Straight Shooting
The Tammy Sytch controversy explored, and what was WCW's REAL surprise for the Great American Bash?
June 12, 2000
By Fritz Capp

Like him or not, my hat goes off to Vince Russo who took one hell of a beating at the hands of Ric Flair. Flair lit Russo up during their cage match on Nitro last week and Russo took it like a man. I could not believe what his chest looked like the next day. I am surprised that the Internet didnít start all of the rumors that Flair did that to Russo intentionally. I am sure that Ric wanted to teach Russo what it was like to actually be in the ring instead of just on the sidelines running his mouth, and I will bet that Russo now has a newfound appreciation for what the guys do in the ring each night.

File this one in the "I just donít know who to believe anymore" folder :

The following is from dated 6/02/2000 (a site that is co-owned by Tammy Sytch according to the website) :

"Rumors have been flying all over the Internet since Monday night about Tammy and to reasons why she was not used on television for Nitro. Firstly, you all need to calm down. Tammy and other women in World Championship Wrestling, have been working at the power plant, to work on their wrestling skills. That was where Tammy was on Monday night, she was flying out to the power plant. Tammy was flown in on Tuesday to Thunder in Boise, Idaho; but was not used, 'cause the match was at the farm. For the drug test, Tammy received her memo with her plane ticket that she had to take her mandatory drug test since joining World Championship Wrestling (Chris took his 3 weeks ago). Tammy is fine, all this 'news' you all have been reading on newsboards is total BS. Tammy is still with the company and everything is totally fine. - This is the OFFICIAL word on Tammy & WCW."

The following is from WCWís Mark Madden:

"To follow up the Tammy Sytch controversy that unfortunately reared its ugly head at TNT Monday Nitro last week, I have every confidence that Tammy's drug test will clear her. My main concern is, of course, for Tammy. She's a close friend, an excellent performer and a good person. But the reporting of what did or didn't happen concerning Tammy is just another microcosm of the flawed journalism all too often found in Internet and dirt sheet coverage of pro wrestling. One newsletter/web site reported that Tammy spent much of the time before the show asleep, i.e., passed out. I find that hard to believe, mainly because Tammy spent much of the time before the show with me. She was fine, alert and awake. Tammy may have been a little tired because she and Chris Candido had been on the road for three straight weeks working for WCW and fulfilling previously committed independent dates, but I've never confused yawning too much with passing out."

So, if Tammy was on her way to the Power Plant like her site says she was instead of being involved in an "incident" like reported around the Internet then why havenít we seen her on television lately? Also why is there one take of the incident from Tammy on her site and another from Mark Madden? How was Tammy at Nitro with Madden but yet on a plane headed for Atlanta at the same time? It is one thing to defend a friend. It is another to take wrestling newsletters/websites to task for false reporting when in fact there is plainly a difference between what Tammy reported on her site and what Mark Madden is reporting as fact. Clearly there is something trying to be covered up here by someone. You have to decide who is lying in this case. My question is, "Is this just another microcosm of the flawed journalism" as Madden so eloquently put it?

Bill Goldberg has decided to go to the press to voice his displeasure with some of the latest WCW booking ideas. Is this a good idea for Goldberg? Sure, why not? What are they gonna do, let him go? I highly doubt that the Russo/Bischoff regime is going to blunder with Goldberg the way WCW did with Benoit/Malenko/Guerrero/Saturn and give him a release. I also doubt that they will sit him down as he is without a doubt one of the few things that can and will draw for WCW. "We are further away from the kids and closer to pornography", Goldberg is quoted as saying in the Knoxville News-Sentinel. How this will affect Goldbergís position remains to be seen but I really do not think that WCW will bite one of the few hands that can feed them.

