Jeremy Jacobs tells his side of the story...
It all started around 1:30pm or so. Keep in mind this was an afternoon show, with doors opening at 3:30pm and the show starting at 4:00pm. I had been asked to text Tony Kozina to discuss a change they wanted to make. They informed me that "due to injury" they didn't want to compete in singles matches, however wanted to do an 8 man. The only reason I wanted to book them was for the specific singles matches I had signed for the show. However, I was willing to work with them. I shot them a counter idea of doing a 6 man tag, and asked if they would do it for an even $400 (only $75 less than the price we agreed on months ago). I was told they are wrestlers and need to be paid what they were promised. I replied that I respect their position; however when I agreed on the original price it was for those specific matches, not just them working on the show. They again informed me that they need paid in full.
To which once again I told them I respect their position but at the same time I would appreciate if they respected my position as a promoter/booker. I said I would gladly pay the full amount for what we agreed on. Yet again they continued to push the issue, seemingly becoming more and more irritated at the fact that I still wanted to go with the original plans. This continued back and forth for hours. At about 3:00pm I received a text saying that we will stick with the original plan, to which I responded sincerely with a thank you. I received a, "No, thank you in return. We will be there in about 45 min."
At around 3:20pm, 10 minutes before doors open, I get another text, saying that they decided that they still wanted to do the 8 man tag. I have juggled, moved/changed matches, and re drawn up the entire card multiple times at this point and am becoming slightly annoyed at the unprofessional way I felt I was being treated as a promoter. So again I asked, since I was not receiving what I was told I would get and have put several man hours into promoting, I asked to negotiate the price. I have always prided myself on delivering on what my fans expect. No matter if 200 or 20 people show up I want to give them what they were told they were going to see. I have heard, but not personally read, that there are reports stating that I didn't want to pay full price because of a bad turn out at the show, which is the farthest thing from the truth. It was never about money, however the principle of the situation to me. I felt disrespected, and was not going to allow myself to be taken advantage of. Just because I run a small promotion, in a small town doesn't mean I am not a serious business owner and promoter.
Approximately 20 minutes later I received a reply stating that they wanted full price and wanted to do it their way, not mine, and that they are still 45 minutes away. You can't go into you're day to day job, and tell your boss that you want to get paid your normal wage but not do what is asked of you. At this point I had a locker room full of guys looking at me for direction for a show that is starting in 10 minutes and people in the audience wondering what they are going to get. I reply that the show is starting in 10 minutes, I've had to juggle the card many, many times and have been more than willing to work with them and negotiate. I apologized but informed them that I was going on with the show without them. This didn't sit well with them and they informed me that I DON'T cancel. I replied that I had cancelled. I felt like I was left with no other choice. We had negotiated all day and now that the show had started I had to go forth with plan B. I wasn't going to hold the entire show up because of them. I felt it was unfair to the guys in the locker room, unfair to me, but most importantly unfair to the fans in the attendance.
At this point I go on with business, too wrapped up with running the show I ignore my phone for a brief while. At this point Davey Richard texts one of the workers and tells him to text him back. He asks me what's going on. Seemingly unaware of the entire afternoon's conversation and that Tony, can get a little hot headed at times. I inform him of what had transpired, at this point we are 45 minutes into the show, and I tell him that I felt my hands were tied and I was left with no other choice but to cancel. He continues to reply, saying he can't miss out on the pay day and that they are 40 minutes away and want to wrestle and will do the original plan. Keep in mind we are almost an hour into a two hour show now. I inform Davey that I don't think it'll work. I did not want to hold up the show just for them. Again, I felt like they were attempting to take advantage of me. I told Davey that I would call him in the morning and personally make everything right with him. I swore I was willing to compensate Davey for the trouble, but it couldn't work out with the limited time we had at that point. I can't speak for everyone but I am a man of word and have every intention of either through PayPal or wire transfer, sending Davey his cut. Davey said no, we will talk in person and that he is now 20 minutes away.
Roughly a half hour later, with only 30 min left in the show, Davey arrives and storms into the locker room. I meet him at the door and ask to speak to him in person. I follow him outside and am greeted by everyone, Davey, Tony, Kyle and one of Davey's trainees. Unknowingly I was walking into a verbal ambush. I can't post most of the convoy because of the language used by Davey. I was told at least twice that if this were "the old days, I would be taken around the corner and dealt with if the situation wasn't fixed". Was even informed that if he called Jim Cornette, he would tell Davey, and I quote, "Kick his ass." Davey said they were there now, the shows not over we want to go on. Not out of fear, but as a means to resolve the situation I agreed to again change the ending of the show and have Davey and Kyle on the show. Davey said they wanted $375 upfront so they can "get the f*ck out of this town" as soon as it's over. I agreed to pay upfront as a sign of good faith, if they would do it for $350. Davey agreed.
They came inside, quickly began getting in gear to go wrestle. They asked how the match was going to go and quickly worked it out with the other athletes in the match. Davey came up to me in full gear, asked for the pay day, I gave it to him shook his hand and attempted to apologize and said I'm glad we could work something out. I didn't know Tony had gathered up all their bags and taken them back to the car. Moments before they were to go out, Davey says "I forgot tape" and bolts out the door, into the car, and off down the road.
They gloat now about how they got one over on the small time chump in Milo, Iowa, now referring to themselves as Team Bandit. The reactions of everyone that was in the locker room and things that have been posted are a way of showing their individual outrage on the situation. I appreciate the support from all my peers on the situation. It was never EVER about money and I never accused anyone of not putting on a quality performance. It was about me standing up for myself, my company, refusing to be taken advantage of and most importantly it was about the respect they demanded, but I was never shown in return.