When Global Force Wrestling first became a thing, I have to admit that I rolled my eyes. But, as a person who is starving for wrestling, any attempt to bring new talent to a wider audience should be respected. As much as I watch WWE and have blindly supported them for years, they have definitely missed the boat on must have talents. WWE could use men like Prince Devitt and Adam Cole, but 9 times out of 10, they seem intent to sign those chiseled out of stone with no wrestling skills or football types.
Despite WWE’s years long resistance to take notice of indie wrestlers, some of the biggest names in the company have made their names in the indies. Seth Rollins, CM Punk, Antonio Cesaro, and the newly crowned WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan spent years in the indie scene making a name for themselves before WWE was ever in their vocabulary. If anything, indie wrestling should be respected as not just a breeding ground for new indie talent, but the creators of the future of wrestling. You don’t have to only be in WWE to make a splash in this industry. The rise of the aforementioned is proof positive of that.
The announcement of Global Force Wrestling should be treated as good news. GFW has the chance to take the best of the best from the indies and give them an opportunity to put on a show like you’ve never seen. Meanwhile, that talent is given the chance at a new business opportunity and a greater exposure to wrestling fans. Believe me; I want more than anything for GFW to be a success. A wrestling industry cannot thrive without multiple wrestling organizations pushing WWE to its limits creatively and talent wise.
From my perspective, if Global Force Wrestling would like to remain a force, here are 3 things that the company should not do.
1. Do not in any way try to copy what WWE does.
I will probably spend days arguing this point, but I believe that copying WWE in a wink wink nudge nudge sort of way or openly mocking it is an acknowledgement that the GFW brand is weak. Companies too busy producing quality wrestling do not have time to bite off of WWE’s successful storylines or make fun of what they do. GFW does not need ride WWE’s or TNA’s storylines to get people talking about their shows.
At this very moment, Jeff Jarrett and his band of bookers should be working on at least 3 years of mind-blowing, original storylines that will put GFW on the map. Not reality show ideas or anything else but the wrestling. Appearing on TV with bad wrestling and even worse storylines is a disaster that should be avoided. Great wrestling, creative storylines and good looking production should always be the foremost thought of any wrestling company.
2. Jeff and Karen Jarrett should not be the television focal point of GFW
All I see when I look at the GFW website is too many pictures of Jeff and Karen Jarrett and not enough pictures or video of anybody else. Jeff and Karen being an obvious focal point of the company is not what GFW needs in the beginning. Jeff and Karen should take a backseat to the actual talent that they will be booking on the show. Posting selfies with different popular wrestlers with hash tags in the pictures is not an acceptable view into what we as fans will be seeing in terms of content, nor does it say anything positive for your brand to tease the appearances of big names in the industry who may decide to not participate in the show. Nor is it the smart thing to sell GFW shirts before a show is actually put on. But that’s not the point.
History has shown that Jeff Jarrett has a habit of making himself the focal point of wrestling shows, and it has always come back to bite him. Jarrett booking himself as a champion is something you’d expect out of 1985 wrestling promotions and not in the current age of wrestling where social media is your best friend and worst enemy.
GWF says that it wants to be a force in wrestling. So, they should act like it. Storylines itself are not hard to make believable. You just have to have the right mix of everything to make it work. I can only hope that a conversation about Jeff and Karen not being on camera is a discussion that is currently happening right now. Jeff may not agree with this, but he needs to lose the ego and make the wrestlers on his show the center of the show. It doesn’t take millions to make a company look legitimate, but it does require thought beyond a minute long video of the CEO of a wrestling company with a hood on his head walking in a field.
3. Build a niche market of women’s wrestling fans with a competitive women’s division that isn’t only about big breasts and short skirts.
As a lady who watches many hours of THIS BUSINESS, one of my biggest complaints is that I don’t have a women’s division that I can be proud of watching. I know you have to keep men’s eyes on the programming with some TNA, but women like Portugal’s Perfect athlete Shanna, Mia Yim, Leah Von Dutch, Veda Scott and many others should be on the show each week putting on wrestling clinics. Are there companies like Shimmer who cater to the women’s wrestling only crowd? Sure there are. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t put a stamp on a women’s division by doing cage matches, ladder matches and other types of specialty types of matches that women’s wrestling fans crave. Just because it exists doesn’t mean that fans of the type wouldn’t want to see more of it.
Let it also be said that GFW’s women’s wrestling should feature a wide variety of women in all the different shapes, sizes and colors that we come in. Pretty girls are fantastic, but women like Kharma are intriguing and exactly what a promotion like GFW needs.
4. Focus on the future talents and build your brand around them.
The oldest trick in the book with wrestling promotions is to invite stars of the past to appear on the show to get older fans to watch it. If your talent is strong enough, there is more than enough reason to not invite Scott Hall and Kevin Nash on your program and to focus on making stars instead of depend on the old guard. As a new company, what does it say to fans when they see Scott Hall or Bret Hart? That Bret and Scott are the stars and these other people are meaningless. Make the new talent your future. Build and create stars instead of depending on WWE’s stars. Be your own brand. Believe me, fans will love it.
Shanna Harris has been watching wrestling for over 10 years. She loves women’s wrestling, NXT, and live tweeting wrestling shows. Her many wrestling commentaries can be found at Absolutesmark.wordpress.com, and her 140 character rants can be read at @AbsoluteSmark
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