Sunday, July 31, 2011

I'm No JR, And I Shouldn't Be

AAPW broadcast team, Kevin & Chris (courtesy: Adam Testa)
By Kevin Hunsperger
@kevinhunsperger on Twitter

July 30, 2011 one of my childhood dreams came true.  I got to call a wrestling show that will be broadcast on television.  It was an exciting experience and I look forward to doing it again next month.

I am proud to say that I am part of the broadcast team for All American Pro Wrestling.  It's an organization based in southern Illinois and has been around for five years.  Recently, the group secured a time slot on local television (WSIL TV 3)  The new show, Collision, will start airing on September 3 and will be seen in southern Illinois, southeast Missouri, western Kentucky, and northwest Tennessee.  It will be the first time in decades that professional wrestling has graced local TV in this market.

My broadcast partner, Chris Hagstrom approached me with the idea of doing the show several months ago and asked if I'd be interested in being on the team.  Of course I was.  This was something I'd always wanted to do.  I'm just glad everything worked out and it's going to be on the fall schedule.

AAPW champ Edmund "Livewire" McGuire w/Sam Smith
Two shows were already taped, and I was out of town for that and wasn't able to do the commentary live that night.  So Chris and I met and did it.  That was the first time I'd ever done anything like that.  I am a news anchor and reporter, but doing play by play is totally new to me.  Fast forward to July 30, and we were there live with the crowd and able to call the action before our very eyes.  I think I was able to get more involved in stories being told in the ring and hopefully help explain to the fans watching what was going on.

I'll be honest, in the weeks leading up to the show I was very nervous.  I wasn't sure exactly what my style should be.  I'm still not sure.  I watched several old matches with Gorilla Monsoon, Jessie Ventura, Gordon Solie, Jim Ross, and Joey Styles.  They've all got different roles and different styles when it comes to calling matches.  I knew I didn't want to be like any of the current wrestling broadcasters.

Calling it like I see it. (Courtesy: Adam Testa)
I think Chris and I did a good job of focusing on the action in the ring.  There was no shilling, which I think is a good thing about independent wrestling.  We can actually focus on the WRESTLING.  Of course though, I'm no JR, I have a lot of work to do, but I've decided I don't want be like JR.  Or Solie, or Styles for that matter.  I want to come up with my own niche.  It's going to take time, but I think it's possible.  I can't wait for the shows to start airing so I can get feed back from all of you.  I think all too often in just about every form of entertainment and sports, participants try to emulate or recreate something or someone from the past.  So instead of being the new JR, I want to just be Kevin Hunsperger.

Courtesy: ROH
So, once the show is on the air (remember, it's September 3) I want to hear what you guys like about it.  What you like about the commentary.  I'll pass along suggestions to those in charge.  And if you're in the area, come out for our show on Sunday, August 28.  ROH Champion Davey Richards will be on hand that day at Black Diamond Harley Davidson.   I'm hoping to be able to get an interview with him for the blog and the YouTube channel.

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