Dan "The Dragon" Wilson, Broadcaster - Co-Host
& Play by Play Announcer, NWA Wildside - 18th
What is your background, and that of NWA Wildside?
Greg, thanks for having me on. My background is that
of a wrestling announcer. I've been around wrestling
mostly my entire life and got into actually working
in it around the age of 18. I've been with NWA-Wildside
since September of 2000. Currently I co-host the nationally
syndicated Wildside TV show along with my broadcast
partner, Steven Prazak.
I typically handle the play-by-play aspect of things
while Steven would be considered the "colour
background of NWA-Wildside is that of two small indy
promotions in the state of GA and a dream doing what
was best for their business by combining their efforts
and resources in creating what myself and many others
consider "The Nation's #1 Pro Wrestling Alternative."
It was in October of 1999 that Steve Martin and Ray
Rawl's National Championship
Wrestling merged with Bill
Behrens' NWA Georgia.
Behrens had been well known within the industry as
one of the top TV syndicators that had ever been associated
with wrestling having done syndication work for the
WWE, WCW, Smokey Mountain Wrestling,
The USWA and many other promotions. His most
recent project had been Music
City Wrestling out of Nashville, TN co-promoted
by Bert Prentice. For
some reason or another MCW stopped producing TV and
Behrens needed a show to fill their national time
slots. That was coincidentally when the merger with
NCW and NWA GA took place, becoming a syndicated TV
product known as NWA Wildside. Wildside later became
the developmental territory for WCW
while they were still in business. There we housed
guys like The Hurricane, Sean
O'Haire, Shannon Moore, David Flair, Bob Sapp, Tank
Abbott, Jamie Noble, Chuck Palumbo, Johnny The Bull
and others that are currently enjoying success elsewhere.
are your aims and objectives?
aims and objectives are simply to continue doing wrestling
and continue enjoying it. I've been a fan my entire
life and wrestling is all I know. I just want to be
the very best I can be both in the booth and on the
creative end. I want to continue to grow and mature
and keep learning about wrestling because you can
never know it all. I want to continue to see Wildside
grow and further the name we've made for ourselves.
goals of the company are similar. Bill
Behrens had a vision from the beginning of
making this company work. And from nothing Bill and
our entire crew, guys like Rick
Michaels, Andrew Thomas, Jeff G. Bailey and
myself have busted our asses behind the scenes to
scrape this company together and make it work and
it is very rewarding to see others appreciate it.
We've all learned from trial and error and continue
to do so on improving the product. We're a team and
we are only as great as every member's contribution.
But a company can't survive on the creative end alone,
you have to have the talent to back it up. What we
do is NOTHING, not even a tenth of what those boys
in the back do busting their ass night in and night
out and putting their bodies and souls on the line
for the fans and the company. And even then certain
wrestlers had pave a way for the guys we have now.
Guys like A.J. Styles, Rick
Michaels,Onyx, David Young, Scottie Wrenn and
J.C. Dazz were there
from the beginning showing what they could do. They
paved the way for the Jason
Cross's, the Jimmy Rave's, The Rainman's the Murder
One's the Hotstuff Hernandez' and Slim J's
and all the other great talent that is currently setting
Wildside on fire.
are the best attributes of your promotion?
a fan watching the show. (Which I do often, as does
Bill Behrens and the other people in creative) I try
to critique it. It try to find out what is bad and
needs to be improved upon. I realize we aren't the
WWE and don't hold us to those standards. However,
I do hold us to the standards of say on old Memphis
TV broadcast, or a Georgia Championship Wrestling
show and I think on that level we're one of the most
all around entertaining wrestling shows on TV.
best attributes of the show are it's originality.
Most indy promotions in the U.S. revolve heavily around
what the current "trend" is. We use popular
concepts, but we're not "strong style" or,
"lucharesu" or "ultra-violent".
