Straight Shooting - Issue #76
by Fritz Capp
Exclusively For
July 24, 2000

After that long very revealing column I did last issue on Bozell and his Kool-Aid drinking followers I figured I would come back into reality and just write something on wrestling itself? What a concept huh?

Anyway a lot has happened recently that I haven't touched on so let me do one of my infamous bounce all over the place columns that I am known for.

XPW/ECW - two columns ago a lot of ECW fans mistook something I wrote as actually being in XPW's corner. Far from it. While I have not seen an XPW show to critique it from that aspect, I have had dealings with some of the people that promote the shows though. In fact, one guy had the gall to write me and "TELL" me that I have to post their results. Excuse me? I proceeded to tell him the criteria for having that done and that the fact that just because he "demanded" that I do it didn't actually fit the criteria. Needless to say I never heard back from him.

Now this told me a lot about the mind set of XPW. Even ECW in their "guerrilla marketing days" didn't have the audacity to do something like that. (At least not that I know of)

What XPW did to ECW in Los Angeles was proclaimed as a victory for the promotion by it's owner Rob Black. But was it? For two days the XPW promotion "was" listed on every website more than a couple times. But what about a week later?

Everything seems to have returned back to the way it was for XPW. Results from shows and that's about it. Did their showing up at the ECW PPV really give them the prestige they so badly sought? Black claim's that his website received an increase in traffic to the tune of about 3000 hits in I think it was a 12 hour period directly after the incident. I could post a nude pic of Tylene Buck and get more than that in one hour. So was it worth everything that is reported to have happened? Not by a long shot.

Was it right for them to show up at the PPV? This was something that Heyman himself used to have his fans do. For those of you who were not around back then don't even think about telling me I am wrong, I was there and you weren't. Guerrilla marketing concepts are not new to wrestling. The difference between Heyman and Black is that ECW used to prompt it's "fans" to wear their gear and carry signs hyping the promotion to other shows. (Mostly at WCW and WWF TV shows to get their name on screen) He didn't take a legion of his workers and sit in the front row almost daring someone to start trouble.

XPW may have money backing them but one has to remember that no matter what they do, ECW most likely did it first which makes XPW nothing but another promotion in a long line of indy feds that are trying to copy the success of ECW by trying to be "extreme" and make money and a name off of what was started all those years ago in Philadelphia. The fact that they are copying what has already been done without being able to come up with their own niche should speak volumes about the promotion, wouldn't you agree?

Russo/Hogan/Bischoff - I get highly amused at all of the reports going around about backstage meetings, office meetings and the like when it comes to WCW anymore. I see reports everywhere that tell you in detail about how meetings went, what was said and the determinations that came about in the meetings when it refers to the three gentlemen listed above are concerned. What I want to know is how do these people get such information? Are they invited to the meetings? Do they have a Spy Tech 2000 which enables them to listen to the conversations while sitting in a nearby parking lot? Do they have a "mole" inside the organization leaking valuable information to them? Or is there a secret website that broadcasts "streaming video" of these meetings? My guess is for the most part, these people do not have a clue.

Now while it is true that people like Meltzer and Keller do have people that they talk to inside every organization, I highly doubt that even these guys get their news first hand when it comes to these closed door meetings. But then for the most part these are not the guys that are putting out the reports that I read. No, these reports are posted around everywhere, being embellished upon with each post until you almost get a transcript of the meeting itself.

How do you figure that some 16 year old kid has the ability to tell you not only who was in the meeting, but also what was discussed and future plans resulting from these meetings? The word guessing should come to mind very quickly. The funny thing about the Internet and most of it's reporters is that once they read something, they themselves have their own opinions which get added into the mix which invariably becomes part of the "news" story.

Now it is not above an organization like WCW to "put" stuff on the Internet to get people talking. I also believe they do it sometimes so they can just sit back and have a good laugh. Either way people, you are being worked into thinking something that isn't true. I wish the people who think that they are so "smart" would sit back and realize just how gullible they really are. Always follow one simple guideline, "The smarter you think you are, the less you really know".

