2013 has been an amazing year for Filsinger Games and WrestleCon (which took place in Secaucus, New Jersey on April 5-7) seems to represent all the cool things that have been happening. Filsinger Games is evolving and our evolution is coinciding with a grass roots movement in the Indy scene. I’ll try to describe this movement as best I can but first a little history.
As many of our fans know, Filsinger Games began as a company selling just one game. I produced Champions of the Galaxy for over 15 years before adding Legends of Wrestling Card Game in http://cialisotc-bestnorxpharma.com/ 2003, That was a big breakthrough, finally a companion game to Champions of the Galaxy featuring real wrestlers. But as it turns out it was just the beginning.
In 2011 we reached an agreement (thanks to game fan Rob Beaubien) with CHIKARA to license a game with their promotion. It was the perfect bridge for my company since CHIKARA is a promotion with comic book influences and our mainstay was still Champions of the Galaxy, a sci-fi wrestling game of the future. Our successful partnership with CHIKARA was followed by an agreement with Ring of Honor (Rob again) as well as Combat Zone Wrestling, SHIMMER, and Championship Wrestling from Hollywood (the latter three thanks to Kris Osk). I’m sure more will follow.
Suddenly Filsinger Games was filling a niche as the largest seller of Indy wrestling card games and the momentum was like a tidal wave. We sponsored National Pro Wrestling Day in February and this was another milestone event for my company.
I have attended conventions since 1999, usually comic book conventions and they are always a great way to meet fans, advertise our games, and network with professionals. But there has been nothing quite like WrestleCon.
We did a lot of the same old things and I never tire of them. I visited with friends from wrestling’s classic mania era like Ted DiBiase, Nikolai Volkoff, Jim Duggan, and Bobby Heenan. These wrestlers and many more have supported my game company and partnered with me on promotions over the years. We have seen each other many times, worked together, partied together, and become friends. Along with visiting with wrestlers there’s the fun and excitement of meeting game fans in person as well as teaching newcomers how to play.
But at WrestleCon there was even more.
With the assistance of new partner, Wiggy Wigowski, we scheduled guest appearances at the Filsinger Games table featuring Indy stars such as Bryce Remsburg, Veda Scott, Leva Bates, as well as the Batiri and Ant Colony. The energy was infectious.
Young Indy stars who were proud to be featured on game cards (with sensational art by Werner Mueck) came to visit our table and speak with us and take photos such as Jay Lethal from Ring of Honor and Arik Royal from CWF Mid-Atlantic.
The ground was moving under my feet.
My game company, which focused on classic stars from the past with Legends of Wrestling, was now part of an exciting movement focusing on interesting young people living out their dreams and fantasies. They wrestle in the “smart fan” era where fans are defining the wrestling experience in subtle new ways.
Indy wrestlers fascinate me and when I meet them I invariably want to learn more about them as people and they are an incredibly diverse group, from lawyers to office workers to unemployed nomads. What they all share is a love for Indy wrestling and a close intimate relationship with their fans. Social networking has all but erased the barriers between Indy wrestlers and fans and the lines are blurred.
This reminds me of garage rock bands, less commercial, more real, more connected to their fans than their larger counterparts.
As the owner of Filsinger Games I am proud to be part of this movement. We are a small game company with a vision that we’ve seen through for years and these young people are wrestling on a small stage (compared with WWE and TNA) and still moving forward in the spirit of fun and adventure. Where does this commitment lead? Who knows, there are no guarantees. And yet isn’t fun and fame and connecting with others in a common vision a reward unto itself; a reward which allows us to sidestep the humdrum of standard nine to five work and escape to a world of fantasy and fun?
I admire everyone in the Indy business, from the companies that are well known to the smaller promotions across America that draw maybe 100 people or 200 people at their house shows. I was very proud to release a National Pro Wrestling Day card pack because the focus (like the event itself) was on small promotions that fly under the national radar.
There’s nothing like honest enthusiasm and excitement that exemplifies Indy wrestling and the fans. I think the Indy mentality is slowly but surely creating a wave of “new attitudes” in WWE crowds. I was amazed to watch RAW on April 8 and see that the large crowd of 20,000 in New Jersey was behaving like an Indy wrestling crowd. Lots of creative chants and more important an underlying “you can’t fool me so don’t mess with me” attitude that is upbeat and raucous but not to be trifled with lest the chants get ugly.
Filsinger Games proudly joins hands with our Indy partners and brethren to continue the revolution.