Hustle Is Posting Right Now - Never Too Much
Aug 9, 2012 - 3:21:48 AM
"I just don't wanna stop.. never too much.."
I wasn't planning on doing another column, but sometimes, things come to your attention, and you get that motivation. Earlier today, I was browsing Twitter, and I saw a column about the independent women's wrestling scene. It was suggested that I give it a read, so I did, and I had so much to say about it, I figured it would make for a better column than a long series of 140-character tweets. Before I move along, I'm going to link everyone to the column in question. I want you all to take some time out to read it, and then come back here to read my response, or some of the things I say won't make much sense. Here's the column..
A Londoner's Eye: Is There Too Much Women's Wrestling Now?
Now, allow me to say that the original column is about the women's wrestling scene, and while most of my responses will be, as well, they can easily be used to discuss the indy scene, as a whole, so those of you with no knowledge or desire to know about the women's scene can still follow along. Alright, let's go.
I was actually thinking about something like this a few days ago. With all of these new women's promotions popping up here and there, I started thinking about how much bigger that portion of the industry is getting, and how much bigger it could get in the future if these newer promotions are successful.
Now, if you're going simply by the title of the column alone.. no, there isn't too much women's wrestling now. However, ending it there wouldn't exactly make for an entertaining column, so allow me to explain a little more in-depth.
You have to start by looking at the top women's promotions out there. You have SHIMMER, which means you now have to include their sister promotion, SHINE. You have Women's Superstars Uncensored. You have Northern Championship Wrestling Femmes Fatales. There are many others, but I'll focus on those for now.
- SHIMMER runs shows exclusively in Berwyn, Illinois (except for one show in Inverness, Florida five years ago)
- SHINE will be running exclusively in Ybor City, Florida
- WSU is running their shows exclusively in New York and New Jersey
- NCW:FF is running their shows in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The main thing you'll notice about those last four lines is the exclusivity of the promotions. They aren't doing shows in city after city after city. These promotions generally aren't big enough, and therefore aren't pulling in enough money, to travel all over creation to do shows. It's a lot smarter business strategy for them to stay in one place and work out a fan base there. That opens the door for more promotions to open up in different parts of the country. For example, with SHIMMER only running in Illinois, you don't have many options if you want to watch them if you live in, say, Florida. That's where SHINE comes in. Now you can watch them without having to travel all the way to Illinois. What if you live in New York/New Jersey and would like to see some exciting women's wrestling action, but don't want to (or don't have the funds to) travel to Illinois or Florida? WSU is right there for you to watch. This goes on and on and on. With more of these promotions popping up, more and more people are basically being catered to for their fix of women's wrestling. Of course there are going to be people that travel. Maybe your promotion of choice isn't the one that is closest to your residence. Maybe there's a woman or a match on a card that you can't see in your "local" promotion, for one reason or another. That's fine. I understand that. I'm talking about the majority of wrestling fans, though. The ones that aren't going to go to a wrestling show more than an hour or two away by car unless it's something like a WWE pay-per-view.
The next main point the author made was about DVD purchases and iPPV orders. She pointed out that the fans who aren't attending these shows live might have a difficult time choosing which company to give their money to. For example, with so many iPPVs to choose from, you won't be able to order them all unless money isn't an obstacle for you, but let's be real.. money is an obstacle for damn near all of you, so you have to pick and choose. The author basically implies that choosing promotions over the others could lead to the others losing money, having to shut down, and providing less places for the women to work. For one, let's ignore the obvious hypocrisy of wanting more places for women to work, but thinking that there are too many promotions. If a company is running shows on iPPV, they have a pretty good idea about their business models and about how many orders they would need to make a comfortable amount of money. They know they aren't going to get a million buys, but they also "know" they aren't going to get ten buys, either. They know all of these things going in, before they even advertise that the next show will be available on iPPV from whatever site they're using to broadcast the show. If WSU has a loaded show coming up on iPPV in three weeks, and SHINE has a decent show coming up on iPPV this week, both companies know what's going to happen, and both companies are prepared for it. It's not like SHINE would walk in blindly, expecting all of the buys, only to be blindsided by another company. That's not how it works. On top of that, if you're a real fan, aren't you going to find a way to support as many of these promotions as you can? Perhaps not by ordering every single iPPV, and then buying every single show on DVD, but spreading whatever wealth you can to make sure that part of the industry stays strong. Maybe you think the SHINE iPPV looks loaded, so you'll order that and watch it live, and the next time you have some extra cash to spend, you can order some WSU DVDs, or something along those lines. It's not like the other promotions will see that you gave money to someone else one time and they'll turn their backs on you, not allowing you to give them money in the future. There's no need to make things so dramatic. If an iPPV looks good, and you have the money to spend, you'll order it. If a show was good enough, and you have the money to spend, you'll buy it on DVD. If you missed a show, want to see it, and you have the money to spend, you'll buy it on DVD. Simple as that.
