AS I SEE IT 3/4: More on Tim White, and news on the 10th annual Super 8

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

I got some letters about the recent columns on the whole Tim White "suicide sketches". Many agreed, some didn't. Some of those who disagreed with me were fairly thoughtful, others were of the "why do you hate WWE?" category.

Given the fact that I got a subpoena to provide information in the Parents Television Council-WWF/E case, because L. Brent Bozell and his lawyers felt I was TOO pro-WWF/E (because some of us had this strange idea about the PTC, that when you make allegations in public, they usually have to be true), I usually ignore the latter category.

But after receiving the following letter...I wouldn't care if I had my mailbox filled with them.

For obvious privacy reasons, I've left out the name of this writer:

Mr. Magee,

I sent a letter about this subject to WWE through their website a few weeks ago. I never heard anything back from them at all. I completely agree with your stance on this subject. This running theme is exactly what could finally push the person that is having a hard time dealing with life right now to commit suicide.

I suffer from bipolar disorder myself. I have been at that point. I have had those feelings of desperation when it seems like the whole world is crashing down on you and you don't know what else to do. Thankfully for my wife and three children, I have not given into those thoughts. I came VERY close though one day driving home after walking out of my job without notice or plan. I have sought professional help and I take my medicine daily. they help but I still bottom out now and then. It's not as bad as it had been before I was hospitalized.

I have not watched these skits out of protest, but I hope at the beginning or end of them they are saying how serious suicide is and how it effects everyone that you know, not just you. I doubt that they are.

Don't they do that for TV shows that deal with sensitive material?

Hopefully, more letters like yours will make the WWE wake up and realize that this is a subject that needs to be treated with more respect then the Tim White skits give it. I guess Vince is still sitting up in Stamford going, "Get it?"

Vince, I don't.

This individual had the guts to sign their name and talk about their problems with depression. They also talked about the day that THEY almost considered suicide. Despite greater knowledge about, and further advances toward dealing with REAL life depression, depression and other so-called "mental illnesses" are still treated by our society as some sort of character flaw, not an illness.

No one would ever treat a broken leg as a character flaw. But far too many would if someone was depressed.

Before I get the usual letters saying I'm being mean to Mr. McMahon again...I KNOW that there's no intention by WWE to hurt those who are dealing with depression and related issues. But there are times when people need to think about the consequences of the entertainment product that they put out there.

This is one of them.

On another note, Jim Kettner's East Coast Wrestling Association will be presenting its tenth annual Super Eight tournament on the weekend of April 8 in Newark, DE. The yearly Super Eight is a tournament that has spawned countless tournaments by independent tournaments across the United States. The weekend's events are dedicated to the memory of the late Jeff Peterson, former ECWA wrestler who died in 2002 as the result of a 2 1/2 year battle with lymphoma.

The tournament is dedicated to the memory of northeast independent wrestler Jeff Peterson, who died as the result of a 2 1/2 year battle with lymphoma in 2002. Apparently those still remembering Jeff's death don't consider death a topic for humor....but properly consider it a topic for remembrance.

Peterson was held in the highest regard by all those with whom he worked; in his uncle's ECWA, Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling, IPW Hardcore Wrestling in Florida, California's All-Pro Wrestling, and elsewhere. He was trained by Lance "Simon" Diamond and Too Cold Scorpio at the Pennsylvania Championship Wrestling/ECWA affiliated WrestleTech wrestling school, working such independent mainstays as Reckless Youth, "Fallen Angel" Christopher Daniels, as well as Florida's OG Scarface and Frankie Capone.

Peterson wrestled in the 1999 and 2000 ECWA Super 8 tournaments, losing in 2000 to Jet Jaguar, as part of a program between the two that ran in Florida five years ago, a set of matches that helped Florida independent wrestling gain greater notice across the country.

Jeff received chemotherapy for his lymphoma beginning in April 2000. He had a difficult time of it, with one remission, then a return of the cancer. He also missed being in and around wrestling and his extended family in the ECWA...which seemed to him to be the biggest hurt of all. In July 2000, while still battling his cancer, he came back to a ECWA show to be inaugurated into the promotion's Hall of Fame; and to help his uncle, promoter Jim Kettner, get over the angle that would result in the ECWA's biggest moment to date: the November 25, 2000 show at the Bob Carpenter Center, which drew over 2,200 fans far and away the largest crowd in the promotion's history.

My favorite thought on Jeff Peterson comes from one night back in 1999 at an ECWA show down at their then homebase of St. Matthew's in Newport, Delaware. It was at the end of another of the traditional style matches Kettner favors. As the end of this tag team match approached, my younger brother and I played armchair booker and tried to guess the finish. Then, one heel stood on the apron holding one of the babyfaces with his arms pinned waiting for the inevitable punch; so we said out loud "rollup, or...".

Immediately behind us, chirped this voice (in a carny stage whisper) "skiz-ool-biz-oy", with a grin on his face. It was Peterson, who was back in the crowd being a fan, after he'd already worked earlier in the evening.

Participating in this year's Super Eight are:

  • WWE's Charlie Haas
  • T2P's Milano Collection AT
  • Border City Wrestling's Danny Daniels
  • New England Championship Wrestling's Andre Lyonz
  • ECWA's Bryan Logan
  • ZERO ONE's Josh Daniels
  • Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Scott Lost
  • Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Davey Richards

    Past Super Eight participants tentatively scheduled to attend the weekend's events include: Ace Darling, Simon Diamond, Chris Daniels, Low Ki, Donovan Morgan, Petey Williams, Mark Shrader, Cheetah Master, Devon Storm, Jayson Reign, John Walters, Mike Kruel, Xavier, Andrew Ryker, Eric Matlock.

    For all Super 8 information and reservations, call (302) 325-1592, e-mail, or go to the following ECWA Ticket outlets: 1614 Fitness and Aerobics, 1877 Sunset Station, Rt. 40, Bear, DE; and Jack's Kickboxing Gym, Old Baltimore Pike, Newark, DE.

    Until next time...


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