Straight Shooting - Issue #99
Since 1997 - The Standard Bearer For Wrestling Columns
by Fritz Capp
November 18, 2000
The first thing I want to do is apologise to all of my readers for my last column. No, no, no, I didn't catch any heat from you all, in fact you applauded the column and what I had to say because I always speak the truth and this timewas no exception. But what I want to make the apology for is the way I did it. You see, I lowered myself to the level of the people I talked about. Be it whether I was talking about former associates (who are currently slandering me even to friends of mine), Dennis Coralluzo, Jess McGrath or whomever, I have been around long enough to know that this business is a horrible business when allowed to be. That is just a fact. The last column showed that vehemently. But I allowed the dregs, scum, liars, cheats, control freaks and frauds of this business to make me go down to "their" level.
Was it effective? Sure it was, it got noticed by all of the people I wanted it to and then some. But there are other ways to do this, and for a brief period in time I forgot that. In my rant I did not offset the negativity of this business with the positives, which in fact did nothing to enhance the people's perception of pro wrestling. I erred by doing this. I will do my best to not do that again. Just know that if I do, then there is a direct reason for it. Usually that means that someone did the unthinkable and that is they really did something that directly affected a worker(s) or wrestling as a whole to the point that I say, "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH"! While this is a normal occurance in pro wrestling it doesn't have to be.
I refuse to allow these rejects from a 1950's carnival show to make me as cold and jaded as they themselves are. I have watched and loved this business since 1964 and I'll be damned if I am going to let the selfish, self serving, tunnel visioned "mark" promoters bring me to their level of non caring. Especially when it concerns the workers and their well being. With that being said and with me rolling up my sleeves again......On with the show!
Now I have found out that it was not Kevin Knight who called me scamming one of TOR's phone numbers out of me. He was a victim in this as was a few other people and I apologize for bringing his name into this. I was told by a few people that I trust that it could very well have been Kevin considering that was the name given to me and he had all of Kevin's particulars down. So much for trusting people huh? After talking with a few people the other night we have it down to about two people that it could have been and neither of these people deserve name recognition as they both know they are punks and that is all that needs to be said about that.
Another apology goes out to CZW as I have found out that it WAS NOT a former CZW worker that was caught in a car with another worker.
Mark this date on your calender people. It is a date that will forever live in history in my mind. On November 14, 2000 someone stepped forward and did the unthinkable. On November 14, 2000 someone did what I never thought they were capable of. On November 14, 2000 Dennis Coralluzo called me and then Jim Messenger and apologized for his actions of the previous night. To be honest I have never, evvvvvver, heard of Dennis Coralluzo apologizing for anything he has ever done. Dennis stepped up to the plate and did something that just blew me out of the water. Dennis showed character and Dennis showed testicular fortitude because it takes a big man to admit when he screwed up, no matter what his motivation for doing it is. The bottom line is Dennis showed more integrity in one phone call than some former associates of mine will probably ever be able to show. I have to say that this in no way makes me a Coralluzo mark. I know Dennis for what he is and what he can be, but on this night Dennis Coralluzo was more of a man than I have ever seen him be. Thanks Dennis, it is appreciated. It is heads and shoulders above what other people in this business are capable of.
