For fans, a UWE event is a few hours out of one day to bring family and friends and just have a great time. For the members of team UWE it's a bit more than that. A "show day" for us is 3 days long, yep you read that right, 3 DAYS long. Our day starts Friday after everyone has worked their normal 8 to 10 hour days with truck pick up at 4PM from Out the Door Rent to Own, Kevin makes sure we can get the ring to Cadillac. Then out to Marion to dissassemble and load the ring and haul it back to Caddy for set-up at The Wex. Tha actual work of set-up begins about 6PM and can last until midnight, sometimes later.

It's a long labor intensive weekend but, we all love this business and the joy our shows bring to the fans.

Let' s Work!

All right, here we go! The truck backs into the building and the boys start to unload and set the ring up, keep in mind all this is accomplished by a crew of 5 to 7 guys. Chairs are pulled out and set up, Tracy's merch tables are arranged now that the easy things are in order let's start assembling the assortment of gear that create the production value. The stage needs to be put together and have the draping attached, the light rig (this requires 2 or 3 people) needs to go up and then tested to be sure it is working properly. Someone, usually MONGO, gets on a scissor lift and travels up to the ceiling to make sure all of our over - the - ring lighting is hooked up. The sound table is placed by the entrance and the laptop connected to the two projectors that run the entrance videos. Sound check. Do the videos play? Is the sound quality good? Do the microphones work? If there are problems now the troubleshooting starts. Problems solved moving on.

Miss Tracy is printing 8x10s and T-Shirts, getting the merch ready for the show and checking all the online ticket purchases as well as updating the digital catalog for credit cards the day of the show. Eric is fielding calls (if they "remember" to call) from the incoming talent; I can't make it, I need a ride, I'm gonna be late etc. So now in the 13th hour Eric has to amend the card, call backups last minute or see if we can work out some of the boys to pull "double duty". Once these fires are out, Eric has to edit together entrance trons for any new incoming talent and then create the opening tron with all our sponsors and video promos that have aired on FB and choose the music for it. Done. Good , now back to The Wex to make sure the videos play smoothly. No, back to the computer to open the files and figure out what is wrong. Yes, moving on. Everything looks good or the boys are just plain wiped out, time to go home and get a little shut eye.

On Saturday, the boys try and sleep until 9AM, most are up before that and back at The Wex by 10AM to recheck everything from the night before. Miss Tracy is up at 6AM, not a late sleeper, and getting ready so start cooking for the hospitality table for the wrestlers, something that sets UWE apart from other promotions. Miss Tracy believes that the wrestlers have come from so far and travel is expensive, the least she can do is feed them. Yes, they are encouraged to take a "go box" for the trip home. Meals have included; ribs, pulled pork/chicken, meatball sandwiches, mac and cheese, turkey/chicken sandwiches, chips, cookies/snacks and bottled water. By 3PM the food is transported to the building and set up in back for the boys. Miss Tracy arrives at 4PM to set up the merch tables and get the money and tickets ready, during this time Mike Idol and Referee Sarah pick up tickets and money from our local outlets and bring it in. You'd think it was time for a break but you'd be very wrong. Time to head to the back of the house with Eric Freedom.

Eric is now busy checking in with all the boys making sure everyone knows what match they are and answering any questions they may have. Is there a tryout? Yes, spend an hour (from 4PM to 5PM) working in the ring with the new prospect(s). No, spend some time rechecking the line-up and shove some food type thing in your head. Oscar, our ring announcer, is getting all the details from the boys; origin place, weight, and any other pertinent details. Then he makes his way to Miss Tracy to get sponsor info and instruction for any special items that need covering. Eric is assigning matches to the referees, seeing if we have our anthem girl ready or if we need to use a prerecorded video, and giving Oscar any other notes he may need. Captain Austin Spicoli gets into his commentary spot and gets ready to turn on the hard cam, does a final mic check and waits for kick off. Camera Kyle gets his rig and notes from Eric and heads out. Guess what? Iiiiiittt'ssss SHOWTIME!

6PM the door officially open and Miss Tracy and Penney start taking tickets, checking in onliine purchasers and selling merch. Most often they are also selling all the merch for the other wrestlers as well. So if Miss Tracy & Penney look tired by intermission that's why. Miss Tracy fields questions from fans about wrestlers, merch, training, volunteering, and whatever else comes up. Eric is in the locker room preparing for his match and still fielding questions from the boys, Oscar, the refs and anyone else there. Intermission, Eric and the boys come out to do a little "meet & greet" with fans, sign autographs & take pictures. Main event wraps Miss Tracy closes the show and all the fans head out, most of them anyway, some stay behind and help us put up chairs and clean up trash for a bit. Now the night is over for the fans but not for the UWE troop. Time to start breaking down everything to transport back to Marion.

Now for breaking down the ring we do have some extra help as Jimmy Blaze's guys help with tear down. Merch is packed up and loaded into the van and the tables folded and put away, ring and lights are loaded into the ring truck, the trash is collected and the floor swept, any leftover food and utensils are packed and loaded with Miss Tracy. Then, if we are having an after party, we stop tear down by 11PM to get to the party and spend an hour or more (sometimes 'til 1 or 2AM) at the establihment. Time to go home. Eric and Miss Tracy are up for another hour or so discussing the event; what was good, what was bad, what needs work, what was something that happened that was funny, touching, or interesting. Somewhere between 2 & 4AM, Eric and Miss Tracy head to bed though it's more akin to passing out, and sleep until 8AM Sunday.

Hello Sunday! Everyone wakes up sore and tired but there is still work to be done. Anything that was left undone at The Wex needs to be buttoned up. We all meet there at 10AM. Final checks are made to be certain that all of our production equipment is loaded and the building is left in decent condition, by now we are looking at 11-11:30AM. Time to drive the ring back to the camp in Marion with a stop at the Freedom household to drop off the lighting & effects equipment. Usually the frame for the ring is set up at this time but it just depends on how many guys make it out there & how beat up they feel. Sometimes it is just a get it in the building and call it good kind of day. Now for the final stretch! Those that are up to it meet for lunch (between 12:30 & 1:30PM) at the asian buffet. Lunch wraps between an hour or two after we arrive and everyone goes home and falls into a post show comatose state. Everyone except Eric Freedom who now has to get the cameras and put the raw show footage in the computer and start the editing process to create UWE DVDs. Unfortunately, Monday comes too soon and we all need to go back to our jobs and struggle through the pains and the jet-lagged haze that lasts until Tuesday or Wednesday, and get ready to do it all over again! We love what we do. See you at the next UWE Pro Wrestling event. Join the Pride! Thanks for all these fabulous years, Eric Freedom & Tracy.