November 12, 2004
CPW secures PPV dealInternational Wrestling footage part of contract
By COREY DAVID LACROIX - SLAM! Wrestling
The legends of International Wrestling are teaming up with the superstars of tomorrow and you'll be able to watch it all unfold on your television screen at home.
Producer Aaron Weiss confirmed with SLAM! Wrestling he has secured a deal with Hull, Quebec-based promotion Canadian Professional Wrestling (CPW) to bring a minimum of six Pro Wrestling Superstars (PWS) Pay-Per-View broadcasts starting in January 2005.
Viewers will have the opportunity to check out the up and coming talent of CPW and take a trip down memory lane with matches from Gino Brito’s famed International Wrestling promotion.
“I’m really excited,” said Weiss to SLAM! Wrestling. “International Wrestling is now a part of the PWS library. We feel it’s an opportunity to provide the fans across Canada to see footage that they probably have never seen before. It’s a chance to see professional wrestling in what I perceive as its glory days, a time when ring psychology, interaction with the fans and story lines were paramount.”
Negotiations began some weeks ago between Brito and Weiss, with the main goal of securing legal clearance to broadcast the rare International Wrestling footage that still exists.
For fans of that bye-gone era, it will be a chance to watch many of the home grown greats and outside talent battle in the ring once again. “We expect to incorporate it all probably by December or January and you’ll be seeing Dino Bravo, The Road Warriors, Rick Martel and others,” said Weiss.
This latest effort by Weiss is an ongoing endeavor to provide wrestling fans an alternative in market that is oversaturated by the sports entertainment brand of wrestling presented by the WWE. In the past, Weiss has presented broadcasts featuring the Border City Wrestling (BCW) promotion based in Windsor and Internet (now renamed to International) Wrestling Syndicate (IWS) out of Montreal.
“First and foremost, I’m a wrestling fan,” Weiss said in explaining his motivations for his wrestling PPV initiatives.
Like many fans who at one time were pampered with a selection of PPVs from three different promotions in the late ‘90s and early into the millennium, Weiss felt that now more than ever do fans want to have that choice once again. “When the competition got eliminated from the market place, I looked at things from the perspective of a fan. What would I want to see? What is not really available to the mainstream wrestling fan in this region?”
What he has aspired to do is collect matches from the independent circuit, featuring a diverse crop of wrestling stars at various stages of their careers. From today’s indy stars praised by fans on internet message boards, to grapplers who rose from humble beginnings, rising to wrestling greatness. “It’s more edgier and raw version of pro wrestling and I think it’s always nice to see the athletes at different stages in their career. They’re pretty hungry at that stage and I always like to profile people who are out there, putting out 100%.”
With CPW, fans can expect a brand of wrestling that is well in keeping with the crucial ingredients that made the former International Wrestling promotion as successful as it was. “I really believe that with CPW having Gino Brito behind it, they offer a brand of wrestling that in time can grow by really focusing on the family entertainment version and understanding that there needs to be ring psychology and not just a spot fest.”
For the CPW roster, the pressure will be in abundance to show fans what they can do in the ring while getting rare PPV exposure. Be assured that for CPW head trainer Wayne Cryderman, expectations will be high for his students to deliver what he has taught them.
“I’m a pretty serious guy when it comes to what I expect for matches,” Cryderman said. “It’s becoming less pressure because the more I see my students go out there, the more they seem to have a grasp of what you need to do when you’re in the ring.”
“You don’t get an opportunity like this every day,” added Cryderman. “Like I was telling them, we’ll never compare on a production level to the WWE because we don’t have that kind of money. But we can put on the same type of matches, the same type of performance and what we look like. That’s what the guys need to concentrate on. That’s what I’ll be emphasizing to them for the next couple of months.”
Cryderman was blunt in stating that members of the roster should get used to the pressure they will be feeling for their PPV matches, something there counterparts in the big leagues are quite accustomed to on a far more regular schedule.
“That kind of pressure you’re dealing with everyday when you’re in the WWE. The bigger the star you are the more pressure you’re going to deal with,” he said. “So if you’re not use to dealing with it now and you do get to that level, you most certainly won’t know how to handle it. My whole goal is to help them to get to the level they want to be at which is making decent money, maybe even make a living out of it. This is a major step for them to prepare for that.”
Having watched International Wrestling in his youth, Weiss admitted to having a sentimental outlook on his new initiative. “Watching the International Wrestling footage reminded me of what it was like to be a kid again and enjoy wrestling. I have to say it certainly provides a huge smile on my face when I get to watch Bruiser Brody and Abdullah The Butcher. I grew up loving it.”
Wrestling was ahead of it’s time,” Weiss added. “It brought in stars and it was
in front of 10,000 fans. It was a real mixture of old and new stars. Honestly,
it’s a privilege to showcase people like Dino Bravo, Rick Martel, Tom Zenk, The Rougeau Brothers,
Sweet Daddy Siki that
maybe some of the younger fans don’t know.”
Corey David Lacroix can be emailed at email@example.com.