grown steadily for the IRON 8, to where last year's tournament was the most successful in the series.

The IRON 8 is described as "the ultimate test of skill, stamina and strategy." It consists of an opening round where the 8 competitors face off in a series of single matches. The winners earn the right to proceed to the second round, which is the IRON 8 final - a 4 way, 45 minute iron man match with the man scoring the most pinfalls or submissions in 45 minutes becoming that year's IRON 8 Champion. To win, you have to have the ability to wrestle for an hour over the two matches. It is presented more like an athletic event and, in fact, the IRON 8 is the true showcase of how great the talent is in New England. While not all competitors are local each year, this year, everyone is either currently local or has had local ties, such as Kenny Doane, who grew up in Worcester before siging with WWE. Kenny was also a former 2 time PWF Tag Team Champion as well.

This year, the winner will receive the trophy from the legendary 8 time former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, WWE & WCW Hall of Famer, Harley Race. Race is a true iron man of pro wrestling. One of the game's greatest athletes in his prime, Race wrestled 60 minute matches against the best talent in the world on a nightly basis, so who would understand the challenge of the IRON 8 better than Harley Race?

Kenny Doane, Antonio Thomas, Slyck Wagner Brown, "The Heat" Kris Pyro, "The Real Deal" Brandon Locke, Maverick Wild, "The Natural" Scott Osbourne and Davey Loomis are this year's entrants. Athletically, this is one of the best fields ever in an IRON 8. It will be a night that futher establishes the fact that New England talent does not have to take a back seat to any other part of the country. It is also a tribute to the business that Harley Race did so proud - the business of professional wrestling, not sports entertainment.

We also have an additonal feature match on the card - a special mixed tag team grudge match, pitting NECW Triple Crown Champion, "The Enforcer" Max Bauer and Alexxis Nevaeh against "The Golden Greek" Alex Arion and Mistress Belmont, with Sean Gorman in their corner. Each one of these individuals is a great talent. Max Bauer has become the most popular champion in the history of the promotion, a title once held by his arch nemesis and opponent in this match, Alex Arion. Alexxis Nevaeh and Mistress Belmont have both blossomed as talents since coming into the NECW/World Women's Wrestling fold. These are two teams with some deep personal issues between them. Add manager, Sean Gorman to the mix and the question becomes not whether this situation is going to explode, but how fast and how big.

Whenever we do anything here in NECW, I always ask myself one question: "Honestly, would you buy a ticket to see this?" If I can't answer yes, something is very wrong. Not only is the answer yes in this case, but if I were just a fan, I would be the first in line to get a ticket to the IRON 8 this year.

We are blessed with a fantastic crew of athletes, ring crew and creative staff who have poured their hearts into this event on Saturday night, May 30th. Let's face it, pro wrestling is not exactly what you'd call an honored or respected profession in the minds of the general public. The IRON 8 is one night where everyone involved undeniable earns respect.

If you are at all accessible to the area, please join us for this extraordinary event. We have a live radio broadcast that will be taking place prior to the IRON 8 event from 4 to 6 PM on WWZN, 1510 The Zone, as a special 2 hour edition of The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show, so you'll want to be there early to meet Harley Race and to see a truly great night of professional wrestling.

For tickets and information, visit Thank you for reading this. Thank you for your support. I look forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Integrity, New Mouthpiece Wrestling Radio Time, IRON 8 & More

Pro wrestling has never been considering a hallowed ground for good citizenship and exemplary behavior. In fact, quite the opposite. The carny mentality the was the very foundation of what became the art of professional wrestling often bred the kind of chicanery and skullduggery that have become the stuff of legend amongst those of us who study the history of this business.

But history teaches another lesson too and one that is often overlooked.

Some of the greatest promoters of all time had one common trait - intergrity. In this world of showmen, conmen, hucksters, tricksters, scammers and the like, there were men who carried themselves with class and dignity. Men like the late Sam Munchnik and Paul Boesch, whose word and handshake were as good as a stone tablet engraving. These were men who were above the idea of cheating their boys, their colleagues or their customers. They were men who earned the respect of their communities and were revered figures in their respective territories.