Has everyone figured out yet that what the surprise was at the Great American Bash? It wasnít that Goldberg turned heel. It wasnít the fact that there are reports that WCW has inked a deal with Fox. In fact, what WCW showed is not a surprise at all. They showed how gullible the Internet wrestling fans are, once again. For weeks there has been rumors and speculation as to what was going to happen at GAB. Everything from WCW buying ECW to Shane McMahon appearing on the show was being reported. The sad thing is these were being reported as "news" stories. They even went as far as to get Paul Heyman involved in the rumor mill by calling him to see if ECW could appear on the show, thus furthering the speculation, even though WCW had no intention of wanting to use ECW at the GAB. With the financial desperation of Paul Heyman and ECW, it is highly unlikely that Heyman would turn down a reported $500,000.00 offer at this time. This is more likely just another case of Heyman trying to get free publicity for his promotion through his Internet flunkies. Another thing that WCW showed was that it once again it has no substance, only flash. They are trying to build a reputation off of hype and hype alone. WCW showed the past couple of weeks that they do not have enough confidence in their own product to let it stand on its own merits. This is not a good sign for the people booking the show, since it was they who came up with the "big surprise" scenario. If the people at the top do not have enough confidence in their own people and product, how can they expect the fans to have any? Sure the visual of the stunt double Sting falling on fire was a great visual effect, but at the same time everyone could tell it was a stunt double and not Sting, so where are the production values? They build everything up and then dispel the belief that it was Sting set on fire, which makes me question where the credibility in that really is? To me it doesnít matter if Donald Trump bought WCW at this moment, unless they do a complete hierarchy change, it will still be a hotshot no substance promotion that is desperately trying to copy the success of another organization instead of trying to build its own brand, which is what was promised when the Russo/Bischoff regime first took over a few months ago.

I was at Web Attack, which is an Internet marketing trade show that was in New York last Thursday and Friday, and had the opportunity to chat with Cindy Margolis who was the featured Internet celebrity at the show, courtesy of Cindy told me that Chris Jericho will be an upcoming guest on one of her shows. For those of you who do not know, Cindy will not only be featuring live chats on her site but she also will be heating things up this fall on the Red Hot Sands of South Beach Miami with the launch of CBS's... The Cindy Margolis Show! Now if you want to be a "guest" or join the Party with "FREE" audience tickets call the Casting Office at 305-535-8290!! Cindy is a fabulous person and if you ever get the chance to meet her, do it!

  • Some of the responses I received this past week relating to my column last week

    From Twitmare

    Damn good article! Summed up my thoughts on the matter rather nicely. I don't think the general media will ever have respect for pro-wrestlers. They don't seem to grasp the concept that the fans do, that is that it's all a show, and we just like to pretend it's real. The whole reason we watch is to sit back and imagine that Austin really didn't submit to Bret Hart and the Hulkster really was defending the fate of America when he faced the Sheik, isn't it? Why can't these people just let us watch wrestling like they watch movies? I just decided a long time ago that I was going to have to justify anything regarding to wrestling because some people were just too simple to grasp the idea of it.

    I guess in their eyes, since these people are only "pretending" to fight, they aren't really tough. I never understood why people in the media had no problem putting over how tough Arnold Schwarzenegger is but scoffed at a guy like Jesse Ventura for even thinking he could be tough (I guess those years as a SEAL meant nothing). An organization called UPW recently went and legitimately beat a bunch of NFL players in a recent TOUGHMAN competition while overcoming increasingly ridiculous odds (credit, but even that probably won't change the media's collective asses, I mean minds. I guess you have to start killing people on purpose before you become respected, oh well.

    Songs like "Suicide Solution" by Ozzy and "Fade to Black" by Metallica didn't drive me to kill myself by the way, I guess the media was wrong again. Thanks for reading this, and keep up the good work; I enjoy the Straight Shooting columns.

    Thanks for the letter. We have said many times on my site that it doesnít matter what anyone does in pro wrestling, it will always get the shaft. Look at the millions of dollars that both the WWF and WCW donate to charities. When are those facts going to be a focus of a national news story? When are the people going to start to emphasize the good that wrestling does instead of always focusing on the negative. I saw more violence in one Clint Eastwood movie when I was growing up then I have seen in pro wrestling during the course of a year. Yet those Eastwood flicks are still available for all the kids in the world to see today and still receive high praise and wrestling is bashed at every turn. Go figure.

    From Alex

    Wrestling is being marketed to children. Walker, Texas Ranger is not. The fact that there are "Wrestling Buddies" is offensive. The ads for pro wrestling often wrestlers roaring insults while their faces bleed. I listened to Ozzy too - at age 13. I have seen eager 8 and 9 year olds buying up wrestling toys by the cart full. There is a big difference between a story that has violent conflict in it and kids becoming involved in a form of entertainment that appeals to our bloodlust. I have no problem with wrestling for adults, or even older kids, but I am shocked that kids are exposed to it before they have had a chance to learn the simple rule of cause and effect that would allow them to put the violence into perspective.

