We live in a very unique time in pro wrestling terms. Never in the history of the wrestling business has it been so accessible to so many people on every level.
If you want to be a wrestler, there are lots of wrestling schools â€“ good, bad or otherwise. And if you want to be a promoter, there are no territory bosses to stop you and most states have deregulated pro wrestling to where in most areas, if you can rent a building, rent a ring and find some wrestlers, â€œprestoâ€ you are a promoter.
In this generation, to the average person, wrestling means WWE. That is both a blessing and a curse. Across America, there are countless â€œindependent showsâ€ running every weekend. Some are upstanding professional enterprises run by people who know what they are doing. Others are little more than wrestlingâ€™s answer to bad community theater.
As a promoter of independent wrestling, I was quite skeptical when I first heard about this book. Iâ€™ve told people for years that there is no textbook for promoting pro wrestling and the only way to learn is to get involved in a wrestling company, watch, learn and pay your dues.
What furthered my skepticism was that the author chooses to remain anonymous. He gives his reasons in the introduction saying, in part, â€œMy peers will insist that somehow Iâ€™m â€˜ruining the businessâ€™.â€ Actually being in it, I completely understand and agree with that point of view.
Reluctantly, but with curiosity extremely piqued, I shelled out $15 to find out if this book has any real value, with the intent of writing this revue to let you know my thoughts.
If you go to www.promotingindywrestling.com, you see what appears to be a book with photos on the cover. What you actually get is an e-book â€“ a 25 page PDF file â€“ sent to you via e-mail. $15 for 25 pages? Yeah, that was my first reaction too. But after reading it, my thoughts changed.
The author begins by trying to weed out anyone who wants to put on a show for the fun of it. He makes one of the wisest statements anyone can say to an aspiring â€œpromoterâ€ and one that Iâ€™ve made in so many words to many, many who have e-mailed me saying, â€œI want to do what you do.â€ He says, â€œEvery business whether it is Microsoft or the â€œmom and popâ€ diner down the street lives and dies on the knowledge of the person or persons in charge.â€
To think that someone can be a wrestling promoter with absolutely no experience in pro wrestling is like trying to be a doctor without every spending a single minute in medical school.
That said, this book provides a pretty good thumbnail guide to what is involved in promoting a pro wrestling event.
It covers pretty much all the bases, much like a checklist of what you need to know and what you need to do. Be advised that it does not actually tell you everything you need to know, nor does it tell you how to do everything you need to do.
For example, the advice on advertising and marketing might work in some markets, but not in others, and many of the finer points are left out altogether.
Still, there are some good tips in there that took me quite some time to learn through trial and error in my own promotions, showing me that the author is indeed a seasoned pro at promoting.
While the â€œnon-would be promoterâ€ or serious fan might find it interesting reading, this e-book is best suited to someone who has been in the business for a while and wants to make the move to running their own shows. For that person, the $15 cost of the book is a bargain if it keeps you from making one basic mistake that could cost you many times that figure. Hopefully, it also imparts the idea that there is much more involved than meets the eye and that promoting independent wrestling should be a skilled undertaking carried out by someone who knows what they are doing.
My hat is off to the author from Parts Unknown for putting out a very worthwhile basic guide.
Sheldon Goldberg promoted New England Championship Wrestling for 10 years and currently hosts the Mouthpiece Wrestling Show in a number of markets.