AS I SEE IT 4/12: NWA-TNA/ROH fight continues, ECW Arena changes, and "Eugene"?
by: Bob Magee The Ring of Honor-NWA TNA situation has now "reached an impasse" and NWA-TNA is pulling talent from upcoming Ring of Honor shows with the following appearing on the Ring of Honor website:
"Unfortunately, ROH and TNA officials have reached an impasse in negotiations. TNA talent has been pulled from upcoming ROH shows. Communication will remain open between TNA and ROH and hopefully this issue can be resolved down the line."
The so-called impasse is that ROH investor Cary Silkin was advised by his attorney not to sign an agreement that would hold him personally financially responsible for any problems NWA-TNA could have resulting from the sides working together. In short, if they somehow lost their Fox Sports TV deal "due to Feinstein being found to be in the company", they could sue Doug Gentry and Cary Silkin.
If you'd like to read the contract for yourself, you can do so at this URL.
After you've read it, consider this: no definition of how this violation of an agreement would be determined has been presented.
Does this mean that someone finds out that Rob Feinstein signed a paycheck that they can be sued?
Or does it mean that if obsessed online types write Fox Sports and tell them that they "know" that Rob Feinstein is there, and somehow cost TNA their TV deal, that Ring of Honor can be sued?
Let's go further with the questions Mike Johnson added in in a report yesterday on PWinsider.com:
"If Christopher Daniels wakes up tomorrow and decides to boycott NWA-TNA over the situation, is that damaging to the company?
If TNA should lose their prospective television deal with FOX Sports tomorrow, can they point to the ROH situation and blame Gentry (who has made himself personally liable by signing the document) as a reason and pursue Gentry legally?
With no declaration of 'what is damaging' to TNA, there is a broad spectrum that is left open, leaving TNA able to insert 'damaging' to an endless number of scenarios against ROH."
In any event, after Silkin refused to sign the statement Friday afternoon, TNA responded by pulling all its contracted talent from ROH.
Many have reported that the concern by TNA was that Rob Feinstein was still with Ring of Honor. In order to attempt to resolve the situation (only after the first e-mail campaign directed at TNA), Gabe Sapolsky flew down to Nashville to discuss matters with Jeff Jarrett, Following this, ROH president Doug Gentry on April 7 had signed the document cited above, stating Feinstein had nothing to do with the company and that he would be personally held financially responsible for any problems from TNA that would arise should Feinstein ever be part of the company again.
Thus, the President of the company signed a document. Yet TNA decided that they would add yet another requirement to resolve this situation...and required Silkin to sign the statement, which he refused to do.
At the moment, Ring of Honor is apparently preparing to schedule upcoming shows without such talent as AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and Chris Sabin.
So...in the same way that your expressed concerns brought both parties together 2 weeks ago, it's again time to let NWA-TNA know what you feel, to let Panda Energy know what you feel, Fox Sports know what you feel, and to let Universal Studios Orlando (the proposed site for tapings of this TV show) know, and this time that you will continue doing so until the situation is permanently resolved.
Let those you write know POLITELY that you are upset with what's been done by TNA, WITHOUT childish, profane, or inappropriate language. But let them know firmly that as a wrestling fan you will not accept NWA-TNA taking bookings away from workers, and food out of the mouths of their families.
Here are potential contacts you can make:
If you buy NWA-TNA PPVs, tell the company that you plan to do stop doing so as immediately as their company pulled talent from Ring of Honor beginning Wednesday. Let your own local cable company know this as well, and tell them why.
Point out to them as one online columnist said this weekend: that NWA-TNA needs Ring Of Honor's fan base to survive, those online and smart mark fanms that have kept them alive until they were supported by their current backers. Without that fan base, they may well not survive.
Several options are available to contact TNA to express your thoughts on this matter at this link. Make clear to them that you will also be contacting Fox Sports, Universal Studios, and Panda Energy.
You can also contact NWA-TNA via snail mail at TNA Entertainment, LLC, 209 Tenth Avenue South, Suite 302, Nashville TN 37203, or call Trifecta Entertainment at (615) 254-3333.
If you use the snail mail method, send TNA copies of your recent cable bills that show you are now ordering their PPVs. Remind them that they will be losing a customer...and let them know you'll be contacting various individuals within Fox Sports as well to express your displeasure, as well as Panda Energy, and Universal Studios Florida.
Additionally, readers may wish to directly contact Jeff Jarrett directly at this address, an address which was made public by Jarrett during a online chat.
Readers in the eastern and central Pennsylvania area will also be able to talk with Jeff Jarrett personally, as he will be appearing at Darren Wyse's NCW show in Red Lion, PA on April 24th. For information on this show, go to the NCW website here.
While NWA-TNA is technically not a NWA affiliate member, it's clear that they are the most known entity carrying the NWA name in the United States. Let their president, Bill Behrens, know about your feelings regarding this matter at this address.
I will note this: PLEASE be polite in what you write to Bill Behrens. Behrens has been exceedingly polite in his replies thus far to those having written to him. He deserves the same treatment from those writing to him.
You can contact the backers of NWA-TNA by snail mail at Panda Energy International, Inc., 4100 Spring Valley/Suite 1001, Dallas, Texas 75244
They may also be contacted by:
Phone: (972) 980-7159
Fax: (972) 980-6815
E-mail: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Let Fox Sports know that you don't appreciate their role in this situation by going to their Feedback page at this link, by calling (310) 369-1000 or (310) 369-7761, or by writing Fox Sports Net at their Corporate offices at Fox Sports Net, 1440 S. Sepulveda Blvd., Bldg. 101, Los Angeles, CA 90035.
