Evan Ginzburg (associate producer for the Oscar-nominated film “The Wrestler” and arguably the most exceptional wrestling documentary ever made, “350 Days“) pulls no punches here in the latest edition of Ginzburg’s Gab. He gives his thoughts on the current WWE product, he dispels absurd fan remarks on AEW and reveals why 2019 is the golden age for independent wrestling.
Ginzburg’s Gab – June 21, 2019 Edition
Welcome to Ginzburg’s Gab, a feature here at Pro Wrestling Stories on all things wrestling- then and now. In these columns, I’ll endeavor to give you insight into my current projects and my often old-school thoughts on both the good old days and the current scene in wrestling.
“Everybody is talking about AEW. Let’s start by dismissing the nonsensical…”
Here’s some gab with no punches pulled…
First and foremost, everybody is talking about AEW. Let’s start by dismissing the nonsensical “they’re going to put WWE out of business!” rants. WWE is a money machine, a billion dollar corporation with endless income streams. Are they stale? Sure. Is their TV for the most part stultifying? Most certainly. But they’ve sold more T-shirts and gimmicks by 9 AM than the rest of the wrestling world combined. Don’t write ’em off; they’re ruthless and not going anywhere.
As great as AEW’s first pay-per-view was- and I rate it the best of the year thus far- my spider sense was still tingling. Front office guys on top? Check. “Bring your brother in” old school nepotism? Check. Yet, in spite of it, they pulled off a show that was better than both Wrestle Kingdom and WrestleMania and a thrilling start to what could be a great #2 wrestling group.
It’s also promising that AEW is providing health and dental benefits to its full-time wrestlers who also are in their office- i.e., Cody, Young Bucks, etc. but that’s like dipping your toes in the pool and not quite jumping in. To me, a revolution isn’t just presenting great wrestling- there’s plenty of that in 2019- but genuinely taking care of these great athletes who sacrifice their bodies to entertain us. Let’s end this independent contractor excuse and have billionaire owners protect their performers. Respect for good intentions and a great start anyway.
And I wish the so-called fans wouldn’t write off Impact and ROH because they have a new toy to play with in AEW. Both long-standing promotions are still more than capable of putting on excellent wrestling matches and have managed to survive while hundreds if not thousands of other groups have gone belly up during the same time frame. Besides, why root against promotions that give more work and opportunity to the wrestlers? The more, the merrier as they used to say.
“WWE is penance for sins I committed in previous lifetimes.”
Meanwhile, WWE, straight off of the disastrous Saudi Blood Money 3 PPV is now gearing up for RematchMania this Sunday. How they keep managing to squander one of the greatest talent bases of all time is beyond me, but I’ve recently felt that WWE is penance for sins I committed in previous lifetimes. And it’s always amusing when folk gives a RAW or SmackDown a rousing review along the lines of, “It wasn’t that bad,” or “It was OK.” If I had a billion dollar corporation behind me, I’d be creating art, not something “watchable.”
I had the honor of doing a one hour TV interview alongside legend Tito Santana and 350 Days producers Darren Antola and David Wilkins for NJ Discover this past Monday night. Tito was that guy who night after night after night delivered quality matches, and folks forget that when Hulk Hogan wasn’t headlining those arenas, Tito vs. Greg Valentine went at it tooth and nail, even selling out Madison Square Garden. He’s just one of those performers who was so consistently good that he is almost taken for granted. Besides the Valentine classics, my favorite Tito match was when he headlined MSG in a steel cage match, teaming with Bruno to battle Randy Savage and Adrian Adonis. Those four tore it up, and I fondly remember it 30-plus years later. And although it’s hard for me to wrap my head around, he’s the last man standing.
WATCH: Tito Santana alongside 350 Days producers Darren Antola and David Wilkins, and Associate Producer Evan Ginzburg on NJ Discover:
For indy wrestling fans, 2019 is a golden age with endless shows to savor and sample. Although the quality may vary, there’s always that one performer on your local show you say to yourself, “They are going to make it.” Now if only more indie promoters would learn the basics:
- You don’t need 15 matches
- Not everybody needs or is worthy of mic time
- A show sure as hell shouldn’t run over 4 hours
- You need to get into the community with posters and fliers and off your laptop to promote a card
- You’re not doing any talent a favor by paying them with a hot dog and a handshake
There are exciting times for the #350Days team happening at the moment. Besides our TV interview with Tito this week, we opened on iTunes in Australia and have held screenings in Calgary (with Bret Hart in attendance receiving honors), as well as showings in other Canadian cities. The critically acclaimed film remains available on Amazon (BluRay / DVD), iTunes, and On Demand on most major Cable providers worldwide. We sincerely thank you for your support of this truly independent film that’s from the heart.
Upcoming indie events include a tribute to both Pedro Morales and the late “Professor of Old School” JL Chico for New Evolution Wrestling this Saturday at the hallowed Queens Elks Lodge in Queens, New York (info here), and the debut of Imperial World Wrestling June 29th in Queens as well (info on imperialwrestling.com).
And remember folks, support indy everything.