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Archive for March 1st, 2012

“Tragedy and Triumph: An Inside Perspective on AAPW Main Event,”

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 1, 2012

By Adam Testa

The call came at 11 a.m. Saturday.

We had already been at work for three hours transforming the Black Diamond Harley-Davidson Warehouse in Marion, Ill., into the All American Pro Wrestling Arena.

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Russ - Charles Russell Testa RIP 1920-2012.

I was out picking up supplies from the store when my phone rang. I didn’t need to look further than my caller ID to know what the call was about. My 91-year-old grandfather had just passed away, days after suffering a major stroke.

The call wasn’t unexpected, but I had hoped it wouldn’t come Saturday. That night, AAPW was set to host the biggest event in company history, complete with guest stars PAC, El Generico, Colt Cabana and Matt Cross, who was making a surprise appearance.

Being halfway across the country from where my parents and grandfather live, I didn’t have many options. And, as they say, the show must go on.

I headed back to the arena, where I returned to work with my friends and colleagues on preparing for the show. I knew that’s where my grandpa would want me to be, and I officially dedicated the night to him.

As the day went on, we finished setting up the arena and talent arrived. When the Cabana caravan arrived, I admittedly didn’t know what to expect. For four guys with the recognition and status of those individuals, they could have easily come in, done their thing, got paid and left.

What we saw was the complete opposite. Each of our guests proved to be among the most down-to-earth and humble men I’ve met. From talking to everyone backstage to PAC showing a local talent stretching techniques in the ring, they went out of their way to acclimate themselves to the AAPW atmosphere.

With all the talent in the building, the time came to open the doors to fans. Pre-sales for tickets had been great, but we still didn’t know what to expect. One thing is for certain: We didn’t expect the record-breaking attendance of 405 that awaited outside the door.

With a crowd more than tripling average attendance at our television tapings, the stage was set for an outstanding night. Everyone knew the bar had been raised, and they’d have to step up to the challenge.

From the first of nine matches, pitting year-long rivals Heath Hatton and “Golden Boy” Greg Anthony against each other, to the final bout, a no-disqualification title match between AAPW Heavyweight Champion Edmund “Livewire” McGuire and “Old School Warrior” Ax Allwardt, each and every match brought something different and special to the show.

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WWE’S Tough Enough Matt Cross was impressive during his AAPW debut but would come up short against Pokerface. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Our four guests gave it their all, too. PAC and El Generico put on a match rivaling any they’ve had in the past; Cabana meshed extremely well with third-generation star “3G” Eric Wayne; and Cross made a nice surprise answering the undefeated Pokerface’s open challenge.

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PAC and EL Generico lived up to the hype as they had a match that left the fans in awe. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

Many of the fans in attendance that night didn’t know exactly who these guys were before the show, but by the time the closing bell rang, they had been exposed to an entirely new side of professional wrestling.

Following the PAC-Generico match, as the show headed into intermission, I walked to the commentary table where I was immediately greeted by Chris Hagstrom – AAPW promoter, color commentator and one of my closest friend – and we embraced in a hug. The only words I could mutter were “Thank you,” and he replied, “This is for you know who.” That is a moment I will never forget.

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Christ Hagstrom, the AAPW fan that won FREE tickets for a year, Adam Testa and AAPW Star Justice pose after the show. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

That night – Jan. 14, 2012 – proved to be something special. AAPW started five years ago to help raise money for a young girl burned in a fire. In the time since, it’s become a staple of life in Southern Illinois.

“AAPW Main Event” took things to the next level. 2012 looks to be a breakout year for the promotion, as we continue our television show, entering our second season, and expand even more.

Our guest stars all complimented us on our production, professionalism and other values, which meant the world to all of us in the front office. They all – even Japan-based PAC – expressed interest in returning.

But we’d like to think they aren’t alone.

