Sunday, 13 September 2015

Pro Wrestling Pride - what goes into running a show?

Pro Wrestling Pride - what goes into running a show?

Have you ever gone to a Wrestling show as a fan and wondered what It takes and what has to happen to put the show on that you are going to see?

I was curious, so I was given a very privileged opportunity recently to see exactly what it takes to put a show together at Pro Wrestling Pride.

This is a very different blog for me, usually I'm doing show review or talking about an aspect or storyline of wrestling but this time it is a little different. This time I'm talking about what it takes to put on a show. Now despite what I have written there will be even more too it and aspects here I don't touch on, but hope this is able to give you idea of how a UK Wrestling show comes together and give you an insight.

Pro Wrestling Pride is a company founded in 2013 and they run shows all over Devon, Cornwall and Somerset with great UK based talent mixed in with stars from USA from WWE TNA and more also combined with international stars from Europe, Japan, Mexico.
Now you may think that the show starts at the venue but you'd be very wrong.....

Before the show

First you need to book a venue and agree a price with that Venue, once that Venue is booked you need to then make sure you have all the audio equipment booked and it will be in place for the show. The Photographer Nige Barrett needs to be contacted so that he is able to attend and take pictures of the show.

Pro Wrestling Pride Photographer Nige Barrett

After this the Wrestlers need to be booked for the show and if you have wrestlers you need the referees so Senior Referee The Only referee with a degree to count to Three, Ed Dyer and Referee Martin Longley need to be contacted as does the announcer Aaron Noble “Duncan J” Mackie to make sure they are in attendance.

Ed Dyer (top Right) Aaron Noble Mackie (bottom Left) Martin Longley (Bottom Right)

In Order to have a show you must have fans to see the wrestlers perform and buy tickets, so before you even get into to the venue you have to advertise.

Pro Wrestling Pride use all different types of advertising posters, leaflets and Facebook and On line. All of these elements come together to promote the show, of course there is word of mouth from the tremendous Pro Wrestling Pride fans too. Promotion in my eyes is key to a successful show – which is why over the summer every single Pro Wrestling Pride show was sold out. 

The management at Pro Wrestling Pride gave me the opportunity to work on a show with them at Newton Abbott in order to gain an insight into the other side of the curtain and what it takes to be able to put on a Pro Wrestling show.

I have always only seen it from one perspective and brought my ticket and got into my seat and got to see the talent wrestle. Very rarely as fans do we think about what has to go into it to make it work, to make it entertaining and fun and make the event mean something.

The creative twists and turns in the story that sometimes i don’t even see coming, but I like that as a fan. Creatively you should be taken on a journey through a wrestling show and have the unpredictability to surprise people. They do this while at the same time telling a logical story that is no easy feat.

Preparation is Key

Anyway I digress back to the show and me helping on it!

Let me take you through the experience, I arrived at Newton Abbot on a drizzly Friday afternoon and staff were there already. The venue had already been set up with seats as the staff and team got there early to the building its an early start.

What I realised through the day is that PWP staff/management don't stop and the day is a very long and tiresome too.

Now Before i got to the building the configuration of the building had already been set out and chairs for the fans already put out too, this is one of the most vital jobs of the day because if the configuration is wrong and fans cannot get in/out of the building, get to their seats comfortably and be able to get to toilets and the merchandise desk without being caught in a people jam, its important for health and safety too.

 I was immediately taken round to the building and the ring is being brought In, I put my bags down and go to help as best I can I don't have much arm strength so this is a bit of a challenge but I do my best!!

Bringing in pieces of steel up some steps then into the building laying them on the floor in order for them to be put together.

People don't realise but there is a lot to putting a ring together there are many steel girders, a structure of steel that needs to come together and be put together in a logical order. Then there are ring ropes, turnbuckles, canvas and so much more that needs to come together to make the structure complete. Its not a 5 minute job and you need to know what you are doing. I helped with some elements as best i could but again seeing the pro’s work put me to shame!