When you travel around the Internet and see such reports, please, take a moment and write to the reporter and ask him for his sources. Ask him how he/she got such "privileged" information. Do this with the understanding that the majority of the people that work at WCW get the news and information about these meetings second sometimes even third hand. All in all have some fun but just realize that for the most part when you see a report like this there is no way that anyone can know what is going on in these meetings unless they were there themselves.

Jericho/Benoit - People are already questioning the WWF's decision process at the Fully Loaded Pay Per View. Some are stating that the WWF made a mistake by not allowing Benoit or Jericho to win their respective matches, thus they didn't elevate them to the next level. This is just another case in point where the fans think they are so smart that they know better than the actual bookers. My question is, "How much elevation do you want before you see that they were in fact elevated?"

Chris Jericho and Triple H had one hell of a match last night. They battled and brawled and Triple H won it, as Jim Ross put it, by one second. This could have been perceived by many as the best match of the night and was one of three main event matches. So how wasn't Jericho elevated?

Triple H. has run roughshod over the WWF talent and even retired Mick Foley, one of the toughest wrestlers ever to grace the squared circle? Triple H. has beaten everyone thrown at him (save a loss to the Rock for the belt) on many occasions, even beating the Rock more than once. Now you have Chris Jericho coming within one second of beating Triple H. in a main event match of PPV. Sound familiar?

Let's rewind to a Bret Hart/Steve Austin match that happened a couple of years ago. It was a pure bloodbath. Austin and Hart battled until Austin passed out from blood loss while in the Sharpshooter. He lost the match but never gave up. Isn't this a match that elevated Austin to the next level? Just because a wrestler losses a match doesn't mean that he didn't achieve the next level.

Chris Benoit is another good case in point. Here was Benoit, who entered the WWF not too long ago, in the main event going against the Rock for the heavyweight title. This is not an elevation in status? This is not a push for Benoit? How anyone could perceive this as NOT being elevated is beyond me.

My guess is there people want to Jericho and Benoit to come into the fed, wrestle three matches and be handed the keys to the city. Forget the fact how long Triple H., The Rock and everyone else in the locker room has been there building the WWF to it's current status. Forget the fact that wrestling needs to be built on ongoing story lines that keep the people coming back for more. Forget that there is something called "psychology" that most of today's wrestling fans use as a "cute" word in their vocabulary but do not have a clue as to what the word means when it comes to wrestling. Let's just give everyone instant status and everything will be all right correct? While your shaking your head yes just look southward to Atlanta and see if that formula paid off long term dividends for that company.

Independent promotions - While a lot of praise has been given to independent promotions as they are where the future wrestling stars start out, one must also look at the promotions themselves and see exactly what kind of shows they are running. For the most part, independent wrestling shows are nothing more than slapped together wrestling exhibitions. Now I am not saying that all independent shows are like this as there are some really good indy promotions out there, but there is an ever growing quantity of indy promotions are nothing more than a way to take money out of the local fans pockets.

I have been witness to lately an ever growing number of independent wrestling shows that are far and away some of the worst shows I have ever seen in my life. No continuity in the story lines, wrestlers that have no business being in the ring and promoters that don't care about what kind of show they put on as long as it puts a few dollars in their pocket. This hurts the business immensely whether these so-called promoters realize it or not.

I also find it amusing that no matter what kind of show they put on they want the reports of their shows to be glowing and when they are not they get an attitude with the person who wrote the report like it was their fault the show was as bad as they reported. Since when is a reporter supposed to be responsible for the quality of the show they are reporting on?

I am starting to believe that there are just too many independent promotions on the scene anymore. The talent is being spread far too thin and there are just guys out there running schools and promotions that do not care about quality, only turnover. (As in with how many students can they push through their school this year)

It is common knowledge in the business that there are "schools" that are nothing more than a farce. They bilk their students out of their money promising many things only to never really deliver on them. It is also common knowledge throughout the business that there are promoters that do absolutely nothing to enhance the credibility of the sport. All one has to do is to look to the state of New Jersey to see a plethora of wrestling promotions that are doing more to burn out the territory than they are doing to enhance the sport of pro wrestling. I think it is high time that the business starts to take care of itself and weed these frauds out of the business thus allowing the true promoters and schools to be able to do what they do best, and that is put out a quality product while training the next generation of pro wrestlers.

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

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