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Sunday, January 3, 2100

More About Me

Since the, "About Me" section of this blog is limited to a specific amount of characters, I decided to write a post that discusses more about what I have done in the pro-wrestling industry, beginning with when I first started in it and leading up to now.

Technically, I started back in the 1990s, contributing to, "Pro Wrestling Illustrated" and then, "Pro Wrestling Torch". In 1997, I contributed to The Official Website of the NWO. That same year, I briefly published my own newsletter, "The Wrestling Express".

In 1998, I taught myself how to design websites, and served as a consultant for various independent promotions. That next year, I worked as a website designer/maintainer for Dylan Summers (Necro Butcher) who was running the Texas-based Power Pro Wrestling Federation, and later was involved with Texas Outlaw Promotions.

During the period of 2000-2002, I was involved in many different projects at once. I was working as a website designer/publicist for talent, contributing to WCW.com, writing columns for independent promotions and the website of former WCW star The Stro, and writing for a variety of pro-wrestling media sites (including WrestlingObserver.com and PWTorch.com). In 2003, I began running my own website, World Wrestling Optimum, which consisted of news, articles, and interviews.

In 2004, I started working for the Michigan-based Ultimate Championship Wrestling as a publicist/columnist. They were an affiliate of American Wrestling Association Superstars Of Wrestling, and I soon became the publicist/columnist of the main governing body of AWA as well. During my time working for UCW, I played a major role in bringing in new talent, due to over the years my having had come into contact with many talents being underused and going unnoticed in the industry.

In 2005, I started doing a column for 3PW. With DVDs sold nationwide, they had the potential to become much bigger than they already were at the time, and were very open to my ideas. I pushed for many changes behind-the-scenes. I had encouraged management to improve the production quality of their DVDs, which led to them dealing with a different production company. 3PW management had planned on waiting for its fan base to increase before getting TV for 3PW. I explained how getting TV for 3PW is what would increase its fan base, and I was then given the green light to find networks that were interested. Two networks were very interested, and I encouraged 3PW management to meet with them as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the owner of the company instead opted to shut 3PW down, due to losing interest. Working for 3PW put me in connection with the UK-based 1PW, who I worked as a columnist for.

After 3PW shut down, I began working as a publicist for independent promotions, including CHIKARA. I also worked as a columnist for CZW. Interestingly though, it was 2006 at this point yet I was still most recognized for the work that I had done for 3PW and AWA/UCW.

In 2007 I started working as a columnist for XCW, a promotion that was seen nationally on MAVTV, had a national DVD deal, and also had PPV events. Working for a promotion of national status was my biggest achievement at that point, and two years later I reached a bigger achievement- Big Japan Pro-Wrestling. Along with working for them as a columnist and an Administrator for their Facebook page, I helped bring Big Japan Pro-Wrestling together with Combat Zone Wrestling to form a working relationship after a previous working relationship between the two promotions had fallen apart. This new working relationship led to Big Japan Pro-Wrestling having its first event in the United States.

In October 2009 I assisted publicity & promotions company MGM Management with the HULKAMANIA- Let the Battle Begin tour by distributing their press release to pro-wrestling news sites that are popular with Australian fans, and conducting an interview with Solofa Fatu Jr. (better known as, "Rikishi"). Also, in 2012 I wrote a number of columns for Women Superstars United.

In May 2018 I did social media for Great North Wrestling.

In 2021 I did blogging and social media for Kyushu Pro Wrestling.

Recently, I have done blogging and social media for Yanagase Pro Wrestling.


In 2019 I began writing for Michinoku Pro Wrestling, in charge of international wrestling. Since the time that I began writing for them, Michinoku Pro had a sellout, standing-room-only event on December 13, 2019 at the Korakuen Hall. The Korakuen Hall is known as a place where many historical moments in the Japanese pro-wrestling scene have occurred. It's to Japan what Madison Square Garden is to the pro-wrestling scene in the United States. The event had an attendance of 1,890. That was the highest reported attendance at the Korakuen Hall to date for a pro-wrestling event since April 2015.

I am available for more writing work. I create, edit, and rewrite promotional content on websites and social media platforms for companies, as well as design, develop, and direct their web presence and brand identity. I can be contacted via info@harold-williams.com

Samples of my work: http://dld.bz/jeRzq

Saturday, February 4, 2023

MILLIONS Signs 20 Athletes and Personalities as Exclusive Sports WatchParty Live Stream Hosts

According to the digital transformation research website Insider Intelligence, the growth of podcasting listenership is beginning to slow down. Meanwhile, interest in live streaming and live watch parties is increasing in the sports entertainment industry. Experts in the industry believe this is happening due to audiences' desire for real-time engagement and interactive experiences. According to Nielsen's State of Play report, Americans increased their average weekly streamed video consumption from "143.2 billion streamed minutes to 169.4 billion between February 2021 and February 2022." This presents a big opportunity for platforms that do live streaming and present watch parties in sports, and MILLIONS is a platform that is taking full advantage of that opportunity.



