For years NWA Smoky Mountain has been considered the “flag ship of the NWA” for having consistent crowds, getting exposure, utilizing top talent and providing fans with matches that are far and above what some promotions put on. Recently NWA Smoky Mountain had NWA World Heavyweight Champion Rob Conway appear putting his title on the line against many time NWA Tag Team Champion Ricky Morton. Morton had won the right to face Conway after having won the NWA Smoky Mountain Cup Tournament.
NWA Smoky Mountain promoter Tony Givens has been promotion shows for over 12 years and is one of the rare promoters who actually gets “it” and knows how to push a show. Givens has promotional materials including posters and programs professionally printed and “papers” or places posters advertising upcoming shows in several towns in the surrounding area. There is also the untold man hours walking the streets talking to and securing sponsors for the shows as well as giving an awareness to NWA Smoky Mountain through social media and interviews on podcasts and internet radio shows.
There has been a KickStarter campaign launched by Givens and NWA Smoky Mountain to raise $15,000 for the company in order to provide fans with a higher quality television show (seen on the internet) for the year of 2014 as well as upgrading the look of NWA Smoky Mountain by securing better lighting, a new entrance and upgrades to equipment used by the promotion including railings around the ring for the safety of the fans and the wrestlers. Some of the money donated will also help offset costs associated with renting venues where the TV show is taped.
KickStarter campaigns have been utilized by a number of people associated with professional wrestling including those writing books and creating documentaries and some have been maligned by on on-line presence known as “Angry Wrestling Promoter.” AWP is thought to be a gentleman by the name of Travis Marcum who is based on the west coast and according to most, has never run a show in his life yet dispenses advice on how to do so to the masses. AWP has attacked Givens and NWA Smoky Mountain saying that Givens and the company are “begging for money to run shows” which is incorrect according to Givens.
"The funding of this project will give us the opportunity to gain greater exposure. The more exposure we can give these talented wrestler, the more opportunity they have to advance their careers... We are trying to make dreams come true. Not just my dreams, but the dreams of the wrestlers we currently promote and the wrestlers we will promote in the future,” Givens said.
“I'm not doing this project so I can promote wrestling shows. I've been doing that for 12 years. 'm not doing this project so I can a TV show. I've had a weekly TV show since 2004. I'm not begging for money, I'm asking fans to fund a project, in which they, in turn will receive rewards,” he added.
Some of the rewards being offered by NWA Smoky Mountain for participating in the KickStarter project include tickets to the shows, meet and greets with the stars, t-shirts, DVDs, lunch with “Rock & Roll Express” star Ricky Morton and other items. The items being offered when someone donates are at a discounted rate over typical retail, something else the people behind Angry Wrestling Promoter have wrong.
Despite having its detractors the NWA Smoky Mountain campaign is alive and doing well having reached 10% of its goal in the first two weeks.
“NWA Smoky Mountain and Tony Givens are a major asset to the NWA and this project will help them become even more of what we want and need from NWA promotions,” an NWA Executive said. “We wish them well in their campaign.”
NWA Smoky Mountain has a solid roster that includes dual champion (NWA Smoky Mountain Champion, NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion) Jason Kincaid, considered one of the best workers and the most in-demand in the Mid-South.
“I had a great time defending my title in Smoky Mountain. Ricky Morton still has it and gave me everything I could handle,” NWA Champion Rob Conway said. “Tony Givens treated me right and did a great job promoting the show and the Cup.”
As the “flag ship “of the NWA continues to grow they are asking for your help to make them an even better promotion than they are already recognized as being. The upgrades that Givens has in store for Smoky Mountain will give the company a more professional look in-house and provide better quality TV for the fans.
Follow me on Twitter @jlwiseman13