Monday, January 9, 2012
Tales From The Booker: Working with Some Indy Divas
Miss Asia is a rare breed. Chances are that you have never heard of her. The reason is, while she performed as a manager in the northeast, her claim to fame was under her real name (Daisy Hawkins) and as the co-owner of NWA Cyberspace.
Daisy and her late husband (and dear friend of mine) Billy "Firehawk" Hawkins followed their dreams and launched the CSWF (Cyberspace Wrestling Federation) in 2001. Plagued with some of the worst booking and marketing in the history of independents, things changed in 2004. While spending more money than any other organization to put on a better and unique product, Firehawk and Daisy were the first to book and stack their events with high profiled members of the TNA roster.
Names such as Jeff Jarrett, Abyss, Elix Skipper, America's Most Wanted, Rhino, Sharkboy, Matt Bentley, Tracy Brooks, Petey Williams, Bobby Roode and a host of others filled monthly events in Wayne, NJ - and became somewhat known as the first unofficial TNA house shows in the northeast. Firehawk and Asia gave the fans the opportunity to get up close and personal with the TNA stars before they secured the Spike TV deal. Fans were exposed to an alternate product that would one day compete against Vince Mcmahon's empire.
Unfortunately, Billy Firehawk passed away from health issues in the summer of 2006 - and the company pretty much died with him. After his untimely death, Daisy was swindled for money from various shady NWA promoters and decided to leave the wrestling business for good.
Regardless of the stories you hear regarding Daisy and Firehawk, they should always be remembered for spending their own hard earned money to bring to life their life long dream - and, give the fans something no other independent organization was able to afford. Daisy spent a lot of money to make the fans happy and give them a unique experience at every event. Those who say otherwise, were the ones trying to get their hands in her pocket or those who were too pissed off because they weren't invited to be a part of it.
Daisy was a pioneer as a strong female leader who tried to finance and run a successful wrestling organization. Long before Dixie Carter stepped into the spotlight, Daisy Hawkins had already gotten her feet wet as a business woman in the wrestling business.
Tara was a regular in the northeast promotions, primarily in her homebase of NYWC in Deer Park, NY. While working with Tara in NWA Cyberspace, we paired her as the manager of Team Tremendous (Dan Barry and Ken Scampi). Even though she was a trained wrestler, it was difficult pairing her up with some of the other girls on the market who were more rugged competitors or had extensive television experience.
On the flip side of the coin, the role of the valet was faded out. Add in the fact that she managed a babyface comedy team, we were limited with what we could really do with her. Here are a few never before seen backstage clips to give you a better idea:
Yeah - rough. I know. But I liked them a lot. And when I like somebody, I hate to be the booker that says,"creative has nothing for you right now". So rather than deliver the bad news and stop booking them, I just decided not to air the footage and used them as internet blooper exclusives.
Later on, creative really didn't have anything left for them. And paying Tara to be in their corner wasn't really worth the investment. But just as we were about to start cutting back on her bookings - Tara must have known that days were numbered. When she arrived to the next event, she had been enhanced. Those knockers were about three times the size they were when I last saw her. Anyone who knows me, knows I'm a sucker for boobage - so we made her our backstage interviewer. She wasn't terrible on the stick, but it was difficult for her to emphasize the points of the storylines. The interviews were way too generic.
One of the worst moments I had with Tara came when she was interviewing Josh Daniels backstage. As a side note, anyone who saw me in action as a booker must have thought i was a lunatic. It's so hard finding good help, that if you want the job done right, you have to do it yourself. So not only was I running the show, but I was directing AND shooting too.
Tara is interviewing Mike Kruel, when Josh Daniels storms in on the promos and chases him out. In the process, Daniels had thrown a steel chair against the wall...that ricochet and cracked Tara in the head. I was behind the camera following the action and as soon as I called cut, I was called to the "gorilla position" because there were concerns with the next match that was about to go on. When i get back, I find a pool of blood on the floor and found out that Tara's head had been busted open the hard way, She was rushed to a local hospital and stitched up.
Tara was a real trooper and always ready to offer her assistance. I had a great time working with Tara and wish that we could have done more. But the business was changing and we had to adjust ourselves to it.
