If you have any interest at all in independent wrestling – and even if you don’t – you need to hear Talk is Jericho’s Friday episode. Chris Jericho’s guests are Don Callis and Scott D’Amore, the new executive vice presidents of Impact Wrestling (formerly TNA). It’s an eye-opening discussion about their unique qualifications to take over the struggling promotion and take it in a new direction.
The highlight that stood out the most for me was when they discussed intellectual property rights and wrestlers. It’s well-known that Impact has finally given up the fight over control of “Broken” Matt Hardy, and the WWE and Hardy are already reaping the benefits. What D’Amore and Callis shared on the show was the reasoning behind their backing of this paradigm-shifting decision.
It was Vince McMahon and the WWF that established the idea that wrestling “characters” belonged to the promotion and not the wrestlers. Vince wanted control so he could own the merchandising and restrict people from leaving his company to make money of the characters he helped to create. The TNA policy that kept “Broken” Matt Hardy in limbo for seven months was adopted from the WWE policy.
Callis and D’Amore want to change that. They want to give a platform for wrestlers to build, grow, and market characters owned by the wrestlers. Wrestlers who sign on with Impact can rest assured they will not be starting over should their relationship with the company come to an end. The gains they make at Impact will benefit them in Ring of Honor, Japan, Mexico, Europe, anywhere they go.
Callis and D’Amore contend that wrestlers have more power now than at any time in the history of the business. It’s hard to argue with that statement. For nearly a hundred years, going back to the days of the Golddust Trio, the promoters held all the power. They controlled the territories. They controlled who won or lost. They controlled who got work and who starved.
The territories are no more. Today, wrestlers market themselves. They are savvy social media users. They have tools like Instagram, YouTube, and Pro Wrestling Tees that they are using to great effect. They give interviews on blogs like this. They appear on every podcast they can. They let their fans know where they can see them not only in person but on High Spots, Powerbomb.TV, and other networks.
Callis and D’Amore know the business of wrestling. They also know business-business. They see the market, they know the trends, and they seem smart enough to create an environment to appeal to wrestlers who are truly more independent than ever.
If you’re a fan of wrestling history, be sure to catch today’s episode of the Jim Cornette Experience. I’m on the show today talking about a few of my favorite things: The Allen Athletic Club, Elvira Snodgrass, and The Black Panther Jim Mitchell.
If you’ve already listened to today’s show, you can follow the links below to read more about the books and stories I’ve been working on.
If you heard the Jim Cornette Experience released on Thursday, November 2, you heard him make mention of two letters he picked up from me: one from Morris Siegel and one from Sam Muchnick. Both letters are posted below for those who want to take a peek.
Mitchell was on the tail end of his amazing career. He was ready to step away but hoping to help launch the career of his protege Ricky Waldo. Waldo never took off like he hoped, most likely due to the fact that everyone wanted to book someone else in his place: Bobo Brazil.
There are still a few letters like this available, along with wrestling boots, licenses from across the US and Canada, and a number of photos and programs, mostly from the West Coast. The pipe collection is also for sale. If you’re interested in any of these items, please email me!
If you heard the Steve Austin Unleashed Podcast last week, you heard Austin and Kenny Bolin discussing a promo where “Dr. D” David Schultz got Mean Gene to break up and laugh on camera. Here’s the video clip if you’d like to have a look:
Dr. D has been written out of a lot of wrestling history over the last 20 years, despite his runs in Stampede, Memphis, Florida, Japan, and the AWA as well as WWF. We’re going to set the record straight. Dr. D’s autobiography, “Don’t Call me Fake,” is on track for release this coming winter.
It is with great joy and relief I can report to you that Righteous Jesse survived his deathmatch with Tank last weekend at Southern Underground Pro Wrestling in Nashville. It looks like SUP is starting to develop quite a following. Not only are they energizing indy fans by bringing something fresh to Nashville’s wrestling scene, they are winning new fans who have never seen a wrestling show before. Kudos to the entire Southern Underground Pro, and much continued success!
This week, Jesse is back to work on the Kick Out at Two Podcast alongside the Wilkman and Bonnaroo Brittany. Their guest this week is Ray Waddell, who just made his debut at SUP on the show last weekend.
Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast every Friday in iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud!
This week the Kick Out at Two Podcast welcomes Air Paris to the program. Righteous Jesse talks with Air Paris about partnering with A.J. Styles, NWA Wildside, and being the father of a young wrestling fan.
It’s a shame to think that after 87 episodes, this could be the end of KOAT as we know it. Why? Because Saturday night, Righteous Jesse is going to die. He’s promoting his second show ever with Southern Underground Pro “Don’t call it SUP GRAPS” Wrestling, and he’s booked himself in a deathmatch against former KOAT guest and legendary deathmatch wrestler, Tank. I’m not sure why Jesse would do such a suicidal thing or why his friend the Wilkman or girlfriend Bonnaroo Brittany would allow it. We can only pray that Jesse will survive and live to podcast another day.
The Kick Out at Two Podcast is available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher every Friday.
Southern Underground Pro Wrestling’s second show, Show You No Mercy, takes place Saturday night, June 10, at The Cobra in Nashville and features Bonestorm champion “The Lodestar: Curt Stallion, “The Blue Eyed Devil” Tripp Cassidy, Kevin Ku, Percy Davis, Brett Ison, Chase Jordan, Matt Lynch, Caleb Courageous, and Jeremiah Plunkett. Show information can be found on Facebook or Twitter.
Condolences on the loss of Righteous Hesse can be sent via Twitter to Bonnaroo Brittany.
The Kick Out at Two Podcast is unashamed of their love for the world of flips and kicks. They know that there’s great wrestling to be found beyond the E, just as the folks who keep raiding indy wrestling on behalf of the E do. Week after week, they are committed to introducing new fans to the men and women of independent wrestling in the hopes more people will check out the good stuff happening every week/month right where they are.
This week the Kick Out at Two gang welcomes Jake Something to the show. Jake was another lucky find, a name and face they didn’t know until they see him life at Glory Pro in Alton, Illinois. “After we saw [Jake] we knew we had to talk to him!” Get to know the man who caught their eye on the podcast this weekend, available in iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud!
This week, the Kick Out at Two Podcasts presents an interview with Teddy Fine, taped during his recent trip to Freedom Pro in Nashville. “Primetime” Teddy Fine is a 34 year old veteran of the independent scene from Philadelphia who has worked for numerous promotions in the Eastern United States including CZW, IWA Mid-South, JCW, and multiple branches of the NWA. He’s also held singles and tag titles for PWU, WXW, and BWO.
Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast every weekend on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher, and give them a follow on Twitter @KOATpodcast.
I’m not a fan of snakes. My kids love to drag me through the snake house at the zoo because they know how much they make me squirm. But I will make a exception for Ophidian the Cobra.
A few years ago, I used a photo of Ophidian in the book Eat Sleep Wrestle, thanks to wrestling photographer Ichiban Drunk. When CHIKARA came to town, I gave him a copy. He was a very nice guy and very appreciative. He was also a blast to watch in the ring.
Get to know one of the most famous “faces” to ever come out of CHIKARA on this week’s edition of the Kick Out at Two Podcast, available on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud.