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Winnipeg Wrestle Watch
Monday, March 21, 2005 - General Observations and Opinions to start.

“The Action Wrestling Entertainment PPV taping on 3/11 in Winnipeg drew 1200 fans. The major names on the show were Billy Gunn, Jim Duggan, Rikishi and Jamie Noble.”
Wrestling Observer Newsletter - March 21, 2005

That was pretty much the extent of the coverage in the major industry trade. Big wave in Winnipeg, not much notice given anywhere else. It isn’t a knock, just an observation and it isn’t surprising as at this point AWE is pretty low on the food chain of the big picture.

AWE held the “big show” just over a week ago. I’m taking a wait and see approach to most of it and wonder how long it will last and/or what success they will generate. I anticipate at least two PPVs, maybe four but I think it will end there. I’ll be pleasantly surprised if I’m wrong. I think it’s great what they’ve done to this point but little cash flow has a way of putting an end to this type of venture.

Good press, good attendance, name wrestlers and another taping slated for PPV. The upside would be a local company with national (international?) exposure. The downside would be a crash and burn with Jeff Dyck becoming the next “mark” turned promoter while Davidson putters around looking for his next big idea. That might not be a bad thing either considering he (Dyck) seemed to have draw more corporate support than any other wrestling a show in recent memory.

The one thing missing from local wrestling was someone who understood “business” not understood “the business”. I think the one thing that holds wrestling as an industry back is that the people in it often think they know it all and there is no reason to bring outsiders in unless they payroll the strokefest. I think “Johnny Millions” had the right idea. He was seemingly being a dickhead in many ways but he knew how to pull in the reigns. I think he likely just realized that at that time the industry was dying. Recently there has been a slight resurgence (in North America) but nothing that could be considered a pre-boom.

They seem to have a good production team in place. Scott has been floating around for awhile. On the Media Circus website there is a TRCW clip which looks average, nothing special and I’m not sure where that was ever used. I don’t recall Bobby being in the running for TV at anytime unless maybe it was in Brandon. There were shots of the Bulldog in there so maybe it was Brandon cable? When I first went to their website there was also a clip for “Warpath Wrestling”. With that name I assume that is Nelson Mayer, but the clip is gone for some reason. They also list “Canadian Wrestling Federation- Live Event Production” so I guess they had some involvement with the CWF pilot which was pretty good production –wise. In short, these guys obviously bring the mix of wrestling knowledge and business knowledge to the table so it should be a good combination.

When it comes to the actual AWE product, I don’t think Madison is who they should build around if the first show can be an indication of where they’re going. It’s not professional jealously. Let me explain. He is too short to be pushed as a heavyweight if they are going to bring in names like Billy Gunn to oppose him. Billy is huge. If Madison is the one, Mike should be thinking about names that don’t make Madison look like a “white midget” who happens to have a tan. Mike should pay more attention to the size of the guys in the ring with Madison. The ref, the ring announcer, his partners in tags, etc. When they first appeared on A-Channel back in January Mike looked bigger than Madison.

If AWE is going to bet the bank on Madison they need to protect him. If he had faced Noble it would have done more to build him. Noble is probably too small for the role but Madison would need someone slightly smaller with the ability to bring a great match out of him. Noble could likely make him look incredible in the ring, as well as make him look big. Sure he pulled a great match out of Woody but that match should’ve opened the card and the night should’ve been built around Madison vs Gibson. It would’ve done more than a throw away tag that was disjointed in the whole lead-up & execution.

Speaking of the tag, I think Spyder’s showing at the AWE show really exposed him as being all hype. I remember watching him during his hardcore stage and thinking he was great at what he was doing. Then he started to become a “serious wrestler” when everyone left for TRCW and it was pretty obvious then that he had a way to go. But it was indy and everyone is like that, right? He traveled, got the big top push from Ernie, lotsa NWA stuff, and was really starting to look good. This time out he seemed awkward in the ring and you can tell he hasn’t worked much in the last year or two. Don’t get me wrong. Spyder is a great guy and seems to (at times) have a real heart for the business but he needs to take a step back and maybe get in front of a crowd more often. Given his size & presence he could be a good nemesis for Madison and wouldn’t break the bank ifd promoted properly. Spyder would probably be best suited to have a manager to do the promos and believe it or not I think Ernie should do that. He’s annoying as hell but he can talk pretty good. I assume he’d be better if given direction and a storyline to bite into.

Is Ernie even promoting anymore? His site always lists shows but it is always “private functions” or “TBA”. We all know his ten listed dates on a tour usually turns out to be 2-3 tops.

His site says he is planning a big 10th anniversary show. I can’t believe he’s lasted this long but when you consider his top success period (2000-2001) and where he is now I guess the level he is at is no surprise. The King of Empty Hype and Broken Promises. Whatever happened to his TV, or Internet TV? Where are all the TNA stars he promised? Kind of shows how much the NWA has been diminished when you think that as President of the NWA he is in the same position previously held by Geigel, Crockett, Tunney, Muchnick, Von Erich, & Eddie Graham. Can you imagine Ernie sitting at a table with these guys and Vince Sr.?

I’m never really sure what to think of Wayne. His crew usually consists of the bottom feeders and under-trained. Add under-aged to that list and it should round out most of the crew. Right? He gets a good deal of press which some argue could cause more harm than good to the business as a whole. If casuals go to see an RCW show they get treated to a hokey, but usually entertaining show. They must think that is all there is to wrestling in Winnipeg, right? The quality of the matches, gear, and just about everything screams bush league and Wayne excuses these shortcomings by admitting them and not claiming to be anything other than that. It is really a hard call. RCW shows are generally fun. The crowd, even when there is press and a couple hundred people seem to be mostly regulars and kids who wouldn’t know the difference.

Then vets like Jewel, Mike Stone, Bobby, etc have no problem throwing themselves in the mix.

Sometimes I think if Wayne had the resources and crew that PCW or AWE had/have, he could out-do everyone.

Well, that’s all for now. I haven’t touched on PCW, RME, or a few others but I will next time.

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