AS I SEE IT - 5/26/2000
by: Bob Magee
9 days in San Fransisco do the body and soul good. Along with the traditional tourist destinations, I recommend the Golden Gate National Recreation Area along the Pacific Coast to hike along to get closer to God and nature.
However, even while on vacation, the online world of wrestling, its politics, and its peculiarities never seems to stop.
First, for those of you who used to see my AS I SEE IT column on Lords of Pain, as well as its flagship site PWBTS or the site you read this on, here's why you don't anymore... I received, on my 43rd birthday, as I was checking e-mail, an e-mail from Calvin Martin that I was being dropped due to a supposed refusal to go exclusive with him. One problem: he'd never asked me to do, even though he had asked others.
The fact, however, is that I wouldn't have, owing to the fact that I've worked for Fritz Capp and PWBTS since 1997, both in the snail mail and online versions. I owe Fritz loyalty for that reason, and I don't apologize for that loyalty, even if some would prefer I would do so.
The second reason I wouldn't do so is owing to the fact to the fact that there are over 60 other sites running this column, all but one of whom ASKED ME TO, rather than me inquiring about doing so myself.
Some of those are sites are well-known ones that get lots of hits like Pro Wrestling Daily. Many others, however, are smaller or growing sites who asked me to provide them AS I SEE IT, but seemed to feel they had to ask "if it was OK" that they didn't get thousands of hits a day.
Gee... what a strange thought...doing a website because you love wrestling... and asking someone to help you? It's sad that it has become such a strange thought...a fact which I'll talk about again later.
Anyhow, for continuing to be loyal to those sites, I received from Calvin Martin the epithet of "board whore".
Let's get one thing clear: I don't get paid by any site that runs this column. I've had the opportunity to do so, but have turned them down. This instance with LOP is the second one where someone after the fact changed their rules about exclusivity. The other one, as some longer-term readers know, was SCOOPS.
Blake Norton at IGN Wrestling.com offered me the chance to go with his site, but was up front about his need to have me be exclusive to their website. That was fine, since he was straight with me about what he required from the beginning. I like their site and recommend it to you.But a "board whore"? Hardly. To be a "whore" you have to sell out to someone. My problem is that I wouldn't.
Along with the exclusivity issue, it's also occurred to me that the criticism by PWBTS for a number of websites not covering the ECW civil trial (which included LOP for several days) may have had a bit to do with Martin's decision. Either that, or the timing was incredibly coincidental. If LOP couldn't handle that criticism, so be it. I'll maintain that the criticism of LOP and others was justified.
I intend to continue to write this AS I SEE IT column for whoever will have it, and not to write exclusively for anyone. If a potential webmaster is comfortable with that, fine. I'm more than happy to provide the column to them. If a webmaster isn't, he or she shouldn't bother asking about the column appearing on their site. If the fact that Martin discontinued the column for those reasons mentioned above concerns you, you can e-mail him at email@example.com.
Then, also while I was on vacation, there was Dave Scherer's reaction toward my column two weeks ago on the recent ECW civil trial, deriding it as a "hate column". There was no "hate" whatever... just the truth as I saw it. But it's far easier for some to try to dismiss the truth then acknowledge it. If they acknowledge a truth, that means that they would have to confront their own actions, which they'd often rather not do.
In that column, I explained the history of the relationship between Scherer's site and PWBTS from our viewpoint. I also explained that I found the fact that those in and around ECW were treating the ECW civil trial and the plaintiff like some sort of political football offensive. I still do. Fritz Capp's upcoming "Straight Shooting" column on IGN Wrestling expands on that feeling a bit.
I said that I believed that Paul Heyman bore some moral, if not legal responsibility for what happened in the use of fire in a building far too small to do so safely. Nothing has changed my mind about that.
I also stated that ECW was running in a building too small for the crowds it draws...and, for that matter, the larger number ECW COULD draw to its Philadelphia shows, yet turns away on a routine basis each show. This isn't something I've just figured out. I've been saying it for three years, as has Scherer himself, and nearly every Internet writer that has ever been in the ECW Arena.
The company has proven time and again, that it has the ability to run in larger venues, yet it persists in running the Arena for reasons known only to Paul Heyman and those others running ECW.
Dave Scherer can dismiss all that I said as a "hate column" if he chooses to; and claim as he always does when anything relates to PWBTS that some (always uncited) person just "happened" to see a column or piece of news on the site. Readers can believe whatever they wish to about that column and what he said....or they can consider that what I said might actually have had a basis of truth in it.
Finally, there are the continuing twin devils of those people who hack wrestling newsboards, and those who take the fact they post on newsboards and websites too damned seriously.