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AAPW Champion Edmund McGuire survived Ax Allwardt but he will be enemy number one in 2012, as wrestlers around the Midwest will want to have the prestige of being the AAPW Champion on WSIL3 TV. (Photo Credit Brian Kelley)

We hope that each of the 405 fans in attendance all left pleased, impressed, entertained and desiring to return. But for me, personally, I hope most of all that my grandfather was watching from above, proud of even the smallest role I played in making that show a reality. This show was for him.

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On Jan. 14, 2012, the landscape of AAPW changed. This two-disc set allows the events of that night to live on forever.

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AAPW Main Event DVD (Two-Disc Set)

NOW IN STOCK

Relive the memories of the biggest night in All American Pro Wrestling history with the “Main Event” DVD. That night, more than 405 fans packed into the arena to see a show unlike anything ever presented in Southern Illinois. Matches on the show include:

- AAPW Heavyweight Champion Edmund “Livewire” McGuire vs. “Old School Warrior” Ax Allwardt

- Play-by-Play Announcer Kevin Hunsperger vs. “The Masterpiece” Mike Masters

- “Boom Boom” Colt Cabana vs. “3G” Eric Wayne

- Stacy O’Brien vs. Rebecca Raze

- PAC vs. El Generico

- The Money Makin’ Jam Boys vs. Roscoe Dwayne Harris of The Convoy and Bull Bronson

- Jay Spade vs. Justice vs. “Farmer” Billy Hills vs. Bull Broson vs. “Playboy” Paul Rose

- “M-Dogg 20″ Matt Cross vs. Pokerface

- Heath Hatton vs. “Golden Boy” Greg Anthony

On Jan. 14, 2012, the landscape of AAPW changed. This two-disc set allows the events of that night to live on forever.

Price: $15.00

To see the online store, click the link in the menu bar or click here.

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What makes a promotion, “The MWR Promotion of the Year”?

Posted by flairwhoooooo on March 1, 2012


By Brian Kelley

Past Promotions of the Year
2011 Metro Pro Wrestling
2010 3XWrestling
2009 MMWA-SICW
2008 3XWrestling

 

With MWR having 16 promotions in our coverage area, it is HARD to tell 12 of these promoters who I care and respect and whom have put their hard earn money, free time into a sport that we all love( but makes no one hardly any money unless you are WWE) that their promotion is not among the top 4.

What makes a promotion the best? It is up for debate for real and I would love to know how you the fans, wrestlers and promoters feel about this. Well, I can’t speak for all of the  MWR awards committee  but here is what I am looking for in a promotion as we named the Promotion of the year.

1) Attendance- A great show with no fans = a boring time

2) Wrestlers- Are the wrestlers in the promotion among the very best that they can offer, so many organizations are out there are just willing to put anyone in the ring which only makes the men and women who work hard to put on a good product in a rough spot as fans don’t know the difference from a quality promotion and a yarder show that just popped up. I often have had people contact me to be added to the site but their wrestlers fit the description above so I have to find a way out of saying yes (That has not always been the case.) Add on the fact that MWR has grown at such a rapid rate that the 16 Promotions leaves us swamped. In the past I have advertised shows that were fundraisers from a non MWR promotion or because a quality person was involved with them and asked me to. Will we add other promotions in the future?

Yes if I feel that it could benefit MWR and that promotion, but if we stay at 16 that’s GREAT.

Great matches, feuds and storylines can also add to a promotion getting the nod to be among the top in the Midwest.

Editor Note: This year we added St Louis Anarchy- Why- A company filled with talent and a desire to be the best. Our fans asked for it, and quite personally I was happy to come to a working agreement with this promotion. I feel as if we will be able to support each other to get the name of MWR and SLA out to the wrestling community not only in the Midwest but around the country.