Tara fell off the map shortly thereafter. It was later reported that Tara was doing "private wrestling sessions" and apartment wrestling. Apparently, somebody found her on an online site where she charged...uh, perverts, I guess?... to be smothered and wrestle in her bra and panties. Pretty different from being part of an actual wrestling show - but I guess it paid the bills. Tara had so much potential but not enough drive to get it done. It really sucks that she resorted to take the easy way out and sell herself. But in any case, we wish her nothing but the best. And for those wondering...you can see the photos she posted in her private session advertisements below. (And I'm sure I have some promo shots with her new boobage somewhere in the vault... to be continued).
Cindy Rogers was a great talent to work with in NWA Cyberspace. She was a rough and rugged bad-ass whose style was strong enough to compete with the men. So much, that in the final NWA Cyberspadce show (a tribute to the late Billy Firehawk) she was a surprise entrant in the main event gauntlet match for the Heavyweight title.
The two challenges that I had with Cindy was her promos and her in-ring style. Promos are a hard thing no matter who you are, and if you;re not born with the gift of gab, then you have a lot of mirror practice to work on. In this business, if you can't cut a promo or show any type of expression to build up your match then you're dead in the water before the bell even rings. Luckily, i was able to pair her up with a great manager in "The Sure Thing" John Shane who served as her much needed mouth piece.
The problem I had with her ring style was that it was much different than the other "divas". Cindy didn't flaunt her body and get over on her looks. She knew she was a brute. But when the other girls were too busy flaunting their "T&A" for the enjoyment of the crowd, Cindy was left cracking her knuckles in the corner ready to fight.
We ran a match with Cindy Rogers and Tracy Brooks, and it was literally a clash of styles. Cindy was better suited to wrestle men, and the more I look back on it, the more I regret not making it part of her gimmick. Then again, maybe I did consider it - and then reality struck. How is a male going to feel knowing that he was booked in a match against a female opponent? Even Chris Jericho dreaded wrestling Chyna for the WWE Intercontinental Title. Nobody ever said that the job of creative booker was an easy one.
Cindy was a great girl and talent, and luckily enough, former WWE women's champion Jazz debuted for our company. The immediate thought was to have a stiff-fest between these two brawlers. But that could only go so far. So instead, we decided to make them the anti-barbie team. Check out the video and enjoy what could have been the start of something great had the company didn't fold.
Lacey was always one of my favorite female workers, because she had the natural ability to combine cute girl next door with sexy sultriness without the need to go over the top and "enhance" her look for added attention. Her in-ring skill always impressed me because she understood traditional psychology and mixed it in with traditional wrestling. not grappling. Not high flying. But pure wrestling.
Although I didn't follow her work in Ring of Honor, it was the reputation she had built that led me to pursue her services for my organization NWA Cyberspace. And because her services were so in demand, it was difficult for me to build a storyline around her. I wanted to have her as one of the center pieces of our women's division, but her schedule didn't permit it. So I was forced to take what I could and when I could, and she became nothing more than a roster member who helped shape the division, but never lead it.
I haven't heard much of what she has been up to lately. And i'm surprised that her ability hasn't helped elevate her to a mainstream position in WWE or TNA. Sure she has the young girl look, but isn't that what they are looking for? Oh, her boobs aren't big enough? Well, neither are AJ's, The Bellas, Alicia Fox, and...you know what, who's wrestling anyway. Lacey or her boobage?
It's a damn shame that a talent like the Lovely Lacey has...well, I won't say gone to waste, although it has been severely overlooked and unrewarded. She's considered one of the top indy workers in America, but until she gets her moment to prove on television to a national audience, the Lovely Lacey will be lost in the purgatory of local success.
While digging through the DieHard Wrestling vault, I came across some never seen (or in my case as a booker/promoter, never used) promos of fomer TNA Wrestling Knockout, Tracy Brooks.
I've always been a big fan of Tracy. I got to know her pretty well while running NWA Cyberspace. As far as I can remember, she was booked on about 90% of the shows I ran. Whenever I had a special event, Tracy was the first one called. Maybe I had a small crush on her. Maybe her boobage was absolutely mesmerizing. Or maybe we just partied like rockstars when the shows were over. Either way, Tracy has always been a favorite of mine.
