Wrestling promotion returns to TV
A McKeesport-based professional wrestling promotion is back on television.
PWX — Pro Wrestling eXpress — broadcasts every Saturday from 11 a.m. to noon on WBGN Verizon FiOS Channel 22 and over-the-air channels 59 in Allegheny County, 56 in Westmoreland County and 26 in the mid-Mon Valley.
The Verizon channel reaches approximately 400,000 customers.
“We signed the deal awhile ago, but our actual first show was on last week,” owner and promoter Jim Miller said. “I wanted to make sure it was done and doable before I let (the public) know anything ... There's no complaints. Everybody seems to be happy with it. They got to get used to the storylines and everything else. It might take them a few weeks to start getting into it. We're not looking to go after our local fans. We're looking for the larger market.”
Miller declined to get into specific terms of the TV agreement, simply calling it “an open-ended contract” and “you don't tell your competition what you got.”
Live shows are filmed at the Wrestle Plex, the former St. Stephen's Church fellowship hall and school at 2125 Beacon St., McKeesport.
Filming is done by PWX Media, a branch of the promotion also owned and operated by Miller. It films the live events with a four-camera shoot and inserts other features via green screen.
“I got three of the professional (video cameras) and a high-definition rover that goes around the ring,” Miller said. “In order to do live (broadcasts) you need all kinds of extra equipment. We can do a lot more to have fun without doing it live because we want people to come out to the events. There's certain things that they won't see at the events that they'll see on TV, and it goes the other way around. It works both ways.”
Miller co-founded the promotion with the late Sean “Shocker” Evans in the 1990s.
Its last broadcasts were on old WPTT-22 in the late '90s when PWX was NWA East, at the former Eastland Mall in North Versailles Township.
Miller said roughly 12 total over-the-air channels air PWX in Western Pennsylvania, parts of West Virginia and parts of Ohio.
“The over-the-air channels are also broadcasting all our classic stuff from 1995 to 1998,” Miller said. “They're doing two-hour blocks of those.”
The Saturday broadcasts are usually two weeks behind the live shows.
The next live show is Saturday night at 7:30. General admission is $10. VIP seating is $12 and children younger than 12 get in for $6.
PWX Revolution features Shane Taylor against Jay Flash, Danny Able and Tony Johnson vs. Mad Mike in a handicap match, and best in Pittsburgh competitions between JR Mega and Stryder, Chris Lerusso and Jason Cage, Ashton Amherst and Brandon K, and Ashton Amherst and Chris Taylor.
Title bouts are Ryan Reign vs. Jimmy Nutts for the PWX Heavyweight title, and Dean Radford battling Troy Lords or Payton Graham for the PWX Three Rivers title.
PWX shows are not available on Comcast. WBGN does not have an agreement with that service provider.
“If you don't get it, demand it,” Miller said. “You can always call Comcast or Direct TV and ask them to pick up WBGN out of Pittsburgh ... The big deal of it is being able to get the product out to possibly 420,000 households. It's major advertising. Anytime you can brand something and people start seeing it, it's a major help to the company. It did great things for us when we were on up at Eastland.”
Getting back on television is another way for PWX to move his promotion into the upper echelon of the professional wrestling world.
Miller acquired the former fellowship hall and school in August 2011.
He also owns the former church, as well as the rectory and two parking lots.
This brought the company from the Jacob Woll Pavilion in Renziehausen Park to a more permanent home with bigger production value.
“Not that Jacob Woll didn't serve its purpose, it sure did,” Miller said.
“This is working out a lot better for what we wanted to do. It got us moved to the next step.”
The next step now is for PWX to create live feeds and pay-per-view events. More information is available online at www.pwxtv.com.
Michael DiVittorio is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1965, or firstname.lastname@example.org.