PW Radio Diary: Week of 09/10/07

The following is a republished diary/commentary from ProWrestlingRadio.com.

It has been a while since I have posted a commentary. I hope you enjoyed reading about a day in the life of a WEW pay per view taping. If you missed it just go to the link at the bottom and click to read the last commentary.

If you haven’t caught them, I began a daily column/blog over at phillyburbs.com. This has been a tremendous opportunity to speak about professional wrestling to a mass audience. Over the last month I have posted anywhere from 1-5 columns a day talking about pro wrestling as well as a variety of other subjects. Some of the regular pieces I have started are looking at wrestling’s greatest feuds, where are they now, profiling independent wrestlers, and commenting on the latest news in general. My most recent piece takes a look at the Ric Flair situation and his leaving the WWE. I also have quite a few columns posted speaking about the recent suspensions.

I will be on and off of the air for the next several weeks due to high school football. I am hoping to come back on September 22 with a very special guest. Should there be a hot topic or late breaking news story, I will keep the phone lines open for the entire show. I will start putting up more classic shows on my website to make up for the lack of new shows.

It is truly an honor to be a part of PWU’s third anniversary show this coming Saturday. I haven’t had this much fun doing commentary in a long time. I think the roster is second to none with a perfect blend of today’s hot indy stars, up and comers, as well as the veterans. Tod Gordon’s leadership behind the scenes makes a world of difference. It is ironic to be working closely with Tod in 2007. Back in 1996 when I started ring announcing for ECW, the very first angle I was involved with included Tod Gordon. It was a match in Staten Island, NY featuring Tod against Bill Alfonso. This was my first show that I ever ring announced for ECW or ring announced period. There was a spot where Tod would hit Bill with a cookie sheet. I held the fabled cookie sheet and on Tod’s cue had to pass it over to him. I felt all of the pressure in the world not wanting to screw up this spot. Everything went fine and the rest is history.

This brings me to a subject I wasn’t even going to write about. Comparing breaking in the business for me in 1996 to now is almost like looking at another industry entirely. It is amazing to me when I go to indy shows and I see guys with egos who have never done a thing in the business. Sure, maybe they wrestled on TNA pay per view, Japan, or headlined various indys around the country. But I was taught to respect the guys and girls who drew money. Those who drew money deserve respect and everyone else is in the same boat. Whether you are opening the show or headlining, if you are wrestling in front of 200 fans or even on a pay per view that lost thousands of dollars, you are no better than anyone else no matter how long you have been in the business. There is something to be said for wrestlers who worked territories and slept in cars, ate bologna sandwiches, and wrestled seven times a week. No matter who they are, I can respect them and practically envy them at the same time. There is an appreciation for the business that those kinds of guys have as compared to someone else.

I have shared locker rooms and walked around other locker rooms or talked to guys over the last several years that have the biggest egos in the world, and yet have nothing to back it up. It amazes me. On top of that, they treat other people who may not be as experienced or savvy like garbage. I had the opportunity to be brought in the business by one of the greatest crews ever and that was the ECW crew from 1995-1998. I had nothing but respect for everyone, of those guys in that locker room and a little bit of fear as well. The bottom line was that no matter what the situation was or what I needed, everyone of those guys treated me like a human being. They didn’t have to, yet they did. I see some guys treating other people or fans like crap and that bothers me.

I also don’t understand why some guys would refuse to do a job on the indys. It’s fake! Every veteran I have ever spent time with tells me that doing jobs was such a critical part of making money. You make the other guy by doing the job but if you do it right you keep yourself strong. Guys today want belts whether they are wrestling in front of 50 people or 500. Why? It’s not like you really won something.

The bottom line is that I think a great majority of wrestlers today lose sight of the fact that for one thing, it is a privilege to be a part of this great business. Yes, no matter what is said elsewhere this is a great business. Talent these days have such a sense of entitlement that they completely lose sight of what it is all about. It is not about them. I don’t care who you are, but everyone on an indy show is replaceable. There is nobody anymore that draws a house. There is not that Abdullah the Butcher or Sheik or Bruiser Brody you can bring in for 2 weeks to pop the houses. The fact is it is a team effort and that has been completely lost on a lot of people.

The problem is the schooling over the last several years. Not many people had the great opportunity I had to go on the road every weekend and soak in the wisdom of guys like Shane Douglas, Paul Heyman, Raven, Tommy Dreamer, Taz, Rob Van Dam, guys who have wrestled all over the world, experienced everything from the bottom up, and no matter how popular they would get they would never forget what they were there for and their love for the business. Why do you think there hasn’t been another ECW nor will there be? The majority of talent today on the indys would never surrender their egos and put guys over, participate in angles they may not like, work with guys they may not like, etc. There is a reason for the success of ECW and the lack of success of other companies.

Something else that makes me upset is when guys take advantage of younger, inexperienced guys in the ring. I was always taught that you need to trust your opponent and as a wrestler you need to take that responsibility seriously. Mick Foley said it best in his book when he said the only people that know whether you punched someone in the face at full force or not are the two guys in the ring. The fans don’t know different, so there is no point in a “shoot” or working stiff.

A lot of guys that think they are veterans think it is their right to go in their and light up a younger wrestler. These are usually wrestlers who have never accomplished much other than wrestling for a long time with very little success. Yet, because they have been a wrestler for so many years they consider themselves a veteran. Most of the time these are wrestlers who may have wrestled for 10 years, but wrestled 14 matches a year tops, which hardly makes them a veteran.

It is just sad for me as someone who has not only been lucky enough to be a part of this for over 10 years, but been around it for almost 15 years. It is very difficult to walk into a locker room today on the indys and find people in there doing the right things for the right reasons. Jerry Jarrett talks in his book about the reason the indys are doing so poorly is that the smartest guys are now either working for Vince or retired. I think there is definitely something to that.

The bottom line is that people criticize the WWE for taking inexperienced or untalented guys and rushing them through developmental and getting them up before they are ready. People also criticize the WWE for having a crop of new stars that nobody cares about. Don’t blame the WWE. Blame the indys and the factory of schools that produce “wrestlers” who don’t know the first thing about the business itself. The WWE can only take so much. People worry about where the WWE will be in a few years. I worry about where the indys where find themselves in a few years.

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