Cheap Pops - Wrestling News & Views: October 4, 2016

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Huge changes to NY rules regarding pro wrestling

Mike Maillaro: Readers of this column know that we love independent wrestling.  Recently the New York State Athletic Commission made some changes to the regulations regarding running a wrestling show in New York.  Some of these changes seem designed to put smaller indy companies out of business:

  • Promotions may no longer lend or "rent" their promoting license out to others. What that means according to PWI: "on paper is that (for example) House of Glory cannot be the promoter of record for WrestlePro when WrestlePro runs in New York State.   That is the loophole the NYSAC is closing, prohibiting all "third-party sanctioning entities."  In some cases, that change is going to make it financially impossible for certain promotions to continue to exist unless they move forward with getting bonded themselves (a $20,000 bond is required to become a professional wrestling promoter in the State of New York) and securing their own promoter's license for the State.  It will also take away revenue for promoters who regularly run by being the umbrella overseeing other independent promotions."

  • One ambulance with medical personnel consisting of at least one paramedic with appropriate resuscitation equipment must be continuously present on the scene at all events.

  • In no event shall a participant be permitted to threaten, molest, hit or abuse, physically or verbally, any spectator, or engage in any conduct endangering the health, safety, or well being of any spectator during the course of a professional wrestling exhibition.

  • Shows can be stopped by the Commission if they run past 11 PM

  • No children under 8 can attend a wrestling show.  No children under 16 without a parent or guardian.

Chris Delloiacono: New York can be such a backward state.  The first ever UFC event is finally going to happen in NY next month.  Literally, the first ever! Now that they've stopped blocking MMA did they decide to make it impossible for smaller wrestling leagues to promote?  WTF!

Josh Pollard: Now just to play Devil’s Advocate, I can see the logic behind some of these (there probably should be an ambulance nearby, even if it isn’t cost effective. It’ll be less cost effective if someone up and dies). Some of, if a wrestler can’t verbally abuse the crowd then it isn’t wrestling. I didn’t see anyone whining when Rick Rude called the audience a bunch of inner city sweathogs.

Chris: Very true, Josh.  These points can be argued one by one for sure.  

I totally agree on the ambulance but why can't a promoter “lend” his license?  Obviously that should put said promoter on the hook for any wrongdoing.  It's called co-promotion and it's done in all sorts of businesses.  Also, keeping out kids under the age of 8 is silly.  Why can't a kid that's 7 come?  Dumb! Stupidest, though, is killing crowd interaction with heels.  

This all just rings of silly politics and making rules up for no discernible reason.  Did some politico’s momma not take them to wrestling when they were a little? Now he/she is a hater cause mommy was a big ole meaney?

Mike: Let’s not forget, an ambulance is a huge cost, especially as a “just in case.”  Safety is important of course, and requiring trained medical staff at shows makes sense. But requiring them to also rent an ambulance for shows that aren’t making much profit as is will just cause them to stop having shows in New York.  As far as I know, they don’t require ambulances at high school football games...and those are kids, not adults who know what they are getting in for.

The age thing is real bizarre to me.  I had my 5 year old twins at their first wrestling show last week (WrestlePro, of course) and they had a great time.  At the same show, Crowbar was yelling at my older daughter, and she loved it, especially when he got what was coming to him.  Basically this entire experience would not be allowed to happen in New York under these new NYSAC rules.

I also am real curious if these rules will affect WWE. They don’t have to worry too much about the most costly items like ambulances and not sharing their promoting licenses.  But,  Raw tapings (and most house shows) go past 11 PM, and there are definitely kids younger than 8 at many WWE shows.  Do they get an exception because they are “sports entertainment?”  

One of my favorite comments about this came from WrestlePro and Create-A-Pro Wrestling owner, Pat Buck on Twitter:

Pat Buck@buckneverstops  16h16 hours ago

So excited to debut this at all NY @WrestlePro and @CreateAPro shows!   Thanks NYSAC!

Craven Varro took this as an opportunity to cut a great promo about the situation and use it to promote a match he had last weekend:

We will definitely be keeping an eye on this story!

TNA Status

Mike: TNA has been having a pretty crazy week.  Several sources were saying that if the company could not get a huge influx of money and quick they would be unable to do Sunday’s Bound for Glory or next week’s TV tapings.  According to the New York Post, an unidentified third party helped cover costs, but this is just a Band-Aid solution, and not enough to sustain TNA.  There has also been a lot of talk about WWE hovering around the situation, but they seem mostly to be biding their time to ensure they can snatch up TNA’s video library for pennies.  It doesn’t really benefit WWE to “save” TNA.  

Personally, I haven’t ever had much interest in TNA, but they are basically WWE’s biggest competition (in the United States at least).  Historically, WWE has always been at it’s best when it had stiff competition.  I actually have enjoyed quite a bit of the WWE lately, but at this point, they haven’t really been doing much to push the business forward.  Everything just feels in a bit of a holding pattern, with WWE scooping up the biggest talent from all over the world, without any real obvious plans on what to do with all these guys.  The death of TNA seems like it would make this situation even worse.  

Josh: It’s kind of amusing how TNA became the feeder fed for NXT. You’d have guys doing nothing but languishing there (like Samoa Joe), then NXT would poach their roster and suddenly these guys are on fire.

Mike: AJ, Samoa Joe, and Bobby Roode have done great in a really short period of time of grabbing the WWE audience.

Chris: Over the years, I got burned far too many times watching TNA.  Poorly conceived angles, bad storytelling, and lousy television.  I tried.  I would love to invest time in the product now that's it's had a renaissance, but life is too hectic.  

On the other hand, wrestling needs other promotions with national/international reach besides WWE.  I don't want to see them fail or get bought by VKM.  He already bought a ton of their best talent but the promotion needs to live.  Vince already has enough toys in his playroom that he never uses.

Bright side...looks like someone other than Vince put up the funds to keep TNA going for the foreseeable future.

Mike: Personally, all I care about with TNA is I love these ridiculous Hardy segments, and I can’t imagine WWE would give them that kind of freedom.  But I agree completely with the idea that there needs to be other platforms for wrestlers to get national/international exposure.  TNA is pretty much the only company that can even come close to competing to WWE when it comes to exposure and production values.