    I would think that is not wrestlingís responsibility but the responsibility of the parents of the children who are watching the programming. I am sick and tired of everyone falsely placing the blame on something that is on television when the blame should squarely fall on the parents for not educating their children or monitoring what they are watching. It is time that the parents of the world stop shirking their duties and do what they are supposed to be doing and that is raising their children. Far too many parents today use television as a babysitter and some even use it as their childís main learning tool while they are still pre-school. It is not wrestlingís fault that the children are "exposed" to their product, that responsibility falls on the parents' shoulder.

    From Brandon Myers

    Thanks, thatís all I can say for what you do for pro wrestling. You defend it against all these jerk-offs and you really lead the way. Thanks a lot. I really enjoyed your latest article at IGN with the list of all the sports stars currently pending trial. Thanks again.

    I only did that to show that while the media and organizations like the PTC deplore pro wrestling, they are hypocritical in their stance as there are many problems in all sports, in fact in all walks of life. To group together and single out pro wrestling when there is so many problems everywhere is ludicrous. It is time to hold everyone to the same standard or it is time to abolish the standard altogether.

    From Bill01SPK

    I basically agree with you regarding censorship but one thing I don't understand - you claim entertainment is not to blame for "the ills of society" yet you go on to cite numerous examples of "worse" transgressions in television & sports as a basis for your defense of wrestling. Wouldn't a more principled and consistent argument not need to include a "they're worse than us" defense? If one is truly opposed to censorship, there is no need to cloud the issue by pointing the finger of implication elsewhere. I'm sorry but after McMahon's self-serving full fledged endorsement of the NJ "hardcore" legislation I find it impossible to view him or his WWF as a victim. As the industry leader, he's done more to promote censorship than Costas or Mushnick ever could, or very likely ever would. How can anyone write an article concerning wrestling, censorship & hypocricy and not include McMahon's betrayal as a prime focus?

    I have done articles deploring McMahonís and well as Heymanís stance on the proposed NJ regulations. I see Vinceís stance on the "censorship" of "extreme" wrestling in the state of NJ as a legal way to do what he tried to do in the 80's when he raided all of the Independent promotions and caused a lot of them to close their doors. It is nothing more than trying to eliminate the competition. As far as "theyíre worse then us" defense you say I was trying to take, please read above

    From Alex Yuzhakov


    This is in response to your latest Straight Shooting column. I am a huge WWF fan -- I try to go to every New York metro area event (I was at the Royal Rumble, a couple of Raws, Smackdown! and tons of house shows) and I shelled out big bucks for the best seats. However, I am very sick of wrestling columnists like you always defending pro wrestling.

    I am 18 years old, I got no problem whatsoever with the content of WWF shows and if I had a younger brother or sister (which I don't) I don't think that I would care if they watch this stuff or not. HOWEVER, the last thing that you can do is compare pro wrestling to other sports.

    First of all, the reason wrestling is singled out is because its primary audience are children while other sports focus mainly on middle-aged men, and while I may not care for the content, other parents might and you have to respect that. Kids hardly watch football or baseball, but they are glued to wrestling. They can do something other then watch soap operas (like studying for once).

    Second, you state that wrestling is singled out. That is very far from the truth. The reason it seems that way is because WWF may be the only ORGANIZATION that is being criticized. NFL almost never gets ripped (unless it concerns the rules) but its players are always criticized by the media for their inappropriate behavior. The reason WWF is the only one that is criticized in its entirety is because WWF ALLOWS for the inappropriate things to go on. NFL fines or suspends its players for bad behavior -- WWF promotes bad language, sexual misconduct, and violence. DQ is not a true penalty for a chair shot. While we understand that it is all "fake", the young ones may not while watching the program. I guarantee you that 9 out of 10 kids under the age of 10 will tell you that Godfather shags his hoes after the show dirty-style.

    If the WWF was wrestling and nothing more, no matter how violent, it would give almost no problem to parents -- like boxing. but dammit, if an overweight crappy wrestler comes in with a bunch of presumably prostitutes (and I KNOW they are just regular models and club girls, but others may not) and tells little Johnny and little Rachel that are watching TV or are in the crowd to roll a fat joint and smoke it up while his opposition just said he likes doing it doggy style, that is just not right!

