The foundation of pro wrestling is the independent scene.
Drew Cordeiro, who owns New England–based Beyond Wrestling, is one of the architects of modern-day indie wrestling. He is taking a risk with his newest project, but if the idea is successful, it could be a massive positive for wrestlers seeking to establish themselves in the industry.
Cordeiro is launching Wrestling Open, a new weekly show streaming on IWTV that will focus on developing new talent through an open mike night mode, on Jan. 6l. Wrestling Open will run out of the White Eagle venue in Worcester, Mass., the same location as Beyond’s Uncharted Territory. The new show will continue the Thursday-night tradition set by Uncharted Territory, which reaches its third season finale on Dec. 30.
“This season of Uncharted Territory was scheduled to end on Dec. 30, but we have a ring and a room and a fan base, so we wanted to be creative for what to do next,” Cordeiro says. “So we developed this new platform for wrestlers, trainees and students from schools throughout the Northeast who have voluntarily helped each week with the execution of Season 3 of Uncharted Territory. The goal is to lower ticket prices and attract more fans to our Worcester-area events so that we can start developing newer athletes, provide them reps in front of our passionate crowd, and get them paid for their contributions.”
The setup for Wrestling Open will be unique. As opposed to the more traditional style of getting booked to wrestle on a show, talent will have the opportunity to sign up ahead of time to work the shows.
The pay, Cordeiro explains, will be split equally from ticket-sale revenue after operating expenses are covered. IWTV will also pay performance bonuses based on viewership thresholds, Cordeiro adds, noting that bonuses will be shared among the individuals performing on each event.
“Performers will be incentivized to build the Wrestling Open audience as they will earn more based on the number of people watching on IWTV and in person at the White Eagle in Worcester,” Cordeiro says. “We want our talent to have as big of an audience as possible. That allows talent to ask for more money, sell more merchandise at the venue, and create bigger opportunities to build a fan base as big as possible.”
Wrestlers featured on the Wrestling Open debut will include Alec Price, Edith Surreal, Eel O’Neal, Riley Shepard, Aaron Rourke, SLADE, Love Doug, Channing Thomas, Kylon King and Dustin Waller.
“This show is almost an adaptation of our Discovery Gauntlet, but scaled into a weekly show,” Cordeiro says. “And since we have some time before Season 4 of Uncharted Territory, this is a chance to help those who have helped us.”
While Cordeiro is eager to build a new entity in Wrestling Open, he also confirmed that Uncharted Territory will return for a fourth season.
“Uncharted Territory will return, plus Beyond Wrestling and WWR+ will continue to host monthly supershows throughout New England,” says Cordeiro, who is holding Beyond’s Heavy Lies the Crown ’21 show on Dec. 31. “There is so much coming up. We have the season finale of Uncharted Territory on Dec. 30, then shows on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1 as part of the Wrestival. And then we’re right back on Jan. 6 to launch Wrestling Open.
“The organic format of Wrestling Open is going to be great to watch. It allows the athletes to compete without restrictions, and the wrestlers will come up with their own material. If the origins of Beyond Wrestling are any indication, we will see star-making performances on a weekly basis.”
Justin Barrasso can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.