The team that were there knew a lot more than me and were able put it together and have it all sorted in no time. Credit to them because that in itself is not an easy job at all and without them doing this there is no ring for the nights action and without a ring there isn't any show.

There are Video Cameras to be set up for the show, now usually Adam C the camera man would do this however he is not there this evening, the Sound system, Speakers and testing to make sure that all equipment is working as it should, there are entrance banners to put up and any extra lighting also. Pro Wrestling Pride management have so much to think about as someone then needs to film the event all evening for the upcoming DVD there are also people on the doors, matches to be finalised not to mention the ring announcer the referees and making sure everyone is where they need to be before the show begins.

Also posters for upcoming shows are placed along the walls of the venue this is to let fans know what shows are coming up and information on how to get tickets.

I am asked to go backstage  and saw an interview with TNA Superstar Robbie E and His tag Partner for the Night Danny Walsh. Watching Robbie E cut a promo was a real privilege and it was fascinating to watch how he and Danny worked together. Robbie has a great style and comes across so naturally through the camera along with Danny this is another aspect of Wrestling in which the talent have to be so good at - not only be able to tell a story in the ring as they do but be able to verbalise themselves behind the camera as well, watching Robbie E and Danny Walsh was a great education and it shows the breadth you have to have as a talent in Pro Wrestling it not just about what you can do in the ring but what you do outside of the ring too.

Robbie E and Danny interacted so well together and it was a fun interview too.

Robbie E and Myself at the Newton Abbott Show

Now remember I mentioned about the merchandise table earlier? Well we come back from the interview and I am told that my job for the evening is that I am going to be Selling Merchandise for Robbie E and helping out with selling the other merchandise too. 
I truly got to see how busy it can be! Merchandise area was so busy!

As fans came in and got to their seats they then came up to the table to buy drinks, crisps and sweets and it was manic it was quite and experience and a complete different change of pace for me as I'm usually behind a desk talking to someone on the phone, so you have to use many skills at one time and as I said before gives you a bigger appreciation for all the different elements that goes into this. Not only that you have to replenish stock on those tables so getting out more merchandise and filing the tables back up is super important too.

Before the show starts also the hard camera (still Camera) gets switched on by Owen who is filming this evening, Owen also has a roaming cam too to catch all the action.

It was a tremendous show a Pro Wrestling Pride with Robbie E at Newton Abbott Here is a quick run down of the results but you can read the full blog by clicking the link below

After the show

You might be forgiven to thinking that there isn't more to go but you'd be wrong! After the show Pro Wrestling Pride always have a meet and greet with all the wrestlers - so before this begins I am asked to clear a table along with another member of staff and I carry this table over to Robbie E so he can sign his merchandise for the fans.

While the fans start going to the meet and greet I am asked to start picking up chairs and stacking them so that then we can get them put away and start getting the venue back to normal.
Once the chairs are stacked they are put away and then there is the clear up of all the rubbish that needs to go into the bin many others are also doing this as well many hands make the job a lot easier. After this I then go over to the ring which has partially now been taken down and again I do my best to carry things outside to go back into the van. Again as all this is going on the merchandise ladies are packing away all the remaining merchandise and taking this out to the vehicles also, all poster around the room are being taken down and any last bits and pieces cleared away.

There is one last check to make sure everything has been done and everything cleared away then the building is locked up and we are done! it is now nearly 11pm. The day has flown by and I feel totally exhausted but it feels very rewarding at the same time.

It was great to see the dedication of everyone involved the importance of making sure that all the details are addressed and not ignored and how those details can impact a show so much, this is all what I didn't see when I would come in and sit in my seat for a show. Having that experience gives me a great appreciation for the people involved in Pro Wrestling and an even greater respect for the show and what goes into it.
 It’s so much more complex than I ever imagined but that's the magic of pro Wrestling, through this experience I think my love and passion for this has grown even more.

Thanks For Reading


Jonathan Orchard

No comments: