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Slow time for independent wrestling shows

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Saturday, July 5, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Ever since I penned my first piece for then-Sports Editor Brian Herman in 1999, the heavy focus has always been on the stars known across the world and the news created by them.

My focus will now vary on different aspects of the wrestling business. This week the “summer break” as I like to call it will be broken down.

For the independent professional wrestling promotions across the country, the groups usually have a niche following of diehard fans that follow them religiously.

Most independent promotions run a home base location and hardly run elsewhere, although some promotions do expand their region out.

Right now is the time of the year that is always hardest for promotions to keep fans coming and almost impossible for them to gather a solid, new group of fans.

Through my years of working behind the scenes, whether locally, in the Pittsburgh area, or out of state, I always used the philosophy that it was best to follow a school-year style of season.

The summer months are when people are outside the most. Who wants to go into a hot, old musky gym or building when they can be enjoying the weather?

The best shows in the summer are usually the outdoor festival shows and for the wrestlers, they are always a lot of fun.

Yes, it is hotter outside and the canvas is usually very hot, but festival crowds are different.

Regular wrestling shows draw in wrestling fans, but festival shows usually bring in people who do not follow wrestling.

They may be at the festival and when they see the show, they stop by and watch, so it is a different crowd all together.

Those people came for the festival, not the show.

Local promoters admit that usually their smallest crowds are June through August and attendance picks back up in September, coincidentally when school starts back.

My philosophy when setting up shows was to hook the fans with a couple of storylines in September and once the weather started to cool down in October, more fans show up.

Staggering feuds was always important for the next few months, and we always looked to finish off in May with a “cliff hanger”, much like TV shows do during Sweeps Week in May.

Heading into the summer break has always been beneficial for everyone.

It gave the wrestlers a chance to take a break from physical beatings and rest up and it gave those who worked behind the scenes some time to look at new talent and decide what direction to go in with new storylines.

Yes, indy feds still run through the summer, but they usually slow down their schedule.

On average, promotions cut their summer schedules by half, a smart business decision.

By doing this, it limits the chance of oversaturation and gives their diehard fans a chance to recharge their batteries as well.

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