Wal-Mart, that vestige of gun selling virtue, has decided that although it is ok to sell weapons it cannot in good conscience sell Mick Foley's/Jerry Lawlers new Christmas book, Christmas Chaos, due to the fact that there is an illustration in the book of a "naked elf". What planet do these people come from? In a day and age that the world (or at least the hypocrites that live in it) are up in arms about the "quality" of television and it's programming, Wal-Mart deems it ok to sell items that can kill people but refuse to sell a book that depicts an "elf" giving Santa "the moon"? It's not like there is full frontal or even rear nudity. It is a front side shot that actually shows "nothing" pornographic at all. Maybe Wal-Mart should stop selling "all" of the items that could be deemed "harmful" to society. Like televisions for the above mentioned reason. (ooops, makes them money) Then there are those video games that are violent that could influence children when they grow up to go to Wal-Mart and buy one of those "guns" they sell to reek havoc on poor unsuspecting mall goers.(oops....more money) What about all of those videos or music CD's that depict or suggest sex and violence. (Oh yeah, that brings them in money too doesn't it?) What about all of the clothing that they sell that are from third world countries that are produced in "sweat shops" that exploit little children and force them into labor with no pay and horrible conditions.(makes them a lot of money thanks to cheap labor costs right?) Just look in the hardware department and you will find all kinds of items that could physically harm another human being if one wanted thanks to go there. (Now there is a money making section thanks to be sure, can't get rid of those items can we?) Don't forget those household items such as knives that are used daily around the world thanks to either hurt or kill another human being.(everyone buys knives....no way they could get rid of them) What about all of the fishing items you can buy. Wouldn't that be considered cruelty thanks to animals? But that is a huge market so no way Wal-Mart could conform thanks to that idealogy. You catch my drift. Now I am sure that all of the above mentioned items would be classified thanks to them as something that they have no control over and that they are just offering items that are widely acceptable thanks to the American public. The question is why then do they single out one "Christmas Story"? In fact who deemed them the censor board? I would bet that if I took a look around Wal-Mart I could find so many detrimental items that it actually wouldn't be funny.
This is not the first time that Wal-Mart has shown it's complete ignorance. They were the ones that also refused thanks to sell the Al Snow action figure because they deemed that "head" was actually a "severed" woman's head, not a mannequin head as it really is. I think it's time thanks to let these hypocritical excuses for an "All-American company" know what we think. With Christmas approaching, perhaps we can suggest thanks to them that we can better do our Christmas shopping elsewhere.
Walmart can be written via snail mail at:
Walmart.com Company Headquarters
135 Constitution Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025
The Walmart "Help Desk" can be reached by telephone toll-free at (800) 966-6546, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Walmart can also be reached by calling (800) WAL-MART/(800) 925-6278, from 8:00 am thanks to 10:00 pm ET Monday through Friday, from 10:00 am thanks to 10:00 pm ET Saturday, or 2:00 pm thanks to 7:00 pm (ET) Sunday.
You can also send comments online by going thanks to http://www.walmart.com/cservice/cu_commentsonline.gsp?cu_heading=3
As for ordering the "Christmas Chaos" book, if you're so inclined, you don't have thanks to worry about hypocritical companies like Walmart. You can order the "Christmas Chaos" book directly from the WWF Shopzone site at http://wwfshopzone.com/product.asp?from=F&pf_id=11035&dept_id=7
Thanks to thanks to Jim Ross and Bob Magee for the above Wal-Mart heads up.
Now the responses to my last column were unreal. I do not know when the last time I was congratulated by so many people for doing a column. What got me was that these were not just fans, but also workers and promoters. It surprised me about the promoters, but then again it makes sense. REAL promoters do not have anything to hide and look as this as an opportunity to see that other people are starting to realize what they have known all along. It is promoters like I spoke of in my last column that makes this industry look bad and have the reputation that it does. So if your a promoter and got agitated by what I wrote, don't blame me, blame yourselves for how you run your promotions. It does make me feel good to know that people understand where I am coming from.
I do hear though that there are a few people that are less than happy with what I wrote. I find it hilarious that one person is less than dapper and crying up a storm that I put stuff out on the Internet that he doesn't like, but it was ok for him to ask for me to put out stuff for him that made a former partner look bad. Hypocrite? You betcha! Oh by the way, I declined the offer to put out what he wanted me to. Now where was I?...oh yeah...the forum is open to those who didn't like what I wrote to speak your piece if you want to. I'm not like SOME reporters or columnists who only present ONE side of the story or give a biased opinion. The e-mail address is included with every column. Open up your e-mail program and write to me. I'm not that hard to find.