    Drugs and sex are what is killing teenagers the most these days, not violence and I know cuz I SEE THIS S**T and am around it everyday. WWF is the only program to actually promote this crap. Donít get me wrong, I like sex and chilling and all but everything must have its boundaries but WWF disassembles them. Yes, it is true (IT'S TRUE!) that NFL and NBA players are charged with these crimes listed above BUT :

    (1) their respective league either fines or suspends the player to promote punishment (even though I still think that a-hole Rocker should not be anywhere near a baseball stadium)

    (2) 10 year old kids do not know the law and I doubt that they ever hear of legal problems that the athlete is involved in. If a wrestler gets arrested, I seriously doubt that very young ones will ever hear about it -- it will get mentioned only on the news that the kids do not watch or in the newspapers that the kids do not read.

    Finally, please do not mention this extremely tired subject of wrestling being singled out ever again because even before reading your column, when I read just the title, I could already destroy any point that will be mentioned in it. I believe it is very weakly written and has absolutely no point to it when it is obvious why exactly wrestling is singled out. While I for one would not want WWF to change anything (except may be fire Godfather's ass, make longer matches, and give the damn championship belt to Shane'o mac already), I can clearly see why others would want for that to happen. However, I still believe that if parents have a problem with wrestling, instead of stupid alliances, they should just take care of their own children and not let them watch it just like they would not let kids watch porn. Neither me nor you can judge what influence will wrestling as we know it today (so extremely different from what it was 5 years ago) have on the children. The real answer to that will be presented in five to ten years when we will see how those future teenagers will differ from the ones that exist today.

    Thank you very much for reading my response and keep up the otherwise tremendous work that you do on your website.

    Thank you again

    First I want to say thanks for the letter. As far as destroying any point I could make I have to tell you that I donít believe you accomplished your objective. While you have made some very credible points (some points that I have myself made in the past) you summed it all up by saying "I still believe that if parents have a problem with wrestling, instead of stupid alliances, they should just take care of their own children and not let them watch it just like they would not let kids watch porn." That there sums it up lock, stock and barrel.

    As far as kids not watching baseball, football or basketball, maybe not in your neck of the woods but wasnít it Monday Night Football that cried when the WWFís RAW broadcast took away a rather large segment of their viewing audience, that being teenagers? And while it may be true that todayís youth does not watch baseball as intently as they did say 20 years ago, I still believe that baseball cards are a hot commodity among todayís youth which leads me to believe they still watch it. Kids also have big influences as far as the NBA is concerned. To say they do not is not presenting a case with all the facts. Todayís youth are heavily influenced by their "favs" in the sport. What do you think Dennis Rodman presented to all of his fans in his heyday? Do you think that no children heard about his exploits? If you do, you are sadly mistaken.

    This is not a tired subject. It is a subject that needs to be addressed until either the abuse stops or the blame for sex and violence on television and in the movies is equally balanced among all participants.

    In the past I have shown many television shows that are equal to or worse than the WWFís programming. Just because you do not like the Godfather doesnít mean that he is influencing children. I have yet to hear one child come up to me and tell me the Godfather is "shagging hoes dirty style" after the show. Most children do not know what a "blunt" or a "fatty" is (or shouldnít) and I can only assume that the children that do know what that is are exposed to the lingo (or actual drug) on a daily basis. That is a direct product of "influences and environment" around the child, not the WWF or any other wrestling organization.

    Your assumption that children would not know if a wrestler was arrested and what for is also inaccurate. Todayís children have access to the Internet and use it. If a wrestler is arrested, it is posted on so many news boards and discussed in so many chat rooms that it becomes common knowledge within 24 hours of the first posting. Of course those who have Internet access then go to their friends and tell the tale, and so on and so on.

    To say that violence is not what is killing the children shows that it is not the children who do not watch the news but you yourself. It is becoming an almost everyday occurrence where you see a child has killed or seriously wounded another child. While sex and drugs are a factor in a lot of child fatalities, it is the violence of one against another that usually ends a childís life. Again, these are the results of "cause and effect" and are directly related to the childís upbringing, influences and environment, not a pro wrestling television broadcast.

