CHARLESTON, WV (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — West Virginia is starting to develop a tough reputation for professional wrestlers after a series of articles on a wrestling-oriented news site by Bill Behrens, president of Atlanta-based Show Business Inc and an agent for a number of former top-tier wrestlers. In the articles, Behrens singles out the state of West Virginia where he claims there are several independent promoters who aren't paying performers or falsely promoting events for wrestlers who aren't actually booked.
According to Behrens, one incident involved former "world champion" wrestler Kevin Nash was being billed in a wrestling event to be staged by Xtreme Wrestling Entertainment in Kingwood, Preston County. Nash had originally been featured on a poster for the event but canceled his appearance after not being paid, Behrens claims. The event was subsequently postponed.
The promoter, Damian Lee, has a different version of the tale. According to Lee, he mailed Nash money for the event but the wrestler claims not to have received it. He then offered to wire the money and claims he increased his offer by $1,000 to no avail.
"I did everything a promoter was supposed to do," Lee, owner of Damien Lee Productions, told the Charleston Daily Mail "I sent him money through regular mail and he said, 'What kind of promoter does that?'"
Behrens has taken issue with other promoters in West Virginia as well. Behrens has claimed that promoter Dennis "Shady" Richardson owes some of Behrens' performers money a show promoted in Bluefield West Virginia. The show billed two former WWE stars Chris Masters and the Sandman — Masters claims to be owed $750 for the event and the Sandman never made the scene.
The world of independent wrestling is still largely below the radar. Events are often held in small towns and contracts with performers are often rather nebulous, comprised of verbal agreements for a split of the proceeds, creating an environment that is ripe for contention and disagreement.
Still, Behrens doesn't think every wrestling promoter is dishonest.
"It's a common problem," Behrens said. "Most promoters will not screw up in front of the wrestler. It takes a fairly gusty guy not to pay up. Sometimes, you'll get a nice wrestler like Chris Masters, though he's as big as a building, he won't lose his temper and punch you in the face." – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers