AS I SEE IT 4/1: Fun and games with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission
On December 26th, at 7:59 am local time, a 9.0 magnitude underwater earthquake struck northern Sumatra, the planet's most powerful in over 40 years. The earthquake in turn generated a major Indian Ocean-wide tsunami which devastated Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, as well as parts of Australia, Africa, and the Arabian peninsula.
The tsunami has killed as many as 200,000 as of this writing, with thousands still missing.
It is more than a little appropriate to show people that wrestling fans are people who are concerned with their world, and are not just the stereotypical obsessives that many view us as being... concerned with nothing more than what HHH is doing on next week's TV...engaging in petty nonsense to help a local independent promotion steal 200-300 fans from a competitor...if Jeff Jarrett is going over on the next TNA PPV...or whether or not a certain Ring of Honor match deserves **** or *****.
I'm running a cube banner on PWBTS.com that will directly link to the tsunami efforts of UNICEF (United Nations International Children's Fund), which you can see besides this text.
I selected UNICEF's graphic/link to post on my site, because of UNICEF's longterm role in helping those most affected by famine, war, poverty and natural disasters throughout the world...and because of the international readership of my flagship site, PWBTS.com. I also did so because I've felt haunted by the picture of the children, both tourist and native, who have been killed...or survived...but who lost one or more parents...and whose lives will thus be changed forever.
Please...as many of you as will do so, please feel free to use the code from the above graphic...and place that cube banner on your own company's website, .your own fansite, or as a signature on any message board that will allow it.
For those readers that are concerned that their donations go to the victims of the disaster, and not to charity bureaucrats; here is a list of other organizations reviewed by the group Charity Navigator for their efficiency in delivering service to those they serve, with links to the websites of the organizations in question:
Please take some time to find it in your heart to send UNICEF (or another charity of your choice) some money to help those hundreds affected by this catastrophe; and find it in your heart to post the above link to the UNICEF site on your own website (or, again, another charity of your own choice) and help those hundreds of thousands affected by this catastrophe.
On to wrestling...
There is still no official word from anyone concerned with the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission regarding the blatant double-standard discussed the AS I SEE IT of two weeks ago that sees WWE moving ahead with its planned barbed wire cage main event stipulation for February's No Way Out PPV at the Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh, PA, with Big Show taking on John Bradshaw Layfield.
The ad above is now on the WWE website, clearly showing that WWE is going ahead with this match, despite the fact that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission has banned its use by other promotions, including the Philadelphia-based CZW. There's barbed wire in the logo and a presumably staged picture of John Layfield Bradshaw attempting to get over barbed wire on top of a cage.
The match was also officially announced on last night's Royal Rumble PPV.
In an interesting sidelight to all of this, there is a curious website that CZW fans have noticed, produced by Bill Pancoast, who has been associated with CZW, found at this link. There's no way of knowing what this "Ultraviolent Underground" is, whether its a TV show, online TV or something else. But this site came up shortly after this controversy started.
As I said two weeks ago, if you're a wrestling fan and you think the fact that WWE is allowed to operate on such a blatants double standard is as ridiculous as I do, contact the State Athletic Commission at ST-SAC@state.pa.us, by phone at (717) 787-5720, or by fax at (717) 783-0824.
If you don't get a response there, try the Governor's page at this link and ask why a State governing agency is blatantly allowing one company operating within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to undertake an action that a competing company is prohibited from doing as part of a performance.
Ask your Pennsylvania State legislators the same questions. The e-mail addresses of the members of the Pennsylvania State House available here and the members of the Pennsylvania State Senate available here.
I do know that the Governor's office has heard from wrestling fans from an official with the Commission. Further, there was an odd e-mail to me from by a Pennsylvania wrestling promoter to me that stated Greg Sirb had made the claim to this promoter that there was no blanket ban on anything in Pennsylvania; and that a promoter could "discuss a special match with the Commission".
Well, someone needs to tell the independent promoters in Pennsylvania that this is allegedly true, and that they can "discuss 'special matches' with the Commission". Either that, or the good folks at the State Commission are starting to get some heat on this....and are out and out trying to give fans and this promoter a snow job.
As I said two weeks ago, if the State Athletic Commission refuses to enforce regulations equally, perhaps it's time for fans and taxpayers to ask the Pennsylvania Governor's office if the State Athletic Commission's jurisdiction over wrestling is really necessary; given the trend toward reducing government, and given the many other needs of the Commonwealth, such as funding of mass transit in the two major cities within Pennsylvania, the lack of which would have created a disaster for fans attending the Philadelphia Eagles-Atlanta Falcons NFC Championship game last week.
Let another agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania collect the 5% taxes. That's fair.
Let another agency of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania regulate the bonding of promotions. That's needed.
But end the double standard on enforcement of rules...and let wrestling promotions do what they do best...put on wrestling shows.
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 email@example.com)