Indy wrestling star Adam Pearce took to Facebook to explain to his fans his perspective on his Gut Check experience after many of them felt he was screwed over by TNA:
“u got fkd by tna”.
I wholeheartedly appreciate the passion and the sentiment. I really do, and I am still blown away by the crazy positive support that I got as a result of the GutCheck experience. It was both refreshing and unexpected. But guys, let’s take an OBJECTIVE look at it.
Through GutCheck, I got National TV exposure with an authentic presentation of my “character”. And even though I wish the match itself was better and got over the things it was supposed/designed to, I did what I could, and I saw an immediate increase in attention to my character and booking inquiries about it. That led directly to $$$. I do this for a living, remember.
Through GutCheck, I found myself working once again with a litany of awesome professionals that at one time or another I’ve wrestled with, booked for, or produced television with. It was such a natural and seamless fit into that process that I think it probably caught some execs more unfamiliar with me off-guard a bit, and that couldn’t be anything but a positive.
Through GutCheck, I made new contacts and opened doors. People that might have only heard of me in passing got an upfront sense of what I am about, both behind closed doors and when the cameras are on, how I operate in the ring, and maybe more importantly how I put things together outside it. That exposure alone might have been more positive, and perhaps more valuable for me, than SpikeTV’s.
Perception very rarely (if ever) equals reality.
A couple things to think about:
I’m now 5 years older than what is considered “old” today in our industry. Whether I agree with that personally means nothing; it’s simply the way it is today. That means that any TV exec or Guy in Power that looks at demographics and ratings potentials would see a 35 year old MAN mixed in with a majority of twenty-somethings, and probably wouldn’t see much of a shelf-life. He probably would also see that a 35 year old MAN rolling around usually doesn’t jibe with the audience that the TV products generally target unless the person is an already established and recognized star. And I simply don’t fit that bill. Further, the analytics of my own Facebook fan page (https://www.facebook.com/Adam.Pearce.FanPage; please LIKE, thanks) tell me that even though my ego tells me not to agree with it, Mr. TV Exec and Guy in Power is probably right.
And that’s okay.
The truth is that my interest in GutCheck was never about finding lightning in a 6 minute segment/bottle and becoming a TNA wrestling superstar in a flash. If it were, (SPOILER ALERT) I would have done it a long time ago when I was a touch younger and initially asked about it. That spot instead went to someone I know well and he did GREAT with it, the sleazy bastard.
My honest interest in finally doing GutCheck was the proverbial notion of getting a “foot in the door”, not ever expecting that I’d blow people away with my very simplistic wrestling, but wondering if my other intangibles would, in some way, keep that door open for another time in the future. And that, guys, remains to be seen. No one has told me to f— off yet.
Sorry for this novel, but I’m always getting asked if I’m pissed at TNA, or getting told that TNA “fkd me”. Please don’t be surprised or offended if I scoff at those notions a bit. It doesn’t mean I don’t 100% appreciate it, because I do, it just means that I know more about my situation there than anyone else.
I got exactly what I EXPECTED when I did GutCheck, and that’s mostly because I forced myself to #OpenMyEyes ahead of time.
By the way, I’ll have brand-new shirts available for sale this Saturday in Kansas City, KS for Metro Pro Wrestling (metrowrestling.com) and in Brownsville, TX on Sunday (also available here: http://www.prowrestlingtees.com/adampearce). If you please, #OpenYourWallet.
If you plan on attending these events, come by, say hi, and tell me what you think. If you’re not coming, leave a comment here with your take on things.
Thanks for reading.