February 10, 2006
Winnipeg's AWE: We're still in business
By GREG OLIVER - Producer, SLAM! Wrestling
Financial difficulties, a round of layoffs and a bogus press release have the Winnipeg-based Action Wrestling Entertainment (AWE) on shaky ground today.
The one-year-old company has run three pay-per-view shows on Canadian TV and has a deal for a 30-minute weekly TV show on The Fight Network entitled AWE Overload. For its various live events, the AWE has imported big name stars like Lex Luger, Buff Bagwell, Brian Christopher, The Steiner Brothers, Billy Gunn, Rikishi, Jamie Noble, Chuck Palumbo and Billy Kidman, and mixed them in with homegrown talent like Ryan Wood, Johnny Devine, Shane Madison, Kenny Omega and Chi Chi Cruz.
Earlier this week, the TV taping scheduled for Friday, February 10 at was postponed until March 11th with a press release that read "Action Wrestling Entertainment has commenced a corporate restructuring to best modify the companies resources to enhance the overall value of our family-friendly brand of entertainment." That March show has now been cancelled altogether.
"We're going through a bit of a restructuring," Mike Davidson, AWE Director of Wrestling Operations, told SLAM! Wrestling, adding that the company is seeking "a solution that will make us stronger."
"I haven't heart anyting that the company is defunct at this time," said Adam Knight, one of the Winnipeg wrestlers on the AWE roster.
A number of the staff have been laid off as well, including Davidson.
What really has Davidson annoyed is a fake press release issued through firstname.lastname@example.org that crowed "Action Wrestling Entertainment ceases operations."
Davidson stressed that if it were a true press release, it would have been issued through the company's website, www.aweheat.com. He suspects it is from disgruntled former employee.
The counterfeit press release fights dishes dirt: "Misappropriation of funds by upper management is being heavily investgated at this time."
"In my mind, that's just what Winnipeg wrestling is," said Davidson.
Winnipeg wrestler Bobby Jay (Bob St. Laurent), who only worked for the AWE once, hoped that it would stay in business, as it is "good for Canadian wrestling."