Huskie: Fans welcome to WrestleFix.com. Today My guest is none other than the President of Pro Wrestling and member of the Wrestle Fix staff, Phil Stamper. How are you doing today sir?
Stamper: I am doing well! Thank you for having me.
Huskie: Let’s get a little bit of background on you. How long have you been in the wrestling business and how did you get your start in the business?
Stamper: I’ve been involved with wrestling for over 20 years. I started out in the back, wanting to learn the business and went on to later get trained.
Huskie: Where did you train? What was your training like?
Stamper: I trained at a place called The Dominion. Honestly, it was not the best place. But, I was too young and too wide-eyed at the time to realize it. Since then, I’ve done clinics with people throughout the business like Al Snow, Chris Hero, Tom Prichard, and more.
Huskie: Who are some trainers out there that you would recommend?
Stamper: MCW Pro Wrestling, who has turned out recent stars like Lio Rush and Velveteen Dream, WWE Hall of Famer Lita, and more, including a new crop of guys now with Ring of Honor. OI4K Academy in Ohio has had a number of their ranks recently join Impact and have travelling internationally. Santino Brothers in California.
Huskie: This is something I have talked to you in private in the past about but let’s discuss it here and now. A few years ago you bought the Heartland Wrestling Association. What are your plans with HWA?
Stamper: They seem to keep changing, honestly. When I bought it, my only booking load was light and I wanted to run events. However, a number of venues I’ve reached out either don’t like wrestling in general and in the Cincinnati-area were burned by previous owners of HWA. With the footage, I’m actually working to build out a video platform on a new site. And no, I’ve had no conversation with the WWE for the footage.
Huskie: You are a busy man. You work for multiple companies, do a lot of social media work for companies and you also put together an Indy Wrestling calender. Can you tell us what promotions you currently work for and what inspired you to start the Indy Wrestling Calendar?
Stamper: Right now MCW Pro Wrestling, Wrestling Revolver, IWA East Coast, Classic Pro in Virginia, House of Glory just to name a few. With the calendar, I actually started it in a different form years ago just focusing on Pennsylvania, then I added in New Jersey…and then it just exploded from there. I stopped at one point, until someone said to me, “wow, there are never any Indy wrestling events anymore.” From just my friends on Facebook, I knew that wasn’t true. So, I brought it back, in a different format. It lets me know what’s going on in the wrestling world, help fans find events (which promoters yell at me about if I miss posting their event – which is never a slight, I might just not have known), and help other people in wrestling find events.
Huskie: Right now it’s a really good time to be involved in the wrestling business. For a long time to make a solid living you had to be in WWE. Now days you have guys working several times a week, sometimes multiple shows a day, and you have bigger Independent companies who pay very well. What are your thoughts on the wrestling scene today?
Stamper: It’s continuing to grow and expand. Hopefully, it will continue its rise up. What’s interesting is typically independents were coming up when the mainstream companies were also up. However, indy companies now are having strong houses, while WWE is amid negative backlash. But, they are a multi-billion dollar company, what do I know?
Huskie: In your opinion who are some of the top Indy companies in the world?
Stamper: Wrestling Revolver, PWG, Progress, MLW – though would you consider that an Indy any more?
Huskie: In your opinion who are some of the best unsigned talents out there?
Stamper: That’s a dangerous question. The BESTies in the World (Mat Fitchett & Davey Vega), John Skyler, Anthony Henry, Mance Warner, Ken Dixon, Arik Cannon, Eli Everfly, Yuta.
Huskie: We keep seeing the business evolve not just from a business standpoint but the product that is presented to the fans keeps evolving as well. We constantly see the argument that some of today’s style isn’t wrestling. I believe there’s room for many different styles. What is your opinion on the modern style of wrestling vs. the old school more story driven product?
Stamper: I’m more of the “there’s room for a bit of everything”. Put it this way. I’m a Marvel movie fan. They realized that they would burn their crowd out if they followed the same story – origin, bad guy intro, conflict with bad guy, good guy wins. They started to stylize each movie in a genre – Captain America was a World War II movie, Ant Man was a heist movie, etc. I do believe it’s better when there’s a mix – play to the crowd to get a reaction, but show them an amazing athletic contest. I’m more of a technical wrestling fan, but I know some people also want to see high flyers and brawlers and very specific things. So, give them a mix to enjoy.
Huskie: Another thing we see with this evolution of wrestling is controversial spots. Now days we see Joey Ryan flipping people over with his penis, we see Priscilla Kelly shoving a tampon down her opponent’s throat, we also see her vomiting on opponents. I’m personally a fan of both of these wrestlers but I don’t get who wants to see this in a wrestling match. What are your thoughts on these types of spots?
Stamper: I agree with you about being fans of them individually, I also enjoy their work. Joey Ryan’s penis plex, though some may disagree with the actual move, you know now as a fan that could be coming and you see how it works for that particular match. The tampon I thought was a bit disgusting. But I also didn’t see the whole match. But, as we know, controversy can sometimes equal cash if played right.
Huskie: Earlier we mentioned that you do a lot of social media work for companies. How important is social media to wrestling companies now days?
Stamper: It isn’t just important, it’s a necessity. However, it is only a component to a whole marketing strategy, not the end all be all. You still need traditional advertisement. You still need word of mouth. And if you have social media, well, you actually have to use it regularly! I do training workshops in and out of wrestling on advertising and social media.
Huskie: WrestleMania is right around the corner and there will be a lot going on in the New York/New Jersey area Mania weekend. What does your Mania weekend schedule look like?
Stamper: Right now, I’ll be at WrestleCon for the weekend with Wrestling Revolver. We’ll have a booth with give-a-ways during the weekend and then our live event that Saturday morning at 11 a.m. with Revolver’s annual Pancakes and Piledrivers.
Huskie: Before we wrap this up how can fans find you on social media?
Huskie: Well Mr. Stamper it was nice talking to you today but unfortunately our time is up. I want to thank you once again for your time.
Stamper: Thank you!
Huskie: Wrestling fans be sure to check out Mr. Stamper’s Indy calendar and check out some of the promotions he works for.