CWC: Bob Puppets
February 25, 2007
This is the second installment of my “Promoters I’ve worked for” series of commentaries. Bob Puppets promoted The Canadian Wrestling Connection (CWC) and was the first promoter I ever worked for. He actually stopped by the Hart Camp during training and offered both Jericho and I a spot on his first show. We both worked several CWC shows for Bob, and he holds the distinction of not only promoting our first match, but my first singles Title victory and Sudden Impact’s (Jericho and I) first Tag Team Title reign.
Bob ran shows in a number of Alberta’s smaller town with his first two shows being held in the Ponoka Mouse Hall in Ponoka, AB. Ponoka’s only real claim to fame apart from being the site of Lance Storm and Chris Jericho’s pro-wrestling debut, is that it houses an Alberta Mental Hospital, which is actually quite appropriate when you consider the caliber of the wrestling events promoted there.
Bob was very typical of the small town Indy promoter. He was an aspiring wrestler himself, who wasn’t really good enough to get booked elsewhere so he promoted his own shows and then of course pushed himself. To Bob’s credit I don’t think he had unrealistic dreams of making it big, he just enjoyed the weekend warrior aspect of pro-wrestling and got to be a hero on his own shows.
Thankfully he didn’t push himself as the top dog in his promotion because that would not have been good for business, he simply booked himself to win the companies Mid-Heavy Weight title on virtually every show. You know the old saying that if you are a 16 time World Champion, you must have lost the title 15 times? Not in Bob Puppets’ case. CWC didn’t have TV and since he ran shows in different Cities all the time, each show was a completely stand alone event so he would simply go in as the challenger and win the Title every single show. I guess he figured winning the Title every night would be a bigger “pop” that successfully defending it at each event.
Despite Bob’s self-promotion, which is far from a rare trait among Indy promoters, he treated me very well and made an honest effort to run a good show. I won the Royal Rumble style Main Event on his first show (in addition to the Jericho debut match earlier in the show), captured the CWC Heavy Weight Title on his second show (a title I never defended nor lost), and then had a long run defending the CWC Tag Team Titles with Jericho (despite us never actually winning the Titles from anyone).
And now to the money question. This will be the fun part of the Indy Promoter commentaries, which of them stiffed me, and still owes me money? There are a lot of Indy promoters who still owe me money but Bob Puppets certainly isn’t one of them. I never had to chase or pressure Bob for money. I was always paid what we agreed on at the end of the show no questions asked. The first two shows in Ponoka we had even agreed to a piece of what ever the show drew. It was his first show and he said up front he couldn’t guarantee me any money but if the show drew a crowd I’d get paid and if it didn’t I wouldn’t. I got paid $30 that first show and judging by the size of the crowd that was more than reasonable. The second show I only got paid $20 but the crowd had dropped considerably and Bob would have been within his rights to not pay me at all, yet I still got the $20.
Every CWC show after that I had a $50 guarantee (fairly standard at the time), which Bob always paid. I had a lot of respect for Bob, he wasn’t a great promoter or worker, but his word was good, and for me that was enough. He gave me my first break and always kept his word. My next “Promoter’s I’ve worked for Commentary” will feature a man by the name of Fred Joung, and I will have to search long and hard to come up with one single positive thing to say him. It should be a good one, look for it later this week.