It is becoming all to apparent that both the WWF and WCW commentators and reporters are finding it all to easy to attack those on the Internet to get themselves noticed. It shows that these commentators and reporters are really not up to the caliber of their esteemed predecessors. The sad thing is, they probably never will be either.
Before I change the whole subject matter of this column by giving accolades to the likes of Gordon Solie who in my mind was and always will be the quintessential personality this business has ever had, let's take a look at the participants in question as they seem to love to sit in judgement of others:
Judgement is a perfect way to describe what the United States Judicial system had to say about WCW's Mark Madden. In fact it was the decision of Circuit Judge Richard L. Nygaard of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit that although Mark Madden may call himself "Pro-Wrestling's only real journalist" nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact by his own admission, he is an entertainer, not a reporter, disseminating hype, not news.
This would put the moniker of "Pro Wrestling's Only Hypocritical Persona" tightly around the waist of Mr. Madden much like a championship belt as he constantly accuses the Internet reporters of a myriad of journalistic faux paux while he himself is nothing more than a paid company shill trying to hide the fact that he is employed by a major wrestling company and nothing more while boasting he is a journalist.
The problem with Mr. Madden is he basically needs to generate either a fanbase or heat for himself much like the actual wrestlers his company employs. This is what is going to dictate how long he stay with the company. World Championship Wrestling is and always be run more as a business than a wrestling promotion. There is no one that can deny that. To Eric Bischoff and the higher ups in the company ratings matter. Nothing else. That is they way they can judge how they are doing. The same would go for their commentators and reporters. If no one is talking about them, then they would feel they need to get someone that the people do notice for one reason or the other. It is sad that Madden has chosen the latter of these two choices as he is a very talented writer and could be known as someone who in time would have gotten a lot of respect not only throughout the industry but also with the fans because of his talent.
Right now, Madden has gotten enough Internet press time to be able to go to Bischoff and say, "See, I told you I can get them talking" and that would be all it takes to impress Bischoff as even throughout WCW's ratings reign most Internet talk was about the WWF.
What annoys me most about Madden is he attacks everyone he can, almost in bulk, hoping that someone will take the bait. The sad thing is when no one does he e-mails people almost begging for them too. The "Slick Ric" trick he does is try to align himself with one or two websites knowing that most webmasters would mark out and be on his side. This gets him his positive press and also a place to release his diatribe other than the WCW website.
But let's look at an excerpt from a recent letter that Madden sent to 1wrestling.com:
" and Georgie, god bless her, neatly sidesteps the issue by never reporting anything of substance."
I do not know what the fixation is with Georgiann Makropoulos these days but here Madden tries to goad her into a war of words by attacking her journalistic integrity. The problem here is considering what the courts have already exposed about Madden, who is he to challenge anyone? In fact, I would lay odds that if Georgiann's journalistic integrity was before the courts they would find in favor of her. Why? Because she meets the criteria of a journalist. Let's take a quick look:
"Nygaard, summarizing, put it this way: "Individuals claiming the protections of the journalist's privilege must demonstrate the concurrence of three elements: that they (1) are engaged in investigative reporting; (2) are gathering news; and (3) possess the intent at the inception of the news gathering process to disseminate this news to the public."
While Madden is considered a fiction writer at best Georgiann demonstrates the above criteria. On top of that she is not a paid shill for any company. For Mark Madden to attack Georgiann's credibility or in his mind lack thereof only shows him to be a self righteous egotistical lackey ashamed of what he really is so he must hide his feelings of inadequacy behind his verbal attacks of others.
Next lets take a quick look at Vince Russo. That's right, WCW doesn't hold a patent on classless reporters who think they are above everyone else because they draw a weekly paycheck. Vince Russo decided it was prudent to take a private letter that Georgiann Makropoulos sent to Vince McMahon and make it not only public but berate her for it in the process. Now unless I miss my guess, if the situation would have been reversed Russo would have been screaming foul from the top of Titan Towers but since he was the perpetrator and not the victim in this instance he felt it was not only justified to do this, but it was his duty.
Vince Russo is not a legend in the wrestling business. In fact it could easily be said that one of his shrewdest business moves was helping himself to a mailing list from a former partner. A walk-in to Titan he excelled as a gopher and corporate butt-kisser which helped him to slime his way up the ladder to his current position.
Russo seems to have chosen, although in a smaller way, the same road as Madden. He tries to portray himself as the reporter who will tell it all, the only problem is he can only say and tell what his boss will allow him to say.
