A Shore Special—Through the Curtain: The booking decisions that created the March 12 Life As We Know It event for Pro Wrestling Evo

Posted in: Shore Editorials, Shore's Blog, MUST-READ LISTING
Mar 6, 2011 - 03:16 PM

By Chris Shore

This is part six of my series on Pro Wrestling EVO, an upstart independent promotion in Salisbury, NC. You will find previous parts of A Shore Special—Through the Curtain here. In this article, we look at how the March 12 "Life As We Know It" show came together from a booking standpoint.

In just six days, the evolution of professional wrestling continues as Pro Wrestling Evo debuts at its new home, the Cabarrus Arena, for Life As We Know It. I sat down with Evo promoter Patrick Wright to get all the details for how this show came together.

Let's start with the obvious question: why is this show called Life As We Know It? Well, we made our debut in Evo Eight. And everyone got to see what we are about. But that was a tournament. Now it’s time to settle in to the everyday of Evo, or life as we know it. That's where the name came from.

That makes sense. So what's the big match for this show? Will Cedric Alexander be defending the Evo Championship? Absolutely, Cedric will be defending the Evo Championship at every opportunity. Fans love fighting champions, and that's what we are going to give them. Cedric will be defending against the "Manscout" Jake Manning stemming from their story in the opening round of Evo Eight where Jake felt he got screwed out of a win.

That's an interesting choice. Most promotions generally make the tournament winner's first feud with the person they beat, which in this case would be Zack Salvation. Why are you going with Manning instead? Well, a number of reasons. But primarily because that matchup is going to be off the charts. Unlike other promotions, I believe slow builds produce big payoffs. If Cedric vs. Zack is going to be the premier match I know it will be, why blow your wad the next show? They will see plenty of each other, and believe me, Zack will get his title shot down the road. We have other plans for him right now though.

Fair enough. So what are you doing with Zack? Well from a storyline standpoint, Logan East gave Zack a good match at Evo Eight and saw something in him. So he wants to wrestle Logan again and give him another chance to impress. IF Logan does, perhaps Zack takes him under his wing and grooms him. It's a great story for Logan, and it plays off the legit story that Zack has been working with Logan to help him improve. They already have that relationship, why not use it to our advantage?

You also announced at Evo Eight that Joey Silvia and Marcellus King would face each other in a number one contender's match. What can fans expect to see from this match? Two years ago in York, SC, Marcellus defended his heavyweight title he had held for a year against Joey in a 30 minute match that is one of the greatest wrestling matches I have ever seen. So besides the fact these guys were the two semi-final losers for Evo Eight, there's history between them. And we are going to play off of that.

As far as what fans can expect, I would say something very close to that classic I saw in York. I considered putting this on earlier in the show, but I don’t want to burn the fans up early in the show and then give them any type of lull between this match and the main event. That and I want the fans to understand that the Evo title is the number one thing, so this match will be the co-main event. Fans may be exhausted after this match and Cedric vs. Jake Manning back to back. But they will know they have seen a great show. Shore's Slant: In an interview that members will have access to in a few weeks, Marcellus King discussed this match and told me Abyss was there that night and was also crazy about the match.

That just leaves you and Cale Crosby from the Evo Eight roster. I know you guys have serious history, and are billing this as a "grudge match to settle the score." Give us a little background and explain why it's a grudge match. Cale used to work a gimmick called Big Country where he came out in overalls to country music and it was a hug hit. That guy was so over it wasn't funny. And every week I would be the heel to his babyface up and down the coast.

I booked myself last time to save money being the first show and all, but I had no intentions of getting back in the ring again. But Cale talked me into it. He said if I was done, we had to do it one more time, for us. And I realized this would be my first chance to be the babyface in our match. So I agreed. And we're going to go out right before intermission and leave it all in the ring. We're not going to do a lot of hype for it because I don’t need that star moment, and neither does Cale. We're just going to give it everything we have for the time we have and walk away happy. Even if I throw up right after, I'll be happy.

Sounds like loads of fun. That's everybody from the roster. I know you have more because your site has been playing a video of a guy who calls himself one half of the Kings of the Carolinas. What can you tell me about them and what they will be doing? The Kings of the Carolinas are two established stars in the mid-Atlantic, Charlie Dreamer and KC McKnight.

Dreamer is an old school style guy with an amazing grasp of ring psychology. He's trained with the Highspots crowd so he's very experienced and knowledgeable. KC McKnight is the most heel character I have seen. He's the guy that used to get stabbed back in the day when kayfabe lived. He tells everyone that he holds the record for most fans wanting to fight him at one time, and I can believe it without hesitation.

I've never actually seen then wrestle as a team, but I've seen them as individuals and they have been getting over as the Kings of the Carolinas for some time now, so they must have something going on. I'm very excited to see them work together. And their story is they are coming in and challenging Evo as a rising company to produce a tag team that will challenge them. And they will be the cornerstone of our new tag team division.

As a fan of tag team wrestling, I'm intrigued for sure. Can you tell us who they will be facing? I can give you one guy, Caleb Konely. Caleb gets back from a month in Japan this week and will make his debut with Evo in that match. I'm very happy to have him on roster. I just hope he doesn't kill anyone after working Japan for a month. (laughs) Seriously, Caleb and the Kings are going to be great additions to the roster. As far as Caleb's partner, we have two different ways we can go and I'm waiting to see how some things play out before I make my decision. Trust me when I say no matter which way we go, fans will be happy about it.

Any other matches on the card? Yes, two new comers will be trying out for us. We're still working out gimmick details so I don't want to say something here and it end up being different that night. I can tell you I have seen both guys and both can work our style. One of the guys has worked CHIKARA so he can fly around the ring, and the other guy can as well. This match is going on second after Zack and Logan and promises to be a very entertaining match.

Sounds like a pretty good show for your new venue. I'll let you go on this, nervous about anything? Well changing venues is a bit scary, especially when you consider the extra costs with the move. I have two and a half times as much in this show as I did Evo Eight, and all but a tiny part of that is venue costs. But we are closer to Charlotte which is the wrestling capital of the Carolinas, and the AAU State Wrestling tournament is that same day at the same venue, so we hope to piggy back off that. Not to mention the buzz from these articles and the buzz on the ground from the Evo Eight show. So while I'm certainly nervous, I'm confident that our show and our talent are worthy of the challenge. And no matter how many see the show anybody who comes or buys the DVD later will not be disappointed. That I can gurantee.

Questions and comments to css3238 or on Twitter @the_shore_slant. Join me next time when the results of the March 12 show are announced.

You can check out more on EVO and order EVO Eight, the first DVD production from Pro Wrestling Evo on the EVO website. Don't forget the promocode DOTNET (all caps) to save $3 off the DVD price!

And check out this hype video for Life As We Know It from the Cabarrus Arena on March 12!

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