AS I SEE IT 6/11: A walk in the forest...

AS I SEE IT
Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
PWBTS.com

Seems we couldn't go more than two weeks without more visits to the e-mail forest. Here's an old troll from columns past, Roman Gibson. He quotes me in his troll rant, so I'll boldface what he's quoting me as saying, so you can read what he has to say (in regular italics)...if you want to.

Hey Magee,

I just had to respond again. You just lowered yourself in my opinion even more when you revealed that youíre a Democrat. That idiot reader of yours took shots at the Republican Party and Bush for no reason at all. Any way it figures youíd be with the wrong party. The Republican Party is the best party. Anyway Iíll respond to stuff you had to say concerning my last letter.


Nice to see we're arguing politics now. Sorry. I'll pass on your political discussion.

Yawn. Nice to see Ole Anderson has a pen name.

No, I'm not Ole, but I do respect him. Hey, he worked for WCW as well as NWA, and he stood up to Vince McMahon when everyone else sold out to him.


Actually, he's a bitter old man who discounts everything fans say. Reminds me of you in a lot of ways.

What's your point here? Would you tell a Philadelphia Inquirer restaurant reviewer that they have to be a winner of the Bocuse d'Or, or a New York Times reviewer that they have to own a restaurant rated among the top in Zagat's? Would you tell a Hollywood Reporter columnist that they have to have be an Academy Award director to offer an opinion on a movie? Would you tell a Consumer Reports reviewer that they have to be a line worker at General Motors (if there are any left in the US) to comment about cars?

My point is if youíre not qualified for the job, donít tell people how to do it. If youíre not a doctor you canít tell him how to do his job. Only the workers know how itís like.


Guess you didn't read what I said above. Try reading it again. It's in English. Consumers DO know what works. You might want to go back and read the stories about the "New Coke" marketing debacle. The story of this marketint debacle is taught in every business school in America. Unlike some wrestling promotions, Coke did eventually listen to what their customers told them and went back to the original formula.

I agree that the new ECW sucks. I've said it before...than got whined at by WWE marks. But you haven't bothered to read those columns.

At least we agree on one thing. I think itís even more idiotic how they have brand splits but you have Lashley and Umanga wrestling on both Raw and ECW. It makes no sense.


Yippee....he agrees with me on one thing. Must be an accident.

The real Jay Lethal works well enough for me...and did for the fans in Orlando before someone in TNA creative (isn't that an oxymoron?)

NoÖTNA Creative works hard and deserves credit and respect.


Bwahahahahahahahhahaaa....whoo hoo.....God, I just spit my coffee all over the computer with that one.

Credit for WHAT? Losing a boatload of money for the Carter family? Giving us masturbating midgets...or wrestlers dressed up like kids pretending to be wrestlers? Sonjay Dutt and Jay Lethal are talented as hell...I saw them a long time before you did, Gibson. They don't need this tripe from TNA creative to get over.

Let me say it slowly, so even TNA creative can read it: Just......let.....them.....wrestle.

TNA's come a long way? They've come from the Dupps and midgets masturbating in trash cans to Shark Boy pretending to be Stone Cold Steve Austin and Jay Lethal pretending to be Randy Savage.

The Jay Lethal thing is a storyline, itís funny, get over it.


Ranks right up there with Sonjay Dutt pretending to be Mahatma Gandhi. Hee hee. Giggle giggle. The Spike TV ratings last week were down to .9, by the way. Wonder how this new Dutt gimmick is getting over in India where they've actually received a lot of foreign press coverage of TNA? Wanna bet there's no reference to it at all in India?

Losing millions is impressive? Then WCW was the most impressive wrestling promotion in history. Using your criteria, Paul Heyman was a better businessman than Paul Boesch. By the way, you do seem to have an unhealthy obsession with restaurants and my employment. I hear your favorite WCW executive, Jim Herd, was an executive at Pizza Hut.

Maybe that's it. I miss WCW and loved it. Jim Herd did his best. But Eric Bischoff was the best. Frey and Watts were good, too.

Anyway biased dirtsheets donít give them any credit.


It wasn't just "biased dirtsheets" that show they lost a boatload of money. The WCW balance sheets did, too.

Anyone questioning Jim Ross's credentials over the years proves their stupidity. Oh, and he says Tony Schiavone deserved more credit. "Roman Gibson" want to spell Schiavone's name correctly, if he's going to invoke him as a great announcing talent.

Jim Ross was better in WCW. He sold out to WWF/E and turned sports entertainer. Tony Shiavone did a great job but guys like Meltzer and Keller disrespected him in their dirt sheets. Same thing with dumb WWE marks.

