Thursday, August 18, 2016

Disaster in Dudley

What was supposed to have been a celebration of professional wrestling past and present turned into a major financial disaster in one of the most epic of ways possible.  And on a personal note, I thought I had worked a show that was a disaster when the booker and many of the talent didn't show up, as well as the audio equipment not working was a disaster, but this was one that was many times worse.

This past Saturday in Dudley, GA (for those that do not know, a city in central GA, just SE of Macon) there was to have been a Legends Festival with many stars from wrestling's past, many of the names you can see in the poster I placed above this entry. And later on in the evening there was to have been a wrestling show with 9 matches.  There was a big problem that nearly prevented any of that from happening.

The person responsible for promoting this was a man by the name of Greg Greene, who with the names of the talent listed, before any ring or venue rental fees, just talent, had a cost of approximately $18,000.  The problem, is he came to the venue that day with allegedly only $500 cash.  When word of that started to spread among the talent, some left, some warned the others who had not yet arrived to not bother showing due to no money being available.  Mr. Greene proceeds to start writing checks out to the talent and at one point, reportedly uses his mother's checkbook to write some checks out of the wrestlers.  There's one problem with that, his mother allegedly did not allow him to do this, thus he was writing fraudulent checks out. 

For obvious reasons the talent is unhappy about this situation, however, many decided to stay and interact with the paying fans and still put on a show for the fans that did pay to come out and see them.  Mr. Greene had claimed to have sold approximately $10,000 worth of tickets online, but there was a "problem" with him and the vendor getting the money.  However, when asked to show proof of this "problem" he refused to show the proof. 

It got so bad that the Sheriff had to get involved, and mentioned to many of the talent that if the checks did indeed bounce a warrant for Mr. Greene's arrest would be issued.  And as of this writing, according to many of the talents, the checks did bounce, and the ones from his mother's account were marked as fraudulent.  Some had mentioned that their checks cashed, however, according to a wrestler by the name of Zac Edwards, who was at the event, mentioned on Facebook.

 To everyone involved with the Dudley Debacle:
The checks are no good. Some are saying their checks cleared. This is false. There has not been enough time for the check to clear. Sure you may have cashed it or deposited it at your bank, but I assure you it will be returned. I have been told by Colonial bank in Macon that Greg was not a signer on the acct. and the acct. is flagged for fraudulent charges. Please spread the word to those that are believing the whole "mine cleared" crap.

There is video proof of a some of the wrestlers confronting Mr. Greene and him trying to explain what had happened as well a video of the Sheriff confronting Mr. Greene as well, however, that particular one has not yet been shared as of this writing, but many of the wrestler's video confronting Mr. Greene are available.  It's a very sad situation that happened, but many of the wrestlers, led by Francisco Ciatso, decided to make the best of a bad situation and try to put on the best show possible for the paying fans in attendance.  And from all accounts it was a solid show and the money made from the event was split among those that stayed, which wasn't much. 

If you're reading this wanting to get into the wrestling business as a promoter, you should read this as a tale of what NOT to do.  From the accounts I have been reading, it looks as if this guy only did it to say he got to meet and get the phone numbers of various legends that he looked up to.  The sad thing is, these guys wasted their time, gas, and effort, for someone who ended up stiffing them in the end.  And to those that left and didn't work, I don't blame them one bit for leaving, they had that right and honestly, I probably would've as well.

For those that stayed and ended up working the show, I commend them.  They didn't have to stay, they could've left as well.  But they felt the fans had nothing to do with what Mr. Greene did and decided to give the paying fan the best show possible.

To end this on a humorous note, one of the merchandise being sold at the event was this.

That is a Ric Flair from the 4 Horsemen set sold at Target, repackaged as a "Natureboy" Paul Lee figure.  The story is that he paid Ric Flair to have his blessing to use the Natureboy nickname and now is pretty much a Flair tribute act, from the robe down to his wrestling mannerisms. 
UPDATE: Word going around is that Greg Greene has been found and arrested in Virginia awaiting to stand trial.

SECOND UPDATE: STF here, a poster on WCMB who is someone I trust is claiming that Greene is in a mental hospital in Augusta, GA.  Not sure which story is accurate, but we'll pass on anything else we here.