Check out the interview that John House did with Tod Gordon for Rumble Magazine in 2010!
Subject: Ten questions with ECW founder Tod Gordon.
|Tod Gordon (born June 19, 1955 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is the founder of former wrestling promotion Extreme Championship Wrestling. He owned the promotion until it was sold to his head booker Paul Heyman in 1997.
Gordon was involved with Pro Wrestling Unplugged and on their September 20, 2006, second anniversary event, Gordon was announced as their new owner.
On April 19, 2008, Pro Wrestling Unplugged held a farewell show for Tod Gordon.
On February 10, 2010, Tod Gordon announced that he and Paul Heyman would be collaborating on a new project, with an announcement coming in 2011.
Tod Gordon returned to The Arena on July 10th, 2010 to be apart of Acid-Fest as a tribute to Trent Acid.
On August 8, 2010, Gordon returned via satellite, to pay tribute to ECW on TNA’s Hardcore Justice. I had the opportunity to catch up with Mr.Tod Gordon for ten questions.
House: Welcome to 10 questions for Rumble magazine.
1. House: How is life after wrestling and what are you doing now?
Tod Gordon: If you’re fortunate enough to have a life beyond wrestling either before you begin or while you’re in, it’s an easy transition to post wrestling life. I’m currently operating my jewelry store in downtown Philly and am proud to say we recently celebrated our 150th anniversary. It’s always very cool to see the old ECW fans stop in to say hello.
2. House: What was your vision for ECW in the beginning, did you ever think ECW would go on to make the kind of impact it did on pro wrestling?
Tod Gordon: In the beginning my vision was very very different than what we became. I originally named it ” EASTERN CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING ” because it was my intention to only run shows on the east coast in Pennsylvania, Jersey, and Delaware. I was hoping to establish a little territory that would have been comparable with Memphis wrestling during Lawler’s heyday. Never did I even imagine anything like a pay per view.
3. House: Independent wrestling promoter’s these days face so many challenges in starting a small wrestling promotion. What we’re some of your challenges in creating ECW?
Tod Gordon: For openers, the biggest challenge was trying to learn an entirely new business than the one I was accustomed to. Putting together matches and angles was the easy part. It’s also the thing you get to spend the least amount of time doing. Learning to deal with television networks and getting the type of lighting and sound quality in order to satisfy network execs, along with dealing with hiring talents and negotiating booking fees was definitely something I had to learn on the fly.
4. House: Tell us of one of your favorite ECW moments?
Tod Gordon: That’s a tough one. Airing our very first tv show. Obviously, airing our very first pay per view. As far as in ring … The Sandman blinding angle. Funk in a box. The first three way at The Night The Line Was Crossed. Bobby Eaten and Arn Anderson’s surprise appearance. The list is endless.
5. House: After selling ECW to Paul Heyman in 1997. Tod, you returned to pro wrestling and took on the Booker position in 3PW, and in 2006 you purchased PWU from Johnny Kashmere and Trent Acid. How did it feel to be back as an owner of a pro wrestling promotion?
Tod Gordon: Good question. It was a totally different situation that time around. Number one, PWU wasn’t a job that required a 7 day a week or a 24 hour a day presence as ECW did. I was determined to not grow too fast for the finances of the company. It was nice to feel like a mentor this time around and teach instead of being the one getting taught.
6. House: In PWU Tod Gordon feuded with ECW icon the Sandman. Over the years fans have heard about the bond and the friendship between the two of you. I remember the night Todman walked through the curtains of the ECW arena and impersonated the Sandman. It was one of the most amazing things I ever saw… What was it like to be in a long feud with Sandman?
Tod Gordon: It was great. We had always been on the same (babyface) side since we met in 1989. We had tagged together many times. I had managed him tons of times. This gave us an opportunity to play off of each other in a way we had never done. It also allowed us to give Johnny Kashmere the rub. I spent half of the angle trying to crack Sandman up in the ring and break character as Bill Alfonzo had done to me for many years.
7. House: With all the success you have had over the years running a wrestling promotion. What is most important for independent promoters to do to run a successful pro wrestling promotion?
Tod Gordon: That’s the easiest question you’ve asked me yet believe it or not. The single most important thing an independent promoter can do is : WORRY ONLY ABOUT YOUR COMPANY OR BUSINESS NOT SOMEONE ELSE’S! It’s not rocket science. These indy promoters who obsess about another promoter and how to “screw ” that other guy are doing nothing but wasting valuable time that if spent on their own business models would help their company grow. Getting into a hissing match back and forth on the internet is just stupid false ego, and not the sign of a very good businessman.
8. House: With all the accomplishments in your career, if you had to do it all over again. How would you do it?
Tod Gordon: How would I do it differently? Not expand at the rate we did because it strapped us too much financially. We should have forced ourselves to move a bit slower as we grew.
9. House: I have heard that Tod Gordon and Paul Heyman will be collaborating on a new project. What can you tell us about this new project?
Tod Gordon: I wish I could discuss that more at this point but unfortunately I’m not at liberty to.
10. House: Tod, I love you and I know the fans love you. Will we ever see The Sugar Daddy, Todman, or Tod Gordon as himself back actively in the wrestling business?
Tod Gordon: House. I love you too Brother. Working with you at PWU was such a pleasure due to your professionalism and your many talents. I always said that when I retired I wouldn’t be one of those guys that kept unretiring. I made it a habit of not lying to the fans and I’m not about to change that now. I still come out for an occasional reunion show and I accept bookings for conventions or autograph/photograph sessions. As far as full time again? I leave that to the younger guys who still have the energy for that paced life.
Thank you for your time, I will keep in touch. Thank you for everything.
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