Thursday, July 09, 2009

RRO Wednesday Conversation with Brian Thompson - Thompson Leaves NEW!!

----Brian Thompson has decided to leave his post as head announcer at New Experience Wrestling (NEW) with tomorrow night’s event in West Memphis, AR, being his last show. This came as a surprise to a lot of people at NEW as it seemed Thompson was tailor-made for this position and the work he did in the promotion in 2008 helped him win RRO “Announcer of the Year.”

----Brian Thompson came on the local scene first doing interviews of local talents for several wrestling websites. He did some announcing for the old MSWA promotion while working full time with Gateway Championship Wrestling in St. Louis, MO. Thompson was also there for the ECW tryout for “Riot Squad” [Paul & Rick Justice] with Coach BT vs “Total Kaos” [Christian Jacobs/Kade] in January 2001 in Poplar Bluff, MO. He would work with Memphis Championship Wrestling (MCW), at the time a WWF developmental territory, where his long time relationship with Bobby Eaton began. Thompson would later form Lethal Attitude Wrestling (LAW) with Jeff O’Dell and Kelly Warner and this is also the first time that he worked with Ken Wayne. His second stint with Wayne started when Wayne was booking for the Columbus, MS promotion All Pro Championship Wrestling. When Wayne started NEW, he knew he had to get the best announcer in the area for not only the company’s lead announcer role, but also for his work backstage and his wrestling mind. Thompson has a public relations/marketing degree from Arkansas State University.

----Thompson earlier this year formed the team of “Midnight Gold,” when he came up with the idea of taking a local guy and teaming him with wrestling legend Bobby Eaton. His duties as manager have kept him busy on Saturday nights and he has been working closely with PWA and Jamie Jay also. RRO had the chance to talk with RRO “Columnist of the Year” Thompson on Wednesday afternoon about leaving NEW and his future plans.

----Rumor is that you just started taking more dates as a manager to beat “Hollywood” Jimmy for “Manager of the Year” 2009? LOL

That is strictly what you said it is BT – a rumor! I’ve always enjoyed managing Bobby. Probably the two most fun times in my career were 2004-05 when Bobby and I worked the Mid-South loop and now with Bobby and “Golden Boy” doing “Midnight Gold.” If the fans and readers of this site, along with the boys in the business, so choose to nominate me for an award for my managerial work, I will be very honored, but I am not trying to steal anyone’s thunder. Jimmy continues to be nominated and continues to win because he is good at what he does.

----Tell us the main reason for leaving NEW?

Time or lack thereof is the main culprit. Also, I feel that I am no longer giving a quality performance like I did earlier on and in the past. I’m still giving 100 percent each time out, but that 100 percent is not nearly as good as it was say five or six months ago. When NEW first started, I had nothing else wrestling related on my calendar. Now, I’m working with Midnight Gold, managing them and arranging some of our dates along with “Golden Boy,” I have several wrestling media projects in conjunction with RRO that I am waaaay behind on and I’m helping Jamie Jay with his PWA promotion in the Wynne, AR area. I also want to be more involved with the promotions that Midnight Gold works for such as RWA and ASWF. I want to assist where needed and wanted. Oh yeah, and Monday thru Friday I work a 40-hour per week job that is not always from 8:30 to 4:30. Sometimes it involves night and weekend work. So when you factor all of that in, one day I had to look in the mirror and say, “Something has to go. I need to slow down.” If NEW, we’re the only thing I had going, things might be different. But they are not. That’s the main reason. I have backed myself into a corner and have overloaded my plate. I’ve got to slow down a bit.

----Is there a chance that you would return to NEW if they got a real TV deal and money was involved??

It’s really not about TV. Actually, I’ve discussed various scenarios about TV when it happens for NEW. Realistically, all that would do is make me even busier which is the problem now. If I based my wrestling career on how much money I make, I would have given up a long time ago. (LOL)

----What do you see in NEW that you like and what do you dislike??

I like the talent that has graced NEW rings since the beginning. I can’t think of anyone who has worked there that hasn’t at least “looked” like a pro wrestler as far as being in condition and having wrestling gear, etc. The set-up is nice and good for young guys to cut their teeth in a TV type environment. It feels like an old studio style show, which it is. Also, the guys learn how to cut interviews in front of a live audience. They learn proper TV timing. Not too many places offer that these days. You don’t get directions that say, “Go 10 to 15 minutes.” You are told, “You have exactly X amount of minutes in your segment.” That includes interviews, introductions, bell to bell in ring time and post match. It’s really good for the crew to learn this, especially those who move on to say a WWE or a TNA. Of course, having veterans like Ken Wayne and Downtown Bruno around is phenomenal. If you can’t learn from them, find another occupation!

As far as dislikes, I think the product is missing that big “it” factor that makes you want to come to the show. The interviews that the guys do are often decent to good, to great in some cases. But as far as anybody compelling you to come watch them week after week, it is just not there. Of course, I could point to not having a TV spot as part of that issue which it is. I think as characters are developed and personalities come through, some of that will end. But right now, that’s a problem. I’d still like to see additional advertising and maybe some survey work. Find out what attracts fans to the show one week, yet doesn’t make them HAVE to be there next week. I felt like most of the shows were decent to good to excellent, but I didn’t HAVE to be there.

----Since you are stepping away from NEW and have been close to the situation, what are your thoughts on the whole Eric Wayne controversy??

I do not think that Eric intentionally tried to hurt either Scott Fury or Greg King. I don’t think he is that coldhearted. At least I hope he isn’t. (LOL) I do think he could have been much wiser in move selection on the kick that injured King. It is one thing to get a black eye, but to break bones in the face is not something that you expect to occur when you give your body to an opponent. I think Eric should work on his move selection to make sure that there is almost no way that he could severely injure someone with such a shot. As far as some of the other stuff like internet reports and going back and forth arguing online, I would stay away from that. I would take the opinions that I care about and see if they have any substance to help me and the rest I would forget about. I’ve been bad about taking things personally when I read a message board post. But that’s a waste of your time. Take the constructive advice and apply it. Forget the wasteful stuff. As far as the Randy Orton deal, I would have advised him against saying what he said. I would have simply introduced myself to him and gone on about my business. The less you say sometimes put you in fewer possible predicaments.

----What are you plans for rest of the year?

Well, my day to day job keeps me busy. I have found a wonderful profession that pays fair and has lots of opportunities. So I’ll be very focused there. As far as wrestling, I’ll keep helping Jamie Jay with his local group, I want to be as involved with RWA and ASWF and whatever other promotions that Midnight Gold works for, I’ll be busy scheduling Midnight Gold dates around Bobby’s North Carolina schedule, I’ll be busy with RRO stuff including soon to be announced books and I’ll spend time with my family. At the end of the day, family comes first and that’s another reason I needed to sit back and evaluate. I don’t want to wake up in 30 years and realize that I neglected my family.

----“Nightmare” Ken Wayne sent in the following in regards to Thompson leaving…

"I regret his leaving NEW, he and John Steele are the best announce team around. Michael Ward will be sitting in his seat temporarily, although no one can replace Brian, we will be looking for someone to fill his spot. Brian has been so good at everything he has done for us, we will miss him and hope he comes back by once in awhile, he will always be welcome to sit in and do his thing. Thanks for everything Brian…..We wish him the best in his future endeavors….lol."