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JerryvonKramer

Comparing Numbers of Shows Per Era

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All of the promotions were dying in 1985 and pulling back to being TV only like the AWA. You have a company like CWF running almost 800 shows a year to being gone is going to heavily effect that. I also think cable TV and just the glut of wrestling out there made live wrestling less profitable for local promotions.

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I think it also becomes much harder to properly count shows in the late 90s - it probably doesn't make up the whole difference, but I bet a bunch of shows that would be promoted by territories got replaced with indie shows that are lost to time.

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@JerryvonKramer a follow up question. So LA, SF, and Detroit were proper territories... how'd their guys make ends meet working only twice or three times a week? If you were working those territories did you also have a day job or were you just hand to mouth? 

 

Another question, how did ECW loose 8 million dollars in the years they were running 200 shows? The only way that makes sense is if every show they ever ran operated at a loss and ramping up the schedule in 1999 just increased the losses. But If the company had always been in the red why did they try to expand so aggressively that year and run such a hectic schedule with such a thin talent roster? No wonder they went under.

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6 hours ago, joeg said:

@JerryvonKramer a follow up question. So LA, SF, and Detroit were proper territories... how'd their guys make ends meet working only twice or three times a week? If you were working those territories did you also have a day job or were you just hand to mouth? 

Looking at Pat Patteron, as one example, a draw for Shire in San Francisco, in 1971 he worked 168 matches.

 

If you pretend he made $150 a night -- might have been more or less in 71 I don't know -- that would be $25,200. Adjust that for inflation and in today's money it would be $167,499.

 

I'm not entirely sure what a top guy would have made in 1971 but considering by the 80s prelim guys on WWF cards were making $150 a night, that's got to be a low-ball guess.

 

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Bix and Zellner on their Patreon show about ECW going under made some mention that Heyman had been taking out loans on PPV revenue. It sounds like he was always borrowing against future earnings to survive the now and could just never get out of that cycle. 

The roster was also super bloated by 1998/1999. I remember they would run in Columbus and have like 10 matches and used 25-30 guys. They probably pissed all of the ticket money away on talent and transporting the ring. 

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So I just looked at some of those 1971 cards from SF where Patterson was working on top to look at who was on the undercard. Tony Parisi is one example.

 

Here are his dates for June 1971.

 

1 Show @ Stockton
1971/06/01 @ Memorial Civic Auditorium in Stockton, California (United States of America)
Mighty Brutus defeated Tony Parisi
2 Show @ Modesto
1971/06/04 @ Uptown Arena in Modesto, California (United States of America)
Paul DeMarco defeated Tony Parisi [2 out of 3 Falls Match]
3 Show @ San Francisco
1971/06/05 @ Cow Palace in Daly City, California (United States of America)
Mighty Brutus defeated Tony Parisi
4 NWF @ Cleveland
1971/06/17 @ Cleveland Arena in Cleveland, Ohio (United States of America)
Tony Parisi defeated Dr. X
5 BBP @ Cobourg
1971/06/17 @ Cobourg Memorial Rink in Cobourg, Ontario (Canada)
Eric the Red vs. Tony Parisi - winner unknown
6 Show @ Pittsburgh
1971/06/18 @ Civic Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States of America)
George Steele defeated Tony Parisi by referee stoppage
7 Show @ Amsterdam
1971/06/23 @ Amsterdam, New York (United States of America)
Tony Parisi defeated Kurt Von Hess
8 Show @ Johnstown
1971/06/26 @ Johnstown, Pennsylvania (United States of America)
Dominic DeNucci and Tony Parisi defeated Baron Mikel Scicluna and George Steele
9 WWWF Pittsburgh TV
1971/06/26 @ Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (United States of America)
Tony Parisi defeated Jack Vansky

 

Looking before and after, Parisi seems to have left SF in mid-June and gone back to New York. Let's pretend he was a $50 a night guy. That was $450 for June which is $2,991 in today's money. He worked 104 dates that year so let's say $5,200 which adjusted for inflation is $34,563. That's quite rough but still a living just about. But who knows, those pay days in New York might have been better.

 

 

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From the Kayfabe Memories thread, "San Francisco: What did the boys get paid?" 
https://www.infinitecore.ca/superstar/index.php?threadid=95768

"Rocky Johnson in his book says he made top money in SF and its why he stayed there longer than in any other territory (four years) in that era.  He claims $1,000 to $1,500 a week".
(Dav'oh - This seems to be from 1970-1974, going by Cagematch data.)

"Heard Patterson say only WWWF paid better than Northern California in the 60s and 70s".

And, "The California state law was that wrestlers had to make a $25 minimum for TV tapings and that's what Shire paid. Shire paid on a percentage basis and rarely paid guarantees, although Ron Starr had a $500 weekly guarantee in late '78 through 1979".

It's not a lot to go on (the thread is quite small), but I'll keep digging.

 

Edited by Dav'oh
left something out

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18 hours ago, Mad Dog said:

Yeah, there's stuff like the IWA in Columbus that there's very very few records of online that ran for almost 30 years. 

Incidentally, I took the decision not to include outlaws in the 70s or Indies in the 90s because the crowds were mostly negligible. As an example, ROH's record crowd to date in 2008 was at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC -- that holds 2,500 and they couldn't even sell it out.

 

In the 70s, Ivan Koloff vs. Mil Mascaras drew 14,000 for the IWA so I figured if indies moved the needle at all for 80s or 90s numbers, they'd just get blown away by outlaws from the 70s anyway. 

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53 minutes ago, JerryvonKramer said:

Incidentally, I took the decision not to include outlaws in the 70s or Indies in the 90s because the crowds were mostly negligible. As an example, ROH's record crowd to date in 2008 was at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC -- that holds 2,500 and they couldn't even sell it out.

 

In the 70s, Ivan Koloff vs. Mil Mascaras drew 14,000 for the IWA so I figured if indies moved the needle at all for 80s or 90s numbers, they'd just get blown away by outlaws from the 70s anyway. 

I think the one thing with 90s indies are those weird lucha shows in CA and TX that did good business. Those seem to be an outlier. 

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