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Any Booked a Real Show


juggaloninjalee

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Booking any "indy" show is easy yeah that the easy part. Putting on an indy show is much much MUCH did i mention much harder. Cost, permits, state laws being much tighter *they are wanting wrestling events to be ran like boxing events* and so forth get very expensive. There are alot of "back room deals" in independent wrestling events. Don't get me wrong i love my days as a booker but there is a reason i don't do it any more ;). It makes you hate the business that you once loved. To be honest a majority of wrestling "bookers" hate wrestling or atleast are not fans of the product any more. It just a job to them.
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Booking any "indy" show is easy yeah that the easy part. Putting on an indy show is much much MUCH did i mention much harder. Cost, permits, state laws being much tighter *they are wanting wrestling events to be ran like boxing events* and so forth get very expensive. There are alot of "back room deals" in independent wrestling events. Don't get me wrong i love my days as a booker but there is a reason i don't do it any more ;). It makes you hate the business that you once loved. To be honest a majority of wrestling "bookers" hate wrestling or atleast are not fans of the product any more. It just a job to them.

 

Where did you book at? This may sound silly by playing Ryland games for years and the fact that I love the business has made me want to try my hand at it. I have tried talking to people about this a lot and I have noticed a lot of indy promotions run a couple shows and then dissappear.

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I am the former booker for CHIKARA. Most small bookers disapear after a few shows because well to be honest they think it is going to be simple to put a show together. They don't have any real financial backing and they think the audience will be enough to pay for the shows. Not even close. you figure you are lucky to get 20 people to a unknown indy show. that will maybe MAYBE pay for the rental on the space you are using. You have not payed the doctors which you have to have now. the ambulance which you have to have now and you have not paid for the ring *which most likely you don't own you rent*. Most wrestlers are not paid to be honest *i know shocker hu? but alot of indy wrestlers don't get paid or if they do it is 10 or 20 bucks and there doctor bills are several hundred. So they all think they are going to get rich and quickly find out they are not.
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I've booked for three separate places. Promoted for two places (One I booked for and one I didn't) and have been co-booker on two as well.

 

The first show I booked for was when I first broke into the business in 2006 at the ripe young age of 17 years old. To make a long story short here is how this went. Friends and me backyarded. Friend bought a highspots.com ring after he had run across inheritance $... friend spent the rest of his $ on methamphatamines. A guy we barely knew bought the ring for him to get trained in. Guy graciously let me train with him. Guy decided to open his own indy promotion named Total Texas Wrestling. First booker and him didn't work out. I booked for three months.

 

 

(Six Way Match from the first show I booked for them)

 

TTW folded in May of 2007. I had no clue what I was doing in the ring or very much else be booking a show so I had resigned as booker in November of 06 and attempted to just wrestle. My training had been learning a few basic things, getting slapped on the ass and told I was a wrestler.

 

I left the town TTW was in as I was off to college. My roommate was an MMA Fighter who had helped promote MMA Events at a local youth center (The Youth Oppurtunity Center of Wichita Falls, TX)... I met with the owner and we arranged for what was SUPPOSED to have been a series of about 6 shows to test if wrestling would work in the area. First show went off without a hitch as sponsors and stuff worked out. Scheduled second event didn't work out as some sponsors of the venue pulled and third didn't happen thanks to the owner of the building selling the building to someone who wanted pure MMA and no "rasslin' bull****" in his venue four days before the event.

 

(Highlight video of the first and only NWS Show which occured November 10th 2007)

 

March 2008 to January 2009 I took a break from the business due to some personal problems. Came back in 2009 to originally just wrestle but had been doing some shows on Fridays with my tag partner. He was given the book and I helped with it.

 

Currently my only project is Pro Wrestling Onslaught (Youtube.com/PWOnslaught) out of Dallas, Tx. I'm sure some Texas wrestlers will stumble across this and me exposing this much of the business will somehow impact me negatively. I don't really give a ****. We have held three events so far and are just trying to get our feet off the ground all the way.

 

I think booking/promoting a show if you can actually do it is very rewarding. I'd recommend learning about the business from someone who knows instead of just assuming what you know from the net is real/genuine. Theres more to it than you'll ever figure out and you learn daily. I think to put on a GOOD quality show is more than just oh this guys good so have him face this guy. I'd say for starters to put on a GOOD LEGIT event you need a nice venue, decent production and good setup. Hard to get the ball rolling. Promotion is key too. It isn't if you build it they will come. Its if you pass out 10,000 fliers expect about 100 people in return.

 

Good luck. I'm open for most questions publicly but I can always answer things via PM as long as I don't feel like it'd be bad business.

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I've always had a certain amount of interest in the financial side of how it all works, but never quite got psyched up enough to research how much things actually cost and run the numbers. I like spreadsheets, me. Playing fantasy booker is one thing, but when you put £ signs into the equation, that's where my boat gets floated.

 

... but no, too lazy to actually research it myself.

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So what you are saying is, it is probably damn near impossible for an unknown indy show to turn a profit.

 

I've always thought I could accomplish it here in New England if I could find a ring to buy and not rent. My older brother is a full-time DJ and has massive amounts of sound and lighting equipment that I could easily use at NO COST to the promotion. Heck, he'd probably even run it all for me as a brotherly gesture. I know how to run that type of equipment because I've been doing it for years as a helpful hand whenever he needs somebody.

