Colin Vassallo, Founder and CEO - Wrestling-Online:
5th June 2003
is your background in web design and wrestling?
background in web design dates back to hmmmm 1996.
I had absolutely no idea how to put a website together
but as soon as I got online I wanted to create a wrestling
site. There was a site which had the HTML basics and
that really helped and then over the years you learn
new stuff. Viewing the source codes of other websites
at the time was helpful in trying to learn.
far as wrestling goes, I've been a fan since 1988.
I remember the first ever wrestling match I saw was
Big Boss Man vs Tom Stone on an edition of Superstars
which ran at 11PM. It's quite scary actually
thinking that I got hooked on wrestling after a Boss
Man match. But oh well. My dad used to tape it for
me every week since I was just a kid at the time and
11PM was a bit way past my bed time!
did you get your break?
of the first things I did when I got my Internet in
March of 1996 was go on mIRC which was probably the
most popular thing going on at the time. Undernet
#wrestling was my daily hangout. Then during one boring
day in September I decided to make a wrestling newsletter.
I got on #wrestling and asked who would help and/or
subscribe. September 22nd 1996 was the first issue,
with a total of 11 subscribers. It's been going on
do you do on a day to day basis?
from a full-time job I have the site and newsletter
to maintain. Not to mention replying to most of the
e-mails I receive. A couple of years ago I had the
help of World
Wrestling Entertainment on most cases
when it comes to stories for the newsletter and stuff
like that, but since they did the media ban on wrestling
sites and newsletters, it's harder now. But after
my normal job, both the newsletter and site take most
of the rest of the time of the day for me. And yes,
I do have a life as well. :)
are your aims and objectives?
ultimately make it in the business for real. It's
a long shot, but hey, one can always hope. I think
there are jobs that are just....jobs and there are
other jobs which you won't consider a job because
love what you do. Paying me to be involved in the
business would be the ultimate for me. I think I made
a lot of friends inside WWE over the past couple of
years and I know they receive the newsletter too,
that's a nice step forward.
motivates me? Hm, probably the love for this business,
and those who want to see me fail. I'm a type of guy
who always want to get the last laugh no matter what.
When I want something, I get it, it's that
very simple. Now how I get it is another story.
was your website first launched?
1996 I started on Angelfire, then in September I moved
to another free-space site similar to Angelfire,
I forget the name at the moment. Then I switched to
Simplenet at the beginning
of 97 - which was huge at that time - and then in
January of 1998 I got the Wrestling-Online.com domain.
many websites do you operate, and what are their addresses?
- forwarded to .com
- forwarded to .com
- forwarded to .com
iwse.com - active
- forwarded to .com
that's 5 active wrestling related websites. There
were two others: TheActionZone.net
. The first one was a movie trailers website. It was
a huge success actually but I had to shut it down
when I was paying more for bandwidth due to large
downloads. Some of the biggest movie websites out
there were linking to my downloads which resulted
in big time exposure and tons and tons of traffic.
We're talking 3-4GB of data transfer per day. The
second - TooSexyOrNot.com - bombed more than the
XFL and WBF combined
together. I won't explain what it was, but you'll
get the idea from the address.
may website visitors have you had?
have no clue. The biggest month was a couple of years
ago when a UK magazine called .NET published my website
address on their mag which resulted in millions of
impressions. And it was free advertising too! Traffic
used to be big on PPV days when we did live play-by-play
text commentary on the website but we were stopped
after a bunch of lawsuits threats from WWE themselves.
have been some of your milestones?
the most I'm proud of is that I have the longest running
wrestling newsletter on the Internet. We're going
in the seventh year later this year non-stop. Started
weekly, then bi-weekly and then
daily. Over 1,600 issues produced and sent to over
31,000 people worldwide. I think that's quite a milestone,
at least for me. And of course that wouldn't have
happened without the rest of the staff who contribute
to the newsletter voluntarily.
are a few big news stories you have broke?
had some exclusives thanks to WWE before the media
ban was slapped on us, but I'm not into breaking news
stories, it's more about presenting accurate information.
The newsletter gets sent late at night here where
I am in Europe and the website isn't updated until
after the newsletter is sent so surely I'm not going
to rush things to get the item first out. I prefer
to have something accurate than being the
first to report something, have a big mistake in it
and get bombed by thousands of readers for messing
up. How many times have you heard that this wrestler
or that wrestled died and then it turns out to be
wrestling products and services do you sell and promote?
sell wrestling merchandise however it's through affiliate
links. We don't hold the actual stock or send the
items from here. Apart from that we don't sell anything,
except for advertising. :) The newsletter is
free of charge.
many reporters work for you?
I can count 11 people. Over the years, I think it's
close to 100. LOL. Some people get interested in working,
then they do one or two articles and they go missing
media coverage have you previously received?
twice in the .NET magazine, had my site featured on
a TV show called Wild Wild Web
on CBS, had a story on
an Irish newspaper, twice in a local newspaper, one
radio appearance and was quoted in a Philly newspaper
when Owen Hart died in May 1999. I think that's about
it. Oh and on USAToday.com.....wait,
that was an advertisement I purchased. LOL.
else would you like to share with our audience?
want to say thanks for the support and for sticking
with the newsletter. It feels good knowing that you're
doing something and its appreciated by people. I get
mails from people in the military for
example who are overseas and they say that the newsletter
is their only way of keeping up with the sport they
love. Stuff like that keeps me going.
Internet Wrestling Search Engine
of Wrestling-Online.com (from their website)
started in July 1996 under different names and URLs.
Back then the site was a multimedia giant, being updated
every day with several different video clips, theme
songs, picture galleries etc. In November/December
1997 Wrestling-Online.com was born, and had to face
from both the World Wrestling Federation and World
Championship Wrestling contacted the owner to remove
all multimedia material from the website, leaving
a huge hole in the page. After those incidents, Wrestling-Online
turned from a multimedia showcase to a news website.
expanded into a network of sites over the past few
years. IWSE.COM, Wrestling-Fan.com, WrestingMegastore.com
and LiveWrestlingPPV.com are part of the network.
LiveWrestlingPPV.com closed down in late 2001 due
to pressure from WWFE attorneys.
flagship of Wrestling-Online Network is the daily
newsletter titled the Wrestling-Online Newsletter.
It started in September 22nd 1996 as a weekly WWF
newsletter. Five months later in February 97 the newsletter
turned bi-weekly sending on Wednesdays and Sundays.
1 year and 2 months later, the newsletter became daily
changing names from WWF Online Newsletter to the current.
As of this writing, 34,000+ wrestling fans enjoy our