I have been these last few months with smoking weed and drinking beers and watching terrible Mets baseball, but I have finally accomplished something and that is interview the man, the myth, the legend ERIC SIMMS of ESS PROMOTIONS - the home of Our Hero, the Iron Sheik! You can see Eric on all kinds of videos with Sheik on Youtube as well as the DVD below this paragraph. Hope you like the interview and if you wanted to ask Eric something else, then hit a nigga up with a question at firstname.lastname@example.org and I might get another interview in a few months.
1. What are your first memories of watching wrestling?
I started watching wrestling back in 1977. A friend of mine in the 4th grade told me about WWWF wrestling on Saturday nights at midnight on channel 9. That is based in the NY market for anyone reading this from around the country.
2. How did you know that you wanted to be a part of the wrestling business?
From the minute I started watching, I was hooked. My dad used to take me to the local WWWF shows in my area. Those were local high school shows. On special occasions my dad took me to MSG to see live wrestling. I remember seeing Hulk Hogan VS Andre the Giant and Bob Backlund VS Harley Race from 1981. I remember telling myself that I want to be apart of the business and in late 1985 early 1986 I broke into the business. Balls Mahoney and Chris Candido helped to break me into the business. We were just young kids. I was the oldest of the bunch. Looking back on it now all of us made it in the business. Both Balls and Chris lived there dream with ECW and WWE. I was never a wrestler but I made it working behind the scenes. One of the toughest days in my wrestling life was when Chris passed away. He was such a great talent.
3. One reader wanted to know if you were really a truck driver in your past life.
In my current life I am a truck driver and have a CDL.
4. When did your relationship with Sheik begin and did you ever see yourself being part of the Sheik's comeback for these last couple years?
I met the Sheik some 20 years back. I remember working on a show with him back in 1988. We met and that started a 20 year friendship. Sheik was very protective of the business for many years and used to kayfabe everyone and everything. At one convention that we were at in Long Island I told him not to hold back anymore and just shoot during the Q & A session. Once he did that I knew we struck gold.
5. We've never gotten to see much of Sheik's life away from the wrestling business. How is he as a person when the camera is turned off?
Sheik is Sheik 24/7. In actuality he is a good man with a great heart.
6. How has the relationship been with RF Video? Do you like what they've produced for you and Sheik? How do you feel about the filming of Sheik's infamous call to a gimmick man named Anthony being played and replayed on the internet forever?
I have known RF for close to 20 years. Both of us were the original vendors back in the day and have paved the way for today's crop of vendors. RF produces some great shoot videos and has done good business for many years. The DVD's Rob has done with us have become legendary. It was my idea to have the camera rolling for the infamous medicine call. Anthony used to help me out at the shows when I was vending. He loves to party with the Sheik. For that reason I had to cut him off. The medicine call was a shoot but done for entertainment purposes so RF could sell this shoot tape.
7. Who is actually a part of ESS Promotions? Surely, there's another individual behind the scenes that helps out, right?
I am the sole proprietor of ESS Promotions. I get advice from people but it is all me. I am at the point that I need to hire sales and marketing people so I can expand in the market place.
8. What do you hope for ESS Promotions to accomplish in the next few years with the Sheik? Are you concerned that his legendary health problems may eventually jeopardize your company's future?
I hope to expand and take a bigger piece of the market place. Sheik is very hot right now and we are in talks with people that want to do some major projects with us. Sheik's health is always a concern. He behaves himself when he is with me. When he is not with me, he gets himself in trouble. The key to the Sheik is to get him from point A to B and back to A with out C and D getting involved. C & D I call the distractions. Once he is distracted your finished. I keep implementing different safe guards as his behavior warrants.
9. What are your thoughts on Frank Goodman talking about some kind of disagreement over the booking of Honky Tonk Man for a UXW show in 2007?
I would rather not comment on this.
10. What's Sheik doing since he was unfortunately suspended for the Killers of Comedy tour?
Between now and the end of the summer Sheik is going to miss 3 Killers shows. In the absence of those shows I have gotten him booked elsewhere. While he misses touring with the Killers he is not losing out on anything as I am keeping him busy.
11. Is the infamous "ESS plug" more annoying than those freecreditreport.com jingles?
In order to make it in the business you have to be different than everyone else. I am not an in ring performer. I work behind the scenes. I have a need for people to know who I am and remember me. You can not be successful if no one knows who you are. I recently came up with some catch phrases. I try to rhyme everything with ESS. It sort of gets ingrained in you. Many people are using my catch phrases for there own need. Is it annoying? Perhaps, but everyone is saying it. I am becoming synonymous for it. And remember " ITS NOT BS....."