Unfortunately, these aren't the best pictures of her. I have so many buried in my files, that when i came across these I was almost convinced they weren't mine. As you can see, aside from her pretty face - there isn't much to sell with these pics. When I say sell, I mean, there is no "WOW" factor to them. Not trying to be sexiest in any way, but this is the wrestling business and I put strong emphasis on "business". I need money making marketing material. And in Tracy's case - that requires some good boobage.
I have tons of shots that we used for posters and promo material, and believe me when I say, her assets were huge selling points. These pics? Not so much. Maybe that's why they were vetoed and buried. So after all these years hidden in darkness, I share them with you for the first time! Enjoy!
Foxy Foxxy (aka Foxxy Dreams) is one of the most unique characters that I have encountered on the northeast indy scene. I had met her through her husband (the very underrated Damien Dragon), as he had worked a handful of my NWA Cyberspace events, and she accompanied him tot he shows with her children in tow to root on their dad. We continued running into each other at NYWC events in Deer Park, NY, where she was a fixture on their roster managing (and feuding) with her husband, along with Ken Scampi and Dan Barry.
On the very final NWA Cyberspace event, I finally had the chance to work directly with Foxy and was about to begin a controversial storyline with her before it was decided to fold the company. In the story, she would have managed a stable of "studs" who were rumored to have had extra-marital affairs with her. In a search for the truth and a resolve to the conflict, her husband would endure physical and mental torture as he was forced to chose between his career and his family. Unfortunately, the company closed and storyline died in its tracks.
Foxy and Damien are two passionate professionals who knew their limits in the business and chose to live out their dreams while appreciating the little things. Those little things were their family and their adorable children.
There had been times I wanted to book Foxy for a spot, but she couldn't find a babysitter. Now before you chuckle at the thought of a performer turning down a booking because she couldn't find someone to watch her kids - then take a look at yourself int he mirror. You will more than likely never have a family of your own to make such a decision, and if you were to ever choose business over your family - then you don;t deserve them. I gained a huge amount of respect for Damien and Foxy. She knew her limits and chose to step back and let her husband continue the dream while sat in the bleachers with her kids as his number one cheerleader. The fact that nothing was more important to them except family instantly won my respect and a spot whenever they were available (and had a babysitter).
I've seen people give up the world (literally) just to be one of Vince McMahon's cookie cutter foot soldiers. None of them with any balls or dignity to put their families first. Even thought Damien and Foxy never got the call from Vince or Dixie, they always knew their was a higher calling to their children and their role as parents.
Foxy Foxxy is as dedicated to her family as she is to her craft, and with that said, I tip my hat to her.
Just stumbled across another batch of never used promo pics for The Lovely Lacey. Thought it would be nice to share these with you.
Now since my last Lacey post (earlier today), I decided to use this new invention called "The Internet" - you may have heard of it. Little did I know, Lacey announced her retirement in 2008. That would explain why I haven't heard or seen much of her...even though it is now 2012. But who's keeping track right?
For those interested, here's what I found:
"In August 2008 the Wrestling Observer and many more wrestling news sites confirmed Lacey had quit wrestling to return to school, confirming rumors that the 'ambush' served both to further the feud between
On November 22, 2008 Lacey made her return to both wresting and ROH during its Pay Per View taping. She came out during the I Quit match between Aries and Jacobs, revealing herself to be the second Aries had selected for the match. Lacey acted as if she was going to throw in the towel to save Aries but became conflicted when Aries told her not to. Jacobs brought her into the ring, intending to hit her with his spike weapon but she slapped him. Later in the match she prevented Tyler Black (the second for Jacobs) from throwing in the towel.
On the official Shimmer forum, promotor Dave Prazak stated "Lacey will not be wrestling anywhere any time soon" because of many unnamed reasons, but she may make "appearances" "
So there you have it!... and some new pics too!
Can there ever be too many pictures of former TNA Knockout Traci Brooks? I don't think so. As a matter of fact, before you even try to answer that question, you should know that I still have a ton more where that came from.
She's photogenic. She's hot. She has monster boobage. She... Seriously? Need I say more? How she's a "former" knockout is beyond me. Not only is she a TNA original and dedicated herself to the company since its inception, but she actually gets the business. She understands what the people want. She\'s fully aware that TNA creative is as clueless as a door knob, and not only have they dropped the ball on the Knockout division - but they've also kicked it away.
Mind-boggling, isn't it? But I guess it's better than the mind-numbing program that's aired on Spike TV on Thursday nights.