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   Sat, February 19, 2005



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Making tapes and getting booked
By "Hotshot" JOHNNY DEVINE - SLAM! Wrestling
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Back again wrestling fans to finish off how to break into the biz with tapes and tryouts. Both are important, but ultimately useless. It's word of mouth that gets you booked. I will touch on word of mouth later. Don't get me wrong, but it's the truth. As well, we'll talk a little wrestling biz and some thoughts. Onward and upward.

So you've gotten some experience and made some contacts and now you want to send a tape to a larger company. First, make sure that your taped match is of decent viewing quality. I don't mean it has to be a TV-quality match, but nobody wants to watch a blurry, poorly lit anything. So make sure it's well lit and in focus.

Next make sure whoever tapes for you knows what they are doing. By that I mean there's nothing worse than having a great match and the person taping misses all your best work by looking the wrong way or being too tight on a shot. That drove me crazy. Choose a good singles match to send. Preferrably one where you wrestle. Offices don't want to watch you go through tables or take chair shots. And don't send tag matches or multiple wrestler matches unless you are trying to get someone else booked too.

I have a good buddy who gave me a tape to bring to TNA with a four-team, one-hour Iron Team Match. I was told that by the fourth or fifth minute in, they forgot who they were supposed to be watching work. And make sure you've labeled the tape properly, both with your contact info and real and work names. And for God's sake send a good picture with it so they know who they are looking at.

Tryouts are a different animal all together. For this I will use my own experience to show what I mean. First of all, if you are lucky enough to get a shot to show what you can do, remember a couple things.

First less is more. By that I mean, again, they want to see you wrestle. In my first WWE tryout I wrestled another Alberta guy by the name of Iceman Eric Freeze. We weren't given any direction so when they told us to "go out there and show us what you've got", we went out there and had a five-minute highspot fest. It was terrible. They were not pleased and ribbed us heartily. The next night I wrestled Dungeon grad Highlander Rob Scott and they made sure that we know we were not to leave our feet. So we went out and had a "wrestling" match and it was great. They were much happier the next night. Unfortunatlly they had just bought WCW and ECW had folded, so they weren't hiring. Timing is everything.

Second, if you are working one of the company's guys remember what you are there to do -- make their guy look great. If you do it well, they'll notice. If you don't, "thanks for coming out" will probably be what you hear. If you are good enough, you'll get your chance to show your stuff. Just be thankful you are there. There are a thousand guys who would walk over their mothers for that spot.

As far as word of mouth goes, it's the way most people get their shots. And this goes back to square one. If you get trained right, work hard, gain respect for the biz, then word of mouth will spread and you'll get there. That about covers it kids. Hope these have been helpful and taught you a little something.

Now, let's talk a little wrestling. Against All Odds has passed, and as I predicted, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels tore the house down. If you didn't see the 30-minute Iron Man Match, I suggest you do, as it was EXCELLENT!

The tag title match between AMW and Kid Kash and Lance Hoyt was also really good. The main event of JJ and Big Kevin Nash really impressed a lot of people, too, although 'Net buzz hated the finish. But you can't please all the people all the time.

Three things have been sticking out to me lately as far as WWE goes.

  1. Batista's push and handling has been perfect and interesting.
  2. The Wrestlemania commercials taking off on great movies have been tremendous and hilarious!
  3. I love the spinner U.S. title belt! Sweet idea.

I am also curious to see how their new developmental territory in Atlanta does. More work is always good for the biz.

On the indy scene, congrats and condolences to Bulldog Harry Smith for a successfull tour with New Japan, even though it got cut short due to injury. I have said it before and I'll say it again: Harry and T.J. Wilson are the two best unsigned workers in the world. Guaranteed money in the bank wherever they go. I'm looking forward to next weeks Albuquerque show. It will be great, and I am excited to meet Nick Bockwinkel!

On a sad note, I want to shout out to Frankie Kazarian, who has moved on from TNA. We all love and will miss him, as he's one of those guys everyone likes and wants to be like. Good Luck Bro'.

Alright, that's it. I'm done. If you are looking to get trained in western Canada, you can go to www.stampedewrestling.com to find out about training there. As well, Bad News Allen has a school and I will get that info up for you next week along with info on the Can Am school in Windsor, Ontario and the ROH training center, Pro Wrestling Iron's dojo and any others I can come up with.

Again responses, criticism, or praise are welcome, and if you are a promoter looking to book myself or any other Team Canada members, all emails to johnnydevine@shaw.ca will be looked at and an attempt to reply will be made. No promises though. Take it easy cats and kittens. Stay Hot.

Devine

EDITOR'S NOTE: "Hotshot" Johnny Devine's column will run on Saturdays on SLAM! Wrestling. Be sure to visit each week!

For more on Devine's career, see his biography in our Canadian Hall of Fame
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