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South of the Border: How did I get here?

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I won't go into how I talked the Snockey magnate into hiring me to run his promotion; even I'm not completely sure how it happened, as we don't even speak the same language. All I can say is that it was one hell of a New Year's bash we were both at. Maybe he liked my mask, I dunno. As to why I decided to make an extended stay in Mexico, where my career had never taken me before, well, I still maintain that she sure as hell didn't look fifteen.


In any case, I found myself studying a lot of film to familiarize myself with the SOTBPW roster and crowds, as well as the competition. I was part of the biggest game in town, but I could see room for a few immediate improvements. First off, after one hour in the gym, I fired the current road agent. I don't even remember his name. If nothing else, I could do a better job than that loser, but after the firing there was some chatter in the locker room about a good replacement, and Enrique Merino mentioned something about "Luis Montero". I knew that name from his old California Pro Wrestling days; if that old ring general was available I'd be stunned. Not only was he a legend in his own right, but he could carry a match with a plank of wood. I made the call, and he agreed to talk later on. With luck, I could get him in before my first show.


Move number two was along the same lines. A lot of local indy videos showed good ref work; better than we had in-house. I made some calls, but I didn't drop the current guys. I could double as an agent if need be, but we need refs with some experience. I'd kill to get an announcing team with some chemistry; the in ring talent is sure to be hindered by the bland commentary, but there's just no one available. If Carl Batch could speak Spanish, I'd fly him back and forth from Puerto Rico out of my own pocket. I'll keep an eye out, because he's sure to pick up something where he is.


In an event that makes me even happier, my owner wants screen time. I hate to disappoint the man, but he's about as charismatic as a busted garden gnome, and not much taller. Pre-show segments in the background, it is. If he improves rapidly, maybe he can do something else. Looking at the books, he's already paying himself for it, anyway. I wonder if his tax accountant put him up to it for some reason; he's making more in his "on-screen role" than most of his top stars. However, by giving in on this point, I got him to agree to go all-out on the backstage luxuries. Catering, masseuse, the whole lot. Someone asked for a chiropractor, but I said no. I won't have that pseudoscientific alt-med crap in my locker room. Most everyone was pleased enough with the other perks, though. I instituted a moderate (in my opinion) drug policy.


And that, my friends, was the end of day one.

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The second day started with some personnel changes on the active roster. It's a talented crew overall, and barely a bad attitude in the bunch. I inserted myself in the lineup as a jobber; hey, I've got a mask and some decent skills, so if I can help some of the other guys look good, why not? It's always good to have someone not worried about status or climbing the card. That left the roster uneven, so I went looking for someone else to plug into things. There's currently a "no-touch" policy for the competition (I tell ya, we get any bigger, and those agreements are out the window), so I had to look elsewhere. I looked at some cruisers and juniors I knew, butI kept coming back to the DVDs from FCW. They have some real luchadores with more talent than you might expect. Power's running a good show down there. There was a lot of talent to look at, but I settled on Dragon Del Arco Iris Jr. The kid's just got something I like. I doubt he'll make it out for the first show, though, even with me calling today.


From there, it was business decisions. I decided to use better music, and to produce better quality merch. All told, it will cost more money, but this isn't a mom-and-pop organization ironing stuff on to T-shirts. We've got money, let's use it. I also put in for a meeting with a mid-sized Pay-Per-View company. The organization is sizable enough to to get one with the big ones, probably, but I'd bet on getting a better cut of revenues with the smaller company. After the first month's finances come in, I want to look at setting up our own venue, or maybe a dojo. To get big, you've got to act big. The guy who loses a million dollars never misses a meal; it's the poor schmoe who's short twenty cents that has to tighten his belt.


The last of the administrative shuffling came up after I talked with some of the workers a bit. After confirming it on the videos, something just didn't feel right with the product; the crowd just wasn't popping quite the way they should've. I figured they were looking for something a little more exciting than what we were giving them. It was sort of hard to quantify, but it seemed like traditional lucha matches weren't enough; there was plenty of action, but it just didn't quite grab the crowds. I decided to try and bump the riskiness of our standard match up a hair; I'm not going to make a guy take a sick bump off a cage every night, but a couple of more great spots per match might do the trick. I can't do much, though. Our product was pretty fine-tuned for success before I got here. I'd find out soon enough if the change was a good one; I can always drop it if it hurts the company.


Near lunchtime, my boss's secretary provided me with a list of expectations from The Man. Fortunately for our communications, Sophia is quite fluent in both English and Spanish. Mostly, they were pretty general: be more popular in Mexico, don't go into debt, etc. There were some roster limitations; basically, I had to hire guys with a decent rep who could actually wrestle and sell. Not a problem. Putting the list aside, I waited for callbacks while I built my first show.

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I looked over the current situation. I came in in the middle of two big storylines, two high momentum stables, and four titles. I was unlikely to be able to maintain that stable heat, but I could use it for all it was worth. My tag and trios titleslooked to be in good hands; they were with some people I wanted to push anyway. I've always thought a good tag run was one of the best ways to move someone up the card. With the trios belts being "floating", they seem tailor-made for that purpose. The singles belts might get moved around; we'll see how they play out after a show or three. One thing I can tell you long-term; I look at the immensely over good guys Champagne Lover and Pablo Rodriguez, and I see two of the greatest heel turns of all time, just waiting for the proper build...


But I'm getting off track. Here's how the first show is laid out:


Pablo Rodriguez and Blood Raven open against Los Enfermos


Trios title match: Capitao Brasil Jr, El Hijo Espada Roja, and Velocidad defend against Hysteria, El Alborotador Confiado, and Gonzalo Rubio


Demon Seed vs Rebelde Loco


Menor title defense: The Cannonball Kid challenges El Sucio


Las Pesadillas vs Verdugo Estupendo and Ultra Spark Jr.


Pirata Malvado and Vincente Romero vs Axxis Jr. and Lobo Blanco


El Fuerza vs Ultimate Phoenix


Mundo title match: Champagne Lover vs El Demonio


Just a few days now...

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