Indy Focus: John Casey – promoter of Northeast Championship Wrestling
Feb 18, 2011 - by Atlee Greene
John Casey – promoter of Northeast Championship Wrestling
Name: John Casey aka J.C. Marxxx
Name of Promotion: Northeast Championship Wrestling [NCW]
Years of operation: 14
Shows per year: On average anywhere from 13-16 per Season [NCW Seasons run from February through November]
Area of operation: Rhode Island / Massachusetts / Connecticut
Q: When did you become a wrestling fan and how?
JC: Hmm, I became a wrestling fan around the time I turned 9. My first distinctive memory involves The Big Bossman on WWF Superstars, wishing his Momma a Happy Mother’s Day. The over the top characters and larger than life personalities sucked me in immediately, and I was hooked for life.
Q: Where did you grow up?
JC: I am a Rhode Island native, born and raised Outside Providence.
Q: Who were your favorite wrestlers growing up?
JC: After getting hooked in by the big, colorful hosses I was quickly drawn to the athletic, arrogant heel. Guys like Mr. Perfect and Shawn Michaels I stuck by even while cheering like crazy for “Macho Man” Randy Savage and “Man Made in the USA” Lex Luger. I always loved the ‘bad guys’.
Q: Did you attend wrestling shows when you were a kid?
JC: I went to my first live event in 1993 at the Providence Civic Center. We walked in during a Marty Jannetty/Bastion Booger classic, and had floor seats. I loved EVERY second of it. I wasn’t introduced to independent wrestling until 1995 [the New England Wrestling Alliance] when I started watching them on local access while smartening up to the bigger world of wrestling thanks to the Apter mags.
Q: What is your favorite wrestling event?
JC: My favorite is and always will be the Royal Rumble. My cousin & I were in the second to last row for the 1994 Royal Rumble. But I was there and loved every second of it. I remember my Mom and I trying to watch a scrambled version of the 1995 Rumble because we couldn’t afford it.
Q: When did you decide you wanted to run shows and how did it come about?
JC: In 1997 I went to an NEWA show at my local High School, and after watching such luminaries as Pierre ‘The Mountie’ and Danny Boy O’Callahan in action, my friends and I were certain we could do just as good, if not better. We were wrong, but NCW was born nonetheless. After toiling away in the underground/backyard world for a couple of years a few notable people helped bring NCW out of the dungeon to legitimize us. If it wasn’t for guys like Doctor Heresy, Don Juan DeSanto, Tom Degnan, Derik Destiny, Shane Simons, Gino Martino, Anthony Rufo, Matt Storm, & Draven (to name just a few), NCW wouldn’t be where it is today, for better or worse.
Q: Take us back to the time and place of the very first show first show you ran?
JC: Fast forwarding a couple of years I really look to our first event in 2000 (our first show spearheaded by a contingent of wrestlers being trained by The Damned, as well as Martino/Rufo) as our first legitimate event under the NCW banner. “Revolution” Chris Venom helped me usher in a new era for the promotion, declaring we were the new kids in town and here to stay. It was a long road, but we’re still here.
Q: Take us through your schedule and what you go through three hours before show time?
JC: On the day of a show I’m usually running around like a chicken with his head cut off. Understanding that I don’t have the budget or resources a promotion like Chaotic or PWF-NE has, NCW is the epitome of a ‘Mom & Pop wrestling company’. Very bare bones. My kid David Loomis ensures the ring gets there on time, I make sure I have all the merchandise and electronic equipment packed and ready to go.
I do my best to keep in contact with all the talent coming in for the show. Utilizing talents from RI, MA, CT, NYC, and ME, there are a lot of variables to make sure everyone gets to the venue before doors are scheduled to open.
As the boys join in helping the set up of the show (entrance, ring, banner, gimmick tables) I begin finalizing the card that I started putting together weeks earlier (yes WEEKS!). If everything falls into place (which it almost never does) then after consulting things over with a small group of trusted contributors we get ready for show time.
Q: Can you talk about how much time and effort goes into promoting a show?
