Interview: Rohan Herbstreit -

I/V: Rohan Herbstreit - Ringside Consulting & 29th May 2003

What's your background?

My background is in I.T, I have a Computer Science & Software Engineering degree - but a passion for "sports entertainment".

How did you get or make your "break" in media and reporting on the wrestling business?

I first started a website whilst learning web development at uni, with a huge interest in wrestling I created a very basic wrestling site and called it "WWF Down Under". From that it was just a very slow process where it grew and grew and started serious reporting when running a show on community radio titled "wrestle lounge". I never really got a "break" as of such it was just a very slow growth.

What was your first exposure to pro wrestling?

My first ever live show I witnessed was "WrestleRiot" at Festival Hall in the early '90's. And never attended another live show until March 1997 in the states which was the WCW Superbrawl 7 PPV in San Francisco. In 1998 I was invited along to a local show in Melbourne through the radio show and attended local shows quite regularly after that.

Why and how did you get , formally known as WWF Down Under, to fruition and the success it enjoys today?

I guess the move to was a natural progression. I really wanted to get the domain "" to focus on all things wrestling and not just WWE related news. was already taken so the next best was I think wrestlingnet has really started to grow on people, and is much easier to remember than wwfdownunder ever was. Plus "WWF" technically doesnt exist anymore, so that was a major reason why we changed it.

What are your aims and objectives?

I guess the aim was to become the premier source of wrestling news in Australia, and very slowly thanks to the help of many many people and our loyal visitors we have have been able to achieve that. I don't know what our next step is, with the business always going through highs and lows, I guess you never know whats around the corner.

What motivates you?

Very tough question, a few years ago it would be the passion to make the site the best as possible, and to compete with the other Australian sites, but now I think its just the passion to take the site further and
cement ourselves as being a reputable news source for wrestling in Australia.

What do you like most about pro wrestling, which today as more often referred to as "sports entertainment"?

The psychology and story telling of a match really draws me into it and always has. People say you either love wrestling or hate it, and I think being able to be captured into a match, as opposed to watching for the hell of it is the main difference between fans, marks and non-fans. But definitely the story telling, promo's and production are something I really watch carefully and enjoy as a fan at the same time.

How many website visitors does your website attract?

Anywhere between 20,000 and 40,000 per week. The site was cooking over the Global Warning period in 2002.

How many subscribers does your newsletter have?

Our newsletter(s) combined have just over 5,000 subscribers.

Why kind of complications, if any, were there when you made the transition from Wrestling Down Under to

A few technically issues are still being ironed out, but overall it was a pretty smooth transition.

What are the biggest compliments you have received about your website, and what you have done to assist pro wrestling in Australia?

Rove and a few celebrities have sent in complements on the site which was great. In regards to pro-wrestling in Australia, I would like to think I have helped contribute by running a successful product in the past.

Have you ever had any problems with domain name pirates that you wish to comment on?

Yeah over the years we have had a few headaches, but nothing serious.

Without giving away too much, how have you been able to make your site a profitably entity, or is it more of a "lose leader" to fund other aspects of your business?

I like that term "lose leader"!, this year is my 6th year of running the site and even now its not a profitably entity. However that being said, other business activities leading from and relating from the site over the years have gone well, even though they were not directly involved with the site itself.

Who are your biggest supporters?

There are so many supporters, from the big websites such as Main Event, WWEVisual and WWA, all the way through to the Australian Pro Wrestling Directory (cheap plug) and all the Australian federations and sites, there have been so many supporters over the years and every single link helps. I have never spent a single cent on advertising.

How many hours a week does your website take to maintain, and how much assistance do you get?

Too many hours! The people that send in news, commentary, posts news items and moderate the boards have all been fantastic and make it easier on me to keep the site running.

What is your website design and development skill set? (in other words, what code to your write and work with)?

I don't get the chance to really "show off" on wrestlingnet so too speak, in fact I think wrestlingnet is very basic and a little boring. But I have a solid background in programming and generally use good old MS Frontpage and Dreamweaver. My design skills are slowly progressing but I like to focus more usability and interactivity.

What media and wrestling media coverage have you received, and how did it come about?

Whilst running wrestling shows we received quite a bit of media coverage over a 2 year period, I had an embarrassing photo published in the Herald Sun newspaper when Shawn Michaels toured in 1998, and a few interviews in 2001.

Did the change in WWE / WWF policy regarding not communicating with wrestling media effect you at all,or were you already in deep enough with them already?

Actually it didn't effect us as much as I thought it would, I communicate mostly with Australian officials which means I can cover the news about Australia in a larger capacity. But as a side comment I think the "wrestling media" is a very loose term and if the general/mainstream media don't want to support or promote wrestling, and the "wrestling media" are ignored then it's definitely a negative for all involved. I would have thought WWE would be after as much media as possible - good or bad.

What are your current projects?

I'm working on a major sports site, but not able to mention anything at the moment.

What else would you like to share with our media and wrestling savvy audience?

Well I hope people are enjoying wrestlingnet, I really think we have a great community of people from all over the country communicating on the site, and I thank everyone for their support over the years.



Interview - 3rd December 2003

Main Event TV

Australian Pro Wrestling Directory


Melbourne Park official website