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Brandon Baxter

GM: When and how did you get started in pro wrestling?

BB: Basically, I'll try to make a long story short. I have been a huge wrestling fan for as long as I can remember. I grew up in the Dallas, Texas area, watching World Class Championship Wrestling.

Whenever I had the opportunity to attend live events, be it WCCW, NWA/WCW, WWF, or whatever I would always do my best to find someone to take me to the matches. There was something about wrestling that fascinated me as a child.

In 1988, at the age of 11, I started attending the WCCW matches at the Sportatorium in Dallas on a weekly basis. I had the opportunity to get to know some of the wrestlers, their families, the staff of WCCW, and the staff of the Sportatorium.

WCCW became the United States Wrestling Association in 1989, and they ran Dallas until mid 1991. When the USWA stopped running Dallas, Joe Pedicino brought the Global Wrestling Federation to the Sportatorium.

The GWF was trying to become a more fan-friendly organization. Thus, during their television programs they would allow fans to express their opinions in a Fan Comment segment, and also had Fan Questions that would be answered by the wrestlers.

One night I was at the building to watch the matches. One of the security guards asked if I'd like to do a Fan Comment, and I did.

The next week I was approached by "Video Bob," who was the director of the television program. He said he had an idea for a segment that I would host, and he wanted to introduce me to Joe Pedicino and Boni Blackstone. The next week I met Joe and Boni, and "Teen Beat" was born.

Joe and Boni gave me a tremendous opportunity, and allowed a young kid to begin living his dream. The "Teen Beat" segments were not very good, but Joe and Boni gave me a chance to learn and improve at what I was doing. And for that I will be forever grateful.

After "Teen Beat," I became a manager, and have been managing and wrestling ever since.

GM: What got you interested in pro wrestling?

BB: Like I said before, I've been a wrestling fan for as long as I can remember. I guess there is one match that stands out in my mind as the match that let me know that I wanted to work in wrestling. That match is Kerry Von Erich -vs- Ric Flair from Texas Stadium in May of 1984. Kerry won the NWA World Championship and 40,000 people were on their feet voicing their approval, with tears in their eyes. It was a truly emotional scene, as Kerry had won the NWA Title in honor of his brother David, who had passed away earlier in the year.

At that moment I knew I wanted to be a wrestler.

GM: What promotions do you work for now and have worked for in the past?

BB: I have worked for the Global Wrestling Federation from October of 1991 through September of 1994. Jim Crockett's Dallas version of the NWA, which he opened in late 1994. In early 1995 I did some television work for Deep South Wrestling. Then in June of 1995 I began working for the USWA, which ran events in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, and the surrounding areas. I took a hiatus from wrestling around June of 1996, and then started working for a couple different promotions in Texas. Then Power Pro Wrestling opened up in Memphis April 18, 1998, and I have been here ever since.

GM: I've heard Memphis Power Pro has been doing very well, is there anything big coming up for Power Pro?

BB: Power Pro has been doing well. Our television program airs Live every Saturday morning at 11:00am on WMC TV5, the NBC Affiliate, in Memphis. We are the highest rated Saturday morning television show in the market, and one of the higher rated shows of the day. As a matter of fact there have been quite a few times when we have been the number 1 rated show of the day. In this day and age, the overnight ratings are critical, and we consistently have composite ratings in the mid 8's....and they been as high as mid 10's.

We have had three successful events in the Mid South Coliseum. The first one back in June drawing the largest gate for a Memphis wrestling company since 1989.

We have a working agreement with the World Wrestling Federation, which makes WWF talent available to Power Pro.

We just began what we hope will be regular live events in Memphis.

Considering that PPW is still under a year old, I think that we have experienced tremendous success thus far.

GM: MPPW recently started running at the New Daisy Theater in Memphis, that was where Kick Ass Wrestling had been running, was MPPW's move to there to try to knock KAW out of Memphis or was it simply a good place to run a show?

BB: It was a good place to run a live event, and the timing was right. Basically Power Pro was a Memphis wrestling company that wasn't running regular live events in Memphis. We had the opportunity to run the New Daisy, and we tried it. The event was a success, and we plan on running the New Daisy on a regular basis.

There were no intentions of trying to run KAW out of the New Daisy or Memphis in general. Memphis is a large city, and there is plenty of room for more than one wrestling company in the town.

I think both companies have found their niche audience, and are making the most out of it. Power Pro's product is more family oriented, and a more traditional style of wrestling. We are a Saturday morning television program, which pretty much makes it a necessity to be family oriented programming. KAW's style is a more extreme, ECW-like style.

I think right now is a great time to be a wrestling fan in the city of Memphis, because of the diversity of the products. There is something in the Memphis market for all wrestling fans.

GM: What was it like working for Global Wrestling Federation on ESPN at the age of 14?

BB: It was a very overwhelming experience. I really didn't know what I was getting in to. But it was also a dream come true. I could sit at home and watch myself on TV during a wrestling program, and that is something I always wanted to do.

But, being a 14 year old kid in an industry full of adults was definitely a challenge. Many of the wrestlers in the GWF were experienced veterans, and they were hard on me at first. But over the years they saw how hard I worked, how bad I wanted to succeed, and the fact that I ended up paying my dues, and they started to respect me for that. And I now consider many of those same people who were hard on me early on, very good friends.

I realize now why they were so hard on me. They wanted me to respect the business. And in a strange way, the way I was treated made me respect the business more than I would have otherwise.

GM: Did your age ever cause problems there or at USWA where when you started you were only 17?

BB: There were never any major problems. Some people saw my youth as an advantage, and others saw it as a disadvantage.

Right now I am 21 years old, and in PPW we are using my age to our advantage. I am a so called "good guy," down here now, and my youth is used to give the younger generation of wrestling fans someone to relate to. So at this point in my career my age is definitely a positive.

I think I am old enough now where my age will no longer be a very big factor in my career.

GM: Are there any guys in the Memphis area that you think could be major stars some day?

BB: I think everyone here has a lot of potential to be future stars. We have 5 guys here right now that are under WWF Development Contracts, and they are all coming along very well. I hate to name names as far as who I see as future stars, for fear of leaving someone out.

Right now I think we have a very strong crew. And it is probably one of the more well rounded crews in this area in quite a while. We have big guys, small guys, short guys, tall guys, young guys, veterans, etc...

GM: Do you know if MPPW plans to expand out of Memphis and maybe try to reclaim what the USWA once had?

BB: Yes, PPW does have plans to expand, and has had those plans since day one. But before PPW could expand we had to get off the ground. Kind of like the old saying, "You have to learn to walk, before you can run." We had to make sure that we could be successful in Memphis first.

And now that we have been successful in the Memphis area, we are ready to begin to branch out. There are already different plans in effect for expansion.

GM: Is there anything you would like to plug? shows? sites? ect?

BB: You can check out the Power Pro Wrestling website, which is still under construction, at: http://welcome.to/powerprowrestling

Tapes of Power Pro's "Power Hour," should be available on the site in the near future.

I am interested in hearing fan comments regarding Power Pro, my work over the years, and various other topics. You can e-mail me at:

BrandonBaxter@prodigy.com

GM: Is there any other comments you would like to make?

BB: I'd like to thank you for asking me to do this interview. And I would like to thank all of the talent that I have had the opportunity to work with, and learn from over the years.

I'm like a kid in a candy store. I'm still living my dream. And I want to thank everyone for allowing me to be able to do that.