For more than four months, the silence has been growing louder in ACW with no announcements from the Yahoo group nor the website. Repeated attempts for interviews with ACW President Tanako X, ACW Champion Alex Del Monacco or former Champion Daniella Cartier have been ignored. Now, apartmentwrestlrers.com has been offered an exclusive interview with Tanako X, to set the record straight and give a clear assessment of the future of the promotion.
www.apartmentwrestlers.com: Thank you, Tanako, for sitting down with us and addressing questions today.
Tanako X: I’m more than happy to visit with you… In fact I’m glad to finally have an opportunity to make everything clear.
a: Well first of all, what been going on with the promotion? We haven’t heard any news for a while.
X: Well, simply put… it’s the economy. Our promotion, and most apartment wrestling/catfight promotions have razor thins margins. When you see traditional, larger professional wrestling promotions, they have lucrative television deals in place so they are making a lot of money from the top, then they may gain significant revenue from house shows and the additional revenue from DVD and online sales. We rely almost entirely on DVD and merchandising sales. Because of the economy, almost everything in the process is more expensive, from the cost of media and packaging to the price of distribution and delivery.
We also got involved in a terrible real estate situation. As most of your readers know, we maintain our headquarters at the ACW Academy Dojo in Chicago. We’ve been there for decades and began expanding our facilities last summer. We had a handshake agreement with our landlord of 22 years but he died last summer and when his kids took over, they tried to raise our rent by 300%. Obviously, we weren’t going to pay that but we had put quite a bit of money into the construction for our expansion. Eventually we took them to court, but those kids didn’t know what they were doing and eventually they put the whole building up for sale and after a couple of months they were so desperate that they dropped the price by 40%. At this point, it made a lot of sense to make a play for the building so we sold off a lot of our physical assets to provide as earnest money for the purchase (that money was held in escrow). We had our loan from the bank all lined up but two days before closing, the bank faltered and cancelled all potential loans, leaving us high and dry. After not being able to get another loan, we struggled to get our money out of escrow, we basically had to shut down operations and laid off most of our staff. Now, the building has been sold and we have to contemplate our options for recovering the money we expended on the expansion.
Obviously, the whole thing has put us in a terrible financial situation. Now, at my age, I’m getting too old to have to get this ball rolling again and I also want to keep my name out of the negative headlines as they aversely affect my son Tanako, who is just beginning a broadcasting career. As such, I am in the process of selling my shares in ACW to an investor group. One of those investors, I’m happy to say is former Champion Daniella Cartier. Daniella, who has been like a daughter to me, has really worked hard to learn a lot about this business and I am excited to see what kind of contributions she can make.
a: Well, this is rather unexpected. With you nearing departure, when do you expect ACW to be back and up and running?
X: Well that depends entirely up to the new regime. Obviously, since they are buying me out, they are interested in operating the promotion and profiting from it. I would expect that they will back in action within a few months. Our talent has been booked overseas so the girls are still wrestling and should be in great form when they return.
a: Is Daniella going to compete as an owner/wrestler?
X: I don’t know. I would suggest that it is not the best idea but I know she would like to compete in at least one more title match against Alex Del Monacco.
a: Speaking of Alex, how would you described her title reign so far?
X: I think Alex has performed in a manner befitting a champion. She has given her all and at this point has racked up 167 consecutive wins. I feel sorry for her though, as due to circumstances beyond her control she has not faced the top flight competition that she has wanted. Injuries, disputes, departures of top stars and failure to reach agreement between ACW and rival promotions has prevented her from wrestling a number of dream matches that would have allowed her to gain the recognition she deserved and wanted so bad.
X: Well, I have a great many. Seeing Daniella emerge into being a star and now an owner. Seeing Tiffani use her notoriety into becoming one of the Girls of Playboy, and seeing a veteran like Diane Hunter who struggled for years and never got a break ending up getting a shot and winning the title belt. The things she said about me were not my favorite things to hear, but I was proud of her nonetheless. Also, finally being vindicated of the sexual harassment charges that were leveled at me. That was a painful chapter of my life both personally and professionally.
a: Conversely, what are some of the disappointments?
X: Well, at the top of the list would be the harassment charges and how hey affected a lot of my relationships with people in ACW. I was really disappointed that Brycee Adams suffered so many injuries. Despite her not being the most reliable person and not being the best of technical wrestlers, she was a real joy to work with and watch. If she was healthy we could have done wonders with her. Also, Nyla Jay was a natural who only wrestled with us briefly but she had it and we could have done a lot with her. I wish we would have been able to make an International star out of Rosario Delgado. One of our agents told me about her and he said, “she can’t wrestle worth a damn, but wait ’til you see the ass on this girl.” He said that we could sell out an arena just to show off her rear end. The thing is, she became very good as a wrestler and despite her broken english was a really good interview. But like most of the girls she was flaky and temperamental.
Truthfully, I don’t focus too much on the negatives of the past. There have been too many positives. Also, I have a great family and I am enjoying seeing my son Tanako grow up to be such a great young man. I will never be one of those people in the wrestling business who can’t get out of the business without spending the rest of their lives reliving the past, full of regrets and looking to settle old scores.
a: Any final thoughts?
X: Well, you may see me from time to time, but now it is time for new people to take over and make ACW great once again. To our staff, wrestling, the media and our fans, thank you so much for your support and for changing my life over the years. Namaste!