AS I SEE IT 8/27: Helping the workers and screwing with the fans

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Another independent promotion has taken it upon itself to echo the step that CZW employee Sabine Kernaghan and New England's Eastern Pro Wrestling took after the Benoit family tragedy in providing resources to their workers and their fans....Vancouver's NWA/ECCW and promoter Dave Republic.

Republic distributed the following information to his workers and staff before last week's show in xxxxxxxxx, BC:

"Saturday, August 18, 2007


At ECCW we often talk about the health of wrestlers in terms of having a safe match or training to ensure the performers in the ring have the correct set of skills. Rarely do we discuss your health outside of the ring.

Over the past two months a heightened interest has been found in the health of professional wrestlers from the media, politicians, fans and non-fans. This attention has forced me to think more about your well-being than ever before... which is the reason for this letter.

I want to be clear...ECCW does not encourage nor want you to partake in the use of controlled or illegal performance enhancing drugs (steroids); street drugs (e.g., crystal meth); nor the abuse or overindulgence of nutritional supplements, alcohol or prescription medicine. Ever. If you believe you are being pressured by anyone in ECCW to do so, I ask that you let me know so that this negative influence can be removed from the company.

Furthermore should a wrestler be in our dressing room and/or sponsor location in the possession or under the influence of controlled or illegal substances he/she will be removed from ECCW and possibly turned over to law enforcement. This protects everyone involved with ECCW and hopefully fast tracks those who need help to kick habits.

We have all made bad choices in our lives and/or find ourselves in situations where we become overwhelmed. I encourage you to let me know when such matters are having a negative impact on you so that perhaps I may assist. At the very least, I will be able to book your differently in ECCW and give you information for professionals who can help you. In that spirit, below is a brief listing of support services which you or your family can access should you need to.

Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention -- (604) 872-3311
Alcoholics Anonymous -- (604) 434-3933
PLEA Family Counseling -- (604) 527-1275
Battered Women's Support -- (604) 687-1867 or (604) 687-1868
Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse -- 1-866-667-5465
Hope for Freedom Society -- (604) 464-0475
STD / HIV Information Line -- (604) 872-6652
Narcotics Anonymous -- (604) 873-1018
Law Students Legal Advice -- (604) 822-5791 or or
Eating Disorder Resource Centre -- (604) 875-2084

It is through prevention and correction that we can honour the memories of the wrestlers who have passed away far too young. No number of ten-bell salutes will solve the problem... but you can.

If you would like to discuss this letter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank-you for all that you do here in ECCW. Be well.

If any other promotions are attemnpting similar efforts, please contact me by e-mail at

Anyone who's not a NASCAR fan, should skip ahead a paragraph or two.

In other non-wrestling news, Teresa Earnhardt is still a idiot. For those who don't know, Tereesa Earnhardt is the widow of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, Sr. and step-mother of Dale Earnhardt, Jr. Because of a contractual disagreement between the two that saw Dale Earnhardt, Jr. sign with another team at the end of his contract, Teresa Earnhardt is refusing to allow Earnhardt, Jr. to continue to drive the number 8 on his new ride in 2008.

NASCAR should refer to the company that currently employs Dale Earnhardt, Jr. as TEI. This company now has little or nothing to do with Dale Earnhardt or his memory. Teresa Earnhardt has seen to that with holding hostage the car number that her step-son made famous.

Second, any Dale Earnhardt, Jr. fan ought to contact each and every corporate sponsor of TEI and let them know that until they allow Dale Earnhardt, Jr. to use the number he's made famous to modern audiences, that they won't buy those products. Let TEI know you won't purchase any current or future merchandise from their company.

You can do so at this link. Anyone care to see how fast TEI reconsiders if they get some pressure from corporate sponsors?

Earnhardt, Jr is being far more of a gentleman that Teresa Earnhardt deserves when he suggests that people need to stop picking on his step-mother. I've a better idea, turn up the volume, but direct it to the place it'll hurt her the worst...her wallet.

For those who are wrestling fans and not NASCAR fans who don't get the whole issue here, imagine (and I'm not comparing the legend of these people with Earnhardt, Jr. justmaking a comparison of numbers identified with people), imagine someone else coming out in a New York Yankee uniform wearing a 3 or 4. Imagine a Los Angeles King or Edmonton Oiler coming out as a 99.

No rookie would ever be thought of as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, or Wayne Gretsky.. and would get hatred for even doing so. But baseball and hockey respect their tradition and (some would argue, just as importantly) its money machine and honor specific numbers on teams and forever associate them with those players.

I suppose that the closest thing wrestling might have for something so irritating is promoters holding on to the gimmick names of workers, such as McMahon holding the Dudleys name hostage or AAA holding hostage the gimmicks of such wrestlers as Psicosis, and LaParka and putting someone else under the hood.

NASCAR has a merchandise machine that would even make Vince McMahon envious...with the most popular driver and largest merchandise seller (not counting his late father) being Dale Earnhardt, Jr. But they're making a BIG mistake by allowing TEI to keep the number that Dale Earnhardt, Jr. made famous in the modern era of NASCAR. Let NASCAR do nothing and we'll see if that comes back to bite in NASCAR's collective corporate wallet.

Until next time...

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