Tales from Ringside: My Year As The Boss

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Photo / Mike Malowany

As we enter the holiday season, it is often used as a time for reflection.  For myself, there was no greater experience than when I became Monster Pro Wrestling General Manager. It waasmy year as the boss.

To explain how it all came together, I need to take you back to last January.  As I mentioned in my previous article, Edmonton was hit with a moratorium on Combat Sports, and Pro Wrestling got caught in the wash.  As promoters fought to have the embargo lifted, I joined the fight myself and spoke to the City Council Committee about the issue. Following that meeting, Council made a motion to exempt Pro Wrestling, and allow things to go back to normal for the meantime. However, little did I know that I would be entering deeper in the wrestling business than ever before.

After leaving City Hall, I was approached by the owner of Monster Pro Wrestling.  I was offered the role of General Manager, being told many respects “you are the most passionate person I have seen in this business in a long time.”  The words that once left me speechless, are those that continually fuel me. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to see what I could do and accepted the job on a one-year project.

So there I was, essentially a fan with a big mouth running one of the Top Companies in Alberta. Initially, I thought that the role would be simply booking a few matches, make a few announcements, and bask in the glory of the position. I was wrong.

In many respects, being a General Manager of a Wrestling Promotion makes you the face of a company.  You are the one pushing the product, and promoting it to get every little piece of mainstream media one can get.  You also deal with recruiting new wrestlers. In a company like MPW, new wrestlers are an essential part of the company’s future, seeing as they’re a training school.  Speaking of the wrestlers, some days it felt like you needed a degree in psychology to handle some of the characters in the locker room.  From a group of wrestlers who thought they were a herd of cats, to a few veterans who thought they were above the law, it was never a dull moment when trying to create a card that was interesting to fans.

 Photo / Mike Malowany

I remember my first night was basically a night of kicking people out of the building, as the inmates attempted to run the asylum. As the year wore on, I started to earn the respect of the entire roster, and the promotion grew to heights that haven’t been seen in years.  There are two things I am most proud of when it comes to my tenure.  First, the growth of wrestlers on the roster, whether it be those who are still on the roster like Danger Zone Mitch Clarke, Chris Perish, and Lumberjack Larry Woods, or those that have moved on, such as Sydney Steele, Angelica, and KJ Kash (a.k.a Envy).  Everyone saw the product get better, and in tow stepped up their game. The second thing I am most proud of is the focus on production value. Something as grand as a new entrance set, to even less noticeable things as having the ring announcer announce match times, allows a promotion to look so much more professional.  I do have another item I am proud of, but I am going to save that for a special Tales from the Ref.

Now that my year is up, I have decided not to re-sign as General Manager. Its not because I didn’t love the job, but my other duties were being neglected.  For more details on why I left Monster ProWrestling, check out the article on Backbreaker Media’s sister publication, WinColumn Sports, at www.wincolumnsports.ca.

Next time… My Matches of the Year that came out of Nowhere