Good Sunday afternoon everyone. I hope this edition of the “Thompson Perspective” finds everyone doing well as we head into another week and a special one at that, considering the fact that we honor our country’s military heroes Tuesday as part of Veterans Day.
With this edition of the column, I’ll just touch on a few things and make a brief point here and there.
First, and this is a non-wrestling item, let me say that you MUST get an HDTV. These things are awesome! There was a super sale on a 46-inch Sanyo 1080p HDTV at Wal-Mart yesterday and I took advantage. Now I just need HD programming to truly enjoy its offerings! Maybe that’ll happen next year.
In addition to buying a new TV yesterday, I made a brief stop in Jonesboro, AR at the Royal Wrestling Alliance (RWA) arena. I didn’t get to stay for the show as I had later plans with my wife and I was also fighting a cold. But it was nice to see their set-up and to meet some of the guys who work there on a regular basis.
Of course, there were several familiar faces including Pokerface, James Arnez, Psycho, Zane and, of course, Loose Cannon. However, I will say that Cannon looks COMPLETELY different than he did the last time I saw him in person. Honestly, I did not even recognize him at first until I heard his voice. You clean up nicely sir!
I also had the chance to visit with Rodney Mack and Jazz, who were very nice and kind during the discussion we had. I also want to thank Frank Martin and his wife Suzanne (hopefully I’m spelling that correctly!) for being very cordial with me as well. It’s always nice to be welcome.
Friday night was another fun night of New Experience Wrestling (N.E.W.) in West Memphis, AR. We had four solid singles matches that I think the crowd enjoyed. I urge you to come check it out if you have the opportunity. You will see a nice set-up at the building, which doubles as the “Nightmare” Ken Wayne School of Wrestling.
There has been a lot of talk about N.E.W. since its inception. We’ve heard the radio shows with Brian Tramel and yours truly, Brian and Ken, Gene Jackson and a slew of guests that included Leslie Jones. A lot of questions surround the company concerning its style and longevity. Folks, let’s not be so impatient. Things are going to take time. Yes, I’m involved heavily with this effort and I believe in it. Do I think it will work? Yes. Do I think it will take an effort to make it work? Yes.
Nothing successful just happens. Somewhere, at some point in time, somebody worked hard. We’ll all of us who are involved both in management and in the ring are doing our best right now. Is it going to be everyone’s cup of tea? Maybe not. As popular as the original ECW was, it wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Even at its death WCW was drawing nearly 2 million households each week for what most experts called “horrible” editions of Monday Nitro.
There is certainly enough room in our business for various styles.
“Handsome” Beau James, who is based in the Kingsport, TN, area, has a great shirt that I think can sum things up as far as N.E.W. may be concerned. It says “Old School. New Class.” You can’t put a label on N.E.W. There are certain elements that make it somewhat “old school.” Yet there are things that make it different like some of the rules and what not. It will evolve over time and I think too many are judging the entire life of the project by the first TV taping on Oct. 17.
That is not to say that this is the perfect promotion and we are going to suck the crowds out of every town in due time. There is plenty of room for the style presented by RWA in Jonesboro. They have had some respectable crowds since their opening. Same for the ASWF in Tuckerman, AR. And when you look at ASWF, it is a different style than RWA or NEW.
Let’s all give this thing a chance, just like we’ve given other promotions a chance in the past. The worst case scenario is that the boys will have another place to potentially work. Can’t be a bad thing there!
Until next time, take care all.
(Brian Thompson is a columnist for www.rronews.com. He also serves in a marketing and public relations capacity for the “Nightmare” Ken Wayne School of Professional Wrestling and New Experience Wrestling. He is also co-host of NEW Wrestling along with John Steele. Thompson is also involved in several on-going wrestling book projects including the recent publication of Dusty Wolfe’s autobiography.)