Kenny Herzog, Writer, Long Island Press: 18th
makes a great entertainment promoter?
who understands atmosphere as well as the entertainment
they're booking. To sort of answer your next question
as part of this one, a venue like the Warsaw, which
is a few minutes away from my apartment, in Greenpoint,
Brooklyn, hosts terrific rock bands from Grandaddy
to Joan Jett, but picked a great location that's out
of the way for posers, but easy to find for diehard
fans, and there's a terrific soundsystem, easy access
bars and bathrooms, and even a separate room where
you can buy food and get some breathing room.
are your favourite entertainment venues in New York,
they come and go, so that would really have to include
venues that have since closed down. Besides Warsaw,
the Bowery Ballroom, which has a great lounge room
downstairs with couches, tables and a large, circular
bar and bathrooms, and the steps up to the concert
area lead you directly in front of the stage. I also
love the well-calculated intimacy of Maxwell's in
Hoboken, New Jersey. It's become a haven for bigger
bands who want a more personal experience in between
larger area venues.
was your favourite Madison Square Garden match, and
boy. It's more of a sentimental choice. I don't even
recall who they were facing, but it was 1988 or so,
and it was the first time I saw Shawn Michaels and
the Rockers, and they completely dazzled me and hinted
at the future of wrestling.
wrestlers were or are, also great wrestling promoters?
have to love guys like Frank Goodman of USA Pro Wrestling,
who keeps the independent scene alive and puts his
blood sweat and tears into the business. Paul Heyman
always gets underrated in my mind for how he helped
create the sport as we see it today because he's such
an unlikable guy in many ways and so many of his wrestlers
were on drugs or in porn films, etc. But ECW was truly
a revolutionary movement and sort of forced Vince
McMahon to readapt his style. But Vince, being Vince,
like any good entertainer, took that influence and
molded into his own massive and distinct phenomenon.
should a good wrestling card consist of?
in this day and age, it needs to be entertaining first
and foremost throughout. To pretend like most people
still crave some old-fashioned "rassling"
is unrealistic and bad business. I will admit: The
moment some young guy in non-descript shorts with
no gimmick hits the ring, I change the channel. The
way WWE brought the soap opera and rivalry element
to a new level in the late '90s with D-X, Nation of
Domination, etc., combined with ECW's exploration
into extreme violence, really changed the definition
of what professional wrestling was, so it can't really
even be talked about in the same terms as it might
have been in Vince Sr.'s day.
has the wrestling media, let alone the traditional
media, been so critical of Vince McMahon over the
think part of the problem is people identified too
strongly with both the character of Vince McMahon
and the Vince McMahon who was vilified during the
Hulk Hogan trial. It was impossible not to make a
direct connection between this one man and what many
viewed as vulgar, reprehensible programming. That,
and most people can't stand someone who's as successful
and high-profile as Vince. And certainly, there was
some old-school animosity about how he may or may
not have tarnished the reputation of what his father
is Jim Barnett doing these days?
was WCW's biggest mistake?
what one of WWE's biggest mistakes is currently: Relying
on the nostalgic cache of old superstars on one end,
and the spunk of up and comers on the other, even
if they have little magnetism or charisma in the ring.
else, if anything, can wrestling promoters do to protect
there wrestlers from themselves, when it comes to
issues like drug abuse in wrestling?
there's only so much you can do to protect a grown
man or woman outside of mandatory testing and appropriate
disciplinary measures. But like any good management,
let your employees know you're there for them and
help them talk through and find solutions to any problems
their having before they spiral out of control.
is it important to acknowledge and keep alive wrestling's
any passion, you have to understand the past to realize
how the present fully came to be. It's simply ignorant
of pretend something like wrestling began and ended
with Monday Night Raw and guys like The Rock. Understanding
their influences and inspirations is tremendously
important in truly understanding the sport of wrestling
and not just being a passive observer.
is NWATNA doing that is making them so successful?
think they're just signing the right talent, taking
advantage of the overflow in WWE and resentment of
the way that company is going that is sending so many
of its superstars looking for other work. And without
WCW in the picture, they have branded a reputation
as the next most high-profile stop on the circuit.
approach do you take to writing an article about professional
you basically want to be foremost concerned about
the people who still don't take it very seriously.
Make them understand it is, in fact, very real in
so many ways. Bring them into the ring and these peoples'
personal lives to see and feel the blood, sweat, tears,
do you relax after a big day in the media business?
cold beer and two aspirin.
note: educational, interesting and insightful. When
it comes to sports entertainment, Kenny Herzog really
knows his stuff.
- 19th November 2003
Wrestling with his past: Johnny Valiant Tells All
The Great Yankee Promoters, by Greg Tingle
The Great Aussie Promoters, by Greg Tingle
Wrestling Promoters Down Under, by Greg Tingle
Tribute (Greg Tingle's tribute)