The term "hacking" is becoming familiar to even the general public. There is also now a new term: "cracking", which is slang for hacking with criminal intent. We've seen denial of service attacks on major websites and viruses, including the recent forms of the so-called "Love Bug".
But on wrestling websites, there seems to be an inordinate amount of hacking, ranging from the most well-known websites to smaller ones.
I'm forced to update at least one of my passwords or posting URLs on a weekly, if not daily, basis because one site or another has been hacked by either a former reporter on that site who's been fired, or by someone who's been turned down by a webmaster when they've applied to post, by someone with a personal grudge or just plain meanness.
One of the favorite hacker tricks is to sucker someone into giving them a
password, claiming that "(insert name of webmaster) told me to e-mail you,
and give me the (password/posting URL), because I'm (starting with your site/lost my password/my PC crashed).
At least 8 sites I've posted on within the last 15 months have been forced to close because of such attacks. Some reopen, but many don't... because the person whose love of wrestling gets turned off by such ignorant behavior by people, whose technical skills often at an early age far outstrips their maturity.
I guess the common thread of each of these little segments in this column is to hope that many of you who are involved in websites that are reading this REMAIN WRESTLING FANS first and foremost; and to ease up on taking being online so damned seriously. Try acting like adults, or at least with some degree of maturity.
Don't treat writing online or posting news or rumors like as if your entire life depends on it. If you're among the few who does it as a legit job, congratulations. Most of you worked hard to get where you are. Others got lucky or were in the right place at the right time.
But for the vast majority who aren't doing so for a living, please leave your cyber-egos at the proverbial door and just try being a fan of the business you're covering. Lord forbid, even have fun with wrestling once in a while.
It's important to be serious about the subjects that warrant it, like drug use in the wrestling industry, or promoters who operate unethically, or government or private interest groups trying to tell you what wrestling YOU can choose to watch, or angles/other dramatic depictions that personally offend you beyond a reasonable extent.
But PLEASE be able to have a laugh, too...
Recently, PWBTS posted a piece about a "historic wrestling match"
between NWA-Jersey promoter Gino Moore and Northeast-based "wrestling entrepreneur
and terror of the ring" Mark Mest. It was, in fact, a lasagna-eating challenge. We
did it because we were asked to by Fred Rubenstein of NWA-Jersey, owing to some of the
heat Gino's gotten from supporters (whoever and wherever they are) of Dennis
Coraluzzo....to give Gino a laugh. We went
along with it because it was well... funny.
PWBTS actually got e-mails accusing us of being cruel to Moore and Mest.
Now back to the inflated cyber-egos... Some people need to get off of Exit 6A on the Pretentiousness Parkway and join the real world for awhile. The whole idea of people doing "farewell posts" is kind of amusing, as if thousands of people are worried about the fact that someone who often hasn't even finished high school is "leaving the Internet". Then again, given the age of some of these people, maybe it IS the most important thing in their lives.
Their ages could also be the reason that they all too often write site links in their news/rumor posts on various boards which sell sex more than porn sites. Between the fact that these folks want hits at any cost, and that some of them apparently spend too much time with their Rena Mero Playboy issues; they create site links like the following from two websites I won't name to protect the guilty....
"CONFIRMED Goldberg RETURN-date, Kimberly in Penthouse again, update on Scott Hall, and HOT "WET" photos of Trish Stratus! *Click here!* "
"HOT.. WET THONG Pictures of Trish Stratus, Torrie Wilson, B.B, Dawn Marie, Rena Mero and TONS MORE for all galleries, news, updates, and play by play of Smackdown.. **CLICK HERE NOW!!**
Now I realize at 43, I'm a comparative senior citizen as far as writing online about wrestling. But being 43 gives you a different perspective on life and what's important. I'm also employed in post-secondary school counseling, a line of work that keeps you pretty grounded. I do wish we could say the same about certain people online.
But those examples (and too many more) of kids; and for that matter, the adults that don't know any better who blatantly sell sex on their sites (whether or not it's actually even there) make online wrestling writers and the average reader all look bad.
Jon Farrer of 2Kwrestling.com said it rather well, and more or less inspired a large chunk of this week's AS I SEE IT column:
"There are fabulous sites that offer great fan interaction as well as your daily dose of news, rumors, and other general things. These are sites that are successful because people type that address in the box, not because of some five line plug at the bottom of a news post, linking to that site.
I guess what I'm trying to say is let's take some action. Let's stay dedicated to the sites that bring us real news, views and interviews from guys who know their shit, not ones that are run by 13 year olds after UGO contracts."
Amen to that, Jon.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)