MWF X: MEMORIES PART #1 by Dan Mirade
Thursday, July 7th, 2011 * 10:02PM
With Raw coming up in Boston this Monday night as the "go home" to the Money In The Bank PPV, it reminded me of ten years ago this month. For nine months, I had a chance to learn from the great Ed Cohen (along with Howard Finkel, the first two employees hired by the-then WWF after Vince and Linda McMahon bought the company from Vince McMahon Sr.) and a local promoter named Liz Flynn. Talk about a learning experience for a 20 year old!! I'll never forget a call that basically came out of nowhere in November 2000 and the excitement that went along with it. . .
This was the week leading into the Invasion PPV (the most bought wrestling / sports entertainment PPV not named WrestleMania in wrestling history, FYI). Raw was in Boston and Smackdown was in Providence, where they teased the babyface turn of Steve Austin after the horrible choice to turn him heel at WrestleMania XVII in Houston a few months earlier. I learned shortly beforehand that I would no longer be of any help to them following the Providence event, which was crushing, but it was what it was, in reality I was about as needed by WWE as a bottle of water at an Aquafina manufacturing plant. It was hard. . . I still have a long email I sent with issues I saw that would hurt the company both financially and from a popularity point of view. Not to pat myself on the back, but over the next three or four years, most of those predictions came true. That dated email will never been seen by another human eye until "the book comes out" so to speak. Needless to say, it didn't change the decision made, which I understood, I just felt at my age - smack dab in the middle of the demographic they were trying to draw off of - I could have been of value to them. Lots of people unemployed in the world of sports entertainment I'm sure feel the same way. . .hit the house shows, Boston, Providence, and that was that. . .
Back when I had a fully able bodied, I was full of piss and vinegar, and finally ready to get my pet project started: the Millennium Wrestling Federation. Couple of interesting facts. The original debut event was to come in late 1999 at the Melrose Middle School (right around the corner from Memorial Hall) with Edge as the headliner. BS city politics prevented that from happening, and then the WWF opportunity came along. Myself and MWF co-founder Neil Manolian officially filed paperwork in January 2001, so it was something that was going to happen regardless, it was just a matter of when. This seemed like a great time. . .
The week after the TV tapings, I reached out to Wonderland Greyhound Park in Revere, MA to house our initial event. Wonderland was well known to area fans as the home of some wild ECW events, and it was also the last stop on the Blue Line subway, so it was easy to get to for fans that weren't able to drive in the Boston area. In the pre-Linda Mirade days, if I wanted to book a flight to FL and enjoy some quiet time at Casa de Mirade South and felt I needed and deserved one. . .literally a half hour before I needed to leave the house to make my flight, I was finalizing things with Wonderland. They didn't have any Saturday's available as they had some kind of weekly Brazilian dance party, so Friday's were the only option. I've always hated Friday events for several reasons. With Friday generally being a work day for most, it was difficult for wrestlers to get to the venue, never mind fans we wanted to spend their ticket money and time on. Also, airfare was more expensive for a Friday flight than Saturday. But, it was what it was, and we booked our debut event, BIG BANG, Friday, September 28th, 2001. . .
I got on the plane with a blank notebook in my carry-on bag, satisfied that after eight years in wrestling, so much time spent working and traveling with Tony Rumble, learning from WWF, "donating" my time to another worthless slob, it was "finally time". . .now what were we going to do??