by : Fritz Capp
October 16, 1999
The Washington Post ran an article last week which chastised WCW for the Lenny/Lodi angle. In the article the Post cited G.L.A.A.D. (Which is a gay and lesbian watch group who bitch about everything so they can be noticed) as saying that they were the reason the angle was stopped. All I can say is that while I was not a big fan of the angle WCW was utterly stupid to cave in to such a group as it will now open the floodgates of special interest groups who will also want to "book" your favorite wrestling programs. Soon we will have "Alcoholics Anonymous" screaming about someone (probably Scott Hall) portraying a drunk, we will have N.O.W. (National Organization of Women) screaming about how women are being used in the sport, and so on and so on. Pretty soon pro wrestling will not be able to have any sort of angle what-so-ever as there will be someone somewhere who will want to "pull the plug" on whatever angle it is that they fear is offensive.
Personally I cannot stand special interest groups as all they do is whine about anything they can to get noticed, which is exactly what GLAAD did in the case of the Lenny/Lodi angle. They sit on the far fence crying that the angle created homophobic reactions from the fans. My response is, "And that affects me how?" I didn't see the angle causing people to go out and bash gay men or women. Those people bring that on themselves with all of their gay pride parades and constant need for public outbursts. If they would just go about their business and stop drawing attention to themselves they would probably be a lot better off. In today's world most people do not care what you do in your personal life as long as you don't try to shove your personal beliefs down someone else's throat which is exactly what was done in this case.
WCW, as does any other promotion, has the right to run any angle it wants. It is up the people, not any outside group, to decide whether or not that said angle is over or not. Also it is the choice of each individual to choose whether or not they watch any given angle or program for that matter. While the so-called watchdog groups that have infiltrated our society feel it is their "job" to tell us what is and what is not offensive I feel it is up to each and every individual to decide for themselves what they want to watch and what they do not.
A lot of people enjoyed this angle. A lot of people also saw this as a way for Lenny and Lodi to get over in a very political atmosphere which by the reaction to them not being on television anymore was the case. The angle was over and people liked it.
Where was GLADD during the Goldust angle in the WWF? Are they going to chastise the WWF for their recent portrayal of a gay sex counselor who wanted to help Mark Henry with his sex addictions? How about the simulated oral sex angle by a transvestite on Mark Henry awhile back in the WWF? Did any of these portray gays in a positive manner?
Gay or effeminate male angles have been played throughout wrestling's history. Gorgeous George, Adrian Street, Adrian Adonis (towards the end of his career) and many more have come and gone without one fatality happening because of the angle. Sure it got a rise (no pun intended) out of the crowd during the match or promo but then everyone went home with no incidents of gay bashing happening what-so ever.
Why is it different now?
WCW has made a major faux paux by allowing this group to win this round. As I said, I may not have liked the angle but I'll damn sure defend WCW's (or anyone else's) right to run it.
The next topic I want to touch on is one that may just show everyone just how jaded and self serving Internet reporters can be even when all personal issues should just be put aside for the greater good.
This goes all the way back to the Darren Drozdov accident. At that time there was no official address where the wrestling fans could send cards or notes of encouragement and support to Darren in this very troubling time which was of course right after his accident. Enter "The Wrestling Guys".
Now a lot of you know that "The Wrestling Guys" is the name of a wrestling radio show, hosted by Phil Varlese and "The Hitman" out of New Jersey. While these two do host a wrestling show, they are more fans as they DO NOT consider themselves to be big "insiders" in the business as so many so-called journalists do. In fact it is safe to say that The Wrestling Guys have a leg up on 99.9% of the Internet reporters and columnists and they "HAVE" promoted wrestling shows thus putting paydays in the pockets of wrestlers, something this guy who I am going to talk about in a minute has NEVER done. He has done nothing but "leech" off of the industry thinking that kissing the right ass (which he does very well) and writing a daily column and calling it a newsletter puts him "on the inside". But I digress and I apologize as that is off of the subject.
To get back on topic, I received an e-mail (as many reporters did) from The Wrestling Guys Radio Show stating some news on being able to send "get well" wishes to Droz right after his accident. In fact let me show you the "exact letter".
Just a short note from The Hitman & Phil Varlese of The Wrestling Guys Radio/Internet show concerning anyone who would like to wish Darren Drozdov their heartfelt wishes.
We know that the WWF has given their address at Titan to send cards & letters, but since we are friends with both Darren & his family, we thought it might be a good idea to have his stuff sent locally, so we could PERSONALLY bring it to him upon his return from the hospital. That being the case, we have set up a special PO Box to mail him your cards via snail mail. The address is:
Get Well DROZ
PO Box 2594
Ventnor, NJ 08406
You can also send e-mail to us in his name, and we will personally bring them to him as well. The e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please post this message on as many websites as possible, so DROZ will truly feel the love given to him by so many of his fans. Not because we know him, but Darren is one of the nicest guys in the business, and deserves all the best from the fans.
