AS I SEE IT 4/5: Comments on last week's column and news on WORLD-1 Revisited
by: Bob Magee First, some thoughts about a guest "Workers Eye View" column written by Les Morgan (which appeared on PWBTS and other sites) in reply to last week's AS I SEE IT, directed toward those who objected to TNA attempts to keep talent such as Christopher Daniels, AJ Styles, and Chris Sabin from working Ring of Honor shows.
First, the column included the old argument that those writing online and those reading it are "just marks" and thus have no right to offer an opinion... with this exact quote: "The Jarretts know what they're doing. You do not."
Guess what? Wrestling fans are customers of a product. Despite your 1960s mindset, offering our opinion on wrestling is no different than if we were buying a car, attending a movie, or going out to eat.
Would you tell a Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant reviewer that they have to be a winner of the Bocuse d'Or, or a New York Times reviewer that they have to own a restaurant rated among the top in Zagat's? Would you tell a Hollywood Reporter columnist that they have to have be an Academy Award director to offer an opinion on a movie? Would you tell a Consumer Reports reviewer that they have to be a line worker at General Motors to comment about cars?
For that matter, would you try to tell any other typical consumer of any other product that they can't spread the word about a good or bad company with whom they've done business? Any business school would tell you that word-of-mouth is the best advertising for any product or service.
The answer to all the above is: of course not.... and the argument is as specious as when it's made about wrestling fans, newsletter/online writers, and their opinions. No fan with a brain considers themselves the equal of those who've been in the business (and yes, I know there are those fans that do).
But fans DO have the right from the perspective of those who ARE the "fans in the seats" to offer opinions about the product that they pay money to see. Wrestling promoters, just as much as any other business(wo)men, need to listen to their customers. When they don't, they pay the price. Just ask anyone from WCW.
Then there's the argument that Morgan made about what TNA is paying these workers and that this gives TNA the right to make such a decision. If Morgan had received the unsolicited e-mail I did from a well-known figure of an NWA affiliate, and heard what some of the talent on the top of the TNA cards are getting paid in comparison to Ring Of Honor payoffs, he might not have been as quick to offer such an opinion.
Morgan should also note that TNA is right now no more than an independent promotion with a business model focusing on PPV. It is not the equivalent of WWE which restricts outside dates for its wrestlers, but is also a national fulltime touring company.
TNA runs three shows per month (with one additional PPV made up of taped footage shot at other shows) . They are not a national touring company with full-time independent contractors (that are being treated as employees). It's been estimated that as much as 50-60% of their live crowds are comped in. In short, without weekly PPV and an investor heavily supporting them, TNA's no different than a hundred other independent promotions, even though it's trying to act like a 900 pound gorilla... when in reality, it's just one more monkey.
For someone to suggest that TNA should have any right to restrict their wrestlers from taking bookings with other independent promotions that do not DIRECTLY conflict with their own PPV shows, failing to compensate them for any sort of restriction...and that the very people that are buying NWA-TNA PPVs should just be sheep and take whatever they get...sorry, but I don't buy it for a minute.
Neither should you.
The fact that Gabe Sapolsky was in Nashville this past Wednesday, and that NWA-TNA suddenly was ready to talk to Ring of Honor seems to suggest that most other wrestling fans didn't buy it, either. It's because of those of you who wrote NWA-TNA, and who contacted Fox Sports that they were talking at all, and that Doug Gentry is talking to TNA this week, likely to resolve the matter once and for all.
It's rather unfortunate that someone like NWA President Bill Behrens, who I greatly respect, suggested in online comments and in the snail mail Wrestling Observer this week that such campaigns do more harm than good, and that contacts to Fox Sports could have hurt TNA workers.
The truth of the matter is that it was the move by TNA ITSELF that would have hurt the workers by taking money out of their pockets and food out of their mouths. It was the move by TNA that precipitated the e-mail campaign.
Second, it's also a fact that TNA would not have been willing to talk to Ring of Honor as quickly as they did without the contacts made to TNA and especially to Fox Sports. I've heard that from multiple people who were in a position to know.
Third, Mike Johnson reported last Thursday that "many TNA wrestlers were receptive to Sapolsky" at the March 31st PPV, and that "several TNA regulars inquired about possible work with Ring of Honor". Judging by that, it sounds as though TNA needs to quickly resolve this situation, as it appears they are ready to do. If they don't, it might not just be wrestling fans that revolt, but many in their own locker room as well.