    We will see in the next 5 - 10 years what todayís youth will become but it appears that you already have your mind made up on the subject. If todayís youth turn out to be less socialized adults then they are today then the blame should fall squarely on the shoulders of professional wrestling and their television broadcasts. Those are the views of the Phil Mushnick, Brent Bozell and PTCs of the world and that is scary. Let's forget about one parent families because one of the parents opted for an easier road in life and decided to not shoulder the responsibility of raising their child(ren), worldwide political unrest, social and economic decline, less than honest politicians out for their own agenda, employment instability, declining family values, and less than acceptable educational systems. If todayís youth fall short of the mark it must be the fault of pro wrestling correct?

    I believe Phil Mushnick and the PTC want to talk to you about a job.

    From John Ersland

    Hey, I saw your little editorial on IGN and I agree that wrestling is being singled out. I was watching after Raw tonight and right after Raw is the show Farm Club (great show) but shouldnít the PTC be bitching at them for having Eminem cussing and saying "the motha F*ckin Farm Club" and like the soap operas out there on NBC that have a poll for women to vote to choose whose baby is gonna be whose?

    Your list of pro athletes who have been in trouble, you forgot 1 main key player and that would be Michael Irvin of the Dallas Cowboys. I mean there are some better role models in pro wrestling than in pro sports. Most of the pro wrestlers fight their way to become who they are like Mick Foley. How can you compare a pro wrestler to someone like Letrell Spreewell who choked his own coach or Bobby Knight. It's ridiculous in some ways. Cable has a lot of controversial stuff on it, and wrestling isn't the most controversial program on cable. I have seen Ultimate Fighting on one of the cable channels, and thatís more hardcore than wrestling with actual people getting hurt. Last week I saw Reuben Mateo of the Texas Rangers break his leg on national TV one of the grossest things I've seen. and it seems like the WWF is getting all the heat from the PTC. Why isnít WCW or ECW getting any.

    Well thanks for listening

    I have raised that same question as to why only the WWF seems to be getting the heat but that comes from sitting on top. The WWF gets the most publicity so that is who everyone goes after. It will be interesting to see if WCW starts to catch the same heat due to their more adult product now.

    From BIGSEXE116

    I totally agree with you. Im sick and tired of the one-sided views PTC and journalists have on wrestling. Not only is it total bull, but it acts as a fail safe for parents who cannot parent. Do you mean to tell me that a parent would rather bitch and cry about what their child is watching rather than change the channel? The PTC is full of stupid dumb hicks who have nothing else better to do with their lives then interfere with other people.

    Iíve been watching wrestling since 1986, and Iíve grown up with names like Hulk Hogan, Randy Savage, Hitman, HBK. That was when wrestling was innocent. Iíll admit-wrestling has changed, it changed with the times. Wrestling reflects on society. Although the PTC doesnít want to admit it, we donít live in a happy-go-lucky world. There are some sick ****s out there. Wrestling has not affected me in any way. I watch the WWF for complete and utter enjoyment. Just like your basic TV sitcom. How does the PTC blame wrestling for the problems in society today? Wouldn't everyone who watched wrestling go out and kill someone? No! Those people who did that are victims of either bad parenting or had a screw loose to begin with. That's the sad truth. We as a society only use scapegoats to make ourselves sleep easier at night. Sorry to say but some people are just born nuts and get jackass lawyers to blame it on others things. I think the PTC should shut the **** up, this is America 2000 not Germany 1944. You watch what you want to watch. If you donít like it change the channel.

    This kinda of crap really pisses me off! Just how ****in' dumb and hypocritical people can be. Way to stand up Fritz.

    Thanks for the letter. The PTC, while claiming to be non-profit and for the people, is nothing more than a political machine deeply rooted in the ego of Brent Bozell, its founder. I highly doubt Bozell is living on a $30,000.00 a year income because he does this out of "love" for mankind. This is about money and prestige, and nothing more. Bozell just happened to find people he could sway with his opinion, much like L. Ron Hubbard did with Scientology or Sun Myung Moon did with the "moonies." In a country that has over 350 million inhabitants, Bozellís group only numbers 400,000 people. I am sure there are more wrestling fans in the city of New York than Bozell has in his whole organization. The PTC is doing nothing more than playing a marketing game with the media. It is positioning itself as a "defender of the faith" when in reality it is just another scam being played out on a national stage.

    And with that I am outta here. Remember wrestling is nothing more than it appears to be.

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