10-Falls with HPW Promoter
"So many in the pro wrestling business think it is easy to run a successful wrestling show. If you look around there are so many little promotions around and many have come and gone in the 9 years that Hoosier Pro Wrestling has been running shows in Columbus, Indiana. Promoter Jerry Wilson has made HPW one of the top independent wrestling promotions in the midwest with top quality shows every month--"Randy Klemme
1) How long have you been promoting wrestling shows and WHY did you start running your own shows?
JW: Having been the USWA photographer for the guys who sold photo gimmicks , I sat back and watched how the business was done from the matches, interviews and booking angles. When the USWA quit running Louisville Gardens the next month April 98 I started running my hometown Columbus, IN with some help from Dutch Mantell and we're still doing good business nine years later.
2) What has been the biggest card you have had to date?
JW: Sabu vs Tommy "Wildfire" Rich was over 550 fans paid and we had Sid Viscious come in on Sid Returns to Indiana after his injury as Commissioner and had 524 paid
3) You have had some success in bringing in several big names on your cards, who were some of them?
JW: Sabu, Sid, Tommy Rich, Greg Valentine, Rocky Johnson, Bill Dundee, Brian Christopher, Doug Gilbert, Sharkboy, Damaja, Koko B Ware, Rip Rogers, Dutch Mantell, Don Harris, and Jillian Hall (regular as Mercedes).
4) This weekend is your 9th Anniversary show....how have you been able to sustain your organization for 9 years when so many others have come and gone around you?
JW: I think because we have built an excellent fan base who look at HPW wrestlers as stars. They appreciate the story lines, the action, and the treatment they receive from myself and the wrestlers.
We have fans who have been reserving their same seats for nine years. Hard work promoting, and being honest and fair with the fans and the wrestlers.
5) What will be some of the matches this weekend?
JW: Saturday April 7th at the 4-H Fairgrounds in Columbus, IN with a 7:30pm Bell Open doors at 6:45PM. Tickets $10 Info call 812-552-4477
Main event Ox Harley w/ Sunny vs. Sinn
TVZ vs. Soul Shooters
Donny Idol vs. Bobby Black
Average White Guy vs. Pastor Pain
plus much more!!
6) Need a good road stories that you can pass along that has happened to you while promoting (keep it clean LOL)?
JW: Back in 1996, Tommy Rich was driving a police car in Kentucky (thanks to a fan who was a cop), and I was following behind. He decided to play a rib on a couple of wrestlers who were waiting up ahead on him on the side of the road to give him a ride. He hit the blue lights and pulled in behind them, only to find out it was the wrong car. The "fan" cop had some explaining to do! The bad thing was, Tommy didn't even have a drivers license
7) Somehow you always seem to find your way into a match or two during the show.....Did you ever want to be a full time wrestler?
JW: Why not get involved? I'm the hometown guy everybody likes. Or, the hometown guy they like to see getting beat up by the bad guys. .... Really, I only get involved to try and keep the storylines good. Good guy vs. the bad guy. That's what puts people in the seats... they believe when the bad guy beats the good guy to a bloody pulp. But in the end, the good guy somehow gets the revenge.
Becoming a wrestler? No, I've never wanted to be a wrestler, but I've always been a wrestling fan since I saw Dick the Bruiser and the Shire Brothers back when I was a kid. It was after I moved to Atlanta in 1982, when I started going to the Georgia shows at the Omni. One night, I met Tommy Rich through a friend, and we struck up a friendship. He's the one who recommended me to the wrestling magazines, which led to my involvement in the wrestling business. That was really my first break in the business, which gave me the chance to get involved as the USWA photographer in the 90's. This was my chance to meet and photograph so many upcoming and already established stars, and when I knew I wanted to be in the business.
8) Have you received any important advice from some famous names in the pro wrestling business to help you run shows and what was that?
JW: Jerry Jarrett: Don't give it all away.
Dutch Mantell: Hard work pays off.
Tommy Dreamer: Never over book. Book only what you can afford.
Eric Embry: Take care of the boys. Take care of the fans. And put on the best damn show possible.
Tommy Rich: Keep your word. Be the promoter that does business right. Don't be one (promoter) that wants only to have the name that " I am a Wrestling Promoter".
9) What is the BEST thing and the WORST thing about being a professional wrestling promoter, maybe something that you didn't realize would be that way when you started?
JW: I feel the worst thing is when you book a name on their word, and they no call... no show. That's a total lack of class. Here at HPW, it has only happened twice, and fortunately, I was able to replace them and made the show worth it for the fans. So, absolutely, dissappointing the fans has got to be the worst part of the business, but it does happen.
The best part of this business is the satisfaction that at the end of the evening the fans went home happy and they have a reason to want to return to the next months' show. Also, becoming a part of the fans lives by knowing them and becoming their friend, and seeing in their eyes how wrestling continues to be something people love.
10) If you had to tell someone what it's like being a professional wrestling promoter, what are the three most important things you would tell them?
JW: Being a promotor doesn't start a week before the show. As soon as the last show ends, I have to begin working on the next one. Of course, the storyline had already been established, that is a no-brainer. So, the next week I have to begin thinking about preparing the flyers, contacting media and the workers, and updating the website. Over the next few weeks before the show, it just takes time to promote the show, like going to the nearby towns, making sure flyers stay up, and being in touch with the media and the wrestlers.
3 most important things about the wrestling business as a promoter:
1. Do business the right way.
2. Respect the fans and the workers.
3. Work hard and give the fans the best show possible. Make them believe to want to come back.