Cheap Pops Special Report- The End of Pro Wrestling Syndicate/The Rise of WrestlePro

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By Chris Delloiacono and Mike Maillaro

Mike: Last Saturday, Chris and I were scheduled to go to a Pro Wrestling Syndicate show which was going to feature a massive interpromotional angle with Jeff Jarrett’s Global Force Wrestling.  PWS is a local indy promotion that we both love, and which has gotten a lot of coverage in Cheap Pops over the last few months.  The show was cancelled because New Jersey got hit with a massive snowstorm.  

It was rescheduled for a week later, though the announcement was a little strange.  “Tonight's scheduled PWS vs GFW event in Rahway NJ has been postponed until Saturday January 30th. While this January 30th event has now been advertised as strictly GFW, "Tickets purchased from the PWS website for tonight's scheduled PWS vs GFW will be honored. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

This raised a lot of questions for me about if the PWS guys would still be there.  Thankfully, many of the PWS guys posted on Facebook (and even private messaged me) to confirm that they would be there.  So, while it was odd, I just took it as some kind of logistics reason for it and didn’t give it much more thought.  Our crew would still be going next week, since we all loved the PWS guys.

On Sunday afternoon Chris has texted me, “It looks like PWS is no more.  Pat Buck (the co-owner) has decided to leave PWS. That’s why the show next week is GFW.  Buck is starting a new group called WrestlePro.”  

I was tempted to post this up in our column for last week, but the column was posted early because of Royal Rumble Predictions. Besides, I wanted to try and get a little more information before we posted it.  And on Tuesday morning, we finally got some confirmation from Pat Buck, when he posted on Facebook:

Hey Wrestling Fans (Again!) This is a long one....

I've enjoyed many years of success with my two companies PWS and Create A Pro Wrestling. This may come as a bit of a shock for some, but as of Monday, January 25 2016. I am publicly withdrawing from Pro Wrestling Syndicate, LLC.

Does this mean there will never be another PWS show? Not necessarily, but I will not be a part of this brand for the foreseeable future. It has been almost 4 incredible years at Pro Wrestling Syndicate, but it's time for me to move on. I would like to thank the fans for many years of support and growing pains. I'd like to thank the amazing staff, the wrestlers, the Rahway Rec Center, the dozens of dudes (and women) I've trained, etcetera etcetera.

I would like to publicly thank my former partner Eric Pleska for many years of promotional success and wish him well in his future endeavors.

We all know the show for PWS vs GFW was cancelled due to weather, and as announced previously, Global Force Wrestling will be honoring the show this Saturday night January 30th at the Rahway Rec Center. All talent scheduled to appear from previous card, minus Bobby Roode and Colt Cabana. Global has added Cliff Compton, and look for any updates to be announced this week through Global Force Wrestling.

As for myself on January 30th , I will be there. I will be wrestling. And I will inform the live crowd that night the absolute truth as to why I am moving on from PWS in ring, post match so be there! I promise it will be something to remember.

I have elected to move forward and create a new promotion called WrestlePro, which will be doing business under Create A Pro Wrestling LLC. The two training schools of Create A Pro NY and Create A Pro NJ have been creating top professional wrestling talent for over three years, and will be a major integral part of the WrestlePro future.

Welcome to WrestlePro !

Wrestlepro will be having events the following days March 5, April 16, April 23, April 30, May 21, June 11, July 30, September 10, October 22, November 19, and Dec 17. Locations to be announced soon, and more shows will be added over the next few months! I will address the live crowd this Saturday about the status of champions and their respected titles.

For those of you that purchased season tickets for the upcoming PWS shows, you have the option to be refunded or can use said ticket for all WrestlePro Rahway Events in March, April, June, September, October, November and December!

Check out all information for www.wrestleproonline.com  and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/wrestlepro”

The March 5 WrestlePro show already has a poster up.  Cowboy Bob Orton, Terry Funk, The Killer Bees, and the Rock and Roll Express will be there.  We also see some PWS mainstays like Dan Maff, Fallah Bahh, Brian Myers, The Heavenly Bodies, Colt Cobana, Chris Payne, Kevin Matthews, Mario Bokara, and PWS Champion Matt Macintosh.  

