AS I SEE IT - 10/24/2001
This past week, another major wrestling website closed, as Wrestleline.com
ceased operations. Wrestleline.com, formerly a part of the CBS Sportsline.com group.
Wrestleline carried well-known writers and columns as Rick Scaia's Online Onslaught, Scott
Keith and the Miami Herald's Jim Varsallone.
This adds to the number of major wrestling-related websites that have closed over the last year; including SCOOPS, iwrestling.com, and IGN Wrestling.com, and Eyada.com (which carried the Wrestling Observer online radio show). Obviously, such dot-com closings aren't unique to wrestling, as the online advertising market has dried up drastically over the last year.
But when you combine the overall advertising downturn with a shrinking TV wrestling universe, it does have an effect on those who've created a model for their websites that depends on making a profit, or at least not losing too much money.
PWBTS.com and the AS I SEE IT column, which have both been around since 1997, have been and are largely a labor of love. Neither was created or are maintained as money-making entities.
In some ways, perhaps that's the way it ought to be.
If one is involved in or around wrestling solely for the money, then one ceases to be a fan of the business that they are writing about. They get jaded and often forget that the simple joy of marking out over a good angle or for a performer that they like... is really what it's all about.
While it's been said that casual fans are disappearing, I took a look at the Hitbox administrative section of my site, PWBTS.com. I found some interesting information when I did.
Along with the (obvious) majority of readers from the United States; PWBTS, which is the home of the AS I SEE IT column has been read over the last year by wrestling fans from 36 different countries, including:
Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Germany, Japan, Italy, Tonga, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea, Poland, Russian Federation, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, Austria, Norway, Brazil, Denmark, South Africa, Switzerland, Columbia, France, Poland, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Finland, French Southern Territories (the Antarctic), Lithuania, Malaysia, and Portugal.
To me, the thought of people reading this column and its website with everything from their morning coffee... to their evening tapas... to their Buffalo wings watching a PPV... is pretty mind-blowing when I think about it.
It reminds me that there are still plenty of wrestling fans there, and that they're all over the place...just like you and I.
It reminds me that being and staying a fan is what those of who write about wrestling need to do, and avoid the tempting trap of trying to become a cottage industry...and that, perceptions to the contrary, there are plenty of fans that still do.
If we make enough from advertising to pay for our websites, fine.
Otherwise, it's just a hobby, this writing about an artform that we love, and sharing our (hopefully) informed opinions with whoever will read them...and that's perfectly fine with me.
It also suggests that wrestling fans who are going to websites, and not watching the WWF may just be looking for a more interesting product.
Speaking of readers from all over the world, if you enjoy this column, or just found it while surfing around; take a second and consider ways to deal with a much more important issue: the victims of September 11th and their families.
Below are some ways you can help the victims of September 11th, while still being a wrestling fan, or how to help the well-known major national organizations that are also doing so:
(A note: If other promoters are involved in events or activities that benefit September 11th relief efforts, e-mail me at email@example.com. I'll be happy to list your activities in this column.)
NWA-New England is sponsoring "Chills and Thrills" on Saturday, October 27 at the Powerhouse Gym 225 New Boston Street (right off Rte. 128/95) in Woburn, MA. All proceeds will be donated to September 11th relief. For information on this show e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Powerhouse Gym at (781) 937-0431.
The Hopkins (MN) Lions Club is holding a wrestling fundraiser for September 11th relief on October 27th at the Eisenhower Community Center located on 1001 State Highway 7 in Hopkins, MN.
Featured is Adnan El-Kaissey, who happens to be a longtime Lions Club member and organizer of the yearly event, done this year to benefit September 11th relief efforts. For information, call the Hopkins Lions Club at (952) 935-6908 or the Eisenhower Community Center at (952) 988-4074.
IWA Mid-South Wrestling will be holding special Wednesday night benefit shows on October 24 and 31 for the Fire Department of New York Scholarship Fund. The shows will be held at the regular IWA venue, the IWA House of Hardcore in Charlestown, Indiana. For further information on these shows, you can go to the IWA Mid-South Wrestling website here.
Maryland Championship Wrestling will be hosting a fundraiser on Tuesday, October 30th, at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie, Maryland, in which all proceeds will be given to the New York Fire Fighters Rescue Relief Fund. The event has a 7:30PM belltime (doors open at 6:30 pm). All tickets are $10.00.
Tickets for the event can be ordered online at here or by calling (410) 737-1533 or (410) 766-3270.
Those in the Keansburg area (in Monmouth County, New Jersey) can attend a wrestling show on November 3rd, at Keansburg High School sponsored by NWA-Jersey in association with the Keansburg Police and Fire Departments. It is designed to benefit the agencies involved with aiding the victims of the World Trade Center disaster.
Tickets are available by calling (732) 888-1704. Golden Ringside tickets are $18.00, Ringside tickets are $16.00 and General Admission are $13.00. You can also get more info about the show here.
Combat Zone Wrestling has designed a special t-shirt, with proceeds going to the September 11th relief effort. You can purchase this t-shirt at CZW events, call (856) 848-5070, or contact CZW at email@example.com.
To give blood, call 1-800 GIVE LIFE or contact your local hospital/health care provider. You can also find the telephone number and location of your local Red Cross chapter by going to this URL or to this URL
You can financially support relief efforts by making a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-HELP-NOW (1-800-435-7669) or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish-speaking).
You can go to any one of the many organizations listed at Helping.org.
You can also go to Amazon.com to make a direct and secure donation via Amazon.com.
You can donate directly to the September 11th Fund, administered by the New York United Way via this URL.
You can donate to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund, administered by the International Association of Fire Fighters via this URL.
Until next time...
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)