Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wednesday Conversation with Brian Tramel by Brian Tramel

----I have had tons of questions ask of me about the site, wrestling in the area and just wrestling in general.

----I thought I would just have some fun this week and present Conversation this week with those questions.

-Let’s start out by asking you about the recent criticism you received for giving bad match reviews for a benefit show.

Honestly, it does not matter what kind of show it is.  Whether it is a benefit or not.  I go to a show to do a report. I mean no disrespect to the cause of the benefit or anything.  It was for cancer and my dad died of cancer.  But, if the matches suck..then they suck no matter what kind of show it is.  As I said in my report, I did have a good time, because I was surrounded by friends and family, but overall the show featured two good matches with everything else bad.

-Sir Mo came to the site with a hot column and then just quit; what happened there?

Sir Mo is not in good health and even though he does enjoy my web site, I think he felt he was exposing the business by saying what he was saying.  Almost like he wanted to help me, but then felt he was breaking kayfabe.  That is a slippery slope for lots of veterans.  They may read the site, but they don’t want to participate.  Or some of the guys might talk to me on a regular basis, but then when it comes to the site they do not want to be seen. 

-What the hell is Blaylock doing on that site??  Do I have to look at pictures of Psycho all the time??

I have been asked this by a few people.  Jimmy seems to have decided to do the site by upholding all the storylines and such.  He works for EPW and various other promotions.  He wants to keep the illusion alive.  That keeps him in good graces with everyone in dressing rooms and such.  I have no problem with it, and he might actually get more people coming to the site because of it. 

I personally designed this site to be a “smart” site for the workers and fans in this area.  I modeled it after the Wrestling Observer Newsletter with no big graphics – no bells & whistles – just opinion and news.  When I post results, we do post them as in the point of view of what the fans seen that night.  When I do my Arena Reports, I never pretend something is legit, when it is not.

I also feel I could get more hits if I actually did “copy and paste” stuff from other areas, but I wanted to pride myself on covering this area.  We have at least 90% original material and that makes me proud.  Almost all the stuff is done in house, except the occasionally results from Mississippi.

Oh..and I like Psycho and Pappy, but I get tired of looking at them also. [laughs]

-What is up with stars for matches?

Dave Meltzer always used stars for his matches.  It was system that was created by Jim Cornette and his friend Norm Dooley.  It was given for their enjoyment of the matches and how the match was structured.  It is something I have adopted and find it funny how sometimes guys asks “How many stars was that??”

-Why do you hate Mississippi wrestling so much?

Mississippi is a long drive for me.  I have been to very few shows, but when I go – it seems to be worse than anything I have ever seen.  I have to stick by anything I have ever said about that area in the past. If they ever do anything I like, I say it.  I think the stuff they are doing at EPW right now is fun.  They have some talent in Rodney Mack, Gary Valiant, Sarge O’Reilly, Bitty Little and Jimmy Blaylock.  I enjoy watching all those guys.  The angle they are doing right now with Valiant and Blaylock is good and fun to watch.

-You get criticized for putting the same crew of guys over and not giving everyone a fair shake.

Let me first say – I love professional wrestling.  All the guys in this area do stuff I was never able to do.  I was a horrible wrestler.  But, I expect people to be better than I was in the ring.  If I honestly feel I could have a better match than you, then you do not belong in the ring.  I give everyone a fair shake, but if you are not going to try to perfect your craft or if you still suck after working for 20 years – then you get no sympathy from me. And the guys that I put over – they are consistently good.

-Why don’t you put more stuff up on the site?

As I mentioned earlier, I try to focus only on this area.  I sometimes have to make a decision on what to report and at what time.  Sometimes it hurts me in that I miss a scoop.  I actually knew Memphis Wrestling was closing down before a lot of the guys that worked the show knew about it.  I knew they were going to be told at their last show and could have reported it.  But, waited until Blaylock reported it – because Jimmy was there and knew it to be fact.  I wouldn’t want to read on a website that I lost my job before I was fired. 
I also have to decide what is newsworthy and what would people want to read.  And well, sometimes I just forget because I got so many things coming in.  Here is a quick example of three stories that I passed on the last few weeks.  So, everyone can see – I don’t post EVERYTHING.