Too many times, I see small time "promoters" delight in the idea of screwing someone. Our business is too public and too transparent to get away with that kind of thing for very long, if at all. Those who embrace that standard of behavior are generally doomed to be undone by it.

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The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show moved to a new day and time this past week. Last Wednesday's show with Jim Cornette, was our last live broadcast in the 5 to 6 PM Wednesday time slot on WWZN Boston 151o The Zone.

Last Wednesday's show was repeated in the show's new time slot, Saturday afternoons from 4 to 5 PM. The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show is the 3rd hour of a new 3 hour "fight block" on the station, with The Mouthpiece Boxing Show at 2 PM and Mouthpiece MMA at 3 PM. Our shows will be pre-taped, except for rare occassions, but I am excited about the 3 hour block, which was our general manager's original concept.

This Saturday we'll have former WWE star, Kenny Doane, the former Kenny Dykstra and Kenny of The Spirit Squad, whs is also participating in this year's NECW IRON 8 Championship on 5/30 in Quincy. This should be a great interview, as Kenny has a very interesting story to tell.

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Speaking of the IRON 8, we announced about 2 weeks back that 8 time former NWA World Champion and WWE & WCW Hall of Famer, Harley Race, would be on hand to present the trophy to this year's IRON 8 winner. Who better than Harley Race, one of wrestling's true iron men, to be on hand for this unique event.

Check out all the details at

Monday, April 06, 2009

Catching Up: MARCH BADNESS Notes, WrestleMania 25 Thoughts & more!

With so much going on in Goldberg-land, I've barely had time to think, let alone blog. One thing about promoting wrestling, there is always something to do and always something left undone.

Last night's WrestleMania was a good show with a phenomenal Undertaker-Michaels match that ranks among the greatest WrestleMania matches of all time. When you realize that those two men are probably double the average age of the rest of the WWE roster, it makes their level of excellence that much more amazing.

I have a lot to say about the Chris Jericho-Legends-Mickey Rourke segment. This was a huge letdown on a lot of levels. Roddy Piper and Jimmy Snuka should not have been in the ring. It was sad to see two great stars portrayed as washed up has-beens. Ricky Steamboat made an excellent accounting of himself, and looking back, it would have been better if it was just Steamboat, with Flair in his corner, vs. Jericho. Mickey Rourke brought nothing to this. There was no build up for him, no emotional investment. I've heard the term "SportsCenter moment" with regard to Rourke's appearance. The time could have been used better on something else.

I'll have more on the subject this week on The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show, Wednesday at 5 PM EST on WWZN Boston, 1510 The Zone. We'll be recapping the show, getting your thoughts and opinions and getting some first hand reports from folks who were there for the WWE events, as well as some of the other wrestling events taking place in Houston that weekend.

NECW's MARCH BADNESS (yeah I know Roy Jones Jr. ripped that name off from us, as we have used it for years) is in the books and was another great night of action in front of another great crowd in Quincy, MA.

NECW has been doing great business of late, which I attribute to a number of different factors - great booking and creative effort, great talent and great promotion and marketing would be a few of the reasons. I think the current economy plays a role too, as NECW is a far more affordable option than mainstream major league franchise sports and is a more family friendly option as well.

MARCH BADNESS saw the return of Sean Gorman, shockingly aligning himself with "The Golden Greek" Alex Arion. There are also new tag team champions in NECW, as The Crown Jewels, you should pardon the expression, upended PRIDE to take the titles.

Antonio Thomas had a great match with NECW Triple Crown Champion, Max Bauer, and if it were not for the interference of Alex Arion, that title could have changed hands as well.

By the way, I think the Bauer-Arion bout at GENESIS 8 was in the same league as anything on this year's WrestleMania. I am looking forward to the rematch between those two taking place at NECW's SPRING BREAKDOWN on Saturday night, April 18 in Quincy at the Armory.

All the results are up at the newly redesigned NECW website - We've gotten a lot of positive feedback on the new site, which was the brainchild of Brian Wilkins. This is a project that took a long time to implement, but the results are outstanding and there will be more features added in the coming weeks.

