What Happened to the Writing Competition?
by Josh Ray
Over the summer, I attempted something different on behalf of Missouri Wrestling Revival. I wanted to find some of those people out there in the MWR coverage area who are truly passionate about professional wrestling and encourage them to get more involved. All they needed to do was submit in writing their ideas for “Improving the Midwest Wrestling Scene”.
In addition to that goal, I wanted to raise money for the continued operation of the site and The Wounded Warrior Project. Wounded Warrior Project is a very worthy cause that helps wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan receive any and all help that they need. I knew that most wrestling fans supported the troops, but I wanted them to be more specific and support the wounded troops. I know for a fact that people forget about these soldiers upon their return due to it being inconvenient to think about them. The Wounded Warrior Project is invaluable help for these forgotten warriors.
I lined everything up for the writing competition. Wbsites were covering it, radio stations were mentioning it on their sites and in broadcasts, and some individuals were making committments to send in submissions. It was still months away from the entry deadline, but things were looking very positive for the event. There was a buzz. As the days crept closer to the deadline, things looked even better. All American Wrestling shot me a message pledging DVDs for the event, Elite Pro Wrestling committed to put the writing competition in a link for their upcoming newsletter, and All American Pro Wrestling promised to mention it at an event. The problem was simply that entries were not being submitted.
I had a 25 entry minimum for the competition as a way to set a goal, not to make money. I had nearly $500 invested in prizes and advertising, but the 25 entries would have only netted me about $225 after donations to the Wounded Warrior Project were sent in. The whole competition was a way for interest to be created and measured, and interest was high at first. Actual participants fell way short of 25.
The competition was cancelled due to lack of interest. The cancellation was a huge blow to my motivation and confidence at the time, but I eventually decided to chalk it up to a valuable learning experience. I had a marketing plan, money to invest, initial interest from the public, and even some sponsors. The one thing I feel I was lacking was the trust of the wrestling community in the area.
The lesson that I took from the writing competition was that I’ve got a great reputation in certain circles outside of pro wrestling, but the very nature of the business (which I admittedly am still learning more about) is similar to Missouri’s nickname… I’ve got to “show” themwhat I’m about.
It’s difficult. I’ve been responsible for the lives of high-level officers and my soldiers in Iraq. I’ve lead troops in convoy security operations and investigated attacks on coalition troops. I’ve trained nearly a thousand troops on riot control tactics. But, I’ve got to adapt my abilities to something else that I’m passionate about. I’ve got to prove myself all over again in a new environment. One much less life threatening than some in the pro wrestling community make it out to be… independent pro wrestling.
I’m definitely not complaining. I feel I’ve already made great strides toward my goals and I’m in this for the long haul. Those that write for the site can vouch for me. I’m a man of my word and I’m not all about making myself look good. It truly is a team effort. The great thing is that everyone that helps with the site has the same mentality as I do. They want to help indy pro wrestling in the MWR coverage area grow. I have met many wrestlers, promoters, and staff that think the same way, and realize that MWR is a tool for the betterment of wrestling in the area.
One in particular really hit home the other day when he told me, “I can tell you are trying to make this area a legitimate territory again.” That statement sums it up, really. I can not succeed in that without the success of pro wrestling in general, and in specific this area. I want to be a part of that success.
Feel free to say what you want in the comments or the message board about the state of wrestling, me, the MWR site, or any of the articles! I love feedback.
Until next time, this has been the latest edition of “Combat Tested, Mother Approved”!