Confessions of a Pro Wrestling Photographer part 2

Got a few new questions about my experiences and times with the wrestling business.

What do you think about people who work in both IYFW and WOHW?

There’s a lot of great local talent, and those people are going to want to build up their fan base close to home.  I don’t see any problems with that.  Both shows have a different feel to them, and even with a lot of the fans being the same, it’s a slightly different audience, which I will get to in my next question.  I do think everyone is better served when there is some consistency within a smaller geographic area.  Even when I made a rare trip up to SAW, and even with my experience, it was still unsual to see someone like Pierre Vachon be a heel in IYFW, and a face in SAW.  Since so many wrestlers and promotions post videos to YouTube these days, I think you should have a similar orientation and gimmick wherever you work, but especially in places that will share fans.

I also think they should occupy a similar place on the card.  There was a time where Fronz Roddy was the IYFW champion.  But he was losing on the mid/lower card in WOHW during the same time period.  That can’t happen.  This might be a controversial call, but if I’m in IYFW management at that time, Roddy would either have to drop the IYFW belt, start picking up some wins in WOHW, or just stop doing those shows.  No one would have gone for this, but this was the same time where Hoss was talking all sorts of crap about IYFW online.  I would have liked to see Roddy with an open challenge, Hoss attacks through the crowd, delivers a Lesner on Cena type beating, and leaves with the belt.  Eventually Drake Evans would rise up to defend IYFW, and that would be the main event program.

What’s next?

The realization that I wasn’t having as much fun as I used to, or couldn’t continue on the course I was on hit me kind of suddenly.  Since then I’ve made more peace with my position, and whether I come back to work or don’t, Im ok with it.  I will miss the people I’ve worked with, whether I spoke with them or just enjoyed watching them wrestle.   I’ve said on this blog before I enjoy the local shows more than I enjoy WWE.  And that’s still true.  When time permits, I would love to take in a show and just sit in the crowd and be a fan again.  It’s been a long time since I’ve done that at a non WWE show.   I enjoy the sport, being around it, and being involved with it in whatever way I can.   Someday in the near future I’d like to bring my older daughter to a show.  She went to the WOHW reunion show in Glens Falls, but only made it through 2 matches.   She really liked the dancing robot who came out first (shockwave), but she didn’t like it when the mean person hit him (Vince Beach)  do this day, his face still makes her cry.  Awesome.   But that was a while ago, so she might be ready for a second go.

That brings me to a point about the audience for wrestling.  There’s only so many wrestling fans out there.  You go to a WWE show at the GFCC and they have at least 3,000- 4,000 fans there.  A much larger number should be going to the local shows.   Even if both tickets cost the same, I would have more fun at the local show.  And the tickets don’t cost the same.  I just don’t get it.  Even among wrestling fans, there are broad tastes, and groups try to cater to multiple fan groups.  I would say IYFW tends to be more family orientated, where WOHW has more adult orientated shows.   Here’s the thing though, lets say the show is 99% kid friendly.  That’s great.  But I still might not bring my kid if there is even one F bomb or one sequence that isn’t appropriate for the kids.   That’s hard to pull off.  I’ve seen the promoters telling their roster to keep it PG, but some people still have their own ideas, or in the heat of the moment, stuff happens.  It’s hard to run a show that is perfectly acceptable for the kids, and who knows how many fans would rather have an edgier product.  When I was in HS, I went to a lot of ECW shows, and I grew up in the attitude era, so I enjoy the edgier stuff, but its not something I would take a kid to.   Also some of the rougher matches are asking a lot of the wrestlers, especially if it is a smaller crowd and payday.

Who do you think will make it big?

So that’s a really tough question.  Who has what it takes to make it to the big leagues?   There’s a few things I will have to consider.  Size and age being perhaps unfair, but realistic disqualifiers.  WOHW in particular has a lot of people that I think could break through, or should have been given an opportunity to do so.  IYFW is based more on graduates of their school, who are at the level where they are just starting out.  I think it creates a more intimate roster that works together well.   Both groups also have occasional outside help who might just be involved in one show, or appear a few times a year.  So generally, I won’t talk about them.  But for IYFW, Bobby Ocean has a look and ringwork that has really done well for him.  If he was a little bigger, and a bit better at mic work, he might make it.  From WOHW, I like Vince Beach.  He’s got a good size, good look.  Doesn’t really do a lot of mic work, but hasn’t needed to.  I enjoyed his lifeguard gimmick, but it appears he’s moved on past that.  Eric Alden has also developed a really interesting character for himself.  But he seems to have that ability to connect with the crowd on a large scale.  That’s a huge difference between the local shows, and the big leagues.   I’d like to see how that would play with a bigger audience.



About garybraham

I grew up in Mahopac NY, studied geology at Colgate University. I've moved to Queensbury NY to teach HS earth science. I also coach soccer and wrestling, take pictures at local sporting events, and am the Scoutmaster for the Glens Falls ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. My wife and I will be married 5 years this October, and we have a two and a half year old little girl.
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One Response to Confessions of a Pro Wrestling Photographer part 2

  1. It is so weird how Eric draws in the attention of the kids , I mean look at him and you would think the average kid would run from someone who tears dolls apart and wears them around his neck lol but the kids are drawn in the love him , as soon as the lights dim they know who is coming and they flip out, if he got into WWE I think he would really go over .

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