JC: The ideal time frame to promote a wrestling show is about five-six weeks, but any wrestling promoter will tell you there is never enough time, regardless of how much effort is put in (though you still must give 110%). Again as I mentioned NCW is a ‘Mom & Pop’ type of place, so our budget for promoting is Nil. Flyering is an essential piece to our puzzle, canvassing as many places as possible that will leave our stuff up.
I will usually send out press releases to any local newspaper in the area, looking for a plug or at the very least a mention in the community bulletin. Not having the revenue for paid advertisements, this is usually hit or miss. Also I will look for special events in the local area to get out as many flyers as possible, which usually helps any last minute push.
Q: There is a growing trend of promoters across the country who ONLY promote their shows on the internet? Do think this is a wise move?
JC: I think it’s a mistake, although I would be naive and stupid to think/say that the internet hasn’t become an enormous benefit for a company like ours. Our website, MySpace [RIP], Facebook, etc.. have all become essential tools in spreading the word of our shows. I haven’t quite figured out how to truly capitalize on the interweb yet (though I’m working on it), but over the next few years the internet will truly help evolve and shape the focus of professional wrestling. But you can’t ignore the basic foundations of promotion. You can post Facebook updates all day about your upcoming event, but if you don’t pass out at least 200-500 flyers you’re never going to make a dent in your attendance.
Q: What can fans expect to see when they come to a NCW show?
JC: Characters. No this isn’t a USA Network pitch, it’s what we offer to the fans of New England. I will be the first to admit we are not a ‘workrate’ promotion, and we’re not putting on matches with five snowflakes. Before our guys knew how to wrestle, they had one thing over the entire area. Personality. Guys like Chris Venom, Jason Blade, Johnny Curtis, ‘Broadway’ Kenn Doane [Dykstra], Sean Gorman, and countless others all got some of their earliest experience in NCW, and while I would NEVER take credit for their success I’m proud to have given them a home at one time.
Guys in my locker room today like “The Portuguese Sensation” Ruy Batello, “The Showoff” Mike Paiva, “Dynamite” Doug Summers, Scotty “By GOD” Vegas, David Marxxx-Loomis, and so many more bring such flavor and personality to the table, that you’ll sometimes forget that they can still go in the ring, and are only getting better. Scotty Vegas has come so far in the last six years it’s astonishing, and though Ruy Batello initially left the business in 2006, today in 2011 he’s going toe to toe with one of the BEST wrestlers in the area in David Loomis.
Q: What makes NCW different from other independent promotions?
JC: Everything I just said, and more. Some people take wrestling too seriously. And while we believe in our product, and we believe continuity and logic and passion has its place in this business you have to realize this is a world where big dumb men wrestle around in spandex. There is something inherently silly about that, and if you can’t have your tongue planted firmly in cheek you’re completely missing the point.
NCW gives you an alternative to every other promotion out there, and puts its unique stamp on the product every single show. And hell if you don’t like it there’s at least usually a bar at most events.
Q: Who are some of the wrestlers fan will see on a regular basis at a NCW show?
JC: As mentioned already, guys like Ruy Batello, Summers, Mike Paiva, Scotty Vegas and my kid (Davey Loomis) all regularly appear at NCW events. In addition NCW has some of the best young talent today, who will someday grow into fantastic workers in their own right. Guys like Eddie Loomis, Buddy Romano, Cam Denile, Jack Krueger & Dale Denile, and JT Dunn have nothing but potential yet to be realized.
Guys like Triplelicious, Chris Venom, Pacifico, Timothy Pittman, Jon Thornhill, Destruction Under Impact, and GA West have all been wrestling for over five years, with a couple starting with me originally back in 1997.
Q: From a promoter perspective do believe Kayfabe is important today?
JC: Kayfabe is incredibly important in today’s environment, whether people truly believe it or not. I’ve heard this comment a lot, and I’ll steal it here. No one goes to watch the latest Jason Statham action fest and question which scene had a stunt double, or the workrate of the fake fight. They go to get caught up in the film and suspend their disbelief.
