Pro Wrestling Radio Diary: Week of December 04, 2001

The following is a republished diary/commentary from ProWrestlingRadio.com.

It is finally less than two weeks away from the Cage of Death 3. I can honestly tell you that I feel like a kid two weeks away from Christmas. It is a truly amazing and almost surreal feeling. To think that when I started with CZW and it’s growth to now is amazing. A lot of people ask me how I got started in CZW and announcing in general. So, I think this would be a great column to talk about it.

How did I get into CZW? Well, I attended an indie wrestling show in Philadelphia, PA with my good friend, Z Barr. Z Barr had only worked a handful of matches, but he trained at the CZW school. Zandig had mentioned that he was looking to spice up his home videos with some commentary. Barr had mentioned him to me and arranged for the two of us to talk at this show. I met John and had a pretty quick talk. It was nothing earth shattering, other than him repeating what Barr had told me. He asked if I ever saw his product and I said no. I forget how the conversation ended, but I do know that nothing was agreed upon from it. At the end of the night as I was leaving the building, I passed John. I honestly did not even recognize him when I saw him. He said good-bye to me and mentioned that it was good meeting me. I felt really stupid because I almost walked right by the guy without even saying a word. So, we picked up on our conversation. I stated that I would really love a shot at working for his company, but I had never done this before. He said that he felt confident that since I was in radio that I could handle it. He offered me a try out at the Pyramid Of Hell.

I came early to the Pyramid Of Hell show. I brought a ton of paper to sit with the boys and go over their moves, etc. I introduced myself to everyone as they would enter the building. Ironically enough, I knew a lot of these guys from past experiences. I had always heard about this guy named Trent Acid, and when I saw him he yelled, “Easy E!” I had no idea it was the same guy I had known for years. I had lost touch with Trent for a while and had no idea that he was now in the business. Ironically enough, Trent had worked with Rob Feinstein and myself putting updates together years back. I remembered that we paid him in pizza and videos and that he was quite a wise ass. I also remembered that he was also a pretty funny kid and I was happy to see a familiar face.

I introduced myself to the other wrestlers, etc. John approached me and than told me that another video company had come to tape the show. He told me that they wanted to use their own commentators and he was sorry. He invited me to stay and make myself comfortable and watch the show. Needless to say, I was pissed. However, I did stay and did not want to burn any bridges. He later asked me if I could help with the music. I obliged, but he never needed me.

I stayed and watched the show and honestly I didn’t have high hopes. I was already in a bad mood because I felt that I had been screwed. I tell you honestly, that on that night I was hooked on CZW. Sure, the guys were still young and green. However, you cannot take away the effort I saw from these youngsters. It was like going to see High School football with players that you knew were going to make it. The finale saw Justice Pain fly through the roof and put Lobo through flaming tables. It was and still is one of the most awesome things I ever saw. Whether I worked for CZW or not, I was a fan on that night.

The wrestlers were all great too. A lot of them knew who I was and were very hospitable. Johnny Kashmere was extremely friendly and actually asked me for advice on his match and the gimmick. He and I talked for a while and seemed to click. I knew Robby Mireno and Brian Logan on a personal level. Zandig was great and asked me questions about the show. That is what I always liked about him. He does not think he is this genius and that he is better than everyone else. He will actually sit down with you, whoever you are and ask for advice, opinion, etc. We left on good terms, but again I was not coming back until I was assured of something.

I was doing my radio show on WBCB when I called my first wrestling show. Tony Stallone’s UWF had hired WBCB to do a live broadcast of his wrestling event from Fairless Hills. I did not know any of the talent, except George Steele and the Honkytonk Man. I tried to discuss with Tony the storylines and wrestler’s moves before the show. He did give me a little something to work with, but it was not a whole hell of a lot. I had several wrestlers sit in as rotating color commentators throughout the night. Interestingly enough, I called one wrestler’s match on that night that I would later go on to call a lot of his matches and become very good friends with him. That wrestler is Ruckus.

All in all I think I did fair job. It was far from what I would call my greatest moment, but it was adequate. For me, I was just happy to death that I got to call an entire wrestling show. I lost my voice by the end of the night, as I had never talked for that long. I left that night thinking that this was something I would love to do, but never had any aspirations to pursue it. I felt kinda burned that the whole CZW thing did not work out.

Ironically enough I stayed in touch with Johnny Kashmere after the Pyramid Of Hell. We talked a lot about the business and seemed to really click. He asked me if I would still be interested in working for CZW. I said yes, but I did not want to be dicked around again. CZW had a pay per view coming up with Onita in a few months and had nobody to call it. They wanted someone fresh, and that put me in a great spot. Kashmere went to bat for me with Zandig and set up another meeting.

I came down to the CZW school and met again with Zandig. Johnny, Robby Mireno, Brian Logan, and of course my boy Z Barr were really pushing for me to get in. I handed John a copy of the show I did for WBCB. Johnny had also told me about another guy he wanted to pair me with. He said that he would be there on this night too. On that night, I met John House. House, myself, Kashmere, and Z Barr all split for a while and went to a local diner. We came back to the school and I wrapped up my meeting with Zandig. It was set, that House and I would do commentary for CZW. Again, or so I thought.