I am sick and tired of seeing the guys who bust their ass in the ring week in and week out ripped off and misused by unscrupulous promoters. The workers go out and honestly do the best they can for these guys and get basically nothing in return, unless you call a $20.00 payday something in return. Sorry, but that is welfare and an insult to the guys in my opinion.
What gets me is that these so-called promoters think that they are actually doing these guys a favor. They say they are giving these guys valuable ring experience so that offsets the low pay. Are these guys nuts? Let me tell all the promoters who think that their $20.00 paydays to the boys are justified...Only in your own minds slimeballs. Again, if your a promoter and this statement has you mad, then you only have yourself to blame now don't you? Maybe you should stop lying to everyone and give the boys a decent payday, or is lining your pockets with money more important than integrity, honesty and just doing the right thing?
I also want to talk about the promoters who feel it is the boys responsibility to sell tickets to the shows. It is one thing if the guy can and wants to move a couple tickets. It's another thing if it is expected. What happened to the fact that it is the promoters responsibility to move the tickets? Let me tell you a story.
Awhile back at a show in a Philadelphia suburb a promotion ran a show at a school as kind of a fundraiser. Now they had a few weeks to promote the show which is not a lot of time but enough to get the word out if someone actually cared enough to do such a thing. The night of the show one of the workers went across the street to grab something to eat. Know what he was met with? "What's going on over at the school tonight?" Here these dumb asses didn't even have enough promotion for their own show to even allow the people DIRECTLY across the street to know that there was a wrestling show going on. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? This is a major HEAVILY TRAVELED street/road right outside of Philadelphia, one that has so many fast food joints and businesses on it that it isn't even funny. Were there any posters at these places? NO, of course not. Word I got from the promoter was that it was the sponsors job to get the posters out. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? No one checks to see if the proper promotion is actually getting done? Actually one of the owners of this promotion "supposedly" went out to see if things were ok and saw that there were no posters up and asked why. Know what he did then? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION! But yet this guy offers guys spots at his show if they can move tickets and then gets all pissy when they don't move the amount that he thinks they should. Talk about stupidity in motion. Wouldn't the SMART thing to do be that you look over the area where you are running a show and MAKE SURE your show got proper promotion? Whether you have a sponsor or not? With PROPER promotion on the local leval they could have done a lot more than the 300+ paid they had. But I guess this doesn't matter does it? But yet that same night this jaybro promoter was sitting in the locker room whining and crying about the attendance. Does it get any more moronic? GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING OTHER THAN RUN YOUR MOUTH! Geez, what a concept huh?
The point is that a lot of promoters today are nothing but parasites living on the back of the boys who work for them. They don't give one rats ass about the guys. My advice to the workers who deal with this on a daily or weekly basis is, "GET AWAY FROM THESE GUYS!" There are plenty of credible promoters to work for. In the Philadelphia area alone names like Big Buc Promotions run by Donnie B, Jim Kettner's ECWA, Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling run by Blaine DeSantis, Bad Crew's EWF and Mike Burns's FWA are just some of the names that instantly come to mind as being credible promotions to work for. These guys put on great shows and care about the who's and why's of the business. The WSWF used to be a great show and a great place to work for in the Hazelton area until the current promotion in Hazelton took over the building that it ran in and killed it. But the WSWF regrouped and will be starting up again in January, 2001. The promoter here always cared about solid family entertainment with good storylines and the boys always got paid a decent buck for their work. You know, the way it should be.
Also remember that it is easier for a wrestler to find work than it is for a promoter to find good solid wrestlers. If you have talent then you do not need to put up with the kind of treatment that is becoming more of the norm than it is the exception anymore. Go work somewhere else! Don't let these leeches bleed you for everything you have only to give you nothing in return. God and everyone else knows there are plenty of promotions to work for these days. Take a little time, put some tapes together, call your contacts and move on. ONLY work for people that give you an HONEST payday and actually care about you and what you bring to the plate. Wrestling is a two way street. Both the promoters and the wrestlers should be out for one goal, having great shows that showcase the talent in the locker room. This "respect" is necessary for a promotion to actually run a viable product. If you don't see that, leave.
