Friday, December 3, 2010

The Project: PWZ's Territorial Tour-nado 2011

With roughly one month to go until the launch of PWZ (very early January is the target, the exact day is something I'll know closer to launch), I'm spending a great deal of time not only catching up on what I missed during my break from wrestling, but I'm also studying up on the history of pro wrestling in general. There's one particular aspect of pro wrestling history that I've been focusing on, thanks in large part to my recent discovery of an old school DVD trader on the Internet.

The above map, if you aren't aware, is a map of the North American pro wrestling territories that existed during the 20th century prior to Vincent Kennedy McMahon taking what would become the World Wrestling Federation national.  As part of a historical project of sorts that I want to do for PWZ, I will, in essence, be traveling around the world- the world of the North American pro wrestling territories.

My goal is obtain video from every single territory, if that's possible, and read up as much as I can on every single territory on the above map and then write about my experiences here on PWZ.  With any luck, I might even try to land some interviews with some significant names along the way.  Not sure if any significant names would be remotely interesting in contributing to a project for a fledgling blog, but the worst thing they could ever do is say no, so I won't be shy about asking.

For those of you who are interested in what I'm going to call the "PWZ Territorial Tour-nado," allow me to reveal the "tour schedule".  It is my aim to do, at least, one territory per month:

January: Fritz Von Erich's World Class Championship Wrestling
February: Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling
March: Jim Crockett's Mid Atlantic Championship Wrestling
April: Verne Gagne's AWA
May: Jerry Jarrett's Memphis wrestling and Angelo Poffo's ICW
June: Roy Shire's San Franciso and Don Owen's Pacific Northwest
July: Eddie Graham's Florida territory
August: Bill Watts's Mid-South wrestling
September: Frank Tunney's Toronto and Johnny Rougeau's IWA
October: Bob Geigel's Central States
November: Dick the Bruiser's WWA
December: Sam Muchnick's St. Louis territory

This is the tentative schedule at this point, and I likely will be adding more, since there are other territories on the map that I haven't named that need to be hit, and the goal is to get them all.  The key here will be to pace myself so I give each territory the energy and time it deserves, so this project may very well spill into 2012...if so, that's more than fine by me.  I'm fairly certain that my executive producer, Mike Bessler, will take a great deal of interest in the month of May.

If you would like to somehow be involved in this project or contribute, shoot me an e-mail.  Hell, if all goes well, I might even shell out the bucks and make a sweet t-shirt for this bad boy and sell it...something kick ass that you'd be an idiot NOT to want in your closet. I've always wanted to do some sort of project of this nature, since I've always been fascinated by the history of pretty much anything (I'm a big fan of History, in case you didn't know), and I think now is perhaps my best chance to do it.

I'll continue to update all of you on the progress of the project until the launch of the site and let you guys knows what I'm watching.  Presently, I'm watching a series of World Class Championship Wrestling DVD's that I purchased from my trader.  The DVD's are a collection of some of the most significant shows that occurred during the glory years of WCCW, which took place in the early to mid 80's.  During this time is when the beloved Von Erich family-Fabulous Freebird program took place.  Thus far, I'm having a blast watching the likes of Terry Gordy, Michael Hayes, and Kerry, Kevin and David Von Erich (amongst many others) entertain what could mildly be described as a rabid fan base in the state of Texas.

It's been incredible to watch these passionate fans fill the sweltering Texas Sportatorium, a leaky tin building (that somehow looked great on television) described by those who had the "pleasure" of working in it as a "shithole"with no air conditioning, to get a glimpse of the Von Erich "wrestling dynasty" and a world class set of supporting characters.  Wrestlers had a hard time even getting to the ring through the mobs of fans and the women trying to make out with them...yes, I said make out.  It was commonplace for wrestlers to sign autographs for fans at ringside while they were standing IN the ring..  Fans frantically crowded the ring apron and extended their autograph books/notepads/napkins/underwear through the ropes for wrestlers to sign- it's a scene that closely resembles a rock concert and makes today's wrestling crowds look like they've all been shot in the ass with tranquilizer darts before the start of the show.

I really must be going though. After all, I don't want to spoil all the fun before January- fun that includes the likes of Kamala, the Missing Link, and Skandor Akbar.  Give me a promotion with those three guys in it, and I'm totally there. As if the Freebirds weren't enough reason to watch.


P.S.:  I figured it would be a simultaneously cool and lame way to get in a reference to the Freebirds, whom were lead by Michael "P.S." Hayes, if I included a post script with a link to the Freebirds theme.  Enjoy and rock out, because Badstreet U.S.A.was bad ass entrance theme before your favorite bad ass entrance theme was even created: