AS I SEE IT 4/25: Vince's PR nightmare, and other thoughts...
AS I SEE IT
Vince McMahon has a PR nightmare on his hands.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
Even worse, if he consciously had decided to do everything wrong in handling it, nearly everyone except Vince McMahon would agree that he has succeeded.
I'm talking, of course, about the PR nightmare that the Amy Dumas-Matt Hardy-Adam Copeland...and now Lisa Ortiz Copeland real-life wrestling soap opera has become.
The situation started with the public revelation that Copeland has become romantically involved with Amy Dumas behind the back of supposed best friend Matt Hardy; after Dumas's pictures were removed from Hardy's personal website, and Hardy confrmed the facts of the situation.
Fans harassed Copeland and Dumas on RAW tapings, despite the best efforts of WWE to hide that fact, with blatant sign sanitizing to the extent of taking a Matt Hardy sign from the hands of a little girl at a recent taping...as well as sound sweetening/sanitizing each time Copeland or Dumas came out, along with blasting Copeland's entrance music to down out the boos from the crowds.
Then, if that wasn't bad enough...2 weeks ago, Vince McMahon and John Laurinatis made the mistake of firing Matt Hardy over the fan reaction and Hardy's having gone public over the situation (which had becone nearly impossible for Hardy to ignore), creating an even bigger firestorm among wrestling fans.
Last Monday night's RAW/Smackdown double taping showed wrestling fans everywhere what online fans have known for weeks. The fans at Madison Square Garden turned into a lynch mob as Adam Copeland and Amy Dumas were nearly booed out of the building on a level with the Goldberg-Brock Lesnar fiasco.
Copeland has apparently become McMahon's golden boy, a situation that became painfully obvious at last Monday's RAW when the crowd sound was killed bigtime when Edge was out there...but as soon as the next match took place, the crowd sound was noticably back up to normal. Yet, when Lita came out, McMahon apparently decided to make Lita the scapegoat for the situation (did she screw around on Matt Hardy with herself?) and let the "You screwed Matt" and "We want Hardy" crowd chants be heard full volume, loud enough that Dumas appeared to be fighting back tears at one point during her skit with Trish Stratus.
Let's see...you're Vince McMahon. You have a wrestler who screwed around on TWO of your workers; Val Venis (Copeland was married to Venis's sister Alannah Morley...seen in the WWE coffeetable book "Unscripted"... AND with Matt Hardy's girlfriend, Amy Dumas), not to mention screwing around on his current wife, Lisa Ortiz-Copeland.
Ortiz has now gone further, going public with accusations of steroid use and domestic violence by Copeland.
So with all this... WHO is made out by McMahon to be the bad guy in this?
Yep....makes perfect sense to me.
WWE could have so easily had Hardy "drafted" by Smackdown in their upcoming "draft lottery" and dealt with things that way...separating Hardy from Copeland and Dumas (except for joint brand PPVs). This would have been so much smarter than canning Hardy and handing him over to TNA and independent promotions, and making him a popular hero.
On a more constructive topic, as I've been indicating in the last several weeks, readers may know Peter Staniforth; from his writing on the PWBTS website, as well as his own PSwrestling.net website.
Here's the story of Peter's fiancée, Christina Coles, who seeks to participate in the UK's "Weekend to Breakthrough Breast Cancer":
"On 23-25 September 2005 I'll be participating in a very special event called The Weekend to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I'll walk 60 kilometres (35 miles) over the course of one weekend with thousands of other women and men. All proceeds will support breast cancer research and education at Breakthrough Breast Cancer.
The minimum sum I have to raise is £1,500 [EDITOR'S NOTE about $2,820 American] before I can participate in the walk itself. So I need your help.
Would you please consider making a donation to this good cause? Use the link at the bottom of this email, and visit my site - and please take the time to support me. Also I have donation forms on my web page please feel free to print some off and pass around to your friends. If you have difficulty in paying via my web page, please let me know and I will sort out a Paypal arrangement. Please keep in mind how far I'm walking - and how hard I'll have to train.
According to Breakthrough Breast Cancer, one in nine women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. That's why I'm walking so far. To do something bold about breast cancer. I hope that you'll share this incredible adventure with me - by supporting me in my fundraising efforts.
The website link is found here.
Thank you in advance for your generosity!"
All proceeds from Chrissie, as well as others of The Weekend to Breakthrough Breast Cancer will help fund the critical work of "Breakthrough Breast Cancer", the leading UK charity involved in fighting breast cancer through research and education. The charity established the UK’s first dedicated breast cancer research center, which seeks to end breast cancer by research, prevention, and new treatments.
I'd like to see PWBTS.com readers, as well as those reading my column on the many other sites want to support this effort by the fiancée of one of my writers, as I have a family member and a friend who had breast cancer scares over the last year.
So the concern about breast cancer is personal to me, as well as my desire to help out the fiancée of one of my writers.
Donations can be made to Christina's efforts to participate in the UK's Weekend to Breakthrough Breast Cancer in the following categories: Honorary Walker (£1,000), Hero (£750), Inspiration (£500), Hope (£250), Supporter (£150), Friend (any amount...which I assume most readers will use).
Please note, when donating, that the amount will have to be recorded in Great Britain Pounds (for example £15.00, noting that one GB pound equals approximately $1.87). To help you understand how much you're donating more easily, go to this website that converts various currencies to their equivalent currency in your country.
Those readers in the UK can also use Gift Aid and increase the worth of their donations. For every pound donated, Breakthrough Breast Cancer gets an extra 28 pence from the Inland Revenue.
I'd like to see PWBTS.com readers, as well as those reading my column on the many other sites take the time to support this effort by the fiancée of one of my writers. The interest is also personal, as I have a family member and a friend who had breast cancer scares over the 18 months.
Please give this some thought, and donate as much as you can.
Further, if there are wrestling promotions, workers, or promoters who would like to assist in this process by donating items that Christina can use to raise funds, please e-mail to me at email@example.com or to Peter at PeterStaniforth@aol.com.
The first wrestling promotion to help, the UK's UCW, will do a benefit wrestling show for Ms. Coles's efforts on June 16. I know a decent number of promoters read this column, so let's see if some of the rest of you can help out in that regard.
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)