We book things with a specific tried and true wrestling
formula that has worked for the last 100 years. We're
not trying to be intelligent,or revolutionary or some
high art form, we're just trying to fill the gap that
the loss of traditional wrestling in the United States
has presented. We've been described as the child of
Smokey Mountain Wrestling
and ECW. We combine traditional
old school wrestling booking and angles, without denying
the modern evolution of the in ring product. It's
old school wrestling, with a modern twist.
are the most talented and bright prospects?
we've got so many. To see how bright the future of
the current Wildside stars is, just look at some of
the people who have competed in Wildside previously
and what they are doing now. Matt
Hardy was the NCW Heavyweight Champion back
in the oldest days of Wildside's history. Ron "The
Truth" Killings was the top heel in the company
for a year and our TV Champion. The NWA World Heavyweight
Champion A.J. Styles
was trained in the Wildside wrestling school. Look
at the NWA-TNA roster and all of the "showcase"
indy promotions in the U.S., Jason
Cross, David Young, Jimmy Rave, Slim J, and
many more that you'll see are all alumi and all currently
competing in Wildside. As far as their future goes,
Jimmy Rave is really
starting to get a huge fan following nationwide as
is Slim J. Iceberg has a huge cult following, and
Jason Cross has already been pegged by many insiders
as a future phenom. Guys that you may not have heard
of that will make a big impact in the future would
be guys like Rainman, Jeremy
V, Hotstuff Hernandez, Tank, Murder One and
Salvatore Rinaurro. Also
expect to hear more from Azrael,
Masada, Todd Sexton, Gabriel, Altar Boy Luke and Kid
Kool. They haven't been around for very long
and are really on that next wave of guys that should
catapult to outside superstardom.
do you promote?
promote throughout the state of Georgia. Wildside
or it's sanctioned affiliate in GA, NAWA
are currently promoting in Cornelia
(for our TV tapings), Athens,
and Rome, GA and Cleveland, TN. Bill Behrens
is the NWA affiliate for Alabama and Florida is well
and sanctions the NWA's Florida and Alabama promotions
that are currently running.
are your biggest supporters?
has a very big family. Outside the company guys like
Dory Funk, Scott Hudson, Chris
Kanyon and New Jack
have tried to help us all they can .
Rudy Boy Gonzalez has become a big part of
the backstage area, helping with Agent work and bringing
a great crew of guys from Texas to every show, including
Hotstuff Hernandez who
may be the most over guy in the company right now.
The WWE has been very friendly to us as far as booking
our talent and giving them all fair shakes.
Websites like the Pro
Wrestling Torch, The
Wrestling Observer and 1Wrestling.com
always post our results and news and help keep us
visible. Bill Apter's
new Total Wrestling magazine should also have quite
a bit of info on Wildside as he has gone out of his
way to help us. Brandi
from Pro Wrestling Illustrated
always helps keep us visible in the PWI
500 every year as well. And we'd be nothing
without our great fanbase that spans from the homebase
in GA, all across the country and especially in Philadelphia,
PA. They have so much wrestling to choose from up
there but we still have a huge following and that
makes me very happy.
love for wrestling motivates me. I don't miss shows,
I don't slack. I get burnt out sometimes sure, but
that happens to everyone. I must constantly strive
to improve myself, my work behind the mic and the
company. I study tapes all week long from all eras
of history. The best is just never good enough for
me. It could always be better. I realize that my job
isn't to be in the spotlight, it is to put the talent
over and I'll keep working as hard as I possibly can
to do that to the best of my ability.
is the relationship between NWA Wildside and NWA TNA,
and the traditional NWA which enjoys a rich history?
works with NWA-TNA on
many levels. Some people have called us their developmental
territory but that is not the case. We are two different
and separate entities working together in a business
sense and under the same sanctioning body (The National
Wrestling Alliance). Bill Behrens, our owner, works
for TNA as a backstage coordinator in the Gorilla
position at the PPV's as well and we share a lot of
the same talent.
traditional NWA is still alive and kicking, and they
are the sanctioning and governing body through which
we promote all our shows. As a group they have gotten
alot of negative press recently due to petty disputes
from eternally confused Board Of Directors. It is
really a shame. NWA President Richard
Arpin and VP Fred Rubenstein
are both involved in legal disputes and have just
come off looking like total goofs. It is really an
embarrassment to the group. I used to be of the mentality
that said "Screw the NWA", we can just do
things on our own. But as I've grown older and wiser
(I'm only 22, I've got a LONG way to go.) I've realized
that we can do some successful ventures within the
NWA and while we could exist just fine on our own,
we do enjoy the tradition and history associated with
the group and have the utmost respect for the forefathers
of the group. We've experienced alot of cooperation
from the VA affiliate Rick O'Brian,
our FL affiliate Joe Price, and our affiliates
in MS and other areas. We figure if we can work together
with them in a controlled enviorment and do positive
things, we can overshadow the childish, markish stupidity
of our "officials" that can't seem to stay
out of trouble. If nothing else the NWA gives us an
outlet to be cooperative with many of the existing
regional wrestling promotions.