#1: Tatt2 has a guy that he helped trained [Don Johnson] telling everyone crap about Tatt2.  Not good for Tatt2 and as he said, “I don’t want him to mess up my reputation anymore than I have.”

#2: Eric Wayne sends me an e-mail saying that the referee in the Mid-South Fair pictures from Jimmy’s site was the guy taking money for kids to get in the ring at the Delta Fair.  He said, “It was him or he has a twin.”

#3: I get a text from C-Money, who wants to challenge Wildside of TIWF to a shoot fight in a cage. 

So, I make the decision to not run all three of those stories mainly because they all seem too personal.  I know I just told everyone all three stories here, but I was just trying to make a point.  I don’t post everything, but I try to post what I feel is important and what people want to read.  I am just not going to post something to post something.

-Here are some guys that you don’t put over much – give us your opinion of them.

-Loose Cannon?

Cannon was used perfect when he was working Jonesboro in a tag and he was entertaining.  I would never make him a main event guy, but he can be entertaining and part of the whole package.  He has been with two promotions – Jonesboro and Tuckerman – that have had some of the bigger crowds the last two years. Cannon is also good at putting out posters and getting press for your promotion. 
I know people are going to be surprised that I put Cannon over, but I think sometimes it takes not only the great workers and such, but it takes guys that can entertain and help get guys in the door.

-Rik Burton?

Good hand.  Solid in the ring.  A strange guy backstage, because you never know if he is working you are not.  I would use him in his current persona – the “Treat” thing got too old. Mid card heel.

-Frankie Tucker?

I think Tucker may be one of the most underrated guys in this area EVER.  I put him up there with Chris Rocker in that category.  Is he flashy?  Is he going to do high spots?  Nah.  Just a solid slow – makes his opponent look good kind of guy.  I have always enjoyed Tucker in the ring and a great guy outside of the ring.

-Adrian Banks

Banks is a guilty pleasure for me. He is not a great worker.  He is not horrible.  I just for some reason enjoy watching him run across the ring and squashing people. 

-Seth Sabor

I have only seen this kid work a couple of times and it was him just trying to do spots.  I have been told he has improved a lot. 

-Ike Tucker

One of the most entertaining babyfaces in the area.  He does very little in the ring, but if some of the guys had this guy's charisma with their talent - they would be in the WWE.

-What are the toughest stories you have had to cover?

Christ Benoit, Tank, Brian Christopher and Jeremy Wood.  Three of those being deaths.  I was a huge Benoit mark from his days in Japan.  Tank was a friend and that is still hard to think about.  Jeremy Wood was just sad.  The Brian Christopher story was like watching a train wreck every week. There were tons of stories I was being told at the time that I didn’t even post.  I am happy to say it has been a quite Brian Christopher year – either people just are not telling me anything or he has cleaned up his act a bunch.

-Ok, final question, if you were going to start a promotion, who would you have work for you?

Well, first I would hire Greg Anthony, Brian Thompson, Pokerface, Paul Adams, Blalok the Blazer, Maxx Corbin, Flash Flanagan, Frankie Tucker and Rude as either road agents or bookers.  And if I had a dream roster, I would have to hire Chris O’Neal, Jon Michael, Kevin White, Eric Wayne, Jeremy Moore, Seth Knight, Kid Nikels, Austin Lane, Christian Jacobs, Derrick King, Cody Melton, Tatt2, Chase Stevens, Tommy Mercer, Alan Steele, “LSD” ,Stan Lee, Rodney Mack, Matt Riviera and the “Asylum” [Pappy/Psycho].