|A Company Now On My Radar Because Of The Internet|
What makes a great wrestling promotion? That is an extremely vague and difficult question to answer, because there are so many factors, both inside the physical shows and outside of them, that could help to classify a pro wrestling company as "great". However, I think that for a company to even be considered apart of the contenders for the greatest promotion, the one thing it must have is a strong, well-run presence on the internet. I strongly stand by the statement that without utilizing the internet as a way in which to market your brand, upcoming events and so on, one can not honestly and un-doubtingly call themselves "the best". And, as a consumer of various wrestling products, a company's embracing of what the internet has to offer can take them from a group that I wouldn't give a second look, into one that I will make an effort to follow.
For example, Women Superstars Uncensored, out of the New Jersey area, has made amazing strides and changes since getting bought by the people behind Beyond Wrestling, a group that has been producing consistent internet content for their own company since it's inception. I had seen bits and pieces of WSU's work from around 2-3 years ago, and while the company looked promising, they gave myself, the viewer, no way of keeping up with their ongoings and events from my searches on the internet. Their website was subpar, the little videos they did have available were all over the place and were close to unwatchable, and it made trying to follow this group and become a fan of theirs into a chore. Now, with only about 8 months under Beyond Wrestling's leadership, WSU is releasing a steady stream of interviews, previews, teasers and more in order to get the casual internet viewers interested in keeping up with all of their storylines and shows.
But, WSU isn't the only company that has drawn my interest because of the stuff they are doing on the internet. Absolute Intense Wrestling from Cleveland is a group that I have been following much more closely ever since they regularly began releasing teasers, DVD trailers as well as their special "Behind The Curtain" mini shoot interview series, which is a unique, yet intriguing, form of content for them to produce. In fact, just a simple DVD trailer, like their one for their Hell On Earth 8 event, encouraged me enough to order their DVD for that event.
One of the lesser known groups that have taken a crack at creating internet based content is the Pittsburgh based International Wrestling Cartel. Being good friends with Sorg from the Wrestling Mayhem Show, who does the DVD production for this company, I have watched the growth of IWC through their focus on utilizing Youtube in order to promote upcoming shows. Every month they have been releasing their online show entitled "IWC Aftershock" which recaps the events from the month before and provides hype for the event coming up. It is something super simple, and it doesn't necessarily have a lot of fancy editing or graphics, but it is a vessel in which to sell their product and storylines to a wider audience that wants and desires accessibility.
Now, a lot of people may read this and say, "Oh, this is obvious stuff. Why would a company not utilize it?". But from the stuff I have observed from frequenting the Texas scene, it is not such an obvious idea as one may think. When you ask people what the top group in Texas currently is, many point in the direction of Anarchy Championship Wrestling. Now, are they the top in Texas simply because they do the best shows? While I definitely think the Anarchy product is top notch, the reason they are so successful is because they have an understanding of how to market themselves on the internet through various social media sites, they sell produced DVD's of their events to numerous amounts of wrestling fans, and they create great content on their Youtube channel, especially the things they do with "Anarchy Televised", and in turn their Anarchy Televised Title. The only other group that I see in Texas that is creating video content would be River City Wrestling out of San Antonio, who keeps their Youtube account properly updated with promos and hype videos. Other than those two, no Texas independent seems to be taking that route, which is a bit of a shame. Many of these groups tend to be marketing to their specific region, whether it be through flyers, radio spots or just straight word of mouth. Quite frankly, that is just not enough. In this age, wrestling companies need to develop their own virtual footprint in order to truly mean anything. I tend to joke a great deal about the WWE's overuse of their social media activities on their programming, but it is something that is necessary. A Facebook page with a flyer is not enough if one truly wants to be successful. You have to be marketable and viewable by wrestling fans that aren't just in your specific niche or area.
So, I seriously hope more people take the time to develop their internet presence, because a company can have the best shows in the world, but it is nothing if a sliver of the massive wrestling community sees them.
But that's just my thoughts. I would like to know what you guy's think. Is producing internet content necessary for a promotion to be successful? Let me know with a comment and I'll be sure to give it a read.