Bill Stone has a modest goal for the first Heroes of Wrestling pay-per-view.
“This event, because it’s a new event, we run a risk of not having a familiar audience,” said Stone, the president of Fosstone Productions, during a conference call. “Having said that, we have conservative estimates for this first event.”
He’s aiming for a 0.1 buyrate for the Sunday, October 10th event, which translates into about 40,000 households purchasing the event. Stone believes that is a “very attainable number” and that chances are good that the concept — bringing many of yesterday’s top wrestling stars together again — will fly with the public.
In fact, future events are even penciled into the contracts of wrestlers like King Kong Bundy, Superfly Snuka and George ‘The Animal’ Steele. “If the public demands more, we will give them more. If the public doesn’t care, we won’t do more. It’s very simple,” explained Stone, saying that there could be television specials in the future too.
A cynic might scoff at the notion of watching aging wrestlers go at it one more time, but for Stone, Heroes of Wrestling is about recognizing yesterday’s stars. It’s about parents sitting down with their kids and showing them their heroes from when they were growing up.
“Obviously, the wrestling industry is at its peak, and we saw an opportunity,” admitted Stone. “But the real heroes that brought wrestling to where it is today really are getting ignored were not getting the credit [they] deserved.”
One of the biggest names on the card is King Kong Bundy, who was last seen on a pay-per-view at WrestleMania XI. He will get a piece of the giant Yokozuna at the event, and its being billed as the Thousand Pound War.
The orchestrator of Bundymania is looking forward to being in the spotlight again. “I’m just looking forward to being on a big event,” he said during the conference call. “I enjoy the independents, but I’m usually wrestling for 300 to 500 to a thousand people. Now it’s going to be a lot bigger. It’s going to be a nation-wide audience, a world-wide audience.”
Heroes of Wrestling, which is priced at $19.95 in Canada, has cleared 100% of the addressable audience in the United States and Canada, and will be available on tape delay on ITV in England. Stone believes that it will help that their show will be the first wrestling PPV of October, and that the following Monday is a holiday — Thanksgiving in Canada, Columbus Day in the U.S.
The live event will be at Casino Magic in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, about 45 minutes from New Orleans. The facility holds 3,000 people.
There is definite enthusiasm for this product in Bill Stone’s voice, and before signing off, he promised reporters that “you’re going to be really pleasantly shocked and surprised at what you see” at the Heroes of Wrestling PPV.
As for Mr. Bundy, he reminded the reporters that “the older the violin, the sweeter the music.”
HEROES OF WRESTLING PPV MATCHES:
Bob Orton vs Superfly Snuka
Tully Blanchard vs Stan Lane
Jim Neidhart vs Jake Roberts
Abdullah the Butcher vs One Man Gang
Greg Valentine vs George Steele
Luke & Butch vs Nikolai Volkoff & The Iron Sheik vs Marty Jannetty & Tommy Rogers vs The Samoan Swat Team
Too Cold Scorpio vs Julio Sanchez