MILLIONS has brought on over 2000 athletes to offer products and services to sports fans, and to stream, create channels, and host watch parties. Recently, MILLIONS signed its first 20 exclusive athletes and personalities to long-term WatchParty deals.

"We are thrilled to partner with these incredible athletes and bring their unique personalities and talents to our platform," said Matt Whitteker, CEO of MILLIONS. "Our mission is to create a new way for fans to experience sports and connect with their heroes in real-time."



Some of the athletes signed to exclusive long-term WatchParty contracts with MILLIONS are:

Irving Fryar, a former NFL wide receiver with the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, who was the number one draft pick and named to the Pro Bowl five times, and is a member of the Patriots Hall of Fame.

Johnny Munoz, a professional mixed martial artist and Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, who is known for his striking skills and has competed in Bellator MMA, the PFL, and King of the Cage (where Munoz won the KOTC Bantamweight Championship). He currently competes in UFC.

Nick Aldis, a professional wrestler, former 2-time NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, and former Impact World Champion who is known for his technical wrestling style. Aldis has competed in NWA, Impact Wrestling, and ROH.

Amanda Ruller, a former running back for Team Canada and the Los Angeles Temptations, and now a professional football coach. Amanda has coached university teams and CFL teams, and now is one of the first female coaches in the NFL as assistant running back coach for the Seattle Seahawks.

Adrian Yanez, a professional mixed martial artist and former LFA bantamweight champion, who is known for his grappling skills and has competed in the UFC. Currently ranked 13th in the UFC's Bantamweight division.

Kaytlin Neil, a professional mixed martial artist and former TUF competitor, who is known for her grappling skills and has competed in UFC. She was in season 30 of the Ultimate Fighter.

Firas Zahabi, a martial arts coach and founder of Tristar Gym, who is known for training several UFC champions and legends such as Georges St-Pierre, Rory MacDonald, and Kenny Florian.

Grant Dawson, a professional mixed martial artist and former LFA featherweight champion, who is known for his striking skills and is currently competing as the 15th-ranked fighter in the Lightweight division of the UFC.

Fans can expect to see these athletes, and more, on MILLIONS.co participating in live streams, WatchParties, and exclusive interactive content. "We are excited to bring fans closer to the action and give them the chance to interact with their favorite athletes in real-time," said Tyler Hosie, Streaming Operations Manager at MILLIONS.co. "This is just the beginning of our vision to revolutionize the way sports are consumed and experienced."



In order to be signed and offered a long term contract on MILLIONS, athletes must start hosting streams on the platform, and based on viewership overtime, will be offered contracts to build new live stream shows within MILLIONS. Additionally, whether signed to a long-term contract or not, athletes' streaming channels on MILLIONS can become eligible for sponsorship. "Our goal is to help collegiate, professional, elite, and former athletes have a platform and team they can leverage to build a channel that they can monetize. We make it easy and offer full support to the athletes to help ensure good quality content, revenue, and sponsorship" says CMO of MILLIONS, Brandon Austin. Already, brands like Gold Bar Whiskey and HONA CBD have started aggressively using sponsored streams, with embedded product placement, on MILLIONS.co as a primary source to drive brand awareness, generate marketing content, and sales. Gold Bar Whiskey had a record quarter during the course of their 'MILLIONS athlete influencer campaign', which ran during the regular 2022 NFL Season, and was centered around San Francisco 49ers alumni promoting the brand's products.

As hundreds of new athletes join the platform each week and establish their channels, MILLIONS intends to be the top choice for sports enthusiasts globally, providing a centralized hub for all things sports.

Thursday, February 2, 2023

[TwitCasting] Doutonbori Pro on 2/5 LIVE

Doutonbori Pro is an Osaka-based promotion that was launched in 2013. Its roster consists of many wrestlers who have appeared in a variety of well-known Japanese promotions, and Doutonbori Pro events also include talented freelancers and wrestlers from other promotions. This Sunday, February 5th, it will present its 2023 February Tournament. The event will start at 1:00 PM.



