As with any industry, sometimes getting and keeping a job comes down to how valuable you are to the company. Sometimes “just being a wrestler” isn’t enough. While Phil is currently performing as a mouthpiece/GM for MCW Pro, he’s been a wrestler, manager, commentator and has also done his share behind the scenes as well.
On taking on many roles within the industry…
It’s about what you can bring to the table as the total package. I look at a guy like Sami Callihan, probably one of the most booked people in the world. He’s the booker for Combat Zone, an owner, and works with three other promotions, and he’s doing a film project. He also can do great graphics.
As a performer, I’m never satisfied. I want to provide more. I want and feel like I can offer more. If you look at WWE it’s a TV show that features wrestling, not necessarily a wrestling show on TV. They are giving you a narrative with a whole layer of context. There are points of what they’re building to and a good commentator knows how to do that (get the audience there).
I think inside the business, the people who understand that there’s a business side understand it and appreciate the way I can handle marketing and social media. But then people think you’re some mark they picked up off the street (that doesn’t know how to wrestle). However, there are other people that say “wrestlers are a dime a dozen, we need you helping in the back.” And that drove me crazy a little bit. Once [at a promotion he worked at earlier in his career], while I was doing commentary, everybody was coming to me asking “what am I doing on the show? Phil, you’re the only person here with a brain. You’ll never have fun, we’ll be the ones having fun.“
On the important jobs that fans might not see…
Ring Manager is like the front of the house manager, directing traffic and making it an engaging experience for the crowd, kind of like in a restaurant. You’re watching if there’s a problem, if the energy is low, are certain things not hitting? You have to pick up the event and relay it to the wrestlers in the back to pick up the energy. The sound guy is important too, because he knows that there’s a timing element to all of this.
Click 3 to continue reading How To Succeed In Indie Wrestling With MCW Pro’s Phil Stamper