Suffice it to say, I did not see one thing wrong with this letter, so I posted it everywhere I could. Here were two guys who personally know Droz and were doing something for someone who really needed it at the time. No where was there any self promotion nor did they ever claim to be the "official" anything for the Drozdov family. They were just two guys rising to the occasion to give the Internet fans a place to send their wishes to Droz and at the same time they were the two guys who were going to bring Droz a much needed boost in morale which would happen when he received the messages from his fans. They put money out of their own pocket to set this endeavor up and were willing to take the time to do what was needed. (again without looking for anything from anyone except knowing in their hearts that they were doing something that may help someone who was really going to need some cheering up over the next few months)
Since this posting went out they have received over 1000 e-mails plus cards and gifts to give to Droz. They have downloaded and printed out the e-mails, again at their own expense and time and again without any bravado for what they were doing. (For anyone who has printed out e-mails in the past, imagine doing that 1000 times and you can begin to appreciate the monumental task that this is) They are going to deliver all of this this weekend I believe or whenever it is suitable to do so, basically when the families wishes this to be done.
Now I know Phil and John, they are very down to earth people who still remember why people do things and also how things should be done. Unlike a lot of people in this world today they do not look for accolades for what they do when it comes to real human interaction in a time of need and I have to say right here guys that I apologize for going on about everything you have done as far as Droz is concerned but someone has to after the side winding attack you have had perpetrated on you this week by Dave Scherer.
You see everyone, dear ole Dave (after receiving two requests to post the mailing info for Droz) refused to post this information for his readers. Now to be quite honest I have no clue as to why. I will not pretend to be "inside" of Dave's head. (Who would want to be anymore?) Dave Scherer over the years has shown that he has totally forgotten about the human side of the business unless there is a way to put himself over, which he does at every chance. Dave Scherer was one of the original guests on the Wrestling Guys Radio Show and they had a professional relationship. That is until yours truly entered the picture. Since then he has been rude and uncooperative with them on every level. Sadly to say I believe that this could be a factor in why Dave would not promote this venture for them. All I can say is that it is sad when a so-called self proclaimed "wrestling insider" allows personal feelings to inhibit helping out another human being. Dave did not give "his readers" a chance to make a decision as to whether or not they wanted to reply to this. He made their decision for them. His decision was, No..because I have personal issues with these people Darren Drozdov will NOT be receiving any cards or letters from my readers because I am not going to tell them about this. A little far fetched? Not if you knew Dave personally as many of us in the S.E. PA. and New Jersey area do.
But my friends, this is not what set me off. I expect Dave to be this childish so lately I have just blown off his stupidity. What set me off was the fact that although Dave could not post this act of kindness being done by Phil and John, he could take the time to try and discredit it. Here is the post directly from one of his Lariat column's this past week :
I spoke with Droz's agent Cliff Stein again tonight, and he has given me this much as an update. Droz has not yet regained any feeling in his legs or lower torso, but has in upper torso although not yet in his hands. Today, Wednesday, he was helicoptered to a rehab hospital in Philadelphia (I did not really press for the name yet) for his on-going therapy. Hopes for recovery are optimistic but very guarded at this time. Mr. Stein says it is likely that Droz will issue his own statement about his condition next week.
At this time there has not been a family endorsed address set up for cards, letters, get well wishes for Droz. The Ventnor, NJ address is not connected either to the Drozdov family or the WWF. Mr. Stein has no idea who is behind it. It may be someone who means well, but nobody knows who this person is, and he advises fans to wait for a proper announcement about where to send their messages. It is also likely that the WWF will establish an e-address for cyber greetings.
Darren's spirits are strong, and he is feeling better mentally, something that surely will be a major component in his recovery.
Mr. Stein thanks all of Droz's fans for their support, and he hopes that they will stay firmly behind Droz in his difficult road to recovery.
This was sent to Dave by Michael Tearson, an ex disc jockey who now has a weekly wrestling column. While Dave did credit Tearson for the piece, I find it strange that Dave went out of his way to make sure that "The Wrestling Guys" were in a way discredited for their efforts. I also find it interesting because Dave received this piece (according to his own post) after he had already posted his news for the day and made a special effort to get this up on the site, especially the placement of it as he had to go into his column and redo things as this piece became page 3...right after all his little polls which are used to sucker people into being on the site for a longer amount of time and after the ratings.
I have been privy to a few e-mails that went back and forth between the people who set up this grand gesture of kindness for Droz and their detractors and all I can say is that Dave once again (as he always does) sidesteps the real issues and instead tries to make himself look like the innocent victim in all of this.
"If Dave Scherer was the journalist and reporter he says he is then why didn't he give his readers notification about this postal and e-mail address's so they could send their wishes to Droz?"
"Do you believe that Droz's family would have let this address after being published across the Internet continue to stand if there was anything false or misleading about it?"