Even if he is burying TNA X-Division workers, I hear at least Kevin Nash is INTENTIONALLY funny.


Heís not burying anything. Nash is helping out.


He's helping himself by collecting a paycheck. He's not helping the X Division out or helping TNA as a whole.

This letter from Burt Hollobaugh ought to get lots of letters from my old school ECW Arena rats. Direct your heat toward him, not me, please.

"I despise ECW 'fans'. I mean the old ones, the 'real' ones. They are hypocrites of the biggest kind. John Cena "can't wrestle', yet RVD 'is the whole f'n show', and guys like Sandman are cheered immensely? I find that comical.

RVD is average at best. His offense looks like it wouldn't hurt a flea unless it's a big spot. He can't wrestle a real match. He's like a shittier version of Sonjay Dutt. The Sandman can wrestle about as good as a 50 year-old Hulk Hogan. He's pathetic. All he can do is hit you with weapons, take some punishment, bleed, and drink alcohol. The drop toe hold is about as technical the Sandman gets.

Cena may be no Chris Benoit, but his matches are way better than RVD or the Sandman's that I am 100% positive of."


I suppose it's worthless to point out that the previous two year's One Night Stands were (WW)"ECW" PPVs, as opposed to tri-branded ones. The hostile reaction from old school ECW fans started after the previous year's show was supposed to be an ECW show, and McMahon panicked when ticket sales lagged (probably because they were ridiculously over-priced). His reaction was to stuff WWE talent onto the show, which proceeded topiss off the old school ECW fans who came to see what they thought was an ECW show.

The next year, they were just as pissed...including the now-infamous "If Cena wins, we riot" banner. This produced the reaction you're talking about.

From Joseph Shay:

"Having been a loyal fan of your column for a few years now and having been posted in your column a few times I really wanted to write again to express my disappointment with the world of televised professional wrestling today. I know that the WWE has had its low points in the past but even then it was still somewhat tolerable to watch. Now itís pathetic and what it did to the once proud name of ECW is even more pathetic.

Then there is what could have been the white knight company of TNA which sadly is plagued with poor booking and even poorer business practices.

It seems to me that itís too bad that ROH, IWA Mid-South, or CZW couldn'tít find a network to give them airtime. Itís a pity to me that independents canít even find their way to local networks. I think itís most a hardship for me as I live in Washington State and the last Indy promotion I recall ever seeing was Portland Wrestling towards the end of the 1980ís as the territory circuit was coming to its end. If anything I guess I will be contented, for now, with the DVD releases ROH and CZW put out when I can find them. In that respect thank God for Suncoast as they are the one chain in Washington that I can find those releases without going through the Internet and waiting on shipping.

So I guess until Vince gets his talent issues straightened out and getís rid of his fear of ECW loyalists and until TNA figures out that their head booker is not the sharpest tool in the shed and that certain tactics bring in the fans better than others Iíll keep seeking out independent promotions when I can.


Problem is, TNA's trying to screw with independents like ROH, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, UWA Hardcore Wrestling in Ontario, Maryland Championship Wrestling and others with their insistence on being the 900 pound gorilla of independents, saying you can't use our talent if you puit them on DVDs sold through third party sites.

What TNA refuses to learn is that you can't force brand loyalty on professional wrestling fans. TNA's idea seems to be if you want to see them on DVD, you'll see them here or nowhere. Hey, TNA, ever hear of file-sharing websites? Fans that want to and have the sophistication to use file-sharing sites, legal or not, can and will get what they want from where they want and HOW they want to get it.

Eric Bracht said the following:

"I thought I would just say up front that I agree with you in terms the points you made about why WWECW never went back to the ECW Arena. That's exactly what happened. Also, I agree with you about who would have succeeded in the old ECW. However, the entire basis of your point is just wrong.

"This wasn't supposed to be ECW. It was supposed to be WWE with Extreme Rules. It was advertised as a RAW, SMACKDOWN!, ECW event. It just doesn't make any sense why you are just looking to seek out WWE and bash them in this case. I mean I somewhat understand, however, because you have to please the stereotypical smark out there by down talking WWE. Whatever makes those people and you happy I guess. "


WWECW One Night Stand was held the last two years as an (WW)ECW PPV (see above). This year McMahon took away any reason to have it under that name by making it a "tri-branded" PPV. As far as my columns "pleasing stereotypical smarks", I'm not writing what I write to please anyone except except myself, if that's what you mean. Just read my letters and you'll see that not everyone agrees with me.

