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Sunday, July 30, 2017

"Wayne's World" - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (pro wrestling in the South)

Welcome back! Don’t worry, I wouldn’t dare reboot this thing and NOT give everyone something worth reading. Pro wrestling in 2017 has been such a wild ride for all of us and we’re in the middle of another boom period. So many good people are getting shots, young kids are burning up the roads and overall, it’s a good time to be alive. Eh, unless you solely work in the South. It’s ok, this isn’t going to be full of negativity..in fact mostly the opposite. If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter(@MrWatchTheLeft) then you already know I’m not a huge fan of most southern promotions or ideals. In fact, I hate a lot of it. But there are also a lot of good things in the South. The title speaks for itself, so let’s get this train rolling.

The Good-

If you don’t believe our business has cycles, I recommend doing more research. A decade ago, southern wrestling was on life support. Perseverance paid off though and the cycle took an upswing in recent years. Fans of pro wrestling took the leap and got involved. They started running shows, wrestling, and just plain getting involved. I say fans because there is a difference in being a fan and being a “mark” but that’s a whole subject for another day. The bottom line is there are now places for the boys to work almost every single day now. A decade ago, it was hard enough to put together a two or three day loop. These days, in the South alone, you can do a four day loop and usually go home with money in your pocket. Guys like Bert Prentice, James Carver, Jesse Butler, Josh Wheeler, Dan Sawyer, Jack Lord, Kevin Lawler, Jay Andrews, and more are running multiple events monthly. Thanks guys! They’re using some pretty sick talent too. If y’all aren’t booking Marko Stunt, Rey Fury, Alex Cruz, Myron Reed, Curt Stallion, Charles Zanders, Logan Creed, AJ Gray, Deven Dixon, Kevin Zion, and at least a dozen others, I highly recommend doing it before its too late. Because of all the fresh blood being pumped in to the scene, there's no more life support and it's evident in the weekly and monthly shows all over the region. More and more fans are filling up the armories, civic centers, bars and other venues to see what all the talk is about. Whether you're a fan of old fashioned punch and kick wrestling or the newer "evolved" style, there's something for everyone on any given weekend. With social media taking over, it's even easier to find too. Twitter, Facebook, Twitch, Periscope, YouTube and more are exposing more fans to more people than ever before.

The Bad-

Unfortunately, there are still some bad spots in the South. In fact, it’s one of the worst areas for this subject. Let’s face it, the same problems occur in every single region of the country but the South seems to be leading the way. The bad side of our industry, will never go away. There will always be drama and silly problems that when you tell them to outsiders, will likely laugh and shake their head. The “high school drama” is strong in the South. We’re talking about the lack of professionalism and “all about me” mindset. We’ve all experienced the egos of guys and girls that have never traveled more than fifty miles from home and are only stars to their friends and families. We’ve all experienced the subpar venues and lack of staff or office people that know what they’re doing. It’s a situation we all hope to avoid and eventually move on to the next level of our industry but no matter how far we go, we all revisit these places. I’ve met some of the biggest stars in some of the worst situations or venues. It’s going to happen. Either we avoid it or we help it as best we can. Sometimes that means not saying anything unless asked or speaking up when no one else will. Sadly, the good is still outnumbered in this respect but it’s slowly changing. Let’s keep up the good work y’all.

The Ugly-

Ugh. Do we have enough time for this?? It’s the South. For every good company, promoter, wrestler out there, there seems to be a dozen that are a step above backyarders. The worst part is no one realizing that fact. The “shindies” are everywhere but they are strong in the South. There are plenty of seedy venues and even seedier people working there. This is the under belly of our business. The places you start out because it’s not real pro wrestling. These are usually the under trained and poorly trained wrestlers and referees that either don’t care or don’t know. It’s places and people like these that will never go away. We can all band together and pass any legislation we want,  they will still exist. They say only cockroaches will survive a nuclear attack…so will the shindies. This is the place where you see wrestlers with not one athletic bone in their body. Typically wearing t-shirts and generic pleather shorts- they represent every negative image of this magnificent business. They are usually the ones that train people without finishing their own training. These places and people are typically beyond help but keep an open mind if you find yourself there. There might be a diamond in the rough waiting for someone to discover them.

The good, the bad, and the ugly will always exist y’all. There will always be people out there in every category, so help where you can or ask for help when you can. In fact, ask for help no matter where you are because there will always be something new to learn. This crazy business, like it or not, is always changing and evolving. We can stay comfortable or we can step out of our comfort zone. The choice is ours to make.


Follow Eric Wayne on Twitter @MrWatchTheLeft for updates. For booking information, e-mail BookEricNow@gmail.com

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