One of pro wrestling's all time greatest pitchmen and the force behind SBIbookings.com Bill Behrens joins today's Two Man Power Trip of Wrestling. Covering topics like how WWE NXT signs in coming talent through all of the inner workings of the promotions he has worked for (WWE, WCW, TNA to name a few) Behrens gives John and Chad an in depth look at how someone who came from a television background managed to penetrate a business needing someone with his unique skill set. We also learn about how exactly he became "Pro Wrestling's Super Agent"and representative to stars like AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and James Storm.
Full Episode Download Link:
Bill Behrens Comments On How WWE Approaches an NXT Signee & Indy TV:
What type of Pro Wrestlers does he choose to represent:
Unlike some other folk my tendency is to focus on more of what could be the "younger talent" to people in their "prime" than I do the people that have been past their prime and are the legends of years ago. My roster really features very few of the guys from the 80s for example. Even though I am a big fan of those guys and certainly my wrestling watching began in the 60s so those are my favorites and my greatest stories come from that. Much of my list is like AJ Styles who is my top guy down, which is opposed to AJ being the young boy and going up. But then there are the exception to those rules with the somewhat older guys like the Kevin Nash's or Scott Hall who I've been helping off and on and Tommy Dreamer who is surprisingly young yet thought of as an older guy.
The current landscape of pro wrestling, Indy vs. television product:
The overall atmosphere of professional wrestling right now is as vibrant and active then any time that I've been involved in it and I've been involved in it since the late 80s - early 90s, the tail end of the territory era and when TV or larger companies consolidating the TV became the norm and the Indy companies were struggling. There are more people now putting on good shows that draw hundreds then there were back in the end of the 1990s when there were just a few. My Music City Wrestling which became NWA Worldwide in Nashville that I did with Bert Prentice was one of the few that was actually drawing numbers and had a local TV show. There has been a big transition. More people are bellying up that have a chance of actually paying people. Lucha Underground which is a television company almost exclusively right now is still providing good money to their top people, I'm privy to their contracts. Ring of Honor is now really stepping up and providing good money. New Japan partnering with Ring of Honor has now built Ring of Honor and New Japan simultaneously into this much more International entity with footprints outside of their backyards. Whether Global Force Wrestling becomes that is unknown because they don't have much to announce but then there is the Paragon's of the world who are buying there way onto television with a roster that is underwhelming at best. You have to look at it as are they doing it as a step forward in the wrestling business or because they just wanted to be on TV?
TNA being similar to how ECW operated:
TNA was doing very well and they made the same mistake in some ways like ECW made years ago of not realizing when you've gotten to a point where you have been as big as you could be and trying to get bigger before they had the resources or audience that would support it. ECW did that when they moved to The Nashville Network. They blamed it of course on The Nashville Network and the editing of the show but the reality was they tried to get too far without a base that was there to embrace them beyond their core base. TNA always had had their base of one or two million people and all of a sudden they decided we want to go head to head live with WWE and we will bring in Bischoff, we will bring in Hogan and by bringing in these people we will become bigger and the reality is that isn't what grows the companies.
WWE signing Samoa Joe, how they evaluated his contract offer and how they maintain the outlaw feel:
Samoa Joe was working with me as he went to them and for example the deals that NXT did prior to him for Prince Devitt and El Generico and for the other people they were taking from Ring of Honor or from overseas, the thought process of when they signed those people changed dramatically when they then evaluated Samoa Joe. When they did Joe, Joe had three of four deals change over a two to three week period as they continued to evaluate what are we really trying to do here and what's our goals for NXT. How do we get people to pay attention to the product and be big enough that we don't piss Vince off but stay small enough where we could be the rebel or outcast league but still present the big screen, the lights, the music playing but a little bit more of an intimate environment in terms of presentation. In essence, that's a Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla a more "Indy" feel. NXT started from we are going to be like those guys and yet not be offensive to the WWE product yet still be the cool kid.
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