Interview with Co-Owner of PWS Eric Tapout

This is the Shark Attack. I’m yours truly “The Shark” Sean Williams. I’m talking with the co-owner of the Pro Wrestling Syndicate. He is Eric Tapout. Eric, thank you for your time today and it’s great to be talking to you. How are you?
ERIC: I’m doing great Sean, thanks for taking the time to talk to me about Pro Wrestling Syndicate.
THE SHARK: There has been a lot of talk with the PWS regarding the event which took place on March 9th where Sid Vicious was supposed to be in the main event at your show and no-showed.  Has there been anything regarding word from Sid or any updates following the event?
ERIC: I have not had any conversation with Sid since the morning of March 9th when he informed me he would not be showing up due to his wallet being stolen at a deli.  I’m not sure if Sid vs Hardy was the main event for Super Card though, as much as it was a special attraction match.  Sami Callihan vs Colt Cabana for the PWS Title was the Main Event.  The only update I have though is this:   Sid’s flight was to leave Memphis at 6am.  If going by his story over the phone at 10:45am that his wallet was stolen at a deli … I couldn’t help but be curious what delis were open during the time of early morning when Sid would have had to enter. For a 6am flight, he would have had to be at Memphis Airport by 4am. Where does this deli come into play?  For my own piece of mind I did some research.  For starters there is no deli at The Memphis Airport. The food terminal at the airport consists of the following:  Starbucks (opens at 7am) , Back Yard Burger (opens at 7am), Blue Note Cafe (opens at 6:30am), Hudson News (opens at 7am), and Maggie O’Sheas (opens at 7am).   There is no deli or anything resembling a deli that would have been opened prior to Sid’s 6am departure at The Memphis Airport. Another fun fact: there are 193 delis in the city of Memphis.  A large portion of those are Blimpie & Subway restaurants which are not open at 6am.  The largest deli chain comprising another large chunk of those 193 delis in Memphis is called Kroger.  All of the Krogers in Memphis (which are delis within a the supermarket) are open 8am – 10pm.  The second largest chain is Front Line which opens at 10:30am. There are no 24/7 delis in Memphis and there are no delis in Memphis that would have been open between 3-5am on March 9th.   Once again, Sid’s flight was to depart at 6am and he claimed at 10:45am that his wallet was stolen earlier in the morning.  Why did Sid wait all those hours to phone PWS?  It does not add up at all.
THE SHARK: There is no bigger definition of a death sentence to one’s reputation than no-showing a main event, much less no-showing at a show period. Have you had any problems like this with anyone in the past and if so, were any of them as frequent with it as Sid?
ERIC: Sid definitely has been an exception in this department.  We are not used to no shows like this at all at PWS.  Of course, things do happen here and there.  For instance Zema Ion was to be on the March 9th event however his car broke down.  While I was on the phone with him that morning, he was legit at the auto repair place getting his car fixed.  I wouldn’t call that instance a ‘no show’ as much as I’d call it a legit accident that happened. PWS has been pretty good at delivering what we advertise.  Off the top of my head the last day of show big name change for us was in 2007 when Samoa Joe missed a flight and was replaced the day of show by Low Ki. That was 5 years ago. 
THE SHARK: You have said that there are some that side with what you guys did and some that feel it was crossing a line.  How big a percentage would you say is the majority that favor what you did in retaliation for Sid’s no-show?
ERIC: I wouldn’t even say it was retaliation. I don’t wish harm on Sid or anything like that.  There were 927 fans in attendance at Super Card 2012 and judging by their reaction they were happy with our brutal honesty about the situation. I do understand that some people may view it as unprofessional conduct on our part and all I can do is ask those people what they would have done any differently. We are running a business and will not be bullied around by Psycho Sid. 
THE SHARK: There are people still wondering if Sid will be at the next PWS show or any PWS show after this.  How do you and Pat Buck feel about that and do you feel that this is in fact a third strike for Sid?
ERIC:  Sid is a blessed individual to have the crowd demand that he does.   Third strike? Absolutely.  We have tried to be so patient and accommodating with Sid due to the crowd demand for him and each experience was more miserable than the one before. 
THE SHARK: You were able to get Jay Lethal to take the place of Sid. How much did it mean to you guys that Jay was able to fill in on such short notice and what would you guys have done if Jay wasn’t able to be there?
ERIC: After I got off the phone with Sid at 10:47am I contacted Buck and we immediately began rapid fire calling people.  Briscoes, Steen, Kennedy, Morrison, and TNA’s talent director Bob Ryder were just amongst the first handful of calls made.  We knew we had to do something.   Marty Jannetty and Balls Mahoney both agreed to wrestle a match for us, and Jay Lethal really came through huge in a clutch.  We were very lucky that Jay was in town (from Florida) and came through in such a big way.  Lethal started wrestling in PWS in 2007 and his match with Hardy was perhaps his most entertaining PWS match to date. 
THE SHARK: Some have said that using Sid’s cell number at the show was crossing a line. If given the chance, do you think you or Pat would’ve done things differently or did you feel this was the only way to truly show how pissed you guys were that he did this a 3rd time?
ERIC: If we could go back in time, I think we would have just booked Matt Hardy vs Jay Lethal from the start.
THE SHARK: In an article that featured an email you wrote to Chris Cash explaining happened, you pointed out that you offered refunds to those in attendance, but nobody wanted it.  What did that mean to you and Pat that despite not being given the main event that was advertised because of one guy not showing up, they still didn’t require their money back?
ERIC: I feel that fans in the North East area are the smartest wrestling fans in the world. That said, I believe they deserve high quality shows in exchange for their hard earned money. PWS tries to keep our tickets low ($20-30) and really give our fans the most bang for their buck possible.    Even without Sid, fans still got a lot of high quality matches and a lot of tv name power for their money.   I think by not one fan asking for a refund it just proves my thesis that fans in the North East are the smartest fans in the world.  They get it.  They really GET it. They get that one person doesn’t make or break a show.  They get that if a guy can’t have his stuff together to show up and wrestle before them for their hard earned money then they are not going to support that individual. Instead I think fans respect that Matt Hardy was there and busted his ass. They respect that Masada took a fireball to the face. They respect that AR Fox and Samuray Del Sol did things that appear to be humanly impossible. They respect that Danny Maff wrestled through an injury because he didn’t want to let the fans down. They respect that Jay Lethal was there in a clutch. They respect guys like Brett Gakiya, Nick Brubaker, and CJ Esparza that legit sat in a car for 11 hours just to be there at PWS to perform.   The list goes on.  I love our locker room as its filled with some of the absolute best and most dedicated wrestlers in the world and I am humbled that our fans ‘get’ that. 
THE SHARK: Finally, with the March 9th show now in the rear view, where do you guys go from here and what can wrestling fans expect from the Pro Wrestling Syndicate in the future?
ERIC: As great as the March 9th show was, I truly believe our May 4th Refuse To Lose 2012 event will blow it out of the water as we return to Rahway NJ with an even more insanely stacked lineup headlined by WWE Hall Of Famer Bret Hart.  Matt Hardy, Maria Kanellis, and Jillian Hall are just some of the names already announced for that event.  The full card will be announced in the coming days at www.ProWrestlingSyndicate.com 
THE SHARK: Eric, it’s been great talking to you and I thank you very much for your time and wish all the best for you, Pat and the rest at PWS.
ERIC: Once again, thank you Sean for your time and it’s been a privilege to give my opinions. 
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