are some of your success stories?
just still amazes me to this day, that the wild eyed
kid that drove his mom crazy with his obsession with
wrestling is actually doing something he loves and
befriending people he thought were larger than life
as a child. Although I'm not currently I have done
wrestling full time for an extended period. That's
just about all I could hope for.
is a funny story from the road or locker room?
good grief there are so many. I don't want to incriminate
anyone. Well, I'll talk about Sal
Rinaurro. He's the current Jr. Heavyweight
Champion and just an all around jackass. Well the
story goes like this: My wife usually travels with
me, but she wasn't feeling well so I decided to ride
down to the show with Sal and Gabriel from the Lost
Boys. We're almost to the arena when we see the Tex
Express Van captained by Rudy
Boy Gonzalez. Sal thinks it wil be funny to
throw soda on them and does so, which leads to a war
of trash and plastic bottles flying between two vehicles
across I-985 in Northeast Georgia. Sal decides he's
going to scare them off the road so he finds an old
Taco Bell burrito in the floor. Sal then proceeds
to pull his pants down and place the burrito firmly
between his ass cheeks. He then proceeds to take said
burrito filled cheeks and press them up against the
window, much to the horror of Rudy and the Texas
Wrestling Acadamy. That was almost the end
of Rudy, he swerved and almost went off the road.
Sal celebrated the victory, but it was far from over
even though Rudy thought it was. Sal then took the
burrito and autographed it "To Rudy, love HBK"
and placed it in the seat of his van while Rudy was
in the building. I never saw his reaction but it had
to be gold.
are your current projects?
right now I'm heavily involved with upgrading NWA-Wildside.com
With the help of Webmaster Dave
up in Maryland we've really busted some major ass
to improve the site and keep it updated. Lots of new
features and I'd certainly recommend that readers
go and check it out. www.nwa-wildside.com There is
even a new "Ask A Superstar" feature where
you can send questions to your favorite Wildside wrestlers.
Other than that I work a fulltime job, am a husband
and a father and basically do wrestling during every
spare minute I have. I'd like to get involved in music
again. I played in various metal bands in high school
and afterward, but my wrestling schedule just became
to much to juggle. It remains that way but I still
have a love of music I'd like to have fun with, time
permitting. Wrestling is definately the #1 priority.
has the internet helped you, and what websites do
you work in with?
Greg, I will include you! We have several: yourself,
Wildside fan sites like The Tribute Page by Jenn and
Janice, The Wildside Yahoo Fanzone by the Wild Guy
as well as Pamela's Wildside page. There is a website
that has given us some positive reviews and is very
unique. Also Thomas Green and Patrick McGovern have
given us several plugs on puroresufan.com
other important information should our audience know
about you and NWA Wildside?
urge anyone that hasn't to get your hands on NWA-Wildside.
We're also available on the internet via the World
Wrestling Network (www.wwn.tv)
on a pay per episode basis. If you've never heard
of us at least give us a shot. We hope you'll find
a wrestling program that is formatted much like the
ones you grew up on, but contains action like you've
never seen. We run TV Tapings the 1st and 3rd Saturdays
of every month at our studio and home arena, the NWA
arena in Cornelia, GA. We run 4 quarterly "big
shows", the most current of which will be ocurring
Saturday June 28th at the NWA
Arena, entitled Freedom Fight 2003. It will
feature an 8 man War Games match with alot at stake,
as well as a ladder match for the Wildside Jr. Heavyweight
can find more info about us again at www.nwa-wildside.com,
or you can always email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
thanks again for this great opportunity.
you for your support of NWA-Wildside Greg, and I hope
you enjoy what you get to see! Thank you also for
the chance to come on your site and promote our product.
hi to all the boyz from Greg Tingle in Australia.
do! I'll also be glad to get you in touch with any
of the wrestlers that you may be interested in interviewing.
Just let me know whom. Thanks Again!,
Dan "The Dragon" Wilson
comments: An impressive wrestling promotion. A solid
history of success and the right attitude. What an
interview! Australian wrestling fans wish you well,
and we look forward to watching your promotion expand.
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