AS I SEE IT: Thoughts on the WWE Royal Rumble

AISIAS I SEE IT: Thoughts on the WWE Royal Rumble
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Well, WWE  did it again last night.

It told you that it knows better than you what you want…and by God, they’ll give it to you, and you’ll like it.

Rather than give fans a feel-good moment, and a real reason to jumpstart interest in the WWE Network by getting people to order to get Wrestlemania at $9.95 (with the six month obligation, the price is right around what people would have paid for Wrestlemania anyhow) by putting Daniel Bryan in the main event against Randy Orton, letting the “hero” finally win after a long, convoluted storyline…WWE dropped the ball by having Batista go over in a disappointing Royal Rumble match.

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AS I SEE IT: Independent Promotions need to promote their product

AISIAS I SEE IT: Independent Promotions need to promote their product
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

As most of you know, PWBTS.com, the flagship site of this column, focuses on coverage and promotion of independent wrestling. As someone who happily shills independent wrestling promotions whenever possible, one of the things that pisses me off is the way independent promotions seems to have no sense about the basic sorts of things that they need to do to promote their product.

Instead, some promoters seem to think that the way to draw is to hold grudges against any independent promotion operating in their area. They’ll take shots at these competitors online or in print. They’ll tell their talent: if you work for [insert name of competitor], I won’t book you on my shows. They’ll hold multi-promotion tournaments, and not invite the largest one in their area…who just happens to be said competitor. They’ll deliberately run shows against even charity-themed promotions, try calling local police to disrupt their shows…and all sorts of fun things like that.

I have a better idea…how about actually advertising your OWN product?

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AS I SEE IT – 2013 End of the Year Awards

AISIAS I SEE IT – 2013 End of the Year Awards
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Happy New Year to all of you.

As 2013 ends and 2014 begins, it’s time for the 17th annual AS I SEE IT Year-End Review. As usual, I should note that my selections are based on what I’ve actually seen this year, either live, online, on TV, or via tape/DVD; which primarily means North American wrestling.

2013 PROMOTION OF THE YEAR

Welcome to the 900 pound gorilla, North American Division…better known as WWE. TNA seems to be failing and failing fast. ROH doesn’t have a high enough national profile for eyes to see it. New Japan is coming back and coming back well, but doesn’t have enough eyes on it yet.

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AS I SEE IT – Giving Thanks to My Readers

AISIAS I SEE IT – Giving Thanks to My Readers
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

In 2013, PWBTS.com had 1,023 652 page views, with readers from 66 nations and territories including United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Argentina, Venezuela, Poland, Israel, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, United Arab Emirates, Japan, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Bahrain, Mexico, Russian Federation, Denmark, South Africa, China, New Zealand, India, Colombia, Brazil, Vietnam, Czech Republic, Burundi, Dominican Republic, Ukraine, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Slovakia, Guatemala, Norway, Chile, Indonesia, Croatia, Taiwan, Singapore, Greece, Hungary, Sweden, Bulgaria, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Netherlands Antilles, Ghana, Fiji, Bermuda, Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, Andorra, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Moldova, Liechtenstein, Egypt, Pakistan, Iceland, Romania, Malaysia, and Switzerland.

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AS I SEE IT: The Post-ECW Era at the Famous Arena

AISIAS I SEE IT: The Post-ECW Era at the Famous Arena
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

So given that, let’s take a look at part two of the building’s history, the post-ECW era. During those years, CZW was the primary promotion that ran shows at the ECW Arena. Here is a sample of that history. Please understand that it’s only a sample, as someone’s going to have to write a book to do the ECW era and the post-ECW era justice.

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AS I SEE IT: The ECW Arena returns…

AISIAS I SEE IT: The ECW Arena returns…
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

It started out as a warehouse at the corner of Swanson and Ritner Streets in South Philadelphia. Over 18 years, it became one of the most well-known wrestling venues on the planet.

There has not been wrestling at the ECW Arena for nearly two years. Tomorrow night, the first show is scheduled to take place in the new Arena, as Extreme Rising show, under the new ownership of Steve O’Neill, runs the corner of Swanson and Ritner. The Arena is clearly still being worked on as I write this, with completion of the renovations scheduled for April.

It’s the intent of Roger Artigiani to bring wrestling back to the Arena, but other events as well. Previous to the Arena’s closing, MMA and boxing cards (including boxing cards televised on ESPN2, Versus (now NBC Sports), and Telemundo. He wants that to return, along with bringing  in other events.

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AS I SEE IT – CZW Cage of Death is a Big Success

AISIAS I SEE IT – CZW Cage of Death is a Big Success
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Despite snow as high as two feet in parts of central and North Jersey, and for the rest.. freezing rain, sleet, a cold, driving rain, all of the above at times…and all the fun that comes with the third winter system hitting South Jersey within a one week period, Combat Zone Wrestling presented the 15th annual Cage of Death from the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ before a standing room only crowd.

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AS I SEE IT – Do We Matter At All?

AISIAS I SEE IT – Do We Matter At All?
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
http://pwbts.com

Well, Vince did it.  At Hell in a Cell last week, WWE basically told fans like you and I that we don’t matter.

Oh, they still want our money. But WWE proved last Sunday that think we’re sheep, and will come along no matter what, despite lower TV ratings that struggle to make a 3.0, and buyrates down.

But we really don’t matter.

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AS I SEE IT: The Season of Giving

AISIAS I SEE IT: The Season of Giving
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

This week, the theme is giving.

First, some news on the Kickstarter campaign for the documentary Wrestling with Disaster.

Most of the time, fans watch wrestling and give little thought to the fact that wrestlers are actually people, too; with lives, families, and friends outside of the business. They have the same trials and tribulations that we all do.

The issues can be made worse, because of the pressure to maintain a character, to perform before an audience, and to succeed in an often lonely business.  While wrestling has deep rooted spirit of comradeship, true friendships are often few and far between leaving some performers empty inside after the final bell rings. This is one of the many things that becomes a challenge for those involved.

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