I'll more thoughts later this week.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

GENESIS 8 Thoughts, Dan Severn, Gagne Tragedy & more

I don't think my feet have quite touched the ground yet from this past weekend's GENESIS 8 event in Quincy, MA. A sold-out, standing room only crowd witnessed one of the greatest NECW events ever presented in the near 9 year history of the promotion.

My humble thanks to all those who made it down to the Armory in Quincy, MA for the event. For those who did not, a DVD will be released as soon as we can get it together.

The main event bout between NECW Triple Crown Champion, "The Enforcer"Max Bauer and "The Golden Greek" Alex Arion was the best NECW title match ever presented. Both men were phenomenal, giving all time career performances. As the "net marks" say, this was a "match of the year" candidate, a ***** match and all that other stuff. The fans in attendance were riveted to the action, and it was a privilege to sit ringside and call the match live.

And yes folks, if you missed it, this event will be released on DVD in the near future.

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Today's Mouthpiece Wrestling Show featured UFC Hall of Famer and former NWA World Heavyweight Champion, Dan "The Beast" Severn. This is was one of the most fun interviews we've done. Tim O'Connor from the new Mouthpiece MMA Show on 1510 The Zone joined us as we discussed both pro wrestling and MMA with Severn.

This show was a blast and Severn was a phenomenal guest. Check it out by clicking here.

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The heartbreaking story of Verne Gagne and his attack on an elderly roommate, who later died, is a real tragedy.

Verne Gagne was a true wrestling auteur - promoter, producer, businessman, elite athlete, trainer and top star - who made an indelible impact on pro wrestling. He was a man of class and generosity and I will always fondly remember my conversations with him at some of the Cauliflower Alley Club events from years back.

Verne Gagne does not deserve to leave this world without the dignity of his mental faculties. My heart goes out to his family and friends.

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NECW will begin to offer its fans the ability to charge tickets by phone for upcoming events. We're pleased to be able to offer this convenience and hope it is taken advantage of. In addition to producing great events at reasonable prices, we want to make the experience of getting a ticket in advance easier.

By the way, at Saturday night's GENESIS 8, we sold a record number of advance tickets for the March 21 event. Once again, thanks to all who have supported us.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Weekend Words: Super Bowl Thoughts, Fairplay, NECW TV, T.J. Richter, Another Funzie Onezie & more

Super Bowl weekend is here, and while I am not what you would call a big football fan, one can't help but get caught up in the hoopla. Of course, here in New England, a Pats-less Super Bowl means a lot less local media buzz than otherwise. As for a prediction, I like Cinderella stories and the Cardinals are the closest thing to it this year.

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If you missed Wednesday's Mouthpiece Wrestling Show with reality TV star and former TNA star, Jonny Fairplay, I urge you to give that a listen, as it was one of our best shows. Fairplay, who was once Roddy Piper's personal assistant, brings a whole lot of insight to this interview.

Before this aired, I heard from a lot of people how they didn't like him and what a poor choice for a guest. Well, I guess we're leaving bootprints on a lot of backsides, because this was really good.

You can check it out in the Mouthpiece Wrestling archive, as well as any of our previous shows, by clicking here.

By the way, according to today's stats, The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show now boasts over 15,000 podcast subscribers. That would be in addition to those listening on the radio station live or on the live stream. Those numbers are pretty impressive to me.

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Also impressive is this week's NECW TV. It features a great fatal four way match featuring "The Talent" T.J. Richter, "The Natural" Scott Osbourne, "The Heat" Kris Pyro and Makoto. While these types of matches can often turn into train wrecks, this was a great action-packed bout with some interesting developments after the bell.

In addition, there is some great footage of the benefit event we were part of with the Lowell Devils hockey team, including a chat with former WWE star, Christopher Nowinski, whose Sports Legacy Group received a portion of the proceeds. Chris is an eloquent speaker and a compelling advocate for concussion research.
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"The Talent" T.J. Richter is often derided by fans, and perhaps deservedly so, as he is (as Jim Ross would say) a true antagonist. Recently, I read a message board post from a local low level promoter, who dumped on Richter, claiming he wasn't properly trained, etc. While I take this with a grain of salt, as the source is a wannabe competitor who can't draw in the same league as NECW, even with "big names," I want to go on record as saying that the nickname "The Talent" indeed apt in this case. You may not care for his personality, and much of that is by design, but I have never seen Richter have a bad match and he has been a key contributor to NECW and prior to that, PWF.