On WrestlePro’s website, they did announce that the PWS Tag Champs Club Taboo will be the first WrestlePro Tag Champs.  They are getting rid of their Suicidal Six way title and the current TV title (since they have no TV show at the moment).  No word yet on whether or not Matt Macintosh will continue as champ.

I have a lot of commentary about all this, but I’ve gone on too long already, so I am letting Chris jump in here.

Chris: There's definitely something odd with the whole situation.  Did you notice Pat gave his former partner, Eric, the WWE “future endeavors” kick out of the door?  I've heard scuttlebutt on what may be going on behind the scenes, but I'm anxious to hear the truth from Buck on Saturday.

I still haven't written about it, but I spent two months training in the PWS Dojo last year.  It was the experience of a lifetime, and one I look back on with fondness.  I don't really know Eric at all, but I can tell you that Pat Buck is an absolute gentlemen who cares very deeply for his company and the people that work for him.  To come this decision, there had to be grave issues behind the scenes.

In the end, this seems like a positive.  Already the WrestlePro website is light years better than the PWS version, and there's a promise by Buck for a big time outreach to other independent promotions.  Remember when we were talking about a return to the NWA style territories a few weeks ago?  Now, I don't think this will quite work like that, BUT this could be a chance to cross pollinate local talents and really build a strong regional framework.  I hope they stay away from TV and just build the live product.  That's where PWS shone, and I feel WrestlePro can be even better!

Judging by the poster featuring all the former PWS stars, I think we can assume just whose side all the talent is taking.  When you couple all the established talent with the brilliant feeder system Buck and Brian Myers are producing from their Create A Pro schools, the future somehow seems even brighter than before.  

Mike:  I was actually real concerned when we first started talking about this news on Sunday.  I love what Pat had built with PWS, and if a lot of the guys had not gone over to WrestlePro, I wouldn’t feel nearly as confident.  But, this all seems like it can be a huge move in the right direction.  Pat Buck seems to be a good promoter and well respected in the industry.  His big name talent is all coming with him.  

And from the poster, it looks like they may be getting away from some of the more childish gimmicks we got in PWS.  I like Starman, Lifeguard, and Drunken Swashbuckler, but they did sometimes feel out of place in PWS.  That said, I hope that Lifeguard is still around and repackaged.  Mike Del seems like he could have a huge upside in the business.

Honestly, my only real question right now is “Will Matt Macintosh continue to be the Champ?”  Every month, Matt looks better and better in the ring, and I actually think the new company can build around him well.  Granted, they may want to put the title on someone who is a little more established like Kevin Matthews or Danny Maff to help get the promotion some attention, but I actually would be real comfortable with Macintosh as the first WrestlePro champ.

The one thing I am not sure I agree with you is that they should stay away from TV.  While the quality could have been better, I loved having the ability to show people Youtube video of what PWS was all about.  And besides, one of my favorite feuds from last year was the TV title feud between Chris Payne and Brian Myers.  Still, while I definitely think they can develop in other ways, I do think having that media presence is pretty important in the modern wrestling world.

Chris: I think Macintosh deserves to continue as champion.  It's a hard call, but I feel like he's the best talent they have right now.  He's so fast and crisp that it blows my mind to watch him work at when he goes full speed.  Seriously, Macintosh had no trouble keeping up with the likes of Sami Callihan or Kenny Omega back in December.  Plus he's young and can draw serious heat from the crowd.  Macintosh is the type of champ people will come out to see lose.  That's a pretty good package to give a sustained run as they build WrestlePro.

I agree with what you're saying about TV.  I'm not saying to stop filming matches.  YouTube is the perfect outlet for WrestlePro.  I truly meant to avoid the boob tube, since there's simply no need for the product to air on local access stations.  I hope they spend that money on regular online shows with higher production values.  If you do that in tandem with intense social media outreach, not to mention some great industry partners, WrestlePro will be the next fanboy darling like ROH, EVOLVE, or PWG.

Mike: I hope you’re right.  I really like a lot of the talent that will be featured in WrestlePro.  They definitely deserve some exposure.  And I think that wrestling fans who are jaded by WWE and TNA can find a great alternative here.