HARI: Is there a particular reason you directed your wrestling shows to include younger audiences compared to say 18+ audiences?
SB: You can put my show on anywhere in the country, put up a couple of thousand posters and you will draw a crowd. With an adult audience you’re focusing on a very specific audience and you can’t take it all over the country whereas I run my shows in the majority of areas and I can promote it.
So it speaks to my business side, if you want to run as many shows as possible to as many people as possible. With 18+, you can run a show every couple of months. With my show I can run it every day of the week.
The most successful people are like Scott Conway or a rival of mine Brian Dixon, and it works better. It’s a smarter way of making money. Our product is very family-friendly and hopefully always will be.
HARI: What do you mean when you say you dislike “internet-related feuds” or “matches that go on too long” ?
SB: That’s not quite true, people enjoy good wrestling and a good show no matter the audience. With regards to the internet, people can do whatever, I don’t have time for it. My schedule this week is three shows in four days, maybe when I was younger it was different but now at 28 years old and my life changing I haven’t got time for it.
I do like the comments on the LDN Fans Facebook page, we have several thousand likes. It’s always nice to have finished running a show and click on the comments hearing mums and dads taking their children out and having a great evening.
HARI: With the internet, there has previously been animosity between yourself and some people at All Star Wrestling. Is there any relation or animosity between yourself and Brian Dixon?
SB: None at all, he’s a rival promotion. I wish the best of luck to him but I have nothing to do with him. People grow up with regards to the internet, what you say or do in ten years time things will change. Part of growing up is changing. I haven’t got the time to do it [go on forums] anymore.
HARI: What about growing up in terms of business tactics. You say you don’t focus on other wrestling products but only your own brand, your own model. Does that mean there’s no more attempts to cancel other venues or tearing down other people’s posters? Is that something of old that you’ve grown out of?
SB: When a wrestling show comes to town, and then there’s two wrestling shows, then as a businessman I’m going to make sure that they go to my show. There’s only one wrestling place and that’s LDN. That’s not grown up, that’s business. If Tesco come to town, they want to be the only giant company in the area.
I’ve got a mortgage to pay, rent to pay, you have to think of it like a business. I honestly believe when it comes to wrestling in this country, no one else puts up as many posters as I do. It’s not about grown up, it’s about making sure your show is more visible to the public.
HARI: I agree with parts of that, but as you’re trying to take care of your bills and your family, surely by cancelling another person’s show then that’s taking away from their ability to pay for their bills and take care of their family?
SB: You can’t go to sleep mate worry about that. When you get older you can’t go to sleep worrying about other people paying their bills. It’s a business, it’s not a charity. I care about my business and that’s the way life is. I’m not going to sit around crying about it, that’s just the way the world is.
HARI: You’ve said before that you would never have someone help co-promote your show because then they’d understand how easy it is to make money and go off and run their own company. You did that yourself moving from the FWA to building LDN. You also said that the FWA’s bad booking ruined the territory of Enfield, have you experienced a recovery there?
SB: Absolutely. After a while the audience come back in, the people love wrestling. You give it a little rest and then build it back up. It holds a special place in my heart because the second wrestling show I ever ran was in Enfield.
HARI: What are your thoughts on the people who have gone on from the FWA to do their own thing – you’ve obviously gone on with LDN, Doug Williams had a successful run in TNA and Alex Shane is now running WrestleTalk TV?
SB: I don’t really speak to Alex Shane, I haven’t spoken to him since I left and I’m not interested to speak to him ever again. Don’t mention him and me in the same sentence please.
There’s only very few people I think you can compare us to and that’s people who you probably don’t know like Ralph who produced FWA merchandise, one of the best minds in the business for merchandise and creativity in wrestling. He’s working on a motorbike show and is an editor for national television.
There’s other guys, but you probably won’t know them. But I wouldn’t mention me in the same sentence as the people you mentioned. I had nothing to do with them guys. I think Doug’s back in the country, touring, so good luck to him.
HARI: Say myself and other people don’t know these other behind-the-scenes hands who help out, maybe it’s worth giving them a shout out for what they’ve done in British wrestling?
SB: Ralph went on to produce LDN Capital TV for three and a half years straight, he held LDN together with his music, he’s one person definitely.
The other person is John Atkins, who started out as a ring announcer but is now doing boxing and MMA. He obviously works in LDN with DVDs, but those two people spring to mind who work with me and doing well.
After I left FWA, I didn’t really learn anything there, it wasn’t a business in my opinion. But then there’s people like Scott Conway with the Wrestling Alliance who I need to give a shout out to, people like him made myself a successful promoter in the country.
HARI: Let’s shift focus to some of the talent on your roster like Pete ‘Dynamite’ Dunn, who’s been doing well recently.
SB: Yeah I got along with Pete really well, he’s a good lad, just went to America.
HARI: CHIKARA’s King of Trios?
SB: I don’t really watch American Indie Wrestling or have an interest in it. I have no interest in the American Independent scene. It’s very hard to even keep up with WWE due to time.
HARI: How about some of the older workers like Jekyll and Gideon?
SB: All those guys still work for me, Team H8 have been tag team champions with me for nearly three years. Gideon and Jekyll are doing very well for themselves, I think they’re running a few shows in Bristol. They seem to be doing a good job with that, and they’re good wrestlers.
HARI: Finally, how was it working with the legend Fit Finlay?
SB: We’ve only worked once, he wrestled Mel Sanders in a traditional British wrestling match which I think he enjoyed. We had Matt Striker on as well, he’s another guy who really appreciates the World of Sport British style. It’s nice to mix it up once in a while.
But the business model I want to get across in this interview is that we have our own group of wrestlers which we can tour around the whole country.
HARI: The few times you bring in imports, do you look for people that do have an appreciation and understanding of the British style?
SB: I think it’s important, I’m not a big of fan imports so if I do have someone I think it has to be someone with a drawing ability too otherwise what’s the point. The kids have to know who they are.
End of Interview with Sanjay Bagga.
For more from LDN Wrestling, visit http://www.LDNWrestling.com
Follow Sanjay and LDN on Twitter @LDNSanjayBagga and @LDNWrestling
For more from Hari, follow me on Twitter @HotChocHari and visit http://www.hariramakrishnan.com