The card will be as follows:

Magnitude Kishiwada (former DG star)
Mikiya Sasaki (as seen in BJW, AJPW, ZERO1, and WAVE)
vs.
Ryota Nakatsu (former NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champion)
Daiki Shimomura (as seen in BJW, DDT, Ice Ribbon, and WAVE)

Super Delfin (former CMLL World Welterweight Champion)
vs.
Flying Penguin
vs.
Ice Penguin (as seen in Michinoku Pro)

Kinryu
Captain Amemura
Hiroaki Moriya (as seen in BJW, DDT, DG, AJPW, Ice Ribbon, and ZERO1)
Takaku Fuke (as seen in NJPW, NOAH, BJW, DDT, AJPW, and ZERO1)
vs.
Taiyoto Kamen (as seen in NOAH and ZERO1)
La Pete
Takashi Tachibana
Hideaki Sumi (as seen in BJW and DG)

WDW Women's Championship
Momoka Hanazono (WDW Women's Champion)
vs.
Mari Manji (of Yanagase Pro Wrestling, appeared in BJW, Ice Ribbon, WAVE, Sendai Girls, and PURE-J)

Kandai Koyama
Ryuya Matsufusa (as seen in AJPW)
Mizuki Watase (former KO-D Six Man Tag Team Champion)
vs.
Yuto Kikuchi (as seen in Michinoku Pro, BJW, AJPW, and WAVE)
Kouki Iwasaki (former KO-D Six Man Tag Team Champion)
Yuki Tanaka (as seen in BJW and ZERO1)

WDW Championship
Worochi (WDW Champion)
vs.
Harutoki (as seen in Michinoku Pro, BJW, DDT, AJPW, and ZERO1)

You can see Doutonbori Pro's 2023 February Tournament LIVE via TwitCasting, a livestreaming service based in Japan that has over 33 million registered users worldwide. Be there at 13:00 Japan Time, and you can use a time zone converter to find out what time that is in your area to make sure that you don't miss any of the live pro-wrestling action.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

[ZERO1][PREVIEW] “22nd Anniversary Convention” 3/5/23

It was in March 2001 that Shinya Hashimoto and Shinjiro Otani presented the very first ZERO1 event, at Ryogoku Kokugikan in front of 11,000 fans, and live nationally on SKY PerfecTV! via satellite. 22 years later, ZERO1 will celebrate its anniversary on March 5 (11:30 AM start time, doors open at 10:45 AM) at the Korakuen Hall (the Madison Square Garden of Japan).



In the main event, Masato Tanaka will defend his ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship against Shoki Kitamura. Tanaka is currently in his sixth reign as Champion, with his first reign being the third longest reign in the history of the Championship. It is also noteworthy that Tanaka is the first ZERO1 World Heavyweight Champion in history.

The lineage of the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship began in 1996 when a promotion named American Wrestling Association Superstars Of Wrestling was founded. This is the reason why "AWA" is written on the belt. Many recognizable talents have held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship, including former WWE star King Kong Bundy and Matt Wiese, who is best known as former WWE star Luther Reigns, and also wrestled in WCW and ZERO1 as, "Horshu".

In 2004, ZERO1 became an affiliate of American Wrestling Association Superstars Of Wrestling (I was the publicist/columnist of the main governing body that year). After stripping the previous AWA World Heavyweight Champion of the title, ZERO1 was sanctioned to be the site where the new Champion would be decided. ZERO1 was an AWA affiliate for almost three years, and during that time period, most of the wrestlers who held the AWA World Heavyweight Championship were members of the ZERO1 roster (such as Shinjiro Otani and Masato Tanaka). ZERO1 was the biggest AWA affiliate and was the organization most responsible for the popularity that American Wrestling Association Superstars Of Wrestling was quickly gaining. ZERO1 severed ties with them in December 2007, and Tanaka was AWA World Heavyweight Champion at that time. The Championship was then renamed the ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship, with Tanaka being the first Champion.

Masato Tanaka's first ZERO1 World Heavyweight Championship defense took place at Korakuen Hall, and it will be the same place where he will defend it as ZERO1 celebrates its 22nd anniversary. Shoki Kitamura is a former ZERO1 World & International Junior Heavyweight Champion who is next in line for a shot at Tanaka's championship, so will Tanaka's sixth reign continue as ZERO1 marks the start of its next chapter, or will it mark the beginning of a new era, with Kitamura as the new champion?



In other action, former WWWA Tag Team Champion Jaguar Yokota and former Goddesses Of Stardom Champion Jungle Kyona will team to face Stardom star Unagi Sayaka and a partner who has not yet been named. Also, All Asia Tag Team Champion Kendo Kashin and former NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Champion Tatsuhito Takaiwa will be in tag team action, along with much more.

Tickets for this event can be purchased here.

