On any Sunday, after a show, and because I have usually been "away" from the message board, I can expect to see that trolls have dropped by and left their graffiti for others to see. A "troll" for those Internet challenged persons, is a message poster who deliberately picks a fight by introducing inflammatory material about a person or promotion.
With the introduction of All Pro Wrestling to the Pensacola area came controversy all on its own accord. Wrestling 'purists" are annoyed, some Ultimate Wrestling fans didn't like the "quality" of the production and the unfinished edges of the construction in the building, and the board lit up like a cowboy with a pack of Marlboros.
First opportunity I had available, I visited the All Pro Show. I looked into the criticism leveled by "Mrs Internet," a mom and fan, and I found some of what she had to say to be credible. More on that in a moment.
Subsequent to the second show I attended, the one in which appeared The Road Dogg, Jesse James, DJ Pringle and The Manager, Eddie G., a message appeared on the main GCW board that I took as having been written by a troll.
I was wrong. She was a real person with a real opinion and here are her comments with my replies:
"I had the misfortune of going to there show over the weekend. I would not recommend it to anyone who wants to see a entertaining show."
Well, opinion is subjective, of course. I have difficulty understanding what the deficiency is though. Maybe it's just me.
"I used to go to all the shows but stopped a few years ago."
A "few" years ago could mean that she became accustomed to shows like Old School Wrestling or WXW, featuring standouts like Saxon, Northcutt, Whisper, Flexx; these guys could wrestle alligators in tutus and make it look like ballet.
"Since ive started going back to see wrestling shows I have seen 2. I went to DSPW and APW. Neither show was very good though DSPW was alot better than APW."
There is a whole perpetual list of reasons why any wrestling "purist" would make a statement like this. I won't go into it though. She obviously didn't like what she saw.
" Here is what was wrong with APW."
I will address them one by one.
"1. Building is 2 small"
Small, yes. "Too" small, No, I disagree completely. The APW building is larger than the space provided by our beloved PWA, and it is air conditioned as well. On a hot muggy night, the temperature was quite comfortable.
"Too small" to have people flying out of the ring, landing wherever, fighting on the floor. Yeah, maybe. But APW is larger than Mossy Head as well, and those guys recreate WWII every month.
2. 80 pound guys beating up 300 pound guys
One need only remember PWA's Kato Storm, but that may be an unfair comparison, since Kato's gimmick was a kind of Kung Fu.
This may be a reference to "suspension of disbelief" where the wrestler "Tiny" Tiswell is concerned. Yes, the guy is 4'10 or something like that. Yes, that is smallish. But he sure did get a lot of pop from the crowd for what he was doing, so maybe the critic in question has her sights set kinda high.
I have complained about the credibility of "Tiny" as a wrestler myself, but let's face it. Anybody attending APW is going to get "The Tiny Tiswell" show in the same way that AWF Mobile is the "Doink The Clown" show, and so on. There are principle roles for principle players. Don't like it? Attend an alternative show, or boo the good guys like the FRF does and sit back and enjoy yourself, as do they.
"3. Other than a few there guys dont look like wrestlers."
I had to laugh at this one. What does a wrestler look like. Buff Bagwell? Bob Holley? Ray Mysterio? Hornswaggle? William Regal? Greg Valentine? Roddy Piper? Mick Foley? George "The Animal" Steele? Squat, bald, Kurt Angle? The Road Dogg? The Stieners? Black Jack Mulligan? Don Fargo?
Or how about Carlos DeAngelo? Bobby Doll? Aeon Flexx? Jerry Reiner or Cruze? Maze? Joe Gibson? Marcus Gibbs? Johnny Rebel? BTY? Chris Tighe? Jon Ryker? Cameron Frost?
Which of these stereotypes wrestling?
Wrestling is as many body and personality types as there are wrestlers. You go with what you got.
True that DDG, 610 and Billy Wayne look like skinny teenagers. They are skinny teenagers. Prepare for it. It's a truth.
DJ Pringle is big and loud. Eddie G. is flashy and brash. Tiny Tiswell is diminutive and aggressive.