It has been in my opinion that in an attempt to further suck up to Vince McMahon, Russo took it upon himself to attack Georgiann after hearing about the letter hoping Vince would appreciate and notice the way that he stuck up for his boss and his company. Corporate suck ups are always looking for a way to put someone else down to make themselves look more competent as they really have no talent of their own to speak of and this was the perfect opportunity for Russo.
Now onto the latest addition to this pathetic line-up of paid wrestling stooges, Kevin Kelly. Kevin Kelly is another person who did not come into the wrestling world with great accolades. In fact the first time I saw him I wondered if everyone the WWF was adding to their on air staff was from the Tod Pettengill School of Broadcasting. No charisma and not much of a personality, Kelly plodded along trying to latch onto something permanent. I am sure as Kelly bounced from assignment to assignment the WWF was wondering what if anything they were going to do with him. But he did seem to have some kind of schooling as far as using a microphone was concerned ( be it from calling hog races at the local farm shows or an actual education I do not know) so the WWF gave him his own little Internet hype show called "Byte This". Now this show is nothing more than the usual company kayfabe report but Kelly feels he is something special now in the WWF especially since he is doing Shotgun. Now let's be honest, how hard is it to do voice overs?
Anyway, recently Georgiann Makropoulos reported that Sid Eudy had recently been at Titan Towers. This sent Kevin Kelly into an outraged attack on Georgiann saying that she does not know what is going on and that she has misled her readers. Without going into great detail, after checking into this story myself it is true that Sid was at Titan for whatever reason.
Why did Kevin Kelly attack Georgiann? Because Sid's eventual return to the WWF was supposed to be a secret, plain and simple. Kelly, following in the steps of Vince Russo, attacked Georgiann hoping to put himself over with his boss.
Now Georgiann Makropoulos has been around the wrestling business for almost as long as I have been alive. Which means she has probably been around the business longer than either Russo or Kelly has been on this planet. Georgiann is from the old school of wrestling. She knows who is who and has contacts and friends that most will only ever dream of. Do you think that Georgiann with all her time and dedication to this sport would ever just put something out to mislead her readers or wrestling fans in general. NO WAY! That is not Georgiann's style. Georgiann is class personified when it comes to this business and her reputation precedes her where ever she goes. If you have ever had the opportunity to read her newsletter The Chatterbox you see that she in no way ever hurts the business. In fact she puts it over with a flair that most will never have. Why? Because she still believe that the business should be protected above all else.
All three of the above reporters have taken their shots at Georgiann. I believe that is because they are spineless and know that Georgiann will not get into any form of war with them thus allowing what they say to go unanswered by her. That in my estimation is the epitome of a coward.
This is by no means a mark out for Georgiann on my part. We have had our different viewpoints on many subjects and always will have. But I do respect her for what she is and what she stands for as far as wrestling reporting goes. I also respect and like her as a person.
Basically I am sick and tired of seeing federation reporters and commentators taking shots at her and at the Internet as a whole. These overpaid and under worked corporate prostitutes need to step back for one minute and remember what their role is and that is to be the mouthpiece and hype masters of their respective employers. That means to hype their federations upcoming matches and television shows and tout the specialities of their workers thus creating a need amongst the wrestling fans to view their companies product. Anything outside of that has no business even being considered. To attack a fan or groups of fans for no other reason than to garner heat for oneself only shows that the actual talent that these so called journalists claim to have is suspect at best.
My best advice to these and other company shills is a very simple one. "Don't point fingers unless your ready to have it done back" threefold. You can sit there and say that is exactly what I have just done, attacked. I will wholly disagree with you. I have not attacked. I just pointed out or shall we say reported on what is happening and my opinion of it. I have checked my facts, rechecked my facts and published them. But I will tell you three this, I am not Georgiann. I will not just sit back. Madden already knows that. But I do invite any intelligent responses from either Madden, Russo or Kelly. Any open forum for discussion on this point is welcome as I am not into the behind the back one sided way that you three seem to like to do business. I have never had a problem with backing up what I say or standing behind what I write. While many have tried to disprove the things I have written about, none have been able to, to date. My statement to you three is this, Considering you know that I don't shoot off my mouth without knowing what I am talking about, do any of you feel that you are going to be the first to shoot me down?
Now remember boys, I did say intelligent responses. You all are capable of an intelligent response aren't you?
Fritz Capp is the editor for Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets - for comments or opposing viewpoints please e-mail to Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets