Professional Wrestling has been a staple on television since its inception. In the early days of black and white, guys like Gorgeous George and Killer Kowalski stampeded the squared circle, maiming each other for the entertainment of its viewers. Years later, in the mid 80’s pro wrestling hit another boom with the advent of cable television and pay per view television. Soon, pro wrestling giants like Hulk Hogan, Rowdy Roddy Piper and Macho Man Randy Savage were common everyday celebrities. Pro wrestling spiked again in the late 90’s. Carried on the shoulders of Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, wrestling was a common top listing on search engines everywhere, including yahoo and AOL. And now, as we enter 2011, professional wrestling takes another step forward. This time, into the world of Internet pay per views.
Internet pay per view, or ippv for short, is similar to a television pay per view. The exception of course being that the event is streamed over the Internet and is watched on your computer. The past year has seen an increase by both boxing and mixed martial arts. Of course, with the pay per views now streaming on the Internet, this allows smaller independent organizations, who couldn’t afford to put their product on television pay per view, the ability to have their product shown to a worldwide audience.
On April 10th, one such wrestling organization hopes to do just that. Top Rope Promotions, based out of Fall River, will present its 30th Anniversary pro wrestling show on Internet pay per view on Sunday night April 10,th 2011 at 8:00pm. The actual taping will take place of the event will be Friday night April 8th. For the promoter, Steve Ricard of Fall River, the Internet pay per view is an ideal situation. “Internet pay per view is a cost effective way to get your product out to people who may not otherwise see it. It allows the chance to branch out into bigger revenue streams. And more revenue means the guys can get paid what they truly deserve.” On the independent wrestling scene, many wrestlers earn as little as $20.00 per fight. “If our pay per view is successful and we can sustain a fan base, I can see us running more often,” added Ricard.
For years, regional wrestling companies relied on user content video sites like Youtube and Dailymotion to get their product seen. However, due to it’s free use, content providers like Top Rope Promotions did not earn any money in return. Internet pay per view will charge viewers a fee for the streaming event. Top Rope Promotion’s “The Anniversary” event will cost a mere $10.00. “It’s very cost effective for fans who can’t make it to our live events. There’s nothing like seeing wrestling live. But if you can’t make it, this is a suitable replacement,” said Steve Ricard.
With promotions across the nation beginning to use Internet pay per views, the question remains if one of these companies will rise up and challenge current kingpin, World Wrestling Entertainment. Added Steve Ricard, “Any company using ippv is light years away from challenging the WWE. We should all just concentrate on our own products and not worry about challenging anybody.”
Top Rope Promotions, along with WrestleStream.com, will present its first ever Internet pay per view on Sunday night April 10th 2011 at 8:00pm. The show will feature former WWE stars Scott Hall, formerly known as Razor Ramon, Scotty Too Hottie, Colin Delaney, Spike Dudley, Matt Taven, Tommaso Ciampa and an 8 Man Ladder Match. In addition, bonus backstage footage will air on the Internet pay per view. It’s available exclusively through www.wrestlestream.com .