By Kim Artlip, Columnist
Let’s be honest. It sucks royally to have an indy wrestling company and watch the sheer amount of money being tossed at the WWE, IMPACT, AEW, ROH and NJPW. We see it all the time when fans complain about paying $10 for admission to see indy shows but turn around and drive 3 hours to see a big name company show decked out in $30 tee shirts, carrying replicas belts and sitting at ringside.
We hear all the time about how the Indies need to be supported, but in actuality, they get the shaft – And not a pretty one at that. Seriously, where do you think that John Cena and Kevin Owens got their experience and reputations from? They weren’t hatched in a lab at the WWE Performance Center. They all were indy wrestlers at one point.
And it is not even promoters that it hurts, it is the workers who are out there trying to build a name and struggling to sell a $15 tee shirt yet there are 20 guys in the stand wearing that $25 AEW shirt. I have heard the griping about $4.99 subscriptions to Pivotshare that gives you access to 20+ amazing companies shows but not one second of hesitation to pay $50 for a PPV.
Sad. Just so sad, that the indy scene is left out in the cold.
And it’s not even fans that are prejudiced about indy wrestling. Local sports organizations have demonstrated bias against indy wrestling here in Florida. One minor league baseball team had a member of their organization refuse – flat out – to work with an indy promotion unless they brought in a “name” and not just some indy name that normal people wouldn’t recognize. Umm..what in the heck?
True story. This baseball team had previously worked with an indy company on a previous event so when they approached them two years later it was referred to their staff (who had previously done ring announcing). When the card was mentioned it was said no one on it was noteworthy (I beg to differ knowing the card in question) so call back when you hire someone former WWE or a wrestling legend name.
Are you flipping kidding me? It makes ZERO sense to hire someone for two events when one is a meet and greet. I don’t see that much return on investment when baseball attendance is at record lows now. Just yet more prejudice about the indy scene and the snobbery that only names have a following.
Am I bitter?
Naw, I have been seeing this for years, so it has become a mission of sorts to show the local area that we are not a carny show that books out of shape older guys and people with little to no training. I do not feel that big names are necessary. Do I believe people might mark out on a larger name? Quite possibly but you have to remember that I live in an area not exactly stacked with indy wrestling fans so it is a unique experience to introduce them to workers such as the Gymnasty Boys, Serpentico, Troy Hollywood, Gary Jay, Aaron Epic, and so many more I could just name all day.
These “indy” workers I have had are catching the eyes of ROH and WWE as we have seen Chuckles, Redd Velvett, Trish Adora, Fred Yehi, and Skyler Moore in tryouts this month alone. Shouldn’t fans be checking the next big thing from the beginning and not waiting till a major company tells them they are good?
It comes down to this in my head today. While you are wearing that support indy wrestling tee shirt, are you truly doing that or are you just tossing dollars at the big companies like it is a stripper on a pole? You have to decide.
So until next week, ignite your fire, and follow your dreams.
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