Additionally, a specific media relations contact out of Fox Sports in New York has been made available to me. It's been indicated that he is fairly smart to wrestling and to what's going on in this situation. His contact information, and that of his boss are:
Tom Chiappetta, Director/Media Relations, Fox Sports
Phone: (212) 556-2477
Fax: (212) 354-6902
Additionally, his boss is:
Lou D'Ermilio, Senior Vice President/Media Relations, Fox Sports
Phone: (212) 556-2573
Fax: (212) 354-6902
Some of you stated that you were ready to provide names of Fox Sports advertisers. Please feel free to e-mail me with such information, and such contact information will be made public.
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Florida is the proposed location for the NWA-TNA television show. Let them know the nature of the company they are proposing to host.
Universal Studios Online Feedback
10 Universal City Plaza, Suite 3200
Universal City, CA 91608
Webmail feedback: here.
This time, until NWA-TNA permanently backs off...contact these people, and others you feel to be appropriate, and do not back off until the situation is resolved. Unfortunately, it appears the only answer will be to hit TNA in their pocketbooks and make them understand the dissatisfaction of wrestling fans.
Changes at the world's most famous bingo hall? In other news, there are changes coming for one of the most famous wrestling venues in the United States, the ECW Arena. The owners of the building have indicated that are renovating and upgrading the building to attract various events, with weekly Friday night club-level boxing events scheduled to begin in the near future.
Fans should note that it was made clear from the very beginning that these renovations will have no effect on the monthly CZW and 3PW shows at the ECW Arena.
Renovations have already begun, with fans who attended CZW's April 3rd event at the ECW Arena seeing upgrades made to the long-notorious (and noxious) bathrooms, a permanent ticket window at the the front entrance, as well as some improvements near the lower stage area, and a paint job to the outside entrance. The Arena ownership is also adding its own security backstage and in the venue.
But the most visible of these changes is the removal of the ECW Arena sign that has hung outside the building since the early 1990s. The sign has been put up by the Arena's owners on EBay for auction for a requested bid of $4,000. Regardless of any changes being made in the building, 95% of which are welcome by any fan that has attended shows at the Arena...the thought of this sign being removed and sold to some unknown person is very disturbing to long-time fans, and seems unnecessary even if improvements and changes are made to this long-time wrestling venue.
One other issue that hasn't yet been addressed publicly is whether or not the banner memorializing former ECW legend Ted "Flyboy Rocco Rock" Petty at the Arena will remain posted there. Let the owners dress up the Arena and let them call it by whatever name they wish to. But I think the only decent thing to do is to allow wrestling fans to keep remembering Ted Petty.
I've been told that Tod Gordon is working on insuring that this remains the case, and it certainly isn't a surprise that Gordon would work toward doing this, given his loyalty to Petty. I think fans would be a little happier if we heard this from building management to be absolutely sure, though.
If there were a way for fans to make their feelings known about either of these issues, especially the latter, I'll happily provide them if it becomes necessary. If any fans are aware of a manner by which fans may contact ECW Arena management/ownership, please let me know at my e-mail address, and I'll happily let me be known to wrestling fans.
If someone thinks that dressing up this venue, and attempting to change its official name (which has always officially been Viking Hall, as the past home of the South Philadelphia Viking Club Mummers brigade)...that it will change the way fans have looked at it since May 14, 1993...let me disabuse them of this notion.
No matter what name changes may be made (the name Alhambra Hall has been mentioned by a Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission on a radio interview), no matter what cosmetic changes may be planned, and no matter what other events are planned for the building, any fan that has ever attended a wrestling event at the venue located at Swanson and Ritner knows it as the ECW Arena, and will always know it as the ECW Arena...the world's most famous Bingo Hall.
"Eugene" In an era where WWF/E has sought to go back to its roots, with such things as rediscovering actual wrestling in its matches (sometimes), where the authority of referees is being re-established within matches and storylines...they've apparently also rediscovered their old trademark stereotypical characters.
Including one called "Eugene".
In a Wrestlecrap moment last Monday night, "Eugene" Bischoff (cited as Eric Bischoff's storyline nephew aka longtime OVW standout wrestler Nick Dinsmore) debuted. "Eugene" is portrayed as mentally challenged and came across Monday night as a cross between Dustin Hoffman's "Rain Man" and the oldtime gimmick of The Mighty Igor. At least on Monday night, the character came across like every stereotype ever held about mentally challenged people.
Before the WWE lemmings send me hundreds of hate e-mails....yes, I know wrestling has stereotypes galore for decades, and no, I don't expect it to change in my lifetime. And yes, Bischoff and Steven Regal come off as heels toward "Eugene", as their characters should. But even this depiction of "Eugene" as a sympathetic character seems especially unfortunate; given that WWE has done considerable work with the Special Olympics over many years.
WWE, for their part, has responded to the criticism that they have received from many circles with the following e-mail sent by WWE Fan Services to those writing regarding the character:
"WWE intends to portray the character of Eugene as a hero, as are the many people with disabilities around the world (many of whom are WWE fans) who must everyday face challenges to live the type of life many of us take for granted. Eugene, despite his disability, will get a chance to achieve his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. We hope that Eugene's story will encourage other people with disabilities to strive to achieve their dreams, whatever they may be."
God only knows where this character is going...but I'm not thrilled with where it's starting.
Until next time...
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