For months on his own Wrestling With Freddie podcast and in interviews with folks like Ariel Helwani, Freddie Prinze Jr.’s been talking about his dream of running his own wrestling promotion. Well, the May 4 edition of the actor & former WWE Creative team member’s pod is entitled “I’m Starting a Wrestling Company”. So...
Prinze said started thinking about the project while helping out a friend who was working for a promotion he didn’t name that eventually landed a television deal. He’d had a different philosophy than the person behind that show, and parted ways with them after helping them make some connections. But he said the experience was a dream, and he’s been working on his plan ever since.
That plan would, of course, require money. A meeting with accountant led to his getting back into acting to fund his wrestling dream. While doing that:
“I started watching other shows, older shows, old Ring of Honor. I started listening to Jim Cornette and his philosophies on wrestling. I started listening to other promoters and people in the business and their philosophies on wrestling. I started watching what other wrestlers were trying to do. I started asking everyone I knew in the business questions. Then I started looking at arenas, locally here and what it will cost to rent them.”
Already working with a commercial realtor friend to find a “full-time home for this,” Prinze now thinks he’ll purchase the filming location outright. He’s also purchased an arena lighting rig for filming: “Even used, these mugs is expensive, but I want this to look legit.”
Originally, he thought he could launch within two years, but he’s accelerated that to 18 months. Prinze thinks he could do it even sooner, but that would require taking work overseas which would take him away from wife Sarah Michelle Gellar and their two children, and being a dad remains his top priority. With what he has set-up now, Prinze can run the company for three years before it needs to turn a profit, or he has to take an gig “to be in Scooby part seven or some crap like that to keep this floating.”
Television is eventually the goal, but Prinze doesn’t think he’ll have a deal at the outset: “It’s very difficult to maintain ownership and get a TV deal at the beginning like that. If you’re established they can come in and license you or buy a portion of you but you’ll still be in control.” Instead, he’ll run live shows and film them for future use.
“I think I want to start it as a two-hour show. I want my storylines based in reality, I want to give the women and the men equal time on the roster. Then the goal is to bring the show to television.”
Earlier discussions about his plan brought him a ton of inquiries from independent talent, for which he expressed gratitude. In addition to wrestlers and other performers, Prinze plans to hire a booker while he handles other aspects of business and creative.
“I would have a booker because I cannot book to save my life. I can really write, I can connect with people, and I can pull good performances out of people when their bosses didn’t think that performance was within them before. I know I can do that because I’ve seen it happen. I know what my strengths are, and I damn well know what I suck at. I was told what I suck at enough. So yeah, so that’s that’s the plan. I hope you guys support it. I hope you dig it. If you don’t, you can be just as vocal because like I said that stuff motivates me too.”
As for other details, one of the most interesting ones is Prinze’s plan to have his wrestlers join the Screen Actors Guild. That idea’s been brought up several times, most recently when Zelina Vega was released by WWE after she violated their policy on third party engagement platforms. If it becomes a reality, Prinze’s promotion could change the game even if it doesn’t live past his initial three year window:
“I want it to be a SAG show and what that means is I want it to be a union show, which would mean each and every single one of my wrestlers would be a member of the Screen Actors Guild, and be entitled to all the insurance and medical benefits and retirement plans that that entails.”
Sound like something you can get behind? Let Freddie know...
“It’s not a dream. It’s a plan, and it will be a reality... I hope you guys support it. I hope you dig it. If you don’t, you can be just as vocal because like I said that stuff motivates me too.”
Listen to the entire episode of WwF here.