I really appreciate what you and the other guys said about me. 4th In The Forest drew more than 9,000 fans this year. It was huge!
There were multiple rooms to dress in, in the storage facility at Craighead Forest Park. The middle dressing room was full by the time I got back to the Forest. Kayaks were in another room. The floors were soaking wet. Sand was everywhere. The building stinks. Because of a lack of room, some guys dressed in the two dressing rooms in the back. It's been that way every single year. I don't think guys want to stand up the entire time they're in the dressing room...and I doubt they want to sit right on top of each other either. Thus, out of necessity, people have to dress in multiple rooms. Hell, I took the nastiest, dirtiest room for myself just so people wouldn't say that I was showing favoritism toward one company or another.
Most everyone came back there and sat down and talked, and laughed, and joked. I spent a lot of time in the middle room talking to people as well. I wanted our Independence Day experience to be enjoyable for all! I thought the atmosphere was great, and I was glad to see that everyone put their "company" differences aside and took part in the event.
People that love to complain about who gets pushed, need to remember that we're a radio station that promotes a 4th of July event, which features a wrestling show...along with other events. Secondly, the radio station isn't my own personal playground. It's not a wrestling vehicle. I can't spend weeks getting over every person that wants to appear on the show. That's not my job. That's why there are WRESTLING shows in every town. Companies shouldn't rely on 3 weeks of radio promotion to get talent over.
Every year, people come out of the woodworks wanting to be a part of 4th In The Forest. 3 different companies came to me begging to be a part of the event. That's the way it's been every year. If previous companies have problems with the way the event was promoted in the past, why did they come back to me wanting to be involved?
As far as not paying a company to be a part of the event in the past, that was THEIR prerogative. They had two options:
Option 1 - we would pay the company to produce the show. End of story.
Option 2 - they could provide the show to us at no charge, and then sell their own sponsorships to the biggest wrestling event in the region.
Option 2 was chosen because the company could make more money. The company DID sell sponsorships, and they kept all the money. That was the agreement. If they made $25,000, that was none of my business. That was what THEY wanted to do.
I know the unmentioned company sold sponsorships to local businesses, and I know what one of their sponsors paid on a monthly basis. I also know that the unmentioned sponsor was promised a huge show at a local venue, that they were told would feature one of the biggest stars in the history of the business. I know how many thousands of dollars they paid to be a sponsor of that event, and I know that the show they paid for never materialized. I know this information, because the current owner of the company told me that information face to face in my office one afternoon.
Bottom line, the wrestling business will never work in its present form. If you want to draw, shoot your angles to the masses. I know that back in the day when I first started in Dallas and in Memphis, talent would be embarrassed to get on message boards and dog each other out. That was never thought about. We are all out for the same thing. We wanted to enjoy the wrestling business, for the positives and the negatives. Did we agree with every decision? No! But we didn't get on message boards and vent.
Who are these people trying to impress? The other workers?
The other workers aren't buying tickets! There's no need to beat your chest on some public forum, and then go to a town that draws under 100 people.
Why can't all the companies work together? Why can't they share talent, and rotate talent in and out like the territory days. Wouldn't fresh talent in fresh situations do everyone some good?
The main thing is, Kiss FM is not a wrestling promotion! If Dave Brown was wrestling at Memphis In May, would the people at TV5 promote the entire card top to bottom? The average TV5 viewer would know Dave, and that would be the focus on the TV station. They'd focus on the person they have a vested interest in. A television station wouldn't have time to get everyone on the show over in the middle of a newscast.
RWA talent was mentioned in every promo for the last 2 weeks. We plugged their shows. We interviewed Rik Burton in the studio and Dr. Death on the phone. I wanted to interview Ali Stevens, Rodney Mack, and Jazz, but that never worked out. I was truly trying to promote RWA, because I know in years past others have had their feelings hurt about the way things have been promoted.
People that really know me, know how I try to go above and beyond the call of duty to be nice to everyone, and helpful. It's not an ego thing for me. I don't need to run my own wrestling show just to put myself over. It’s just a business decision based on the fact that we are a MUSIC station, not a wrestling station.
Hopefully this discussion is over...until I decide to work another event!