3) Activity – How many shows= Promotion of the Year ??? Is having 100 shows better than a promotion that has 12? How about 30 shows over 12? If you ask me 10 is the magic number to even be considered for this award. If a company does less there’s no shame in it though. Once again and this is my opinion, was there people there to see this, what was the quality of the show and wrestlers involved? I have been at all of the above 16 promotions shows, at each of them they have had GREAT matches, and each of them has had awful shows. I have been a co-booker for 2 shows and I know how draining, irritating and stressful it is to do a show. Afterwards you can be so drained working with wrestlers who show up, trying to maintain your cool with the “tools” that don’t show up, trying to answer questions from the sound guy, to the ref to the fans. It can be the best of times and the most definitely the worst of times.

4) Positive promotion of wrestling- An added bonus could be what good press that promotion received for their wrestlers and organization. Articles in the paper, stories on the TV news, fan fare’s days are all bonus points that will help a company.Promotions that have worked with the community for fundraiser, found sponsorships for their shows only gives the sport and the wrestlers that much more respect.

5) TV – This isn’t the deciding factor but let’s be honest it’s what separates many of the organizations.. This only adds to the prestige of the company. You don’t need TV it if you have great attendance, great wrestling, and meet other criteria’s that would make for a great year enough to be named the MWR Promotion of the Year. If not TV, how good is the DVD’S?  Do you have footage of the hard work you put in a show and to allow old and new fans to catch up with your storylines and wrestlers.

6) Web presence- How accessible are you to the fans of MWR? Is your website updated? Once again. This is not the most important part to claim the spot for the top 4 promotions as you are trying to reach the non-wrestling fans and have them fill your seats and many people feel that the hardcore fans will always be there. I see their point but what does it hurt to have a site of your promotion that the new fans and the hardcore fans can click on and enjoy, or at least find out when the next show you have.

7) This is the least important to me but could be a tiebreaker- What have you added extra to your show. Often this could be “Names”. Let me first point out that I have been to many shows where they did not include a “name” for the show. I care more about supporting each and every MWR promotion than hyping up ST LOUIS’S WWE Royal Rumble (That’s not to say we didn’t mention it). It’s not that I hate WWE but they have their own hype machine, MWR is there to support the above mentioned 16 promotions. I am not saying having a name would not influence what show I go to because if I can add a MWR interview or promo from a WWE Hall of Famer, current wrestler to mix in with the stars of the 16 promotions at MWR it only gives our fans a taste of the big time.. Would I like to work for WWE? Hell yes, but for now MWR Indy shows and the people involved are on our focus.

In 2012 it may be how close the shows are to us due to funds, but I am a firm believer in you need to make an appearance once or twice if you are to choose winners for an award.

Last year I almost done away with the award of promotion of the year due to the heat I received from a promoter. Yet I had one friend who stood up and convinced me that I had the right to decide on who wins the MWR awards. Is MWR the gospel of Pro Wrestling in the Midwest, no but he told me (a wrestler) that he wished he had a site like MWR to support him earlier in his career and that I should just stick with it. This year I have two wrestlers who have sent me letters cussing me on the match of the year. Both of these guys have been supporters of MWR and personal friends and still are but if you have a great match and 60 people saw it and it wasn’t videotaped, chances are it will not win match of the year.

Even though I continue to move on with the awards, I hate to disappoint others.

Sometimes the 3rd runner up could have a strong case of being number one.

Promoters I go by the theory of C.A.R. – Communication, Appreciation and Respect…If you want your info on your shows contact me and keep me informed, be polite( I try to do the same as well) Respect the fact that we make no money on this site, some weeks we have tons of time to post and will get your show the proper hype you need, Other times we fail to hype it due to our personal lives. Please don’t take it personal.

It always helps when the promoters send us recaps to the shows, and though I have been swamped latley I at least try to get a photo or two highlighting the title changes and big matches that were featured on your card.

In the future we may look at what makes a match “The” match of the year”? Plus a valid  question on the topic from a friend of mine involving a past winner of the award.

Send your thoughts, arguments and solutions to make MWR better to flairwhoooooo@yahoo.com.

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