MEDIA: At the age of 21, this LaGrange man has built a regional wrestling empire (Bangor Daily News)

Posted on 1/22/119 by Mike Informer

At the age of 21, this LaGrange man has built a regional
wrestling empire



By Troy R. Bennett, BDN Staff January 19, 2019 6:51 am
Updated: January 19, 2019 7:21 am

WESTBROOK, Maine Its chaos. A sold-out crowd of more than
400 professional wrestling fans cheer, scream and jeer all
at once. Massive men in tights wail on each other in the
ring. A savage woman belts another with a folding chair in
the front row while spectators run for cover. Music blares.
The room smells like beer, sweat and excitement.

Amid the mayhem, tucked in a corner, sits a mountain of
calm. Dressed in shorts and a hoodie, hes calling the
shots, giving orders to more than 30 wrestlers. They all
listen. Randy Carver jr. is just old enough to buy a beer,
but hes already the biggest, most successful pro wrestling
promoter in the state.

At the end of the last match, Carver springs up and grabs a
wireless microphone. A few seconds later, hes in the ring,
throwing f-bombs at feuding wrestlers. They back off. Carver
tells the crowd therell be a special match for the title
belt at the next event in March. The mob goes wild and
starts chanting: Ran-dy, Ran-dy, Ran-dy.

They know its Carvers show and they love him.

Success from the start
Carver, 21, started Limitless Wrestling in September 2015
with a savings account and a $700 loan from his mom and dad.
He was 18, just out of Penobscot Valley High School and
living with his parents in Lagrange. His first wrestling
show was at a Brewer banquet center. It was a success and he
paid his parents back that night.

We had seven matches and drew about 150 people, Carver
said.

That was almost twice as many people as another local
wrestling outfit had been attracting at the time.

At 18, Carver had already been in the business for three
years. He started working as a ring announcer for
independent wrestling shows when he was 15. That early
experience is what drove him to start his own company.
Carver was constantly disappointed by what he saw as low
quality shows. He knew he could do better.

At his first event, he took a chance, spending extra money
augmenting his Maine talent with a carload of wrestlers from
New York. The gambit worked and its been his formula ever
since. Carver seeks out high-quality talent, regularly
rotating in wrestlers from around the country. It keeps the
stories and the faces fresh.

Right now, I only have four wrestlers from Maine, Carver
said.

To improve the local talent pool, Carver recently opened a
wrestling school with those four locals last fall in Brewer.
Currently, theyre training 11 student wrestlers and
referees.

The level of quality is insane, said Portland stand-up
comedian and avowed wrestling expert Connor McGrath. Hes
been to nearly all Limitless Wrestlings events in southern
Maine.

The state has at least two other independent wrestling
organizations, but McGrath is confident that Limitless is
the best.

Its a much higher level of quality than Maine was used
to, he said.

Parents always knew

Marsali Carver isnt surprised at her sons success.

I knew that he would eventually do all this, she said from
behind the T-shirt table at the event earlier this month in
Westbrook. Both she and her husband work for their son at
his wrestling shows.

Randy Carver Sr. took tickets at the door and stamped hands
as the crowd started flooding in. He laughed a little at the
reversal of roles.I used to be Big Randy. Now, Im just Old Randy, he said
with a proud grin.

Marsali said it all started when Carver was seven years old.
Thats when he saw a local wrestling poster on the wall at
the Bangor YMCA.

It caught his eye and he said he wanted to go to that, she
remembered.

She took him and Carver got hooked. But he never wanted to
be a wrestler. He always wanted to run things.

Serious business

Since 2015, Carvers produced around 30 Limitless Wrestling
events. They average 350-450 paying customers per show.

On a good night, we draw 500, he said.

This months show in Westbrook saw 412 people plank their
cash down on tickets. Prices ranged from $40 VIP seats to
$15 for general admission. The budget for the event was over
$10,000.

Carver pays for wrestlers, photographers, videographers,
ring rentals and other various production workers. He sells
DVDs, T-shirts, stickers, mugs, hats and hoodies pretty
much anything that will hold a Limitless Wrestling logo.

In between events, he keeps people engaged with his
operation on Facebook (6,400 likes), Twitter (5,000
followers), Instagram (4,000 followers) a podcast and
YouTube (over 235,000 subscribers). By videorecording every
event, Carver is able to get revenue three times: From the
folks who buy tickets to the live show, from DVD sales of
the shows and also from Youtube advertisements.

Some Limitless Wrestling videos on YouTube have more than 18
million views. Carver said his company cleared almost
$60,000 in 2018.

All about the show

Besides handling the business of his wrestling empire,
Carver also thinks up all the storylines. He sets up the
heroes, heels, and surprise betrayals that keep fans coming
back for more.

Carvers general philosophy is to keep the talking to a
minimum at events. Instead, he uses social media for all the
taunting and dramatic build-up. Carver wants his live events
to be all about action.

At the events, Carver hardly watches the matches, he said.
Instead, he focuses on the crowd, what theyre responding
to, what gets a big reaction. Their enjoyment is what its
all about.

Watching professional wrestling is like going to a magic
show. The crowd knows the magician does not possess
supernatural abilities. Theyre still delighted. They enjoy
being tricked. Its the same with wrestling. No adult in the
room believes its real. They understand Carver decides the
winners, but they enjoy the illusion. The collective
suspension of disbelief of 400 people makes it powerful,
cathartic.

Colt Busch of Portland likes live Limitless shows better
than big time wrestling on TV.

This is way better, Busch said at the event in Westbrook.
Randy does awesome surprises.

Superfan McGrath agrees and thinks the level of fan
interaction and proximity to the action makes massive shows
put on by World Wrestling Entertainment seem formulaic and
sterile.

Going to see WWE is kind of dull in comparison, he said.

More than 30 professional wrestlers, from all over the
country, gather round 21-year-old Randy Carver Jr. (left) as
he hands out last minute instructions before a Limitless
Wrestling event in Westbrook this month. Carver owns the
company and calls all the shots.

The road ahead

Carver started his operation with the goal of improving
Maines independent wrestling scene. With that done, hed
now like to expand.

Late last year he co-produced his first out-of-state show in
Connecticut. It sold out. Theres probably more of those
shows to come but, for now, Carver is mum on the subject.

His mother has no doubts about where Carver will take his
promotion from here.

Hes going to take it as far as he wants it to go, she
said. Its Limitless, right?




































































































































































































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