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Palazzo Speaks


Where's my money, Chad?
Jul 3, 1997
The Silk Road
(FADEIN: A handful of microphones are held in the face of NLW Owner R.A. PALAZZO. His face looks withdrawn, sunken; eyes are puffy from a bad night’s sleep. He takes a few sips from a black Rock Star Energy can before clearing his throat and asking…)

PALAZZO: Nobody has any questions, do they? (playful smile)

SG: Hey RA, Serge Grady from Wrestling Scene. Can you tell us the status of NLW right now?

PALAZZO: Three weeks ago, I had lunch in New York with Eddie Mayfield. His people went over NLW’s finances, decided they were interested, and we completed a sale to New Frontier Wrestling the next day. They own the rights to the name Next Level Wrestling, purchased 12 contracts and bought out the other five including Canyeta, Patton, and Swaggart. The NLW film library still belongs to me, but we came to a licensing agreement on that. Basically they have access, but not ownership. I also own the World Open Weight Title.

SG: What were NLW’s total assets versus liabilities?

PALAZZO: Not counting the belt and the library, assets were $638,000, liabilities were $705,000. We ran a fairly tight ship. But the liabilities NFW’s gonna wind up paying for are…that’s um…that’s a little up in the air right now.

MK: Mark Krieger from Wrestlefan Weekly. We’ve all read the recaps and the backstage rumors, but could you just…summarize it for us, all the things that led you to this point?

PALAZZO: Yeah, well, basically, we had some scheduling issues down the stretch last fall. Manhattan Centre was booking our dates, moving us around, which f*cked up our taping schedule, etc. So after the pay-per-view, we decided to run a supershow, package it as a special release DVD, and air the highlights on Friday Night Vulgar. That was “NLW Presents: TREASON”. The live event happened on December 17th, 2010, and long story short, it was the worst night of my professional career. You take all the things that can go wrong during a wrestling show, tie ‘em all together to a stick of dynamite, light the fuse, and you’ve got an accurate depiction of TREASON. Just a…f*cking nightmare.

MK: Can you be more specific?

PALAZZO: I’m sure you know the story by now. ESEN is going to air some of it, so you’ll see at least the main event, which, really is the reason I don’t have a company right now. Bobby Jack Windham f*cked me. (shrugs) He f*cked me, plain and simple. Some other sh*t went down backstage that would’ve hurt us regardless, but what Bobby did in the main event was inexcusable not only from a personal perspective, but professionally he shouldn’t be allowed to work in a f*cking McDonald’s after that.

MK: Why was Bobby in the main event?

PALAZZO: We had him booked for a segment only, and then Zesty, who was originally booked the title shot, collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. I mean, people were freaking out backstage, and the kid almost died. We got him to the hospital, delayed the show about an hour, and threw Bobby out there as Magnus’ opponent.

SG: Did you tell him to cut the promo or was that…?

PALAZZO: Yeah, we told him to cut a promo on f*ckin’ MAGNUS. That’s what WE told him. Instead he goes out there…starts shooting on ZESTY, who, for all we know, is losing his life in a f*cking hospital bed…and then MARK WINDHAM, of all f*cking people, comes running out and it’s a two-on-one. They killed the product, devalued the belt, and ruined the taping. And BELIEVE ME, I’m understating it.

AR: Aaron Rood with ScoopSlam. Why do you think Bobby did what he did? Publicity for his family, publicity for NFW, was someone giving him the wrong advice…? (RA shakes his head) Did he have an axe to grind?

PALAZZO: No. Axe to grind? For what? Marketing him like a motherf*cker? The kid’s what, 20 years old? And I had him main eventing a cage match on pay-per-view? Plain and simple, he’s a Windham. And NFW’s going through the same ****, believe me. I had a LONG f*cking talk with Eddie, and he’s less than thrilled to put it mildly. Bobby, Mark, Troy, it’s all of them. This is what they do. And I dunno, maybe you internet guys were so enamored with them that you never noticed, but anyone on the inside will tell ya: THIS IS WHAT THEY DO.

SG: Is there-(interruption)

PALAZZO: You think TROY WINDHAM ever lifted a finger for this industry? You think Mark Windham ever did anything for this industry? Guys are out of your f*cking minds. Let me tell you something, the Windhams might have been big draws, they still might be draws, but when it came to building up the business and REALLY being there when a company needed them, they pancaked it and dropped the ball EVERY-F*CKING-TIME. They only thing they ever built was the Windham name. They don’t give a sh*t about all this, they just wanna lord over it.

AR: You’ve gotta admit though, every time he comes back Troy makes a splash. He gets people talking.

PALAZZO: Big deal? Seriously, have any of you talked to ANYONE with some real knowledge of how the business works? Why do you think Troy never made it big in NFW? Why do you think he flopped in EPW, A1E, and everywhere else he went? Why do you think UWA closed as soon as Quentin signed him to that dumb f*cking contract? SHOW TROY THE MONEY, that’s all it’s about. Nevermind Troy shows a f*cking promoter ONE TIME why he’s worth the money.

AR: What about CSWA? He did some great things there.

PALAZZO: Dude, are you kidding me? You follow MMA at all in the early 00’s? You know how Sakuraba was Japanese MMA, and as soon as he left, it died? It’s the same thing down south. Hornet and Joey Melton ARE southern wrestling, and it doesn’t matter if they are 85 and in a wheelchair. As long as those two can show up to feud with BIG F*CKING GUYS like Dan Ryan and all the rest, southern wrestling’s coffers explode. CSWA was never about Troy. What happened was, the MEDIA latched onto Troy Windham. He made more money in movies than he ever did in wrestling. He was a CROSSOVER STAR, the general public liked him, recognized him, but the people who buy tickets, the real FANS? He betrayed them time and again.

And let me tell you, the Windhams were LOVED in Texas. They were GODS in Texas. They could do no wrong. But as soon as all their dirty laundry started airing in the local papers, the magic was over. Finished. They’re still over in Texas, but they’ll never be REVERED like they were, Mark and Troy, because somewhere along the line they went from being rockstars to a joke that wasn’t funny. Texas cheers for the Windhams because they don’t want to be EMBARRASSED of them. They pretend like it’s all cool, when really, they just wish Troy and Mark would go away. And Bobby is from that school, completely. He’s a Windham, like I said.

AR: We heard of possible lawsuits, tell us about that.

PALAZZO: Nothing to do with Bobby and Mark. Unfortunately, an incident occurred backstage during the event, and now Kara Sloan aka “Strawberry B!TCH” has filed a $1.3 million sexual harassment lawsuit against NLW and Jimmy Mylde. I think NFW is going to settle with her out of court, but I doubt the figure will be nearly that high. Apparently something happened in a party truck, I don’t know. I don’t know why a party truck was at Treason, I don’t know who ORDERED IT, and I don’t know what the f*ck Jimmy Mylde was doing inside it during intermission. We actually docked his pay and forced him off social media for making racially insensitive tweets back in October. NLW man, it’s just one thing after another.

SG: Any plans to work with NFW in the future?

PALAZZO: Yeah, who knows. Maybe. I’m working with Magnus as his agent right now, so I’m sure I’ll be dealing with them down the line. But as for wrestling, I think it’ll be a long time before I get involved with that again. NLW was cool for a time. Even if I had a locker room full of drunken retards. (laughter) But hey, they were my drunken retards, and I love ‘em. Wish ‘em all the best in NFW.

No more questions?


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