Exclusive Interview with Erik Viking, Creator of Pro Wrestling Explosion

Pro Wrestling Explosion is a new company based in Philadelphia, PA.  Their debut show is on June 5th, 2016 at Knights of Columbus in Dunellen, New Jersey.

PWE

Twitter: twitter.com/PWEshows

Facebook: www.facebook.com/prowrestlingexplosion


 

1). Who is the creator  of Pro Wrestling Explosion?

Erik Viking

2). When and how was PWE conceived?

I created PWE in my head a long, long time ago. It was finally conceived about 6 months ago when I booked the venue and date and was then forced to work extremely hard towards bringing everything together, which a full show entails, which is A LOT of stuff; things wrestling fans don’t even think about (makes planning my wedding look easy). The company was created once the venue was booked. From there, it’s endless internet promotion, in-person promotion, coordinating people, asking questions, learning new aspects of the business, and lots of team work.

3). What is your background in wrestling?

My background in wrestling starts like everyone’s: fan. I’ve been a fan since I can remember, so since I was about 4-years-old. From there, I first got involved (working) by joining the Wrestling Radio Network in 2006 as an internet wrestling radio host. It was podcasting before podcasting became a “thing.” I reviewed nationally televised wrestling shows and interviewed wrestlers live, all while streaming it online through WRN. It was a weekly show. I also wrote RAW reviews for Online World of Wrestling (OWW), which they posted on their website weekly. After digital work just wasn’t enough, I decided to leave my family and friends at the age of 25 and move from Washington State to Philadelphia, PA to join the Ring of Honor Wrestling Academy. Although not wanting to be a wrestler like everyone else there (I chose refereeing initially), I completed every task, every work-out, every body slam, EVERYTHING that a wrestler goes through in training. I survived pro wrestling training as a referee as I watched guys (want-to-be-wrestlers) quit and quit, day after day. It’s all in your head, some people are focused on getting to the final goal, some aren’t. Some simply don’t have their emotions in check to pull off something like this. After a year, I moved away from refereeing and became a manager (yelling at fans and wrestlers on the microphone), which i felt most comfortable doing (I had a background in live music, comedy, public access TV, etc). I am now a wrestling personality (manager) and a newly professional wrestling booker and promoter.

4). What are some of your favorite WWE moments?

Okay, without prior research or in-depth thought, I’d say that Eddie Guerrero winning the WWE title against Brock Lesnar at No Way Out 2004 was pretty big in my book. Eddie had been wrestling for 15 years and deserved something big in the wrestling business; Brock Lesnar was great, big, a major force, but was still very young. Eddie deserved every second of that victory and watching him for many prior years to this match, it was just a relief to see him reach the pinnacle of the business in that match. The crowd reaction that night echoes my sentiments. In keeping it recent, I think CM Punk’s win over John Cena for the WWE title at Money in the Bank 2011 was definitely a favorite of mine. Great match, great storyline, great suspense, great crowd participation. It all came together perfectly. That block of the wrestling show (that main event) is what fans really want to see I think. Of course I loved a lot of things that happened in the 80’s and 90’s, but most aren’t WWE moments (other promotions I was watching).

5). What are your favorite indy promoters/companies?

This is easy. My favorite promotion is Olde Wrestling out of Cleveland, OH (Oldewrestling.com). I can’t describe in a single paragraph how great this is. Justin Nottke is the promoter and he has to work (I’m guessing) endless hours to make this spectacle come to life. There’s so much involved in this 1920’s-era re-make event. Nottke literally creates a 1920’s world around you as you watch a 1920’s-style wrestling show. It’s very hard to do/accomplish and it’s a fantastic show every time. My hands are down.

6). Where did the founders grow up? Go to high school?

I grew up in Seattle, Washington. At age 10, I moved to L.A. for 2 years. By age 12, we moved to Spokane, Washington (Eastern, WA) where I lived the important years of my life (ages 12-25). In Spokane, we never had WWE or indie wrestling for that matter, so that just fueled my desire to get involved even more. I graduated from Shadle Park High School in North Spokane.

7). What sports are you into besides wrestling?

For sports, I am a competitive badminton player. I began competing in the Northwest League in 2005, then when I moved to Philadelphia, I enrolled at Temple University, where I quickly joined the Temple badminton team. We competed against Drexel, Penn, Haverford, Penn State, LaSalle, and many others. It’s my favorite sport to play, and most people in America don’t realize that it’s the second most popular sport in the world (soccer is #1). I have graduated from Temple, but want to find a place to continue playing badminton competitively.

8). Explain the roster/premise of your first show.

The roster is a compilation of ROH, CZW, Chikara, Wrestle Pro, and other independent wrestlers and friends that I’ve met through the wrestling industry. The premise is to create a fun, relaxed, easy-going environment for wrestlers. I book on Sunday’s only, so I figure that these wrestlers can work their bigger shows on Friday/Saturday’s, then come work my show to complete their 3-day weekend, but without the stress to impress. Just have fun- that’s my advise to my wrestlers.

9). Can you tell as about any shows in the future?

After Sunday, June 5th in Dunellen, NJ at 3:00 PM (647 Grove Street), I hope to book my next show for August 21st at the same venue. I want to do this every 2 months to keep the storylines fresh. It’s not confirmed yet, but soon, a date close to this will be confirmed.

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