So, this past Sunday night in downtown Denver, CO, I got to do something I’ve been waiting the better part of 20 years to do, and that was to meet the legendary Mick Foley. Mick was booked on a local independent show here. When my wife and I found out he would be here, we jumped at the chance to go to the show and possibly meet him. Like I said, I had been waiting a very long time for the chance to meet Foley, and I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity like this.
So, we went to the show, and got to meet Foley after it was over, as he was signing autographs and taking pictures with fans and wrestlers alike. While meeting Foley was phenomenal (hell of a nice guy, BTW), this was just my story of the night. There was a much bigger story that came out of the show, and much of that story can be contributed to Foley’s appearance alone.
[adinserter block=”2″]Mick was booked to guest appear at Primos Hardcore & Wrestling’s (PH&W, for short) 2nd annual “Slave to the Death Match” tournament. Primos is a small independent promotion here in Denver run by Joe McDougal, who wrestles as both Prodigee and Joey Terrofyin (www.twitter.com/JoeMcDougal). McDougal has been running Primos (www.primoswrestling.com) for the better part of 5 years. The company itself is pretty typical of independent promotions in that it has a small area that it runs out of and usually draws the same fans every month. While the company has had trouble being taken as seriously by wrestlers in the past, as it is an Insane Clown Posse-themed promotion in the vein of ICP’s own promotion, JCW, Primos has, in the last year or so, really begun to take off.
Numerous well-known stars have appears for Primos over the last couple of years, with internet darling and current ROH star Colt Cabana, former ROH/ECW World Champion Jerry Lynn and current ROH star Necro Butcher all stopping by here and there. While all of these guys are definitely notable in some capacity or another, none of them (and I say this with absolutely no disrespect) have ever truly been huge star in a major U.S. promotion.
Enter Mick Foley.
Now, as we all know, Mick’s career speaks for itself. He is a 4-time former world champion, a hardcore legend, and one of the most respected men in the entire wrestling world. Here’s a man who has not only made a lot of money in pro wrestling, but has invested it well. As a result, Foley no longer has to wrestle in order to make a living. However, he still makes appearances due to the fact that he seems to genuinely love wrestling and interacting with fans.
As a result of his reputation, Mick basically can write his own ticket and go wherever he wants and work whatever show he wants, and he has every right to be choosy. Now, while Primos may not be the biggest or most well-known promotion in the U.S., but that didn’t stop him from coming anyway. Like many guest wrestlers, Foley came in a couple days before the show started in order to not only meet with the wrestlers who were booked but to do a training seminar with them as well.
From every account I gathered from the wrestlers who appeared on the show, Foley was genuine and honest with each of them, pointing out what he saw in them and what things he felt each wrestler could work on. I’m friends with most of the workers who were booked that night, and from the ones I spoke to, most of them were floored about how complimentary he was of their work and were just blown away simply by the fact that they were about to be booked on the same show as him. These guys were all fans before becoming wrestlers, so it’s no surprise. Hell, I’ve met a few of my wrestling idols-even got to become friends with “Dr. Death” Steve Williams (RIP, Doc. I miss you terribly)-and I still gush like a fan every time I meet one. These guys are no exception. Fortunately, Foley seemed to appreciate that.
Anyway, the night of the show came. The death match tournament went very smoothly (as smooth as a death match tournament can go, anyway), and proceeded to be one of the bloodiest, most violent shows in Colorado history. It was time for the main event, which was the finals of the tournament-a no-ropes barbed wire 4-way featuring Joey (as Joey Terrofyin) vs. Chuey Martinez vs. Mosh Pit Mike vs. previous tournament winner and cult favorite Mad Man Pondo. Before the match started, Foley came to the ring to announce that he would be the guest enforcer for the main event, and he also addressed the locker room. He paid all of the workers compliments on their hard work, and listed the show as one of the craziest things he’d ever seen. When Mick Foley is calling what you’re doing “crazy”, you know you’ve got something special.
Foley was great in his role as enforcer. Unlike other guest enforcers, Foley actually took part in the match and kept all of the competitors within the confines of ringside. Pondo eventually won the match, getting the pin over Joe after an elbow from a ladder onto a bed of nails (with a generous amount of help from Foley, of course).
After the match, Foley once again thanked the audience (roughly 500 fans, a very respectable indy crowd, especially for Colorado), praised the workers for all of their hard work and especially praised Joe for his heart and dedication to the craft. Foley then announced that he plans on returning again next year for the 3rd annual tournament.
So, you might have read all of that and wondered what was so special about this show, and why Foley was so significant. Well, as it turns out, Foley’s one appearance for Primos looks to have opened up a world of opportunities for Joe and his company. From just this appearance, SmartMarkVideo.com and HighSpots.com are both very interested in not only the footage from this show (which was filmed by a professional camera man), but are planning on distributing the footage on DVD to sell through their websites. For any independent promoter out there, DVD distribution is a huge, HUGE deal. Many independent companies thrive on DVD sales, and if it wasn’t for that, companies like ROH, CZW and CHIKARA probably wouldn’t be as well known as they are today.
Now, this does not guarantee that Primos will become the next big independent promotion; however, it certainly doesn’t hurt their chances. In indy wrestling, any exposure is good exposure, and national DVD distribution is most definitely good exposure. Aside from the fact that Foley’s appearance made this happen, but just being on the show has lent Primos a huge amount of credibility, which will allow the company to make more money, gain more exposure and bring in more guest stars or a beefed up roster, which will in turn bring in more fans and even more money for the fledgling promotion.
[adinserter block=”1″]I would not only like to thank Joe for making this show happen as it afforded me the opportunity to meet an icon, but I would also like to thank Mick himself. He came in and helped Joe out (who happens to be a dear friend of mine) and may have singlehandedly helped turn the promotion around and let it grow even further. And he didn’t even have to wrestle or break himself in half to do it.
Thank you, Joe and thank you Mick, for putting on one of the best shows in Colorado history. Also, thank special thanks to Mick for not only making a dream of mine come true (I don’t care how cheesy that sounds, BTW), but helping out a group of young, hungry talented guys who not only get to continue doing what they love (and maybe for a larger audience), but giving them all a chance to meet and work with someone they all idolize as well.
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