Tuesday, November 1, 2011
TALES FROM THE BOOKER: A.M.i.L. VS. Thrillogy VS. Halls Bros. VS. Dan Barry & Ken Scampi (NWA Cyberspace 2005)
AMIL (All Money Is Legal) was truly one of my favorite tag teams to work with while booking for NWA Cyberspace. Not only did they provide some of the best high flying tag team action on the indy circuit - but their dedication to entertaining the fans was second to none. If we ever found ourselves in a creative jam, AMIL was one of those teams that we could depend on to give the fans what they paid to see.
In this video - you'll see AMIL in action, in what I had booked as a four corner tag team match.
We were having trouble finding new teams that could compete and draw with our tag team champions. We sent our scout to local indy shows, had him review tapes and do some online research to find teams that had the skill but who were also not overbooked in the same area that we ran in. I had gotten several recommendations of a group of young new talents looking to get booked in a territory where they would be more exposure to their work. I had liked what I had seen but then the creative devil popped his head in to offer an opinion or two.
All of the teams consisted of smaller guys - and when I say smaller, I'm saying smaller than you're average lightweight. Their look also didn't have anything that screamed "Book Me"! Regardless of their work - i was concerned about how they would draw and if the fans would quickly lose interest for the simple yet most common reason - they didn't look like wrestlers. Then again, times were changing and I couldn't be so closed minded in literally judging a book by its cover.
Rather than spreading out the auditions and filling a card with newbie matches - I decided to book to a four corner tag match. Now some critics called it a clusterfuck of a match - which the match in itself was anything but. But the critics out there who have never spent a day of their life in the business, (nonetheless running a wrestling promotion) thought the concept of a four corner tag team match was ludicrous since there was no real purpose to the match. This is where business and creative come clashing in. So let me share with you the thought process of the booker/promoter.
As I mentioned before, I needed more teams. The title was being bounced around from the sizable team The Solution to TNA's tag champions America's Most Wanted ('Wildcat' Chris Harris & 'Cowboy' James Storm). Not only could I NOT book an entire show filled with tag team squash matches, built it also gave me an opportunity to see how these teams work against each other. Did the match serve and purpose creatively? Absolutely not. But did it make sense for me to sacrifice ONE spot on the card to see the teams at work with each other so that i can plan out the future? Abso-fuckin-lutely!
Nevertheless, A.M.i.L showed me their hearts were bigger than there actual size. The Hall Brothers showed me they could have easily built themselves as tribute to The Rockers. Thrillogy proved to me that as good as they were as a team - they might be better off as singles competitors. And of course - Ken Scampi and Dan Barry proved that they were true veterans who were able to carry the match and give me a real account of how the workers performed in the ring.
You want to know the mentality of the booker? Well, here it is! Not everything you see in the ring is designed for entertainment purposes. Real bookers/promoters who only get to produce one show a month with limited resources have to go about their "business" in different fashions in order to analyze the results. So before you attempt to take a big wet shit on independent creative, try looking at the bigger picture. And instead of watching a match to attack the booker - how about watching the match for the sake of the match?
Here comes the attack on "DieHard" Derek, who is notorious for attacking WWE and TNA creative...Wait for it... Wait for it...
The difference between me and them is simple - I'm JUST me. And they are THEM - with large financial backing, private studios, training facilities, weekly programming, PPVs, multi-million dollar marketing machine and a shitload of television time to explain their storylines and get their talent over. Give me those tools and I promise to shake up the wrestling world. Until that day, here's my middle finger. Sit on it and spin!