The front-page article from Jan. 28 created excitement and overwhelming gratitude from THCW Nightmare Pro, and the reaction from WTAMU’s student populace was minimal. However, there was indeed comments regarding the story on The Prairie’s website that were quite negative. This brings me to one of two points harbored in this column.
First off, The Prairie welcomes an open forum of discussion – from speaking to the staff, to writing to us and commenting on the web page where the story is located. As long as these posts are not laced with profanity, threatens individuals or bullies individuals outright, it is perfectly fine.
This open door policy that The Prairie has is a journalistic ideal that we seek to uphold for all, whether they are students, faculty, alumni or the communities we are a part of and serve.
Now that this point is perfectly clear, I want to address the professional wrestling community of Amarillo. First, let me lay down some groundwork. Currently, there are two pro wrestling promotions in the area: THCW’s Nightmare Pro and NWA Top of Texas (also known as ToT).
While Nightmare Pro hosts monthly shows at The Wreck Room on the eastern side of the Amarillo Boulevard, NWA Top of Texas controls their own venue named “The Wrestleplex” off of the Dumas highway and runs shows every Saturday evening. For years, the folks behind NWA Top of Texas sought to be the only pro wrestling promotion in town.
In its wake, the West Texas Wrestling Association (WWA), Amarillo’s Elite Wrestling (AEW) and Renegade Outlaw Wrestling (ROW) have ceased to exist due to the diligence of those who run NWA Top of Texas. This created bad blood between the wrestlers who have worked for either organization throughout the years. This has also led to fan attrition, prompting those are very much interested in Amarillo independent pro wrestling to not risk spending the $10 fee to watch shows at The Wrestleplex and do something else on a Saturday night.
Sadly, the only people attending ToT’s shows (as found out by many sources in the business) nowadays are mostly family and friends of the wrestlers.
The first four comments, as found by our website moderators, came from the same IP address. Meaning that an individual making the comments were creating ‘sock puppets’ to attempt to sway people to come to ToT’s shows on a Saturday evening. While one may judge either show on their own terms, other individuals on the comments section pointed out that the individual’s posts were laden with flaws.
Is it because this person saw that there was indeed something ulterior with the coverage Nightmare Pro has gotten from KVII’s Daybreak and the article that made it on the front page of The Prairie due to a simple convenience? Or could it be out of desperation by the person to make sure that his or her voice was heard?
In talking with a friend in the business about the situation the other day, they explained that the powers-to-be at Nightmare Pro have set aside their worries about this vocal minority and want to create their own niche. In short, it’s water underneath the bridge.
So why can’t the owner of NWA Top of Texas realize that he’s hurting this community rather than helping it?
This individual cannot tolerate another company other than their own in the area. They let their ego (or let the ego of others) get the best of them and want to make sure that they are the only place to wrestle or to go watch professional wrestling. If this continues, all they will preside over is a smoldering crater – where no wrestler will want to work and where no fan will be interested in their product.
I have friends on both sides of the fence. By setting egos and overwhelming personalities aside, I do in fact get along with the owners and wrestlers from both organizations.
All in all, by learning tolerance and agreeing to disagree will not only be helpful, everyone will have taken a few steps that are vital to the future of professional wrestling in Amarillo. This doesn’t apply only to the fans, but also for those who are behind the curtain.