Battles, Bouts and Brawls - The Story of Professional Wrestling in Detroit and the surrounding areas - Yesterday, Today and Beyond, is a story that has needed to be told for a long time.
And now, while it is still possible to get first hand accounts from the people who were there, that story will be told.
Hello everyone, I'm Mark Nowotarski, Producer of the documentary: Battles, Bouts and Brawls - The Story of Pro Wrestling in Detroit and the surrounding areas - Yesterday, Today and Beyond. I've been in broadcasting since 1982. I'm a founding member of CNN's Detroit Bureau, working with Emmy Award-winning Investigative Reporter Robert Vito and Pulitzer-prize winning Reporter Peter Arnett. I've produced the Award-winning documentary, 'The J. W. Westcott Story', which has been broadcast on PBS numerous times. Also, I've produced the documentary, 'The Sheik - Wrestling's Greatest Villain', that is of 'old-school' wrestling's villain from the 1950's to the 1990's.
The reason I'm here with you is simple: Funding is needed to pay for the costs and expenses and wrap up this Project. This is the story of the history, the people, the bouts, battles and all else having to do with professional wrestling in Detroit and the surrounding areas over the past five decades. I'm telling this story while there are still, first hand accounts of its history. It seems when things are passed down from person to person, just a little bit changes every time. Here, now, you will hear the stories from the people who actually took part in them. From Ox Baker, Big Jim Lancaster, Managers, Promoters, Wrestlers to people putting the ring together, you will hear the story. This way, the story loses nothing as it's being passed down.
The Detroit area has always been a hotbed of action in the Professional Wrestling World. Going back to the 1950's, wrestling greats such as Leaping Larry Chene, Dick the Bruiser, Argentina Rocca, Bruno Sammartino, The Sheik, Fritz von Erich, Angelo Poffo, Brute Bernard and Crusher Cortez graced the rings of the Detroit area. In the 1960's and 1970's, there was a wrestling 'Promotions' war between two of Detroit's Wrestling Promoters, Dick the Bruiser and The Sheik. The Bruiser lost that war to The Sheik, and The Sheik closed his Promotion in 1980. Other Promotions continued in Detroit, among them George 'Crybaby' Cannon, Jerry Jaffe and Malcolm Monroe. Then, in 1987 WrestleMania III came to the Detroit area and Pro Wrestling had returned in a big way.
Independent promotions continue to thrive in the Metro Detroit Area. Among them, a second generation Promotion led by Malcolm Monroe II. His Father, Malcolm Monroe headed the Mid-West Championship Wrestling Promotion. Also, Promoter Rudy Hill or, known by his other name, 'The Rude Boy', also promotes bouts in the area. The entire state of Michigan has a solid foundation in the world of professional wrestling. Just a few wrestlers with with Michigan/Detroit roots are world-renowned wrestlers Rhino and Sabu. No matter where Pro Wrestling takes place in the Detroit area, be it Cobo Arena, Fairgrounds, Community Centers, taverns or a local school gym or hall, Professional wrestling is fun, exciting and strong in Detroit today.
It will be YOUR contributions that will get this story told the best possible way it can be told. The highest standards of production value will go into this project in it's most important phase: Post-Production. Also, your contribution will help to pay the expenses incurred to bring you material from all over the country. From New York to Los Angeles and points in-between, the story of Detroit wrestling has an impact around the country, around the world.
Costs and expenses for this project, as any project of this magnitude are not inexpensive. I am asking for YOUR kindness, consideration and help to assist in paying for the completion of this program. The amount asked for, $30,000.00 still does not cover everything. But, once completed, then you the viewer will see a program that will educate, inform and even make you smile. Your contributions will help to cover: travel, lodging, vehicles and fuel, time spent both in and out of the studio and again, the most important part: Post-Production.
With your contribution, there are a number of 'Thank You' items that I have that will make YOU, the contributor, an actual part of wrestling history !!
Whether it be a 'thank you' on our Facebook page, to getting a DVD of the program to access to EXCLUSIVE footage not seen in the program or DVD, to a 'thank you' in the actual credits to being titled 'co-producer' in the end credits, you can know in your heart that YOU are preserving wrestling history, and actually being a part of it. Also, have seats reserved for YOU at the premiere of this program with VIP seating too. And, as my way of saying, 'THANK YOU', certain contributions will make you part of a once-in-a-lifetime event: a gathering of the people involved in this production for dinner and conversation of wrestling's past, present and future, along with any other conversation that may come up. This dinner will be with the man who has done battle with Kurt Russell, Snake Plissken in the Classic, 'Escape from New York', Ox Baker. Baker, who has battled the likes of Dick the Bruiser, The Sheik, Andre the Giant just to name a few. He along with me, Mark Nowotarski and two other participants of this production will be with YOU for an evening of conversation and dining. And, if that was not enough, another contribution can have YOU seen as EXECUTIVE PRODUCER of this program everywhere it is seen. Be it a theatre, broadcast channel, on a purchased DVD, YOU will be known for your part in wrestling history !! Once again, all contributions will go for: expenses: lodging, travel and production and post-production.
I have with me, a production company the world-traveled over: Burke Video Company. The staff of Burke Video has been around the world, involved in productions for Ford Motor Company, NBC and clients from around the world. Producing the TV show, 'A Wider World', seen in over fifty PBS markets in North America, I have had Burke Video Company with me since making 'The J. W. Westcott Story'.
So to YOU, wrestling fans of old and current, from the 1950's to today's current crop of Independent Promotions, PLEASE, contribute to this Project. Tell your friends...tell your family, tell your co-workers....tell your enemies, use that tax refund you've gotten.......Contribute to this Project, and BE A PART OF WRESTLING HISTORY !!! Thank You in advance...Mark Nowotarski