When the “New Era” of RESISTANCE Pro was birthed way back in November of last year, one of the first things we wanted to do was right some wrongs. Decisions that were made because some felt they were the “right thing” for the company during that time. We’re all human and are allowed to make mistakes, but some mistakes haunted us since we made them. I’m sure being raised Catholic didn’t help, as our notorious “Catholic guilt” won’t let us forgive ourselves even the slightest indiscretion. One of the biggest ball drops was not using Colt Cabana in the proper context. Sure, Colt has been a Chicago wrestling staple for over a decade. But in RESISTANCE Pro, he could face other athletes that he might not have the chance to anywhere else. Jacques and I were on the same page with wanting to remedy this situation post haste (as were our wives/partners). But just because the “office” felt this way, how did our locker room?
Around that same time period, I was chatting with Suge D about people who he would like to face – realistically (i.e. – on our budget) – if given the chance in a R-Pro ring. The first name out of his mouth was Colt Cabana. I laughed because we had both realized that if there was ever a “perfect” opponent for Suge, it was Cabana and yet NO ONE EVER BOOKED IT. Huh? How could the other multitude of independent promotions that both men work for not book this match? Both men are athletically gifted wrestlers with great ring psychology. Both men are well loved by their legions of loyal fans. Both men have reputations that are unparalleled in this business. Then it hit me.
Both men are “funny”.
Like our past creative direction sympathized with, “funny doesn’t equal money”. The belief that even though both men are the top of the independent wrestling food chain, no one wants to see two “comedy wrestlers” in the main event. The belief that fans only want to see “serious” wrestlers in those roles.
Comedy and pathos go hand in hand. Both Colt and Suge can put a smile on even the most jaded fan’s faces, but they can also make you “feel” even if you’re “smart” enough to know what’s going on. Think about actors like the late Robin Williams who were made famous through comedy but achieved their highest honor (like his Oscar win for “Good Will Hunting”) for a dramatic turn. It’s like the old saying goes about how clowns are some of the saddest people on Earth. Only I don’t think either Colt or Suge are “sad people”. I think they’re both extremely smart, gifted wrestlers who can tell a story dramatically – physically and verbally – in wrestling better than most could ever hope to.
Their match for our Heavyweight Title won’t necessarily be Savage/Steamboat level drama, but it will be a classic for R-Pro – of this I have no doubt. When it was originally pitched 6 months ago, the title wasn’t even in the picture and did not need to be. Now that it is, it lends even more gravitas to this initial encounter between two of the absolute best in the business. The fan inside of me is “marking out” for this match. I haven’t been this excited for ANY wrestling match – in our ring or anywhere else – in a LONG time. We hope (and feel) that this will be a “R-Pro moment” that goes down in history for the right reasons. One is to prove the naysayers wrong about putting two ‘comedy” guys together, another to forgive myself for not doing this sooner. I hope to see a packed house on May 9th at DELIRIUM. I’ll be the guy in the back row with a sh*t-eating grin on my face watching two of the greatest in the business do what they do best – entertain.