If you are new in this business stay in the gym and hone your skills. Make yourself marketable. Make people want to use you. Promote yourself. In this day and age that could be the easiest task you have. It isn't hard if you have a good work ethic and are not an egotistical a-hole. Do something for yourselves instead of waiting for it to fall in your lap, because brother it won't. Also don't buy into empty promises of a "push" as promoters use this line to hook you into thinking that they really care about you. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book. A push is more than having you go over one or two times while having you do a ton of work behind the scenes for free.
Three additions to the ECWA "Battle at the Bob" show on November 25th...
* The ECWA has announced that Lance "Simon" Diamond and Dawn Marie are scheduled to appear on November 25th.
* Another match has been announced for the show...Ty Street and Kevin Kelly in a "Prince of Darkness" match.
The ECWA's website lays out the storyline that led to this match as follows....
"....The month of May seems to be a rather popular one in the ECWA's recently history. Sure, it served as the month where the storied Briscoes made their debuts, but if you dig a little deeper, the beginnings of one of the biggest, heated rivalries in the East Coast Wrestling Association today can be traced. May of 2000 would, of course, be the month when a hotshot superstar by the name of "Prime Time" Ty Street first stood behind the ECWA's cause against Kevin Kelly and his "Connecticut Connection." It was on May 22 that Street joined Jim Kettner's Team ECWA in Kelly's eight man tag challenge. And later that night, Ty even teamed up with Scoot Andrews to challenge for the Haas Brothers' ECWA tag belts. Nothing doing in either event.
However, it was not what happened during the course of the eight man challenge or even the tag title match that would change the face of the ECWA that very night. Cheetah Master, who Ty had befriended as he spent more time in the ECWA, wound up on the losing end of the infamous tag challenge earlier that night, and therefore, as part of a pre-match stipulation, was to be forced to leave the ECWA forever. However, Kevin Kelly, being a man of such great generosity, offered Cheetah a second chance and allowed him to face B.W. Brown in a Ladder match with a chance to regain his contract. Ty, still bitter of the previous occurrences of that night, came out to interfere on behalf of Cheetah and socked Kevin Kelly, essentially enabling Cheetah to win the match and his ECWA contract back.
So when the fall season of the ECWA rolled around in September, after a scorching hot summer in the promotion, mind you, Ty Street once again eagerly agreed to help out his good friend Cheetah Master do battle in a handicap match against Kelly and Russ & Charlie Haas. Kevin Kelly refused to partake in the match but eventually was forced to and his anger once again caused him to commit yet another heinous act. This time, out of pure desperation, he threw a fireball in the eye of Ty Street, nearly causing permanent damage. Kelly proceeded to mock Street after his dastardly deed, asking the crowd of over 500 in attendance if they could "smell what Ty Street's face was cooking."
But, of course, revenge, as they say is sweet, and for Kevin Kelly, payback was a complete, well, you get the point. On October 14 in Laurel, Delaware, local heroes the Briscoes were looking to obtain a shot at the ECWA tag belts in a match against Kelly's dominant Haas Brothers duo. Shockingly, ECWA Commish B.W. Brown ordered Ty Street, eye patch and all, to be special guest referee. And boy did Street have fun with that one. Essentially, he cost the Haas' the match via slow counts and in some cases, no counts at all. Kelly was furious, declaring that he had something special for Street. Just exactly what that "something special" would be went unknown until a week later at St. Matthew's Parish Center on Newport.
Fans wouldn't have to wait long for Ty Street to confront Kevin Kelly on October 21st. Street came to ringside in the beginning of the night, making a mockery of the "Connecticut Connection" on the microphone, and in the process challenged Kelly to a "Prince of Darkness" blindfold match. Kevin was tricked into believing only Street would be under a hood, but that was not to be the case. When Ty explained to Kevin that he, too, would be blinded by darkness, the WWF announcer seethed with rage. And to make matters worse, later in the night, it was Ty Street who scored a victory in a Steel Cage match featuring the connection against Street, J.J. and Cheetah Master by executing a plancha off the top of the cage onto Kevin Kelly and onto the floor!
