Cancelling Superclash 3, Filing for Bankrupcy and the future of ‘Superstars Of Wrestling’
Unfortunately, what had originally looked to be one of the biggest shows of the year has had to be cancelled, as Superstars Of Wrestling promoter Matt Jarrett has had to call a halt to his Superclash 3 event scheduled for this October. The show had been a joint venture with New Japan Pro Wrestling and was set to feature the best of Japan taking on the best of the UK in an event for the ages. Jarrett has experienced hardships over the last few months which have culminated in having to file for bankrupcy and the cancellation of Superclash 3. I was able to speak with him directly about these decisions and what the future holds, both for Jarrett himself and for SOW, a company he started in 2007.
“Some guy from Scotland started calling me a c*nt over social media when I first said about having to go bankrupt. I don’t understand that kind of reaction, but if that’s the way some people want to be about it, that’s up to them I suppose.”
“There are people who have been calling me a theif and all sorts of other things, but of course I’m going to make sure everyone gets their money back, but it’s not like I could organise that over the bank holiday weekend. I’m contacting GL1 [the scheduled venue for Superclash 3] to make sure they start issuing refunds for tickets and I want to make sure that everyone gets their money back as soon as possible.”
There was speculation that a falling out between Jarrett and New Japan Pro Wrestling has caused the show to be cancelled, but Jarrett insisted that this is not the case and that his relationship with the company is as strong as ever.
“I met with Tiger Hattori and the New Japan office on Saturday and we talked over our options, but basically I had to hold my hands up and say that it just wasn’t going to be possible. There are no hard feelings on either side and we still have a good relationship. No-one has taken anything personally and both sides would be open to working with each other again in future. Tiger shook my hand and made sure that I knew that there was no bad blood between us, that these things just happen. I’m going over to Japan in December and staying for Wrestle Kingdom so I can visit Tiger, because he came here to meet with me so I’ll repay that this time by going out to him.”
We also spoke about how he had announced that he was pulling Styles from the card for the show, only for a story to appear on wrestling news sites later that day which claimed Jarrett had been ‘falsely advertising’ AJ Styles. AJ had, until that point, been scheduled to appear but when negotiations broke down, Jarrett immediately announced the change on Facebook to make sure that fans knew as soon as possible.
“One of the problems was how much I had to pay AJ Styles. He charges quite a bit for each independent appearance and any of his merchadise sales go straight to him, there’s no return from that for the company he is working for. The other problem with AJ is having to deal with his agent, Bill Behrens. It was Behrens who reported the story to the websites. I had a message which was apparently from a fake profile under Behrens’ name, saying he was going to sue me for pulling AJ from Superclash 3, but when I spoke to him about it on the phone he said he knew nothing about it.”
Matt Jarrett has always had to struggle against adversity. He is often open on social media about being dyslexic and the challenges that brings, not only as businessman, but in other aspects of life. Still, he retains a positive outlook in the face of the current situation and his manner on the phone was as friendly as ever. I asked him what had led to filing for bankrupcy and what this meant for his future as a promoter.
“This all just happened because of some bad investments over the last 12 months, and it really started with Superclash 2. I probably should have just stuck with booking AJ, but I got carried away and booked Liger and Tanahashi and others that I probably didn’t need to, not that I regret it because it was a really great show. But that’s the problem when you love the business and you get so involved; you get in this bubble and feel like nothing can touch you and get carried away, until a couple of days later when you realise that you’ve made a loss on the show and you maybe should have done things differently. Another problem with the show was the lack of publicity in the local and mainstream press. Andy Quidlan can book a Revolution Pro Wrestling card and have AJ Styles as the only import and that gets reported, or Brian Dixon using Jushin Liger in Croydon gets picked up, but I have a stacked card in Gloucester and it’s hard to get a mention. Gloucester itself might not be the best choice for a destination because it’s not a touristy place with too much to do after the shows etc. But it was a combination of things in the end.”
“I’ll come back next year and I’ll come back stronger. There are people who might believe that I’m going to stay down, but I’ll prove them wrong. I’ve got up from beatings before, and any of the big promoters and most successful businessmen have made mistakes and gone bankrupt. I had dreams and I went after them and I achieved something amazing with the two Superclash events, something which everyone had said I couldn’t do. I’m not one of those people who will sit around and moan because they wish they could do this or that. As far as I’m concerned you just have to go for it because everything isn’t going to just fall together conveniently somewhere down the road, you have to make things happen. It might not work out, but you have to try.”
Plans have been put into action for Superstars Of Wrestling to be taken over by some business partners who will work with Jarrett to ensure the promotion continues. He briefly outlined the situation and what the future holds for the company.
“Superstars Of Wrestling will be taken over by new managers this week. I’ll still be involved in the company as I still want to watch it grow and flourish, but I won’t be in charge of the operations. I still have the contacts and the experience that will help us to rebuild and I really believe that we will be able to come back from this and be stronger than ever. We just have to reassess everything from the ground up and learn from past mistakes. There are going to be a lot of changes but we’ll be back.”