"Doesn't it make sense to everyone that if Phil Varlese and company were doing anything but being honorable the Drozdov family would have contacted the proper authorities by now especially considering the fact Phil has talked to Droz's mother about this since it's inception which shows that the Drozdov family has known about this all along? Where Tearson gets off trying to put this effort down is beyond me, but in his defense he has to do something considering he couldn't make it spinning discs. Where Scherer gets off only printing parts of the news that serves his own personal agendas is another topic all together. I would not be surprized if Scherer didn't work this point into an earlier e-mail with Tearson so Tearson would then respond to it. Believe me, Dave is not stupid and knows how to manipulate things to his advantage. His biggest bitch is I always figure him out.
All in all everybody, although I am not shocked by this you should be. This is a person who many of you go to for your news and expect it to be unbiased and in the best interests of you the readers and also in the best interests of the workers who he reports on. This is just one more case of an Internet reporter putting his own needs in front of everyone else's. Only this time his needs were above someone who just sustained a major injury in the ring. In my eyes you just cannot go any lower.
The next thing I want to talk about is the royal butt kissing that is going on by certain WCW employees concerning the recent signing of Vince Russo and Ed Ferrara. Up until recently these "employees" on their personal websites have called these guys everything but Satan and have gone down their throats on many occasions when talking about their booking styles and angles. Why is it all of a sudden this has changed? In fact, if you read some of the recent postings these two guys are the second coming of God. Have these two seen the light and repented their sins? Not that I have read to be sure. In fact, if half of what the Internet is reporting is true then Russo and company are going to start to turn WCW into WWF lite. Will we start seeing "WCW Is Porn" columns coming from these employees when Russo crosses the line in WCW? Highly doubtful. These employees know which side of his bread is buttered and where the butter comes from so they will continue to be a good lil shills and spout off the company mantra. What a shame these guys pretend to be unbiased on a daily basis.
Jeff Jarrett in WCW? Hmmm...let me see.....WHO CARES? When Jarrett was in WCW before he wasn't over so he went to the WWF where he didn't get over. Before that he was in the WWF where he wasn't over so he went to WCW and before that he was in WCW and wasn't over so he went to the WWF. Get the picture? Maybe Jarrett can beat up on some Nitro girls, which of course would be reported by WCW employees as a great angle and of course they will use this as a vehicle to take pot shots at the WWF at the same time.
All in all neither company has ever been able to get Jarrett over and I do not foresee a trend change anytime in the near future. Sad, because Jarrett can wrestle. If he would stop worrying about a stupid gimmick and concentrate on his strengths he may be able to do something.
Hold on everyone...news flash....Hogan is going to retire! Oh wait a minute...sorry...just another work by the self imposed superstar and champion of modern wrestling, Terry Bollea and his current employer, World Championship Wrestling. That makes three times in the last 12 months that Hogan was reported to be retiring. Has anyone noticed where these so-called retirement stories always start?
Now I know that the majority of you laugh when they see the Yokozuno reports surfacing every couple of months and you hold those reporters with very low esteem because you know that the reports are totally and utterly false. Why is it any different with these Hogan retirement stories? The person(s) who put this out every couple of months should be held with the same disdain, as they are proving each and every time that really do not have a clue and that they think that you people are stupid enough to buy their bull. Hopefully you will all show them that you are tired of their crap and look elsewhere for your news. Also hopefully Hogan will realize that his better days are behind him and it is time to not "reform the band" but to say good-bye to the business (at least in ring) that he helped build.
I have received a few letters lately telling me that all Internet reporters only see the bad side of things and that we should become fans again. In some way, I have to agree.
It is easy to point fingers and blame for things gone wrong, but although I cannot speak for anyone but myself, let me give everyone a small taste of what all reporters get if we talk positive about things (particular people or promotions) in wrestling :
1 - Your nothing but a (place promotion name here) mark
2 - Why don't you just shut up. You don't know anything. (Place promotion name here) is so much better asshole.
3 - F*** you and your stupid opinions. I have been a wrestling fan for three years now and you don't know what you are talking about. (Place promotion name here) is evil, evil I tell you. They use sex and Satanism to get over.
4 - You don't know nothing about nothing pal, your probably a 15 year old who likes to cum to pictures of (place wrestlers name here) and that's why you write about him like that. (Place another wrestlers name here) would kick (place wrestlers name here) any day in a real fight. You SUCK!
5 - I do not know why you are so prejudice against (place promotion name here) considering they are without a doubt the best thing going. GROW UP AND KNOW YOUR ROLE.
This goes on and on everyday in the life of an Internet wrestling reporter. It is safe to say that no matter what any of us print, there is someone who will attack us for it.
Steel Cage Asylum's "King of Reporting" is about to head to the next round. I want to thank everyone who has participated in the voting thus far and hope that you will continue to do so. (To clarify something I am not affiliated with this site at all, I just get a kick out of the voting) The url again is http://steelcageasylum.com/kor/.
It looks as if there could be some very interesting matchups in the next round. I want to say thanks to the Steel Cage Asylum website for having this as it has been fun seeing just who the Internet thinks is the best of the best.
And with that I'm outta here. Remember, wrestling is nothing more than what it appears to be.
Fritz Capp is the editor of Pro Wrestling's Between The Sheets - for comments or opposing viewpoints please e-mail to Fritz Capp