"...Let me point out that these traditional ECW fans at One Night Stand last year were making chants of 'you can't wrestle' at John Cena and Randy Orton at the beginning of the matches and later did not make such chants because Cena and Orton impressed them with their wrestling. Hhmmm...it prompted such chants as 'you still suck!' at Cena saying that even though he's wrestling a good match, he still sucks... I enjoyed both the Angle/Orton match and the Cena/RVD match so much because those fans were shut up for a second, even though I do respect their passion a lot. I agree with you that Cena would have earned the ECW fans' respect in the old ECW."

I told you what I thought about Cena. Cena as a WWE-esque white rapper wanna-be sucked. Cena as a hard-working talent who acknowledged that not everyone liked him, AND who didn't whine like Batista won people's respect.

"Oh and about Orton, to respond to what the guy made a comment about behavioral issues. Doesn't anybody just get it? Damn! Let's see what we have here shall we?

* Curt Hennig
* A going nowhere at the time Matt Hardy(he's sweet NOW both on Raw and Smackdown!)
* Kid Kash
* Rhino/Rhyno
* Randy Orton

To quote a song, 'One of these things is not like the other'.

Hmmm... let's see oh yeah...Randy Orton because fans actually give a shit about him. He sells shirts, makes the company money Okay John W. Johnson, it would really make sense to release this guy for behavioral issues with a roster loaded with injuries and lack of depth (because they decided to do a brand extension five years ago). He is a main event level star who has great matches just like with RVD last night.

If that happened to Matt Hardy today he would probably get another chance because he is now a relatively big star having big matches that fans care about. It would hurt the company to punish him that severely. When Bradshaw and Brock Lesnar got into a fight on a plane in 2002...Bradshaw was reprimanded as Brock Lesnar was continually pushed.

Is it a double standard? Yeah, that's just the way it is. Sorry. It happens in sports too. Get over it. And hell yeah TNA would sign Orton. You're an idiot to think otherwise. They would sign RVD wouldn't they? And RVD is a guy who decided to ruin the greatest push by far in his career by getting caught smoking pot while driving. Almost makes me laugh thinking about it. Don't get me wrong I love Van Dam."


So stars can do whatever they want, and mid-card guys should get suspended or fired in a non-competitive entertainment enterprise? Great way to maintain discipline in your locker room. Ask anyone in WCW how well having blatant double standards worked. Oops, WCW's out of business.

Yes, I understand that HHH will never fail a drug test as long as he's married to Stephanie McMahon. I do live in the real world, but to so blatantly and openly say that there are two sets of rules would create a chaos-filled locker room.

As far as Van Dam and his pot bust, go back to my columns a year ago. Look back at what I said about Van Dam and what he did to himself and to the WWE a year ago. You'll see we agree.

What happens when Randy Orton isn;t just smoking his joint openly in an arena WWE is running that night? What if it were HIM in the pot bust? Wanna bet he gets suspended and GASP....even pulled from TV then?

From Lonnie Walker:

"I agree with you. I'm glad they finally put the title back on a wrestler instead of Vince McMahon. I'm a little concerned that they told that guy he couldn't take photos at a wrestling event. I've been to a few wrestling shows and nobody every had a problem with still photos. They always had a problem with video cameras. That's wrong to have people all around this guy snapping pictures while he's prohibited from doing it. Especially when he's not profitting from those pictures.

I got a video called Monday night Wars yesterday. It was pretty informing when the subject came to Vince Russo. Eric stated that the powers that be in WCW intended Russo to take over after they let Eric go. They attempted this only to come back and ask Eric to come back and fix WCW because Vince screwed it up. I guess where I'm baffled at is trying to figure out how TNA thinks Vince is going to help them do anything but help them fail faster.

Another simularity between WCW and TNA seems to be they don't want to make new stars just keep pushing the same old ones down their fans throats. WCW has already proved that this strategy doesn't work so why go there? Don't get me wrong, I still like seeing some of the older wrestlers but jeeze when pay per view time rolls around and you have the same guys wrestling it shows no growth within the product. You can't sustain a fan base if you give them the same thing month in and month out.

I heard Gallagher tell a joke that reminds me of TNA. The joke was 'I'm coming out with a magazine for married men....every month same girl.' Honestly that approach won't work for a magazine or a wrestling promotion."


WCW insisted on using old WWF/E talent. TNA insists on using old WWE talent. Rather than develop its own talent...talent that IS very much there...it insists on falling back on old WWE talent...and killing all their value through inept booking. TNA's even managed to screw up Kurt Angle...and will screw up Rob Van Dam, IF they in fact sign him.

Until next time...

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