July 24, 2007
CBC to showcase new indy promotion
By MARK XAMIN - SLAM! Wrestling
There is a new Canadian indy promotion, and this fall it will gain national exposure on CBC. Power Pro Wrestling, headed by President Shaun Myall, Vice-President and play-by-play man, Marty Goldstein, and media and talent consultant Chris Tidwell, will be attempting to make its mark across the country.
But we're not talking about a weekly television show for this upstart promotion -- actually, Shaun Myall and the gang will be appearing on the second season of Dragon's Den, a television show based off of the British concept, but produced by CBC. The show features upstart business ventures to make a pitch to a panel of judges of Canada's five richest millionaires (called "Dragons"), vying for investment funds. With financial backing so crucial to indy success, this is undoubtedly an amazing opportunity for PPW, though Marty Goldstein made it clear in an interview with SLAM! Wrestling that the business venture is a go regardless of the Dragon's Den show.
"Our plan was designed with no idea we could be eligible for any added investment by appearing on Dragon's Den," Marty Goldstein said. "Having said that, obviously 'found money' in the form of a substantial investment from a Dragon would allow us to revise the business plan, invest more in our infrastructure, and leverage that equity against other business loans and strategic business partnerships. But we are in business regardless of what happens with Dragons Den. Hopefully lots of people will tune in when it is broadcast and will enjoy the show."Dragon's Den, hosted by Dianne Bucker of CBC's Venture series, has been a ratings success. In preparation for the show's second season, the producers searched long and hard for imaginative and unique competitors, and then held an audition in Victoria, B.C. at Royal Roads University. Hundreds of entrepreneurs showed up, but only a select few were chosen for the taping in Toronto. Power Pro Wrestling made the cut, and attended the tapings on June 8. Those that appeared on the show representing PPW include Shaun Myall, Marty Goldstein, Chris Tidwell, and two up and coming Ontario grapplers out of PPW -- The Hornet and Matt Berns. Myall presented the PPW business plan to the panel. What ensued was reportedly mayhem, and the segment was the talk of CBC headquarters. The national exposure can only mean good things. "The exposure on CBC will be an unprecedented opportunity for Canadian wrestling to put a best foot forward and be seen in a serious light by millions of viewers and potential investors, sponsors, and fans," Goldstein asserted. "Far too often Canadian indy wrestling is looked down upon because the business models over-reach or are unprofessional. In the case of Island Sports and Entertainment Ltd, a main component of our approach is to ensure that the athletes and performers are acknowledged as trained professionals and a legitimate part of the Canadian cultural entertainment milieu." Perhaps the most refreshing thing Goldstein told us about is the involvement of PPW in the NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) program -- a program that discourages fans of wrestling to participate in backyard wrestling. "In addition our commitment to educating parents and officials through the NIMBY program about the dangers of backyard wrestling demonstrates our commitment to giving back to the community and to the development of professional standards for our industry. That program was developed as part of my company's annual Canada Day shows in Winnipeg, after we wrote the world's first Wrestling Safety and Health Study for the government of Manitoba," Goldstein boasted. So, is PPW for real? It all seems almost too good to be true -- a Canadian promotion with a strong business plan and national exposure, a television deal in British Columbia (PPW will debut on KVOS-TV in B.C. this fall) and working to secure a deal with other carriers as well. Perhaps it is too early to draw parallels to Stu Hart's Stampede Wrestling of the past, but certainly the lofty goals set by the PPW crew are attainable, and Goldstein assures us that the business plan is solid. "The business plan to produce and distribute wrestling content featuring top Canadian and international performers across multiple platforms, is designed to engage the viewers and ensure that their emotional investment in our shows are rewarded with a long-term booking plan. That loyalty and growth will give investors and sponsors the return they need to justify their own commitment to the product. Being featured on such a popular CBC TV broadcast and on their websites will certainly shorten the curve to achieve those goals." As for the Dragon's Den broadcast, we'll have to wait for the show to air on CBC this fall, because all parties concerned are remaining tight lipped.
"Now, we are bound by a contractual obligation not to divulge the actual conclusion of our discussions with the Dragons. You will have to watch the show on Wednesday nights at 8pm on CBC for the results of our pitch," teased Myall on his blog.
This much is known, however -- one member of the panel of "Dragons," Jim Treliving (former RCMP officer, Boston Pizza chairman), made a startling admission during the show. He is actually a former masked wrestler out of Edmonton who went by the name of "The Hangman." How would this impact the business proposal? One would think it would be a positive thing for Power Pro, but then again, Treliving went on to become a very wealthy man outside of the ring. Indy wrestling promotions are rarely profitable and he would certainly be aware of that fact.
We'll find out this fall, when season two of Dragon's Den hits the
Mark Xamin is the seer of all things, the alpha and the omega, and in his spare time he writes about wrestling. He can be emailed at email@example.com.