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In one of my previous blogs, I spoke in depth about "funzie-onezies" - individuals with no experience in the business of pro wrestling who decide to become promoters, because they have deluded themselves into thinking that just because you watch wrestling, are a big fan, and read the Internet or subscribe to the Observer or Torch, that you can rent a ring, a building, get a bunch of guys together and be a wrestling promoter.

Well, I guess you CAN do that, but it never works. Apologies if I sound like a broken record, but this is a highly skilled profession, and if you truly respect pro wrestling, you will endeavor to start from the bottom and pay your dues, and in the process learn exactly what it is you are trying to do. I have seen so many of these individuals with good intentions lose large sums of money and damage the business they purport to love, simply because they found out the hard way that you can buy people's services, you can rent equipment and you can call yourself a wrestling promoter, but experience, expertise and respect have to be earned.

To the fledgling "promoter," who actually wrote to me for advice, let me answer you publicly right here: You are in over your head and you should have walked away after your first cancellation. You don't have the background or experience to do this the right way. Save yourself the pain, blues and agony you are certain to endure otherwise. You say this is your dream. Dreams are for sleeping. Wake up and get a clue.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Late Night Musings

It's almost 2:30 am, still wound up from a meeting of the NECW ownership. I wish I could tell you all about that, but what happens in North Providence, stays in North Providence.

I'm sorry I missed the Royal Rumble on PPV Sunday, as I was here at home working on segments for the next edition of NECW TV, which should be up on line within the next day or so. The Rumble was always one of my favorite WWE events, and the reports I read made it sound like this was a pretty darn good one. Hopefully, someone I know taped it for my later consumption.

I'm looking forward to Jonny Fairplay appearing on The Mouthpiece Wrestling Show this Wednesday. He's a pretty interesting character with a lot to say on the subject of pro wrestling.

Last week's show with Mickey Grant was a way too short hour, and I will be setting a return visit with the former World Class TV director soon. Check out his great documentary on the life of Gentleman Chris Adams at This is one of the best wrestling documentaries out there and I highly recommend it. You can watch it online for an $8 fee, or buy the DVD.

NECW's next event is a big one in GENESIS 8. This is one worth going out of your way to see, with a big double main event, featuring Bauer and Arion for the Triple Crown and a huge tag title match with PRIDE defending against ECW Originals, The Blue Meanie and Mikey Whipwreck, who will be making his final New England appearance before hanging up his boots for good. That alone is a newsworthy event and worth going out of your way to see. I will write more on that subject at a later date. Head on over to and grab tickets now as we expect a great crowd on hand for this one.

I find it really interesting how Vince McMahon has done a complete 180 degree turn on the movie "The Wrestler." All reports were that McMahon hated the film and didn't even want it advertised on WWE programming. But ever since Mickey Rourke won the Golden Globe for Best Actor and received an Oscar nomination, WWE is not only on the Wrestler bandwagon, but Mickey Rourke is now appearing at WrestleMania. Speaking of which, if you haven't seen the movie, do so. It is a great, great film.

Enough for now, I'll have more soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Devils Made Us Do It!

Some of the stars of NECW, specifically Max Bauer, Handsome Johnny and Sammi Lane, joined me and Joe Matterazzo, Matt and Kyle Storm and J.P. Griffin at the Lowell Devils game vs. the Springfield Falcons at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, MA this past Monday for an autograph session during the game.

A portion of the proceeds of Monday's game went to former WWE star, Christopher Nowinski's Sports Legacy Group, which promotes research and education on the sports concussion crisis. Chris, who was forced to retire from pro wrestling due to post-concussion syndrome, has become the leading voice for change in all sports regarding the issue of concussions and head injuries. I have a lot of personal admiration for Chris, who is championing a very important cause. If you love wrestling, or any other sport, and you love and respect the athletes who participate, you should be supporting the Sports Legacy Institute. Check out for more information.