[YPW][TwitCasting] Yanagase Pro Wrestling on 2/4 LIVE

Last week, the ladies of Ladius were in action, and this week, it's the men's division of YPW's turn, as they return to SPORTS BAR M's Cafe this Saturday, February 4th! The event will start at 7:30 PM, and the card will be as follows:



Mari Manji (from the Ladius division)
vs.
Yasu Kubota (from ZERO1)



Yanagase Kamen Fuerza (as seen in ZERO1)
Jack Kennedy
vs.
Lowther (as seen in DDT, AJPW, and BJW)
Rob Stardom



Kenta Kosugi (as seen in BJW and ZERO1)
Michio Kageyama (as seen in NOAH, DDT, BJW, AJPW, and ZERO1)
vs.
Hide Kubota (NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Champion)
JADE (as seen in AJPW)

You can see this Yanagase Pro Wrestling event LIVE via TwitCasting, a livestreaming service based in Japan that has over 33 million registered users worldwide. Be there at 19:30 Japan Time, and you can use a time zone converter to find out what time that is in your area to make sure that you don't miss any of the live pro-wrestling action.

Yanagase Pro Wrestling was founded in 2017 and presents 3 - 4 events per month (with 2 of them being Ladius events), the final event of the year being an annual Christmas Special. Along with YPW's own talented roster, its events also feature stars of the Japanese wrestling scene who have had impressive accomplishments outside of YPW. All YPW events can be watched live via TwitCasting and are available to watch in full for the following two weeks after the live broadcast.

To learn more about Yanagase Pro Wrestling and Ladius, check out the article on Jack Kennedy, an American wrestler who was trained by and wrestles in YPW.

[Yanagase Pro Wrestling] Result of the 1/27, "Ladius Friday Night Match"

The ladies of Ladius were back in action on 1/27 at SPORTS BAR M's Cafe, as Sae and Mari Manji competed in a singles match for the fans in attendance and the TwitCasting audience. TwitCasting is a livestreaming service based in Japan that has over 33 million registered users worldwide, and now more than ever, pro-wrestling fans internationally are being made aware of Ladius. Sae and Manji are standout talents, and in this match, they both stepped up their games and showed viewers exactly what the Ladius roster has to offer.

Mari Manji and Sae are very familiar with each other from their previous interactions in the Ladius ring, but they can wrestle each other 1,000 times and never have the same match twice.



Always tough competition for each other, Sae and Mari Manji maintain mutual respect.



Sae and Mari Manji engaged in a chop competition early in the match, in which Manji was the winner. She went on to maintain a very aggressive offense.



Sae brought Mari Manji's offense to a halt by catching her with an elbow as Manji was rebounding off the ropes, and then put her down with a jumping stunner.



Sae went on to maintain a very aggressive offense of her own, which included a ring rope clothesline snap and a sitout facebuster. The Shinsyu Girls Pro Wrestling singles champion had many opportunities to show off her moveset during this match.



Meanwhile, Mari Manji had the opportunity to display her ability to absorb punishment, taking everything Sae gave her and coming back strong, shoulder blocking Sae to the mat multiple times and hitting her with a corner front dropkick.



Sae made a comeback and tried to make Mari Manji submit to a sleeper hold multiple times.



Refusing to quit, Mari Manji regained control of the match, delivering a corner hip attack to Sae before attempting a submission win via a manjigatame, known as an octopus hold in the US. This is a move that Manji often uses in her matches and it's the best manjigatame in Japanese female wrestling.



Sae managed to escape the manjigatame and eventually was able to use one of her best combos, going from a hanging figure-four necklock to a flying front dropkick.



Sae and Mari Manji wrestled to a 20-minute time limit draw and left everything they had in the ring. If this match was any indication of what to expect from Ladius in 2023, the ladies division of Yanagase Pro Wrestling has the potential to deliver in an impressive way throughout the year.



This match is available to watch in full via TwitCasting until 2/10, 23:59 Japan Time! You can use a time zone converter to find out what time that is in your area.

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Tanglang Media: Breaking Pro-Wrestling and MMA Barriers in China

China has been a regular topic in the news these days. With a population of over 1.4 billion, it's the most populated country in the world and has the second-largest economy, making it an ideal place for the pro-wrestling and MMA industries to utilize. According to a 2017 survey by the American business-focused newspaper The Wall Street Journal, about 140 million fans of WWE stars live primarily in China’s major cities- so the fan interest in combat sports is definitely there. It would be beneficial for combat sports organizations outside of China to expand their business to the Chinese market, or for members of the combat sports industry who live in China to create additional organizations. Considering the size of China's market, it could potentially become a large combat sports scene.

