KidFantastic Posted February 5, 2017 Share Posted February 5, 2017 Life is a funny thing sometimes, one minute you're packing your bags for a trip to the RIPW training center as part of your offer to join SWF and the next you're shaking hands with Larry Vessey, sealing a deal to join NYCW. Let me back up for a second and introduce myself. The name's “Sweet” Johnny Smith and if you don't recognize the name I don't blame you. Fact of the matter is, I'm just another wrestling fan trying to break into the business. I'm not sure if it was my college wrestling career, the audition tape I sent in, the fact that I went to school near the RIPW enhancement center, or some combination of those facts that caused “Mean” Jean Cattley to offer me a spot on the RIPW roster. Whatever the case was, I was all set to start my wrestling career when I received a phone call from my mother. My father had just had a heart attack and despite assurances that he was okay, I decided to fly out to New York to see him. I informed the RIPW offices of my situation and they send they would hold my spot on the roster for two weeks, but if I wasn't there for the January show then my spot would go to another talent they had their eyes on. When I got back to New York I spent the next week by my father's side despite his objections that I was smothering him. My mother, sensing that I might be getting on my father's nerves, told me I should go to Papa Enzo's Pizza before they closed it down. If you're wondering why my mother would suggest that, well Papa Enzo's was where I worked for four years while I was in high school. The owner, “Big” Bobby McGee paid me in cash, which helped me to keep my scholarship money while still making enough money to help out my family with their bills. Every time I was back in New York, whether it was just a weekend trip or a long holiday break, I would visit and order the best damn pizza in Long Island. When I got to Papa Enzo's the place looked like a shell of it's former self. The outdoor area no longer had any chairs or tables, instead a lone bench sat near the front of the building. The bright neon sign that flashed like a beacon in the night was replaced by cheap wooden one with no lights. The store hours, which was a major factor in Papa Enzo's success, had gone from a twenty four hour a day pizza place to being open just eight hours a day. Mr. McGee explained to me that he couldn't find anyone willing to work the graveyard shift and he was forced to go to the new store hours early last year. After losing the late night drunk crowd that made up sixty percent of his business he had to start scaling back on things, leading to the removal of his neon sign and outdoor area. No longer having to pay to light the sign, keep his outdoor vendor license, and working more days himself kept the restaurant open for a time, but he could tell his days were numbered. Noticing the NYCW flyer in the window, I asked Mr. McGee if he was still sponsoring the shows and he told me he was, despite his feeling that he wasn't getting as many customers from it as he had a few years ago. I don't know what made me offer to renegotiate the advertising deal with NYCW, but I did and Mr. McGee agreed that it was worth a shot. To my surprise, Larry Vessey himself greeted me when I stepped into the NYCW offices. After my initial mark out moment I explained to him why I was there. Vessey told me that NYCW was in no position to renegotiate advertising deals at the time as they themselves were struggling to survive. I told Vessey I understood, after all it was quite apparent that NYCW was so far behind the times that it would probably close within the year anyway. This shocked Vessay, as he believed business was down do to the wrestling business itself falling out of fashion and not because he was running NYCW just as The Stomper had since NYCW opened. Vessey then shocked me by offering me a spot on the NYCW booking committee. I told Vessey that normally I would take that offer in aheartbeat, but I was going to be starting a wrestling career with RIPW as soon s I got back to Rhode Island. That is when Vessey shocked me a second time and offered me a spot on the NYCW roster along with my spot on the booking committee. He assured me it was far better to be in charge of my career then to let Cattley determine my future. I had no argument for that, but I still told him I would have to think about it. Vessey gave me a day to come back with an answer and we shook hands as I had the biggest decision of my life to mull over. For damn near everyone this would be a no-brainer situation. RIPW was the developmental company for SWF and unless I screwed up I would most likely get a job with SWF in a few years. Sure, SWF was no loner the top wrestling company in the country, but it was still miles ahead of NYCW. However, if I signed with NYCW I could determine my wrestling path, learn some backstage skills, and if I can improve NYCW then Papa Enzo's Pizza might just get some more business by being our sponsor. Yeah, it was a no-brainer situation after all. I returned to the NYCW offices the next day and informed Larry Vessey that he had a new employee. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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