On the latest episode of Wrestling With Freddie, Freddie Prinze Jr. spoke about his aspirations to start his own wrestling company.
“Wrestling has always been a passion of mine and I’ve always tried to find opportunities throughout my career to try and bring wrestling to mainstream Hollywood. It has always been like running into a brick wall. The disdain that this business has for it, I get it, but I don’t understand it.”
“I get everyone has their taste, but we can talk about documented things like before the CW was the CW it was known as the WB. They had an executive there named Jamie Kellner, who I knew because he was the main executive on a little show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer. He also happens to be the executive that hated professional wrestling when he went to TNT, and basically got rid of it. His perspective on the business was very, just sort of universally accepted than anyone else’s that I’ve seen, at least in a position of power.”
“So a lot of times when I’ve even mentioned wrestlers for ‘Hey, you need to meet wrestler X, Y, or Z just for a general casting meeting because they can really act and here’s some clips.’ I’ve done this for wrestlers in the past. I’ve literally gotten hit back with ‘Yeah, but they work for WWE.’ I’m like, ‘So what? They’ll quit.’ A TV contract is better than a WWE contract, I assure you, and SAG is better insurance than having to go in there with your own.”
“There’s always a speed bump. I’ll give you some more examples. I tried to pitch two wrestling shows last year to friendly faces only, no strangers."
“One of them I pitched to three networks, and the other one I pitched to four. Again, friendly faces and people that I’ve known over a decade, who I said ‘Listen, I know you guys aren’t necessarily looking for this, but here’s something different. One was sort of around the world of women’s wrestling, and one was in the world of comedy wrestling, or more theatrical wrestling.”
“So both times in all seven rooms, four for one, three for the other, every single question was, ‘How do we sell this?’ I’m like, ‘Like any other show. What are you talking about?’ They said, ‘You know people know it’s fake?’ I said, ‘Yeah, but people know that Green Arrow is fake, that no one can shoot an arrow that nice in real life. Like, what are we talking about here?’ and everything was always about that.”
“Then a lot of times they talked about the level of acting, the quality of acting, or the lack thereof that they found. That was an argument that I wasn’t always able to match, because not every great wrestler is great on the mic because they don’t have to be. You’re not there to watch acting and a match. You’re there to watch wrestling. If someone can talk, you want to get them either fired up with you or fired up against you. That’s a wrestling show. I know it’s evolved and changed over the years, but in the heart of a wrestling show, that’s what it is. So not everyone has to talk.”
“By the way, not every actor on every network is a great actor, okay. I look at the movies I did when I first started compared to when I stopped. My work got a lot better near the end than it was at the beginning. So maybe that’s where their argument falls flat, but it’s their perspective, so it’s not going to change with me just saying, ‘No, you’re wrong, and here’s why.’ Nobody’s trying to hear that.”
“So I’ve always run into massive brick walls. And again, these are people that like me. These are people that I’ve sold things to in the past. These are people that I’ve taken no money at all from things and just said, ‘Hey, you need to meet my friend because they have a great idea’ and everything worked. They trust my opinion on these things.”
“So to go in there and get just shot down universally time and time again, it’s very, very frustrating to the point where, like, my dream is to have my own wrestling federation one day, right? Like, that’s my final retirement project. I had to change my whole perspective on it, which was, I have to have enough money for two years of failure. I’m going to let it fail for two years while constantly working to build bridges, open up connections, find homes for it, to the point where it can finally start financing itself, paying the wrestlers themselves, providing insurance for the wrestlers, things like that. Things that I feel are important. If it can’t, then I’ll fail in that venture, and I’ll move on to something else. But that’s what’s necessary in order for me to try and jump into this train.”
“I don’t want to compete with WWE or AEW. I just want to kind of have my own thing and have it on smaller channels, smaller networks, have it be a SAG show, so that they’re all Screen Actors Guild. That’s what SAG stands for. Then they can have some insurance for as long as that union lasts. I’m sure there’s some scheme to bust that one up if it’s still there.”
“I went back to work. I’m excited for it. I’m putting together my little wrestling piggy bank. I’m putting some money in there for the next year and a half, a little over a year and a half, and then I’m going in on my indie wrestling brand.”
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