By Kim Artlip, Columnist
I’ve said it before and it bears repeating: Now is the time for indy wrestling to take advantage of all of the interest in the sport generated by AEW, “Fighting With My Family” and “Viceland” that everyone is talking about.
We need to stop as promoters and wrestlers from making excuses and pointing fingers because trust me the fans are out there, they just know yet how much they are going to enjoy a live show. It’s up to us to get them in the door. Now how you do that is up to you but it’s time to be savvy and not do things the way you have always done it.
Trust me, you don’t know it all. And having been “one of the boys” or a former this or that does not in any way prepare you to run a business with the ever changing landscape of streaming OTT platforms, new and evolving social media platforms and a changing demographic that expects more.
No one cares what you did twenty years ago. What can you do for them today? And how are you preparing to evolve? Just because the Attitude Era was when you first discovered wrestling does not mean that is what today’s fans want to see. Most never saw, have moved past it or simply don’t like it.
What is it with this whole “the new face of” or “the next” this or that? How are you standing out? Earlier this week I was chatting with a photographer about all the new promotions popping up. (Side note: Book Speedy’s Productions who are doing the promo shots now for AEW and you won’t regret it. He’s created the voice of IGNITE with his images.) He posted part of the list we started. and this is what was discovered; Florida has a ton of companies.
ICW, Ronin, Wrestling Asylum, CCW, IGNITE, LCCW, GCW, Champ 7, RageSIW(USA), IPW, FIP, Punk Pro, Brawl USA, Rock Steady, Hype Pro, Gangrel’s Wrestling Asylum, NHW, Mid Florida Wrestling, Mayhem On Mills, POW, IWA Florida, SCW, FWE, XW-2000, PWE, Fight For A Cure, TCW, DCCW, Nerd Street, ACW, Evolve, Shine, FTPW, Tampa Bay, FTW, GoWrestle, USWA, USCW, USAP, Revolt, Elite, Fest, PBent, No Peace Underground, Manor, WXW, 2.0, IBelieve, FSCW, House of Lucha, Golden Era, Platinum Pro, Thunder Championship, Blueprint just to name a few.
So many places, so many companies and so many chances for the best in the indies to prove themselves right here in Florida. But what really interests me is the diversity in styles. You have lucha, hardcore, extreme, family friendly and stuff I’m not sure about but has a following. Just kidding but there is a type of wrestling out there for every type of fan.
So let’s get them in the doors!
I encourage you to like, follow and check out these companies listed above. Go to their websites, check out their rosters, videos, streaming platforms and merchandise. See what is out there that tickles your fancy. Who knows? You may be surprised who is appearing in shows in Florida that are about to become the next big thing. It’s perfectly fine to like other companies and support more than one. It’s just like ice cream. While I love Rocky Road, I’m always down to enjoy about anything with caramel in it. Variety is the spice of life in food as in wrestling. There is a company for every mood. You just have to find them. If you are a wrestler, I hope that you take the time to research and reach out to these companies. Today’s introduction may lead to tomorrow’s booking. It’s all up to you.
It is my wish that you just enjoy all the great wrestling that makes the Florida indy scene so exciting. Trust me there are enough wrestlers in Florida and workers willing to travel to make shows unique. So until next time, ignite your fire, and follow your dream.
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