Many times on posters and other advertising material promoting an independent professional wrestling show you might see “a portion of ticket sales” or a “portion of the proceeds” from the show will go to a certain charity. The charities range from local causes like the humane society, food bank or Christmas Cheer Fund or national charities such as the Wounded Warrior Project. Most often these charities have no knowledge of nor do they support the efforts of or using their cause in the advertising of the wrestling show and do not give permission to the company to use their charity to try and spike ticket sales.
There are a number of indie promotions who do work with local organizations to help raise money and awareness for their cause and those groups do garner permission and support of the charity but the number of promotions who simply use a cause to try and further ticket sales is on the rise.
The Wounded Warrior Project has become one of the most used causes for independent wrestling groups to tout in their advertising. The WWP is dedicated to helping soldiers who were wounded in battle and have disabilities lead a more productive and active life as well as assist them with medical and mental health needs.
Although a number of promotions use the WWP in their advertising promising to donate a portion of ticket sales or taking donations during the show, the WWP neither endorses nor is aware that their cause is being used, or in some cases abused, by indie wrestling promoters. While making no official statement the WWP has received little to no donation from any independent professional wrestling promotion and their legal team has been busy responding to and investigating complaints made by concerned fans and veterans who take offense to the WWP being used to promote ticket sales and line the pockets of less than honorable promoters.
Historically professional wrestling companies have used charities and/or local worthy causes to help draw fans. When the expected increase in ticket sales does not materialize the charity is often left holding the proverbial bag and with little to no donation actually being made, the charity leaves with a bad taste for wrestling.
WAR Wrestling in Ohio and HPW Wrestling in Indiana are just two promotions who have raised thousands of dollars for local charities including the humane society, food banks and Toys for Tots programs. PWE based in Indiana and led by convicted felon Fuji Brown (Robert Davis) and Last Rites Wrestling in North Carolina, led by an underage promoter are two that have laid claims to or used the Wounded Warrior Project in their advertising to promote ticket sales but have not substantiated claims they have made donations to the charities they tout supporting.
While there is a substantial amount of worthy causes and charities that could use the support of the community and independent professional wrestling could help those in need, more often than not shady promoters use and abuse the cause to simply put more money in their own pocket. Not only are the fans taken but the charities, who count on those donations to survive, are taken as well.
One should always help support their local independent professional wrestling company but one should also be wary of any indication that a charity will be helped or supported with the purchase of your ticket or your donation during the show. If you see advertising from a wrestling company that you are unfamiliar with or do not know of their reputation for helping in the community that says a portion of ticket sales or donations collected will go to charity, call the charity and see if they are aware of and approve of being used in the advertising.
If you happen to find a company “using” a charity for ticket sales donate the cost of the ticket directly to the charity, stay home and watch wrestling on TV.
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