AS I SEE IT 10/18: Pat Patterson walks away, and Harley Race tells his story
by: Bob Magee So Vince McMahon has finally done it once and for all.
He's allowed his feelings about his family to come before his judgement about business to a point where no reasonable person can ignore it any longer.
As most of you have read, longtime creative force Pat Patterson is resigning, with his last day being the Taboo Tuesday PPV.
Patterson's decision to resign was the result of his being willing to point out to Vince McMahon what many wrestling fans have been saying for years...that the mega-push of McMahon son-in-law Triple H is killing the RAW brand. He said to McMahon, in short that HHH's mega-push overshadows RAW to the detriment of the other characters. Patterson, said as so many others have said, that if a greater variety of characters and storylines were fully developed, it would benefit business.
Patterson gave his opinions after traveling to several Raw house shows, with McMahon not being willing to hear Patterson's side of the story, which resulted in Patterson's resignation giving notice that he was leaving the company.
If Vince McMahon is willing to ignore one of his most trusted advisors, and to allow him to become so disaffected that he leaves the company that many feel he played a major part in building; only to take the side of his daughter's husband as the star of his flagship cable program...then it's become clear that McMahon's judgement regarding HHH is just personal now...and no longer strictly business.
McMahon, of course, disagrees with such judgments, saying in a recent Rockford Register Star interview : "The positive of the brand separation is that it allows new stars such as Randy Orton and John Cena... to emerge. The brand extension is working well for us. As far as interest waning, some of our live events have not been as populated as well as we want. But in the long run, the talent will be stronger and both brands will be stronger as a result."
"Some of our live events have not been as populated as well as we want"?
House show crowds have been down considerably. All too many fans don't agree with McMahon's judgement of his product. They aren't happy about having to pay the same prices to see half the WWE roster, and are thus staying home from house shows to an alarming degree. A number of house shows have been cancelled over the last year due to low ticket sales.
But it's not just house shows. RAW and Smackdown tapings have large sections of seating all too often blocked off at TV tapings. Even the recent Monday Night RAW at MSG did not sell out, something that would have been unheard of only a year or two ago.
If any other wrestler were on top, Vince McMahon would have done the right thing for business, and made a change regarding who was featured in the major angles, and who was presented on top, holding his title.
But not with HHH...and now Vince McMahon has been willing to allow one of his most trusted advisors to walk away, rather than make a change.
Such thinking doesn't bode well for the short-term future of WWE.
In happier news, former NWA Champion Harley Race has announced that he has written, together with co-author Gerry Tritz, a biography entitled "King of the Ring", which will be available in November 2004, just in time for the holiday season.
"King of the Ring" can be pre-ordered online through this link.
In the book, the former eight-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion/seven-time Missouri State Champion/eight time Central States heavyweight Champion tells an incredible life story for the first time.
In this book, Race leaves nothing hidden, as it explores both Race's life in and out of the ring. It talks about the life of a professional wrestler on top of his profession, detailing the stresses of traveling 300 days a year as NWA Champion, the very real vices associated with the business, as well as the death of his first wife.
It talks about a career that began when Race, as a teenager were trained by 1920's wrestler Stanislaus Zbyszko and his brother Walter while working on their Missouri farm; and through Race's driving for regional promoter Gus Karras...all the way through his years as NWA World Heavyweight Champion...his days as part-owner of the former Missouri territory...through his days in the WWF... all the way to his work since 1999 as a successful independent promoter in the Midwest with World League Wrestling serves both as a training camp and as a touring organization for young wrestlers, with a roster including Rick Steiner, StreetFighter Jason Bates, Wild Wade Chism, Ron Harris, Trevor Rhodes, Dakota,"The Young One" Darin Wade, as well as Ring of Honor's Ace Steele and Pro Wrestling NOAH's Daisuka Ikeda, Super Star Steve and Takeshi Morishima.
"King of the Ring" talks about very real life and death moments, including the night that "Iron Mike" DiBiase died from a heart attack in the ring in (discussed in Ted DiBiase's own autobiography) Amarillo, TX, with Race attempting unsuccessfully to save DiBiase's life with CPR at ringside; and later that night had to go to the DiBiase home to break the news to the family.
Please take a look at this book for your raeding and shpping needs for the holiday season.
Until next time...
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