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Discuss Where's RealProWrestling? at the Miscellaneous Wrestling within the Wrestling Talk Forums; About four years ago, in a TV studio in the Los Angeles area, Season 1 ...
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    NCAA Champ ideamark's Avatar
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    Default Where's RealProWrestling?

    About four years ago, in a TV studio in the Los Angeles area, Season 1 of RealProWrestling was recorded. That first season was broadcast over an 8-week in spring 2005 on two cable networks. I believe a version of it may still be shown as a syndicated program in some markets.

    There was talk of a Season 2, with some preliminary/qualifying events a couple years ago, but... otherwise, RealProWrestling has apparently disappeared, without, to my knowledge, any official announcement.

    What happened? Even though I thought it had its flaws/problems as a product, overall I liked it, and was hoping it would not only be a way for amateur wrestling greats to comtinue their careers post-college doing what they love to do (and earn some money), but also a way to promote the sport and get more athletes to participate... and put more fans in the stands in HS gyms and college arenas.

    Weigh in, please.
    Mark
    PS This is NOT research for an article. I'm just curious.

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    Redshirt DoubleGrapevine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    I remember seeing RealProWrestling a few years back in syndication. I thought it had good potential, but maybe it didn't promote itself well enough (?). Of course you're going to be competing with all sorts of other sports during the spring, but a little more refined marketing might have helped. Then again I don't know how much funds and resources they had for that.

    Another thing that might have helped was "image." When I saw RealProWrestling, the guys wore nothing but shorts and wrestling shoes. (I know this was the way it was done way back.) Perhaps they should've been allowed to wear wrestling singlets, too. I think some people still get repulsed if they were to watch two sweaty, bare-chested guys grapple each other.
    Last edited by DoubleGrapevine; 10-28-2008 at 01:02 PM.

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    NCAA Champ ideamark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    Quote Originally Posted by DoubleGrapevine View Post
    I remember seeing RealProWrestling a few years back in syndication. I thought it had good potential, but maybe it didn't promote itself well enough (?). Of course you're going to be competing with all sorts of other sports during the spring, but a little more refined marketing might have helped. Then again I don't know how much funds and resources they had for that. Another thing that might have helped was "image." When I saw RealProWrestling, the guys wore nothing but shorts and wrestling shoes. (I know this was the way it was done way back.) Perhaps they should've been allowed to wear wrestling singlets, too. I think some people still get repulsed if they were to watch two sweaty, bare-chested guys grapple each other.
    DoubleGrapevine,

    Good point about the trunks/no shirts gear. That was a recurring point of discussion/complaint about RPW, expressed in different ways, especially at the forum at RPW's official website: "It looks like pro rasslin" "It's gay" "The guys are too sweaty" "It doesn't look like amateur wrestling" etc. As you correctly pointed out, up to the mid 1960s, many HS and college wrestling programs, shirtless wrestling was the standard uniform, esp in the midwest. (The NCAA required shirts about 1965.) I remember posting a response that said, "OK, you go tell legendary studs like Dan Hodge, Dick Hutton, Terry McCann and Les Anderson that they were gay."

    Interestingly, at an earlier "pilot/test" event for RealProWrestling in 2002, there was a mix of uniforms -- some guys wearing singlets, some wearing trunks/no shirts... but both opponents in a particular match wore the same type of gear. From what I understand, the two wrestlers in each bout agreed to a style of uniform. For instance, Brandon Eggum and Markus Mollica wrestled bare-chested, Kerry McCoy and Brian Keck wore singlets. (It wasn't a size thing -- in at least one of the lighter-weight matches, the guys wore singlets. In the 2005 version of RPW, the six lowest weight classes wore trunks... while all the heavyweights wore singlets, which seems sort of size-ist to me. ;-)

    It would be interesting to know what was the idea behind the trunks/no shirts -- to differentiate RPW from HS/college wrestling, or make it look old-school, or tie in with pro wrestling and/or MMA, or emphasis the incredible conditioning of wrestlers, or a "beefcake" appeal to a portion of the audience. It did seem to be an issue for some fans... which may have hurt viewership among amateur wrestling fans.

    Mark

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    Web Host Schlottke's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    I would imagine MMA has removed a bit of the stigma there may have been for guys sparring without shirts.

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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    I only caught a couple of shows on tv, but when it was available I purchased the first season DVD collection. It was awesome, I thought the mix of folk, freestyle and greco roman was great. If I remember correctly they did have 2 or 3 qualifying events for the second season and then nothing happened. I believe I heard there were financial and marketing problems.

    It would be great to see it come back and give wrestlers another outlet to compete in that may not want to compete in MMA.

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    National Finalist wrastler118's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    It folded because like anything else in wrestling, we didn't support it by showing up for the matches.
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    DH
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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    Quote Originally Posted by wrastler118 View Post
    It folded because like anything else in wrestling, we didn't support it by showing up for the matches.
    I don't necessarily think that is true, since there weren't really a series of matches that fans could attend. They filmed the whole first season in 2 days in September of 2004 and the event was pretty well attended (see the crowd in my RPW photo gallery: http://daniellehobeika.com/rpwgallery/ )

    I think it's more along the lines that MMA started becoming very popular and it would be hard to compete with the UFC (as we have witnessed by the folding of EliteXC, IFL, etc).

    Just my 2 cents. I really wish that they had continued. I enjoyed RPW a lot, and the live filming of the show was one of the best events I have ever attended.


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    National Finalist gg121and2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    I seem to remember a couple of things. The house of one the owners (Matt Case?) was destroyed by fire and that caused severe financial hardship. I also seem to recall that the ratings were pretty awful. I'm learning not to trust my memory any more, so this post might be full of crap.

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    NCAA Champ ideamark's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where's RealProWrestling?

    Quote Originally Posted by gg121and2 View Post
    I seem to remember a couple of things. The house of one the owners (Matt Case?) was destroyed by fire and that caused severe financial hardship. I also seem to recall that the ratings were pretty awful. I'm learning not to trust my memory any more, so this post might be full of crap.
    Jim, your post is certified 100% crap-free. ;-)

    I know that Matt Case's home outside Nashville was destroyed by a fire Christmastime 2004. Among the losses -- the studio where editing was taking place, editing film shot at the event Danielle* was describing, weeks before the scheduled broadcasts in spring 2005. Some footage was lost in the fire (though, having purchased the Season 1 DVD set, it's not as if any obvious is missing -- all the first-round/preliminary matches are shown in their entirety, unlike on TV, where they were edited down to brief clips).

    Not sure about the ratings. From what I have, Season 1 was broadcast on what was PAX-TV (not sure what channel that is now) and FSN.

    I've heard some others mention the emergence of MMA as a factor which also contributed to RPW's downfall.

    It may have been a "perfect storm" of factors that added up to go against RPW.

    Mark

    * Danielle (DH) did photography for RealProWrestling -- actual match action shots, as well as practice stuff and what I'd call "beefcake" posed shots -- and it's all excellent. Check it out at the link she provided in her email above.

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