However, expanding a business to China or starting one there is not easy. The Chinese market is difficult to access due to the "Great Firewall", which are technologies and legislative actions that are enforced to limit access to international websites. There is also a regulatory and political risk that makes it difficult for foreign businesses to break into China. Considering all of this, networking is vital when it comes to doing business in China, so it's smart to form a relationship with a company based there, as opposed to attempting to succeed in China alone. And this is where Tanglang Media comes in.



TANGLANG MEDIA

Tanglang Media is a new global combat sports digital agency & consultancy that has the goal of helping combat sports organizations reach the Chinese audience and build their business in China, from the initial setup of the business to the distribution of the finished product.

SET UP ASSISTANCE

Tanglang Media will set up a business with a Public WeChat channel, Weibo account, and QZone to connect with their audience directly, just like all of the major brands in China do. This will give the business the opportunity to reach millions of new fans in China by establishing its social media presence on the Chinese Internet and will give the business the potential to drive massive growth. Tanglang Media's services extend to setting up internal payment options and e-commerce on China's leading online marketplaces. E-commerce plays a big role in China's strong economy.

Along with the assistance in setting up a business, Tanglang Media also offers consultation to their clients on how to best build and connect with their fans, guiding them every step of the way.

TALENT

Tanglang Media has access to local news editors, hosts, and experienced Chinese pro-wrestling commentators. They also have access to a local video team. All of this can help give a product a genuine, "made in China" look, which would be appealing to its intended audience.

MARKETING

Tanglang Media has strong connections with the media and fan community and can aid with tours and press releases. It can also do search engine optimization for Baiudu.com, which is the world's largest search engine and covers 95% of global Chinese internet users.

DISTRIBUTION

Tanglang Media is knowledgeable regarding China's firewall guidelines, which enables them to operate within them efficiently so that a massive audience can be reached. China is home to the largest digital community in the world, with about 1.03 billion netizens, all using domestic platforms. Having an official presence on these platforms is important for a business' fans to connect with its brand and vice versa.



THE MIND BEHIND TANGLANG MEDIA

Born and raised in America, Tanglang Media President & Owner Adrian Gomez has been living in China for over a decade. Although Tanglang Media is a new company with plans of breaking barriers, Gomez already has broken many barriers during his time in China. He is also the founder and owner of Middle Kingdom Wrestling (MKW). I was made aware of it when MKW began running shows in July 2015, and at that time, there were only two other promotions in existence in China. They were owned by Chinese wrestlers. So not only was Gomez the third person in China's history to run pro-wrestling shows, but he was also the first foreigner to do it.



MIDDLE KINGDOM WRESTLING

In Middle Kingdom Wrestling's early days, its shows featured Asian talents such as LENBAI (who was trained in Japan as well as Taiwan) and Ho Ho Lun (who in recent years has been seen in WWE and AEW). MKW also featured talent from outside of Asia, such as MKW's first World Champion, American wrestler Dalton Bragg. Fans in attendance at their shows were not only witnessing a live pro-wrestling event featuring talent from outside of Asia for the first time, but they were witnessing live pro-wrestling for the first time ever. Gomez had taken advantage of the opportunity for a new promotion to be created in China and gain a fanbase for MKW.

While the wrestlers were talented and the fans were enthusiastic, the venues were small and the wrestlers were not well known. But in only three short years, things began to change. MKW went from having free shows in gyms and shopping malls to hosting events at the Harbin International Convention Exhibition & Sports Center, and the Xinqiao Culture and Art Center (with record-setting attendance). And it went from having shows only featuring stars in the making to presenting shows featuring well-established stars, such as Kongo Kong (who was an Impact Wrestling star at the time), Hibiscus Mii (who has wrestled in many major Japan-based promotions), and Zeda Zhang (who was fresh off a run in NXT). All of this has been accomplished in a country that doesn't have a large pro-wrestling scene.

Growing a wrestling promotion in a small wrestling scene was already a challenge, but it become even more of a challenge when the world was overcome by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Unable to have events in large venues or bring in talent from outside of China, MKW showed staying power by starting MKW Blast-off, an online studio-style show executive produced by Adrian Gomez, featuring MKW's homegrown Chinese wrestlers. MKW went back on the road last year, even having events in Shanghai, the biggest city in China.

Adrian Gomez understands the challenges of starting and maintaining a business in China because he has experienced them. And he has overcome them as well. Adrian Gomez intends to do the same for other businesses through Tanglang Media. They can be visited at TanglangMedia.com, and be connected with on their social accounts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram.

[ORIGINALLY POSTED AT E2GSports.com]