So despite what someone as respected as Bill Behrens (who is sincere in what he thinks and who does have the interest of the workers in mind) may feel to the contrary, you should applaud yourselves for what you've done. Because, despite what some may think, you DID have the best interest of the workers in mind.
Now, for some news on wrestling this coming Easter weekend...
Pro Wrestling WORLD-1 returns to the Philadelphia area with the Pro-Wrestling WORLD-1 REVISITED tour on Easter weekend on Thursday, April 8th in Pottstown, PA...April 9 (Good Friday) in Quarryville, PA, and Saturday, April 10 in Philadelphia, PA.
First, Pro-Wrestling WORLD-1 will return to the Philadelphia area on Thursday night, April 8th in Pottstown, PA at Academy Hall, 1700 Industrial Boulevard in Pottstown, PA with a 7:30 pm belltime. Academy Hall is only a 40 minute drive from Philadelphia and has been home to professional wrestling for almost three years.
The fight schedule is:
Watch for the Armand-Hammer Boulevard exit. Get off US 422 at this exit onto Industrial Highway. Academy Hall is immediately at the first intersection off 422 on your right. Continue on past the intersection for 100 feet to park in the parking lot on the left side of Industrial Highway.
Pro Wrestling WORLD-1 then continues on April 9 (Good Friday) in Quarryville, PA at The Solanco Fairgrounds, S. Lime Street, in Quarryville, PA with an 7:30 pm belltime.
From Philadelphia and surrounding area:
Take I-95 to I-476 (Blue Route). Continue on the Blue Route until Exit 5 (Marple Crossroads Shopping Center) onto the US 1 Expressway southbound. Continue south on US 1 until you reach PA 472 (about 5 miles from the MD border). Continue north on PA 472 for about 12 miles until you reach Quarryville. Look for the Fairgrounds there on PA 472 (South Lime Street).
Take PA 100 (Pottstown Pike) directly south to Exton, until you reach the US 30 expressway. Just after the expressway ends, still on US 30, take a left on PA 10 (North Church Street). Continue on PA 10 for 2.5 miles, until you reach PA 372 (West First Avenue, which becomes South Limestone Road and Lower Valley Road). Continue on PA 372, until you reach Quarryville. When in Quarryville, take a left off of PA 372 onto South Lime Street (PA 472) and look for the Fairgrounds shortly thereafter.
Take US 222 southbound (which becomes Beaver Valley Pike, then west 4th Street) until you reach PA 372 (West State Street). Continue on State Street (PA 372) for a mile, until you reach South Lime Street (PA 472). Take a right onto PA 472, and look for the Fairgrounds shortly thereafter.
Pro Wrestling WORLD-1 concludes the Pro-Wrestling WORLD-1 REVISITED TOUR on April 10 in the Philadelphia area at the Ramada Inn (Philadelphia Airport South), located at 76 Industrial Highway, Essington, PA with a 7:30 pm belltime.
For fans in the Philadelphia area, The Ramada Inn is easily found just south of Philadelphia International Airport. Take I-95 southbound past Philadelphia International Airport until you reach Exit 9 (PA 420 South/Essington). Take this exit and continue PA Route 420 to the first light at PA Route 291, and take a right. Continue on PA 291 for 3/4 mile until you see the Ramada Inn on your left.
Take I-476 (Blue Route) southbound until its end, and exit northbound onto I-95. Continue on I-95 northbound you reach Exit 9 (PA 420 South/Essington). Take this exit and continue PA Route 420 to the first light at PA Route 291, and take a right. Continue on PA 291 for 3/4 mile until you see the Ramada Inn on your left.
WORLD-1 Ticket options
Ticket prices: Ringside Reserved (1st 2 rows): $22/General Admission: $15/Kids under 12: $8 and are available through:
E-mail: To order through email, email email@example.com. Be sure to include which show you wish to see as well as what type of tickets you wish to purchase.
Telephone: You may order tickets by phone by dialing 610-689-0909.
PayPal: Tickets can be ordered through PayPal as well. Go to the TICKETS section at ZeroOne USA.com, and scroll down for PayPal options.
Postal mail: In addition, tickets can also be ordered through mail. Please send a check or money order made out to WORLD-1 WRESTLING to: Pro-Wrestling WORLD-1, 136 Winged Foot Court, Limerick, PA 19468.
Once checks are received fans will be emailed a confirmation number. Tickets will be sent out by first class mail until one week before the show. After that date they will be ready at will call.
Until next time...
If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)