Fans come to wrestling to escape from the world and submerge in fantasy for a while. If you are expecting a ripped bulging body builder and CzR isn't on the card, mostly give it up (Gino Galento being an exception and Evergreen McQueen looking somewhat the part).
4. The guys that look like wrestlers are ripping off the WWE
So she doesn't like anybody. That's cool. But again, Indy wrestling gives fans what they believe fans want. So you end up with Ray Ray clones, and an stream of imitations of everything under the sun. If you want the WWE buy a ticket when they come to town. It's hard to take tis complaint seriously because the critic doesn't say what she wants, only what she hates.
"5. The owner is a rip off of Rikkishi"
The owner weighs 90 pounds. Rikishi tops 450. It's hard not to see the difference. But she is referring to the "stinkface" performed on Pringle and Eddie G., at the finale of the l;ast show. 99% of fans were delighted to see the "cheating arrogant evildoers" get just reward for more cheating. The Road Dogg whipped them into the ropes and Tiny "stinkfaced" them. Justice prevailed and I was laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair because Pringle is such a consummate performer that he sold the whole deal like a Corvette to a Wall Street Newbie.
DJ was GREAT! and Eddie was too, for having played so well their roles.
"6.The lighting sucks."
I don't disagree. They are trying for ambiance and that low light interferes with my photography. But that's me and I am a whiner anyhow.
"7. The ring looks like its covered with a tight plastic bag."
That comment is just silly. The ring has a particular cover on it that dates back to PWA. It is the ring and cover PWA originally used. So WTH?
"8. I wont even talk about the Gothic guy.(It would be 2 easy)"
True again. Gothic wasn't exactly burning barns last show or the one before that. But the makeup looks good and the kids love him. 'nuff said.
"9. Who trained thes idiots."
Who trained this lady well enough to ask that question? See that's the trouble with us "Smarks." We know just enough to see discrepancy, but not enough to be credible in challenging it. I include me there.
"I could go on but I think you get the point."
Indeed I do. She went to APW and didn't like the show. That means she has two choices; she can give up wrestling fandom completely or try again with Ultimate, which she will IMHO find to be satisfactory.
"The last good show I went to was the P.W.A. Is there anything close to that anymore or have all the local companies turned into Backyard shows."
We all miss PWA who were there. But comments like this made me initially suspect a troll was doing the writing, since nobody talks like that except smart### unbooked wrestlers and smarmy disguised promoters looking to put themselves over at others' expense.
"These are all just my opionions. If you get offended than fix the product that you are trying to sell us. I for one want my money back."
Anyone looking for a refund from a $5 wrestling show needs a new hobby. This is my opinion. Likely she was just making a point that she was disappointed with the product, but I saw the same product as she did and what I saw was a wrestling troupe doing their damnedest to entertain 135 people who seemed bent on letting them do it.
"On the other hand you might better keep it. When you have fixed the problem I will return to watch your show APW."
Magnanimous, for sure. Methinks though that when she samples Ultimate and finds so many performers who come so much closer to her expectations, she will be content there, having found what she was looking for.
Considering that UW is a Monthly show in Pensacola with a monthly show in Milton as well. APW is weekly and is really going to have to scramble to stay fresh. It's really apples and oranges.
Let's do a little metaphor here. Suppose that UW and All Pro were theatrical companies each producing "The Music Man" All other things being equal, UW would be featuring seasoned performers in key roles, where All Pro would be spotlighting up and comers from PJC in the same roles. It's like that.
UW has momentum and has used it well. It has seasoned performers, a ensemble, carefully selected and culled, with dozens of competent wrestlers sent on their way for reasons well-founded but unknown.
It's going to be well oiled.
APW is in its 3rd week of production. Do the analysis. Of course there will be rough edges.
Meanwhile. Ms. Ericka Stevens (author of the review) has stated her preference, well and good. The empty seat will be filled by someone who wants to be there, while she seeks out her ideal. Who knows. Maybe what she needs is AWF Mobile, with it's liberal sprinkle of legends, or maybe hop on the bus to Pell City for the magnificent card there.
I imagine though that if she shows up a month from now, fiver in hand, she'll get a warm welcome and a better show because these guys are improving steadily.
I've been watching them do it.