I showed up at their next show which was a show at Johnny’s school. Again, I was told that I was not going to be able to do commentary. I was told that the right equipment was not there, so I would not be able to call the show. I was real bummed once again. Zandig did offer me the opportunity to do locker room interviews for the video. I just wanted to do something at this point, so I took him up on it. I interviewed Wifebeater and Smack, the Haas Brothers, and a few others. One thing I noticed right away was how tight the locker room was and that everyone knew who the boss was. Every single one of the wrestlers respected Zandig and listened if he had any issues. There was an incident that night where things got out of control between Low Ki and Ric Blade. Brian Logan had to shoot a finish on Low Ki, because Blade was hurt very bad. Low Ki got real upset and threw a fit in the locker room. Zandig yelled, “Low Ki!” Ki went to Zandig immediately. Ki was not happy, but Zandig had calmed the situation. For whatever reason, Ki has not been back since.

At the end of the night I asked Kashmere for my pay. Kashmere came back to me and said that I was not on the payroll. As much as I was a fan of this company, I was starting to get very frustrated. I understood though, as this business has never been about money for me. It has always been about the opportunity. I thanked Johnny for everything, but told him that I did not see myself coming back.

Johnny contacted me again shortly, and said that Zandig wanted me and House to do commentary together. The Pay Per View was coming up and he really needed someone. I was offered one try out, no pay, but if it all worked out I would be hired and so on. That show was Caged to the End. House and I called the show and honestly, we sucked. I was horrendous and he was no better. I thought that I was definitely out of a job. Shockingly, I was hired. I cannot even listen to videos that I called before last spring. I am still learning and have a long way to go. But, as long as I make progress I think that counts most. I always say the best thing that ever happened to me was that CZW PV getting canceled. It would have been my first show that thousands of people would have seen and I am sure I would have gotten a rep that would stick forever. A rep for being terrible.

I recount my memories with a smile thinking about the future. Since that show we have developed a really cool television show. We have an average of 50,000 viewers a week which is amazing for a small promotion at this time. The live shows have gotten a ton better. The talent roster is the best in the business today in my opinion. Now, we are finally making the big leap into the ECW Arena. It is a big leap for a lot of reasons. The main reason is that the fruits of everyone’s labor has paid off. It is such an exciting thing to be a part of right now. I just hope a lot of you take the opportunity to come out and see this show. It is not just going to be any other wrestling show. It is truly going to be the biggest event in this area in well over a year. On a side note, I received a few emails asking me to bring back issues of programs for sale. Email once again to just confirm your order with me. Regardless, I will bring some back issues anyway.

I ordered the Japanese Hardcore PPV Sunday. I have gotten pretty friendly with Kevin Waters, who is one of the investors of this venture. He has a great vision and a real solid business plan. I think it is really hard to just jump on PPV without any kind of television, as Igeneration Wrestling saw. The matches are not as interesting without the help of any kind of storyline. It takes away from the drama of a match. On the plus, I thought Joel Gertner was great. He missed some of the moves, but we all do. He was in a hard spot, as he did not have the wrestlers accessible I am sure to go over moves, transitions, names, etc. His shoot-like commentary on Missy Hyatt had me popping a few times. His comments about her book were great. As far as his partner goes, she may be the worst announcer I have ever heard. She completely ruined any credibility for these matches. She made me turn the thing off a few times. She was horrendous and should not be within 20 feet of their next pay per view. Missy basically called the show as a 38 year old whore that was looking to bang Trent Acid or anyone good looking on the show. How can you take her or the matches seriously? I will tell you this, that Joel saved the show. His quick comebacks would only make Missy look more stupid. If you are going to keep Joel, please get him another color man. Missy has got to go. Am I that far off with my comments?

Finally, word was released that RF Video will be promoting their first show. They have already announced Eddie Guerrero as signed to their promotion. I think that it is awesome that Rob and the guys are throwing their hats into the promotion business. Why should they hassle with promoters over rights, when they can promote and sell the shows themselves? I think it is a simple formula. They have what a lot of promotions do not have, and that are three real keen minds behind the helm. Rob is a shrewd businessman and is very creative. He may have some wacked out ideas, but they are so wacked that they definitely work. Doug and Rob together helped ECW bring in a lot of international talent. If it was not for those two, Tajiri, Crazy, and countless others may not even have secure jobs in the business today. Doug’s keen eye for international talent is very underrated. They have extensive connections that could make this thing work. Having Gabe Sapolsky there is the icing on the cake. He worked as Paul Heyman’s assistant for years in ECW. The guy has a wealth of knowledge that you cannot buy anywhere. He can make heads or tails out of certain situations and be real key to making this thing work. One show or more, I cannot wait to see what these guys come up with.

I wanted to give consumers a heads up about Best Buy. I went with a good friend of mine to help him purchase a computer. We found an awesome deal on an open boxed item. He bought it and brought it home. He turns the thing on and their is a hardcore porn screen saver immediately on it. On top of that, their were a few programs specifically for porn. Now, he is over 18 but imagine your little brother, sister, son, or daughter opening this up? On top of that, the modem does not even work. They already gave him a hard time about returning it. I understand the concept of open boxed, but this is a little ridiculous. I purchased my PC from Best Buy and never had a problem. I just wanted to pass this on, to make sure you all keep your eyes open during the holiday season.

Without getting too political, should John Walker be put on trial for treason? His father makes a great argument. The argument is that Walker was fighting with the Taliban against the Northern Alliance. The United States happened to join the fight and help the NA. Technically, he was fighting the Northern Alliance. I know everyone wants justice immediately, but I hope that this guy does not become a scape goat for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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