A little something I wrote for WrestlingMayhemShow.com…
I’ve been to plenty of independent wrestling shows over just the last four years. Since discovering IWC with Boiling Point 2, I’ve been in the crowd for some great moments, for sure. I’ve had the opportunity to be a part of some amazing shows behind the camera as well, but sometimes, just sometimes, you end up at a bad show, giving it a chance because you see some good names on the card. This past weekend, I attended such a show in the nether regions of South Western Pennsylvania, and it inspired a list of common mistakes this, and other indy shows, consistently get wrong that turn people away, from the view of a long time fan. A topic our friend Big Freaky is always leaving on the hotline….
- Length: It’s about the audience. If you think that a four hour show with 12 matches is tolerable for anyone to sit for, let alone a crowd full of elementary kids, in one case, you’re mistaken. When half of your crowd leaves before the three good matches, they’re not likely to return the next time you roll through town…
- Build: When going to a good indy show, you notice the first half builds to intermission. Usually building to a lower title match, or special attraction match, stirring the crowd up into a frenzy. In one recent instance, I saw a hardcore match involving five guys, followed by a fairly typical match with two muscle bound guys. Not a bad match, but a badly placed match.
- Protect your own ass, promoters: See, my wife works in law. She’s fairly adept at personal injury and liability cases, and finds some wrestling shows to be a minefield for these sorts of situations. At one show, she had to find the promotor to point out that kids were jumping the guardrail to bounce around the ring during intermission while their parents took pictures. That’d be fine until one of them, say, falls off the aprons, or tries to climb the tricky ropes. This past weekend, after this hardcore match, mentioned above, there were NO guardrails, and no one reminding the children…yes…children…to not stand so close to the ring. I had to shoo several of them away from the action during the course of the night. The broken table, steel chairs, and tins were left littered around for several minutes before the next match. I attempted to kick some of it under the ring, and keep two kids from taking off with steel chairs and splintered table shards, and had to tell a ref he may want to address the crowd of children with a chair and hitting each other in the heads with the tins.
- Promos: Way too many. Man. This isn’t Monday RAW. And no one on your roster is probably Triple H, no matter how big their nose is. Aside from a good farewell speech, these always seem to drag on.
This isn’t about workrate. This isn’t about guys being trained properly, or not. It’s about retaining the audience. And there were a few good matches buried in this week’s past show.