TOD BULLET: Q & A With NWA VP ERNIE TODD
In my last column I was very critical of the state that the National Wrestling Alliance was in. I received a number of emails regarding that article including one from NWA President Bill Behrens. It seems that Mr. Behrens, along with several other promoters are working hard to "rebuild" the good name of the NWA. A quick look at their new re-launched web site says that they're headed in the right direction.
As part of my on going mission to keep the tradition of the National Wrestling Alliance alive, I conducted an interview with NWA/CWF owner and Co-Vice President of the NWA, Ernie Todd.
From it's humble beginings in 1995, the Canadian Wrestling Federation has survived the test of time. Whether you like him or not, his track record speaks for itself.
1. I believe it was in 1998 that the NWA membership went from 5 to 15. Last I heard the National Wrestling Alliance now has 20 members and 4 associate members. Who are they?
A. Todd, I would suggest checking out the NWA website as that will give you and indication of exactly who everyone is. Membership to the NWA seems to be growing monthly.
2. How are new members and associate members brought into the NWA? Must they be approved by the board of directors?
A. Actually, new membership applications go before the BOD to be voted on for approval. Then, if they are approved, the application is sent out for ratification by the membership. Associates are brought in by the primary members. They also must go through the same process.
3. How have the rules changed for members since you first joined?
A. Yes they have. We look at a number of issues now such as financial viability, how long they have been promoting, etc. The cost to join the NWA as a full member is $3000.00 US. We just don't take anyone who is warm and breathing, with a few buck in their pockets. We are not looking for money marks, we are looking for promotions that can add something positive to the NWA.
4. As Co-VP of the NWA, what are your immediate and long term goals?
A. I was assigned administration of all the BOD controlled titles. The North American, Canadian, Ladies, Jr. and National titles. I will be evaluating title requests from various promotions, then making the decision of who will be getting the shots. The best part is I will be having numerous tapes sent to me, so I will start to see all the great talent that is available in the NWA. I am also still attempting to get something going over in Japan. Long term we are looking to start making some money with the NWA name, which will be shared by all members. We are also looking at co-coordinating talent swapping with members who are close to each other.
5. What positive steps forward came out of the annual meeting?
A. First I was surprised that I was re-elected to the BOD this year. I think that the NWA is looking to move forward with money making ideas. After all, this is a business and any business is looking to make money. Lots of positive plans that need to be implemented. One of them was the website. You were very critical of the website and rightfully so. Joe Price has taken the bull by the horns in that department.
6. Do you think reducing the size of the B.O.D. down to 5 was better or worse and why?
A. Reducing the BOD was a decision made by the membership. Only time will tell if it is a good thing or a bad thing. One of the directions we are taking is to set up committees, merchandising, website, etc., where all the members can be involved.
7. Aside from NWA/TNA, who do you think are the top NWA promoters and why?
A. Good question. I have been told by the members that I am Canada's top promotion. Bill Behrens has always been successful. Joe Price down in Florida has impressed me. Zero One in Japan, they are amazing. Every promoter has the niche within the NWA. I do not feel I have the credentials to judge anyone. Making money in this business is my goal. Top promoters should be judged by the fans, not by other promoters.
8. How do you feel that NWA/TNA helps promote other members and or it's wrestlers?
A. Geez Todd, what is with all these trick questions? Just kidding. They give some opportunities to the NWA to get their workers dark match tryouts. They publish all our shows on the NWA scroll. They have gotten the NWA name TV exposure, along with some titles. How they promote their wrestlers, I do not know. I have never seen a NWA/TNA show for one reason or another.
9. What is currently happening with the NWA Canadian tag team titles?
A. At this point nothing.
10. Where do you see the NWA in one year?
A. I am not very good at predictions. Hell we could all be dead in one year! Hopefully the NWA will be in a money making position. I can see a few more members brought in. Other than that, I am not sure. There are plenty of deals on the table right now to generate funds into the NWA's bank account, which I cannot discuss. I see the NWA holding the 56th convention in Winnipeg, at least that is one of my dreams.
Very intelligent guy who knows the in's and out's of the wrestling business.
Would not want to get him angry.
Spent some time with him in Parkersburg. Could never bench press what he does.
Words cannot describe. I will leave it for my book.
Classy individual, very easily approachable.
A guy who is straight up, like him or not at least you are getting the straight goods.
Thank you for your time. Would you like to plug anything as we end this interview?
A. Check out the website a www.cwfwrestling.com and support your local independent promotions.
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from the boys:
Moondog Manson says "After a long hard thought about what I wanted to do, I realized retirement isn't what I wanted. Why would I give these knuckleheads the satisfaction of retirement when I can terrorize them ten fold in the ring.".