The Devils organization really welcomed us, as well as the Tsongas Arena staff. We had a lot of autograph traffic during the game and it was great to meet all the fans in Lowell.

I am proud to say that the NECW talent, most of whom had never done a "meet and greet" event quite like this, all represented the promotion and themselves perfectly. This was a unique opportunity for these young stars to experience the concept of being more than just a local wrestler, but a local sports figure as well.

Mike Harold of the Lowell Devils contacted me months back about participating and helping to promote the event. Mike is a first-class guy and there was not a moment's hesitation on our part in terms of getting involved. I applaud the Devils as a sports franshise for standing behind this great cause and it was an honor to be associated with all the great people involved, including the Devils mascot, The Devil Dawg. The Devils, who are an AHL team, are a great take in for a hockey fan and an affordable experience for families. Check out for more info on the Devils and to purchase tickets. We look forward to working with the Devils again in the future.

You will see footage from last Monday's event on the next NECW TV, and that will be a must-see episode.

Friday, January 02, 2009

"The Wrestler" Thoughts

I finally had the chance to see "The Wrestler" this week. I really have to separate my feelings about the movie into two distinct categories: How I liked it as a movie and how I liked it as someone in the wrestling business.

As a movie, and ultimately that's how it should be judged, it is a brilliant film, well written, well directed, perfectly detailed and brilliantly performed, particularly by Mickey Rourke. In fact, if Rourke does not win the Oscar for Best Actor, everyone in the wrestling community should serve up a beating to the Academy voters.

The parallells between Rourke's Randy "The Ram" Robinson's character and Cassidy, the stripper he is attracted to, are interesting and compelling. Both are "workers" in different ways. And while Randy copes better with the love he gets from wrestling and being Randy The Ram, Cassidy walks the fine line of peforming to seek the approval of her audience, while looking to retreat to the "real world" outside the strip club.

Both professions have a profound effect on their participants. And while I could give you a dissertation on how and why, I will spare you the psycho-babble and leave it by saying that there is real truth in that aspect of the movie.

Mickey Rourke truly becomes "one of the boys." It is a performance that simply surpasses brilliant. He is everything that underside of 80's pro wrestling is about. It is no wonder that Roddy Piper cried after seeing the film. I saw a lot of old friends in that performance myself who are no longer here to share this with.

"The Wrestler" is an absolute must-see movie and a brilliant piece of film making.

That said, my reaction as a wrestling promoter was a bit different.

There is a great big bundle of truth in much of what "The Wrestler" portrays as the world of independent wrestling. As someone who tries hard to elevate the independent wrestling promotion to the level of being a family-friendly, mainstream acceptable endeavor, I cringed at the thought that people might think all independent wrestling is like this.

I questioned the inclusion of certain things in the movie. For instance, and Mick Foley pointed this out as well, you would never see someone openly peddling drugs in a locker room. Outside, maybe. In a car, maybe. But in the locker room, where everyone is around and eyes and ears pry? Never.

I also found fault with the hardcore stuff. If you've been around wrestling long enough, especially 80's veterans, the vast majority want to do less in a match and not more. It would have been more realistic if Randy had to be talked into the match, maybe demanding more pay, then suffering the heart attack as a consequence.

I can forgive those things as plot devices and chalk them up to dramatic license. But geez, I watched and said to myself, this isn't going to make our jobs promoting wrestling any easier. I can understand why Vince McMahon hated it for that reason.

It almost made me want to do a movie called 'The Promoter."

Myself, Matt West and Kellan Thomas all of NECW were listed in the credits of the movie, along with many others in the wrestling community that helped the producers with the film. My good friend, Evan Ginzburg has been involved with this project for 6 years and to see him get an Associate Producer credit and to see how well the movie turned out made me feel good for him and everyone else involved.

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It is 2009, and I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New year. 2008 was a tough one for a lot of people, and I am hoping 2009 is a brighter one for all.