 

I always thought the hardest part of the show would be acquiring the right talent at the right price. I've ran concessions at all sorts of events (football games, basketball games, theater productions, etc). I have the technology at my disposal to create DVDs of shows and sell them for cheap. The production costs for this would be minimal as well. My family even owns a legitimate popcorn popper. Make some brownies and cookies. Sell pizza, soda, and water at the show? Piece of cake.

 

Finding a decent rental hall to run the show wouldn't be a problem because there's plenty around. Promoting it WAY in advance would be extremely necessary. Setting up ticket outlets at corner stores and whatnot would be simple enough. Could probably even get a school involved selling the tickets as a fundraiser of some sort. "You sell the tix and we'll give you a percentage of it to go towards your school / class account."

 

I really want to do this now, ha. :eek:

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So what you are saying is, it is probably damn near impossible for an unknown indy show to turn a profit.

 

If you can find some businesses to sponsor you, maybe. I know my family's company sponsors a couple of local sports teams and 'county fair' type deals. Slap their logo on the fliers, and a banner at the show, and feed them a heart warming tale of how they're 'supporting the arts' and maybe you can get a hundred bucks to help things along. I expect it would be very difficult to go in cold and expect to make a profit out of your own pocket.

 

EDIT: Beaten to the punch. Curse you BHK! :D

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I've always thought I could accomplish it here in New England if I could find a ring to buy and not rent. My older brother is a full-time DJ and has massive amounts of sound and lighting equipment that I could easily use at NO COST to the promotion. Heck, he'd probably even run it all for me as a brotherly gesture. I know how to run that type of equipment because I've been doing it for years as a helpful hand whenever he needs somebody.

 

I always thought the hardest part of the show would be acquiring the right talent at the right price. I've ran concessions at all sorts of events (football games, basketball games, theater productions, etc). I have the technology at my disposal to create DVDs of shows and sell them for cheap. The production costs for this would be minimal as well. My family even owns a legitimate popcorn popper. Make some brownies and cookies. Sell pizza, soda, and water at the show? Piece of cake.

 

Finding a decent rental hall to run the show wouldn't be a problem because there's plenty around. Promoting it WAY in advance would be extremely necessary. Setting up ticket outlets at corner stores and whatnot would be simple enough. Could probably even get a school involved selling the tickets as a fundraiser of some sort. "You sell the tix and we'll give you a percentage of it to go towards your school / class account."

 

I really want to do this now, ha. :eek:

 

Depending on where you are in Maine, I think I might be willing to make the six hour drive to help out.:D

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If you are talking "backyard" stuff them it is a very diffrent type of deal. I am assuming you mean booking for a legit licensed promotion. Not saying backyard stuff is not legit but it is a very diffrent animal. If you are talking licensed then there are alot of cost just to put on a show.
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If you are talking "backyard" stuff them it is a very diffrent type of deal. I am assuming you mean booking for a legit licensed promotion. Not saying backyard stuff is not legit but it is a very diffrent animal. If you are talking licensed then there are alot of cost just to put on a show.

 

I wouldn't want to go the backyard route. I'd want it to be a legitimately promoted show throughout a community that would be held in some type of hall or school gym. This is where I get the "deer in the headlights" look. I have no idea what the state laws are for things like this (productions and whatnot) and wouldn't even know where to begin. :o

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The state athletics commision usally have some rulings set up for wrestling events. You have to be licensed in the state and that is not always cheap. Believe me i am not trying to crush anyones dreams and it would be great if you could not worry about the financial aspet of booking and just be an booker but that is hard in todays wrestling industry. most owners are bookers. If you have a passion and don't mind not making much money then go for it. it takes so doing and research and alot of rejection but if you can do it more power to you.
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If you are serious about it maybe Remianen could also help you out. I think he posted he did some financial research on the matter of starting up a new fed.

 

from the posts remi has made it does sounds like he understands the politics of wrestling or running a promotion atleast. Its alot of you rub my back i'll rub yours kind of deal. Now ofcourse i am speaking of american wrestling. I don't know how things are done in other countrys or if there are alot of "shady" deals going down but in the usa there are alot.

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Just wondering if it ever happens that someone works himself up to become a booker? As my only option within the Netherlands atm other then putting up cash is becoming a ref. Or do owners/promoters always keep the book.

 

That is how is usally happens to be honest. Once the company gets big enough they have one of the "boys" take the book. Kevin sullivan is a good example of a man working for wcw and then becoming "booker man" ;). Yes most bookers don't just start out as bookers. they work there way up in the company and gain respect of the boys. Kevin nash, kevin sullivan, terry taylor are three good examples of men who worked there way up to booker. But it always causes problems when they are still active workers

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Where can you find specific state laws? The local shows I have been to never have any doctors or ambulances. Seems like a bar brings them in for a promotional thing once a month and about 120+ people show up.

 

As far as i knew the doc ambulance thing was a country wide law but i have been wrong in the past lol.

 

Looking it up a little bit michigan might only have a boxing commision. If so then you might be in luck and they have no laws regulating things like mma and wrestling.

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