For kids this is perfect. While the WWE has been very smart in moving towards a PG audience, NCW sits at the PG-13 marker in my opinion. In Dedham we have a great contingent of young fans, ranging from 6-13. The Dad of one of these kids corresponds with me, as I let him know when shows come to town. When talking to him last week, he relayed to me a story about while his kids were watching the Royal Rumble, when #35 made their way out his youngest was POSITIVE that Ruy Batello was entering, since the event was in Boston. The conviction this kid had was amazing, believing in “The Portuguese Sensation” just as much as he believed in John Cena winning the Rumble.
Kayfabe will always live on in some way, and it’s our job to bring it into the new millennium realistically.
Q: Is there a name fans in New England need to watch out for in 2011?
JC: David Loomis is the very best wrestler in NCW today, in my own humble opinion. That being said, it’s freaky how good Eddie Loomis is getting and how good he will be by the end of 2011. The genetics in this family is sick.
Scotty Vegas has the potential to be THE guy in NCW. All it will take is a little seasoning and a closer hometown (Bangor ME is roughly a 6 hour drive from most NCW events) and I would have no doubt Scotty Vegas could be Heavyweight Champion.
Q: How do you feel the season conecpt benefits your promotion?
JC: In all honesty the Season concept was originally an excuse for me to just be lazy, and hibernate for the winter. Upon further realization, I came to find out how structured it became for the storylines, and how beneficial it was to ‘recharge’ after a draining year of events. Having a definitive beginning, middle, and end provides us with a unique advantage in how we tell our story. I love it.
Q: When and where can fans see the next couple of NCW shows?
JC: NCW returns for its 2011 Season Friday night February 18th back in Dedham, MA at the Jacob Jones VFW Post [84 Eastern Avenue] for Fan Appreciation Night, and then the very next week we’ll be returning to West Warwick, RI for Silence the Violence X. Friday March 11th we will be back in Riverside [East Providence] RI for our March Madness event as well.
With NCW celebrating its 14th year, we’ll be having a HUGE month in April, with a double shot showcase on the 8th [Foxboro MA] and the 9th [Dedham MA] for REUNION, with a big return to Brockton, MA that following week April 16th!
I think we have a lot of great things to offer this Season, so I’m excited.
NCW Ring Announcer Shane Daly comments on JC Marxxx
Working for JC Marxxx is always a good time. JC is open to hearing ideas from the talents that work for him and working them into angles for his shows. There are a lot of promotions that Iâ€™ve worked for, or been in the back, where the atmosphere screams “Iâ€™m here to get my shit in, get paid, and go home”. JCâ€™s locker room is nothing like that. Every time I work for him its like hanging out with a group of friends that really love what they do.
JCâ€™s shows are put together very well. He books his shows in such a manner that the crowd can really get into the action going on in the ring. He books the show so that his talentsâ€™ strengths are put on display and their weaknesses (if any) are well-hidden. His shows are family friendly and have a little bit for everyone. The cards consist of talented workers (The Doug Summers, Billy Kings, and Chris Venoms), lovable characters (your Turtle Weiners & Portuguese Sensations), and despicable villains (The Mike Paivas, Schillar Park Posse, and David Loomises). Of the promotions that I work for currently, this is the one I would PAY TO SEE.
– NCW COLLISION COURSE
Friday February 18th, 2011
Jacob Jones VFW Post
84 Eastern Ave. Dedham, MA 02026
8:00 PM Bell Time
Tickets $10.00 Kids $5.00
NCWâ€™s dream team of 2010 Co-Wrestler of the Year Ruy Batello, “Dynamite” Doug Summers, & the NCW Tag Team Champions Generation SLAM (“The Average Guy” Timothy Pittman & “Dynamic” Jon Thornhill) team up for the first time ever, taking on the other 2010 Wrestler of the Year “The Showoff” Mike Paiva, Buddy Romano, Scotty “By GOD” Vegas, & “The Unequaled One” Todd Sople!