Her next point was especially laughable, in my opinion. She mentioned the crossover of talent between promotions, with some women wrestling for the different companies and playing different characters or teaming with different people, making it "difficult to keep up with". Her specific example is that Mercedes Martinez portrays a "gutsy, heart of a champion" character in WSU, but that she uses a different gimmick in SHIMMER and now in SHINE. Why is this a problem, exactly? Why would I want to see anyone play the exact same persona in every single promotion they wrestle for? They're already having to wrestle a lot of the same people in the different companies, so why make it worse by having Wrestler A and Wrestler B play the exact same role all the time? That is when you start risking business. If, say, Mercedes Martinez is facing Leva Bates at a WSU show this weekend, and then those same two women are facing each other at a SHINE show two weeks from now, why would you even care about their match in SHINE unless there was something to differentiate it from the WSU show? Even Davey Richards understands how this works, and that's why you see him in a completely different light when he wrestles for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. He still uses the hard-hitting wrestling/MMA hybrid in-ring style, but he opens up in PWG and participates in comedy matches a lot. It's something different. It makes Davey Richards VS Roderick Strong in PWG stand out from Davey Richards VS Roderick Strong in Ring Of Honor, giving people more of a reason to check both matches out. If Mercedes Martinez is wrestling for seven different companies, and is "gutsy, heart of a champion" Mercedes in all seven, why even bother? Once again, the author is making things far more dramatic than it really is. Knowing who is a heel here and a face there isn't like Chinese arithmetic using your fingers.
Besides, as much as I enjoyed The Dark Knight Rises, I'd kind of prefer Christian Bale not to be Batman in every single movie he's in. It would be nice to see him branch out a bit. Play a villain here. Play an alcoholic that finds the road to recovery in an attempt to win back his children there. That kind of stuff. However, I must admit.. Batman going around and killing people, American Psycho style, would be pretty funny. That's not the point, though. Shut up.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not as "in tune" with the independent women's wrestling scene as the author of that column is. I was only introduced to it recently, and she has probably been watching regularly for years. I applaud her for the support that she has shown, and for the events that she has purchased, spending her hard-earned money on. However, I simply could not sit back and not say anything after I read her column. If you're a fan of the business.. if you're a fan of these women that bust their ass every week to avoid the stigma that is attached to women's wrestling because of what WWE and TNA offer the viewing public.. you should be ecstatic about all of these new promotions popping up, and about all of the differences that we're getting. You get more wrestling to watch.. different styles, different overall rosters, different production values, etc. The women get more opportunities to bring home a check, keeping a roof over their head and continuing to put food on their table every single day. On top of that, for those that are, ultimately, looking to reach the "big time", and to have TNA or WWE come knocking on their doors, getting to wrestle for more promotions only makes their star appear brighter. It makes their "name" bigger. Look at Sara Del Rey, for example. Getting a chance to work for numerous promotions, wrestling here and there for years, is what put her on WWE's radar, and now, according to all reports, she has a WWE contract that is being finalized as I type this. That wouldn't have happened without more women's promotions (and more overall promotions adding a women's division) for her to be a part of.
No, Melanie from Diva Dirt, we aren't approaching over-saturation for the women's wrestling scene. In fact, we haven't even come close to seeing the scene hit its prime yet. With more promotions going the iPPV route, and with Crossfire Wrestling (not a full women's wrestling company, but a company that puts a lot of focus on their women's division) about to sign a national television contract with a yet-to-be-determined channel, things are just starting to heat up.
Never too much.
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