AS I SEE IT 8/2: What we see is not what we saw?
AS I SEE IT
In a hilarious response instigated by another wrestling website to last week's AS I SEE IT column on the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission; Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission Deputy Frank Talent attempted to deny in an e-mail sent to this author...what an arena of fans saw.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
It's unclear whether Talent actually wrote the statement that attempted to take the heat off him; or if it was written by someone on his behalf, but one thing's for sure... anyone that believes anything that was said in this self-serving drivel attributed to him has to have the mental age of an infant.
To begin with the debunking of this e-mail...
As is clearly visible in the picture to your left, two representatives of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, Frank Talent and Humberto Perez are standing in the ring at the ECW Arena, as Zandig annouced that the Tournament of Death show was going to be moved to Philadelphia from its scheduled location in Delaware, with Zandig's usual over-the-top phrasing about what the show will entail.
Frank Talent claimed not to know what Tournament of Death involved, and had a fanciful suggestion that CZW came to talent to ask for HIS help ater a venue problem.
Problem #1: People within the company had told me long before this went down that Frank Talent had sought to have the event scheduled in Philadelphia, instead of TOD's original location in Delaware (a location easily verified by anyone who's bothered to read CZW's website over the last three months). Why move the show to Philadelphia? More than one person has wondered if Talent saw Tournament of Death as a nice way to make a little "extra money".
Problem #2: Two well-known ringside fans stated clearly to me while at the Tournament of Death show yesterday that Frank Talent told them at the July 9 CZW show, at intermission (and I quote):
"Frank came up to me and said 'Guess where TOD is going to be held?' I answered 'I don't know Frank... last I heard it was in Smyrna, DE.' Frank Talent then said, 'No its going to be held right here in the Arena'. Then I said, "What is the stipulations on how the show would be run? Do you mean with light tubes and barbed wire included?' Frank, then in turn, said 'There are going to be no restrictions.' I said 'None at all???' Frank then said 'No changes will be made except for the place TOD is going to be held. Light tubes and barbed wire are no longer being restricted'".
So much for not knowing what Tournament of Death was...and for being ignorant of a major independent company's signature event.
Even if someone living in their own world, or who has their own agenda, chooses not to believe the above...the fact is that Frank Talent himself has been around CZW for years, has been involved in angles during the company's shows (a fact easily verifible by viewing certain CZW commercial tapes), has been involved with independent wrestling promotions at least as far back as 1990 with Joel Goodhart's Wrasslin' Radio and his Tri-State Wrestling Alliance (the predecessor of Eastern Championship Wrestling); and even goes so far back as to have done ring announcing for the old WWF Philadelphia Spectrum shows that were televised on the Philadelphia PRISM cable network.
In even more hilarity within the denial, Talent (or his ghost writer) claimed that Zandig referred to what he was proposing to do at Tournament of Death as "funny stuff"; and that Zandig was willing to use gimmicked props in Tournament of Death.
Zandig and licenseholder Maven Bentley are smart enough businessmen to know that the promotion's fans would see through such things in a minute, and the fallout for doing such a thing to appease the PSAC would hurt his company more than having to move a show to Delaware could ever do.
The gimmicked weapons line is even funnier given the fact that Tournament of Death features fan-created weapons that defy all manner of logic, description, and no doubt local laws in a few states, especially if you saw what was brought to this year's event.
I'll say it again and again...those fans that were present at the show heard what was said....and saw what they saw... Frank Talent and Humberto Perez in the ring. Other fans heard Frank Talent make clear to them that they know what Tournament of Death was...
For those who've suggested that Talent and Perez may have agreed to something they weren't authorized to agree to... NO State official governing wrestling gets up in a ring without prior approval for their actions in public; without knowing what is to be announced by a promoter. It also runs counter to Talent's own public statement.
If some of you dismiss this because it concerns CZW, think about this...this issue isn't just one involving a single independent company.
I wish I could put up a e-mail I received from a small independent who was held up by staff of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, until outside individuals intervened to allow the promotion to run. The promoter begged me not to print the article owing to fear of retalitation, but wanted to send me the information for background regarding the actions of the PSAC.
If I could run this story, it would make you see that these arbitrary actions aren't just confined to CZW. It involves a State Athletic Commission allowed to operate in a manner that would make Michael Corelone smile.
The "reply" that I received suggests to me more than just a Deputy Commissioner's reponse to an article on a website.
It tells me is that the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission has caught holy hell from fans over the last 2 weeks, and they aren't comfortable with it.
I know from people involved with the Commission that the last time people started sending e-mails to Governor Ed Rendell's office (back in February, when fans complained that WWE was allowed to openly break the rule on the use barbed wire) that the PSAC started getting calls telling them to find a way to work things out. I also was told by fans at Tournament of Death that they'd actually gotten a response from someone in the Pennsylvania Governor's office asking them what in the hell was going on...that they'd been getting boimbed with e-mails over the last week.
That's all the more reason for fans to make their feelings heard (in a literate and intelligent way...not by e-mails full of moronic comments or four-letter words) even more loudly...to the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission, but more importantly to State legislators that fund the Commission...and especially to the Governor's Office.
In the interest of independent wrestling, and of allowing fans to see the kind of product THEY choose to see (which may or may not be hardcore wrestling); instead of the wishes of governmental busybodies who seem to feel the need to give fans wrestling sanitized for their own good...independent wrestling fans ought to contact the Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission.
1) If you're a wrestling fan and you think the fact what the PSAC is doing 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.
2) Along with these e-mails, send one to the Governor's page at this link and ask why a State governing agency has blatantly allowed TWO companies operating within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to undertake an action that a competing company is prohibited from doing as part of a performance.
Further, ask them why State officials are allowed to make a public agreement (seen clearly in the photo above) regarding a matter, then go back on this agreement only nine days before an event is to take place, causing material harm to a business operating within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
3) Ask Pennsylvania State legislators the same questions. The e-mail addresses of the members of the Pennsylvania State House and the members of the Pennsylvania State Senate are available here.
As I said last week, perhaps it's time to ask the Pennsylvania Governor's office if the State Athletic Commission's jurisdiction over wrestling is really necessary anymore; given the trend toward reducing government, and the many other needs of the Commonwealth, including threats of reducing funding of medical coverage for the poor and for mass transit in the two major cities within Pennsylvania.
In an additional note... for those so interested, Frank Talent also has a radio show..every Saturday from 2:00-3:00 pm ET on South Jersey radio station WNJC 1360 AM, called "Frank Talent’s Pro Wrestling and Pro Boxing Radio Show". Outside the South Jersey area, this show can be heard online at WNJC1360.com.
If you want to call in to the show, call at (856) 227-1360 or (856) 232-7077. If you do call, call with an intelligent comment about what the Commission's done. Those who can't manage to do that and start screaming like idiots at Talent, deserve to be treated accordingly...and make wrestling fans look exactly like the stereotype Greg Sirb believes them to be.
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)