Jeff Katz Talks Time In WCW, Wrestling Retribution Project, Problems With Wrestling, TNA & More


WrestlingINC.com: So back to the Wrestling Retribution Project. I saw that trailer, it looks great, so when can fans expect to see it?

Katz: We are cutting now. We will start doing audio tracks relatively shortly. I don't want to spoil overly what we are doing but as I said earlier, it's been really kind of cool in terms of the response in town, so you'll see, and I hate using this term by the way, because in wrestling it's tainted, you'll see a certain extension of the brand as well, kind of going in conjunction with the release. We had a conference call with Image, who is our distributor, last week so we are starting to back into a date now but basically we are cutting this like a movie. So it's got a very different sort of feel.

It's basically 100%, but there will be more WRP universe sort of stuff going forwards. The real question that I am going to have to deal with is how I handle doing the next batches of these. They are designed very typically where if I could do one of them a year, which I would love to be able to do it, I don't know if realistically schedule wise I can, but it's the sort of thing that basically like for the rest of my life I get to kind of return to my own wrestling universe, continue to build it out and it's. .I really do look at it like the creator of a comic at a certain level. It's going to roll out in a fundamentally different level, it's posted at a fundamentally different level… I'm sort of just playing by my own rules. Which I have to say, which is a credit to wrestling fans, people seem to get it. I think that people that don't get wrestling tend to stereotype wrestling fans as not being sophisticated enough to get the stuff. The response that I've been getting is really positive. I think I've had two negatives on my Twitter that were saying well it doesn't look as glossy as WWE and I was like, well that's the point! TNA is a slightly less glossy version of WWE, right? There is no point in chasing that because once you ape the production style it's over. So I have been very pleased with people's responses and I have already starting outlining what I would do for season two and it just becomes a question now of how these things all bridge but with Image as our distributor, who is I think the biggest independent distributor of America, have been really tremendously positive and again, it's just like a script in the business normally. It's written by executives that don't work in the wrestling business, which in my case Mark Ward our Executive at Image is a huge old school wrestling fan and I've known Mark for years so Mark got it immediately and thus made my life 1000 times easier.

When you deal with people that get it, it's remarkable, when your not that's how you get Jamie Kellner saying I won't have wrestling on my channel and the next think you know WCW sold for $5 million dollars. We had a conversation in the office, the MVP was here the other day and we were joking around that you know if you look back and the idea that the WCW and it's tape library was only valued at $5 million dollars, and now New Japan and it's tape library is at $6 million dollars. You look at that and go, my God! For not a lot of money, you could have had thousands of hours of fine content that you certainly could have monetized. I just think that wrestling's inherently under-valued as it is. But again, I did a season of the show for 1/6th of the cost of an episode of one single Monday Night Raw. So.. You look at those economics, at WWE, they will never change their mode because they have overhead, they have a system that they have contracts that they have to fulfill and all those things. I have the luxury of not having to do any of that. It may not work, we'll find out. That's the beauty of it, at least I can try.

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