Missouri Wrestling Revival

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Archive for May 21st, 2008

Guest Blogger Series: Josh Ray

Posted by Admin on May 21, 2008

Guest Blogger Series:
Josh Ray

I know that I’m technically not a guest blogger for Missouri Wrestling Revival since I am own it, but I wanted to kick off a new feature on the site. I’m calling it the guest blogger series, and I welcome anybody to come on here and talk about anything wrestling related. Of course I prefer it to be about Midwest pro wrestling, but I really just want people to speak their mind or make a case for their ideas.

Today, I’ll go over a recent debate on Lethal Wrestling Alliance’s message boards:

Entertainment vs Wrestling.

Smart Marks vs Casual Fans.

Lethal Wrestling Alliance vs The World.

Okay, so that last one isn’t really the case. I just thought it’d be fun to say.

This should be something that I’m more vocal about, but I’ve waited to say something. I didn’t want to be controversial or step on any toes. LWA fans are passionate about the company and the company’s product, and they should get the first chance to speak their mind. I wanted to break things down in my own perspective.

I read on one of the numerous pro wrestling boards out there that it was a case of LWA either drawing two hundred non-wrestling fans or drawing thirty wrestling fans. I have to say that this statement is a bit shortsighted from a business standpoint, but more importantly it is flawed in it’s definition of “wrestling fan”. More on that definition later.

There is no doubt that LWA is attempting to implement an intelligent strategy. The company seeks a balance between those that come to LWA events for an alternative form of entertainment and those that enjoy the more traditional wrestling aspects of the shows. It boils down to money and appealing to the largest audience audience possible. While the LWA superfans are loyal and deserve to be treated to what they enjoy, LWA would be foolish to only cater to this small group. Please note that I’m not saying that the company should abandone those fans. I would venture to guess that LWA Superfans spend a proportionately larger amount of money than the average fan at these shows, and should be treated to an equally proportionate amount of consideration.

What they do not need is for people to be overly (emphasis on “overly”) critical of every small detail of what is in a show. Support them, tell your friends, let them know which wrestlers you like and which you don’t. Give them ideas, words of encouragement, or constructive criticism. The way I understand it, LWA’s last two shows have been very good. This will eventually bring in more fans. It takes time.

The fundamental flaw with one opinion in this discussion is that it identifies “wrestling fans” as fans who “ponder the order of matches on the show rather than making noise and enjoying themselves”. While I can sympathize with this view because I know some wrestling fans who are like this, I think it’s an incorrect view of fans. The Internet in general can give rise to a “vocal minority” versus a “silent majority”. Pro wrestling has the same problem.

If this view of wrestling fans were to be true, I as well as most of my friends would be considered a large anomaly. I love for a wrestling show to make some semblance of sense, contain great matches and have entertainment and comedy value mixed in. I love to make noise and have fun, too. I just want the best entertainment for my money.

Maybe that is part of the misunderstanding. I think some people mistake comedy as being synonomous with the word “entertainment”. Comedy is only one form of entertainment. For a wrestling event to be successful and encourage more people to attend (and come back), it needs comedy. It also needs more than that, though.

It needs drama.

It needs suspense.

Athleticism, too.

Combine all of this with comedy, great matches and sensical booking, and you’ve got one hell of a wrestling event.

Don’t misunderstand me, though. I totally understand where LWA fans are coming from. They were defensive about a certain post on their message board because, let’s face it, the LWA message board isn’t really a place to discuss the order of matches on a solid card. Complaining about something like that can go a long way to shoot your opinion right in the brain with a shotgun. The LWA superfans were well within their right to get defensive.

The superfans do, in fact, help make the LWA the LWA. If they are loud and obnoxious, yet you agree with them that the show was good, why does it matter that Pierre Abernathy and Delirious wrestled in the last match on the card? An opinion shouldn’t be negative for negativity’s sake. Sometimes I think that some wrestling fans take themselves entirely too seriously.

I honestly believe that a wrestling-oriented show with a mix of entertainment will, over time, draw the fans back to LWA events. The last two shows have been good, and the crowd will gradually increase as a result. Trends are what affect attendance. One or two good shows do not make up a trend, so as LWA continues putting on these shows, the trend will build a buzz and bring the wrestling fans back.

Sit back. Relax. Trust the LWA, as they seem to really be committed to success. That’s a quality that I think all wrestling fans take for granted.

Before I sign off of the first edition of the Guest Blogger Series, I did want to make it a point to say that I think there are better ways to put wrestlers and storylines over at shows than live commentary.

That debate is for another day.

Josh Ray is the owner and editor of Missouri Wrestling Revival. You can reach him at this e-mail or by adding MWR’s Myspace to your friends list.

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