So now Ty Street has backed Kevin Kelly into a seemingly deadly corner. It is obvious who the fans at the Carpenter Center on November 25 will be behind, so Kelly may find himself in deep trouble. Yet he must go it alone simply to prove he is his own man. Sure, the Haas Brothers and fellow connection member Inferno represent a smart plan b, but if Kevin Kelly wants to secure his own brand of revenge on Street, he must go it alone. Ty, however, will not forget anytime soon nearly being blinded by his arch-rival. Who can taste the revenge more? The answer to that question could also be the telling tale of who will emerge from "Prince of Darkness" match as the victor. Be there in two weeks to see the action unfold for yourself!
Other matches on this night are Champion : JJ "The Ring Crew" Guy vs. The Cheetah Master for the ECWA Heavyweight Title, WWF Developmental Members and ECWA Tag Team Champions The Hass Brothers against Delaware's own The Briscoe Brothers for the ECWA Tag Team Championship and the ECWA will hold a special induction into their Hall of Fame for Jeff Peterson. The WWF's own Michael Cole will be hosting this huge event. Tickets are moving fast for this very anticipated event. Tickets are ON SALE NOW at the Bob Carpenter Center Box Office Mon---Fri == 10 am to 6 pm, Saturday == 10 am to 2 pm. For information call: (302) 325-1592
The rumors about Rob Van Dam that are currently running across the Internet are unbelievable. First he quit ECW, then Paul Heyman issues a statement that Van Dam has not "officially" quit and that the reports are slanderous. Reports are that Van Dam talked with the WWF but turned down their offer, even though there is really no other viable place for hm to work. Let's get real people. First off, it is no secret that ECW is a dying ship. It has no captain, no first mate and the rudder is broke and they are perioulsly drifting out to sea. Can the ship be saved? Only through a miracle to be sure. I believe that Heyman may have used his last trump card but there is always a chance he has one more ace up his sleeve. As far as Van Dam is concerned, if he did quit, good for him. How long can you work without the money you are supposed to receive? This is not charity people and contracts should be honored. If he didn't quit then this is just another in a long line of events that show just how far the ECW dynasty has fall from grace. My take on it? I believe that this was put out there for a reason. Now whether or not the reason is that Van Dam is sending a veiled message to ECW that they had better get their act together soon or it is Paul once again going with the old adage of, "any press is good press" remains to be seen. NO ONE is talking about ECW anymore. They have fewer and fewer fans each week, they have fewer and fewer people defending or spindoctoring for them and as a whole should have been put to rest awhile back. They are like that strain of virus that just refuses to die out no matter how many antibiotics you take. You have to give them credit for their determination to survive, but after awhile it just becomes annoying. If Paul cared one iota for the guys that work for him he would just tear up the contracts and let them go so they could seek work at a promotion that would PAY them. The only people that will make out in the end of this is Paul Heyman, and that is sad considering all of the loyal people that have stayed by his side for all of these years. But then again, that can be and is this business.
Next issue is the 100th issue of Straight Shooting. I have been sitting here wondering exactly what I can do for this monumental issue. After deciding that I am NOT going to go into a self congratulatory mode I have decided to take on one of the most controversial topics going, which is very fitting for this column. So next issue, without any commentary from myself except to report what was said, a very honest and quite informative tape review of, "THE DENNIS CORALLUZO SHOOT TAPE"! Stay tuned because I have seen this tape and it will curl your toes!
And with that I am outta here. Remember wrestling is nothing more than it appears to be but also remember a quote from James Billington, "Intellectual and cultural freedom is the most important single precondition for the breakdown of the kinds of tyrannical and totalitarian systems that periodically threaten us."
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