February 24, 2004
Opinion: A little cross with RossMat Matters Opinion Piece
By JAYA ROOPANSINGH -- SLAM! Wrestling
In an interview with WWE.com, Jim Ross, the Vice President of Talent Relations, spoke about the departure of Kanyon, Ernest Miller and Zack Gowen and attacked the Internet wrestling community.
According to Ross, the wrestling Internet writers are "journalistically offensive". He said that it was "irresponsible journalism" to report that there would be a mass firing in the WWE. He said that wasn't true at all and that's not how the WWE does business. While that may be true of the wannabe journalists out there who don't know the first thing about being responsible and accurate, Ross' comments go to a far deeper issue in the WWE. He may be right about falsely reporting "mass firings" and the affect that gossip can have on people's lives but he isn't about the state of the company and its relationship with the media.
Here we go again. It's the same old circumstance that's existed ever since the WWE instituted their ban against Internet wrestling sites. For good reasons at times, the WWE doesn't approve of what's being reported on the 'Net ... and yet ... they do nothing to correct the information because they will not confim or deny anything with the Internet press. It is par for the course. XFL anyone? The press got blamed for that debacle too.
Ross went on to say, "There's a lot of great things going on, but unfortunately some try to damper it with irresponsible reporting that's total horse manure."
Of course we're looking at the "good" in wrestling. There are not many if any wrestling sites that are unhappy with Eddie Guererro winning the belt because he is recognized as a strong and talented worker. Wrestling sites that employ real journalists always report what's good and bad about the WWE and any other organizations for that matter. If the WWE doesn't like the negative tone, maybe they should improve their product.
J.R. talks about how excited the WWE is about Wrestlemania 20. The plain simple fact is fans aren't. Fans don't want to see an evening gown match between Stacey Kiebler, Jackie Gayda, Torrie Wilson and Sable when the Intercontenental title isn't even being defended. The crowd even booed McMahon at the Qwest Center in Omaha. That match should be on the Heat preview and that's all. Another match few are interested in is a three-way for the World title. Most fans want to see Chris Benoit win it fair against HHH.
A few years ago the WWE black-balled Internet sites, including those with legitimate journalistic credentials. The meaning of responsible journalism is facts presented in an objective manner. Yes, J.R. is right that there are a few people running wrestling sites from their parents' basements who are spreading vicious rumours. However, in this case, one apple doesn't spoil the bunch. It's fairly easy to tell a legit news site from a wrestling rumour mill. If the WWE co-operated with the legit wrestling media, instead of forcing it to talk to willing sources off the record, such unfounded reports could easily be put to rest. The solution is really that simple.
Ross went on to shower Chris Kanyon with many compliments before simply admitting the WWE didn't know what to do with him. He said, "He'll be a great addition to anyone's locker room or anyone's event. It's just that at this point, there weren't any opportunities with him."
There were no opportunities that WWE writers could think of for Kanyon but there were definitely opportunities for him. Missed opportunities included. Anyone who witnessed his performances in WCW would understand that.
J.R. also said that they also didn't know what to do with "The Cat" Ernest Miller. Was that before or after they had him dance at Royal Rumble?
He talked about the great new talent in OVW. He says that he's expecting to get them going in a year. So, the WWE knows what to do with those people but has no idea what to do with a top talent like Kanyon? If they can't get it right with known grapplers, what chances do they have with others?
Chris Kanyon himself told SLAM! Wrestling that the WWE did not know what to do with him. He said that he was mistreated and the morale of the guys in the locker room was down. He said the paycheque was the only reason WWE ever gave him to stay with the company. Kanyon repeated many times that he and Spanky were talking for a long time about leaving and other wrestlers will eventually want to get out of their contracts. Who could blame them? A bitter former employee or a person telling it like it is? You be the judge.
J.R. is absolutely right that Kanyon is a great talent. This is a guy that did crazy bumps in WCW for the simple fact that he was a fan. He loved wrestling and just by talking to him it's very obvious that he's lost that love. He lost it because of the writing by WWE or lack there of.
Before J.R. starts looking at how unfair the Internet is being he ought to look at how the WWE is treating the new form of news media. Who is to say how long newspapers and magazines will last? Everyone is time consumed enough. The fastest and cheapest way to find out what's happening is to search the 'Net. It is the new way that media is going and the WWE used to a be a company that changed with the times. Now, they are just out of touch with their fans.
If you'd like to read the full story by JR you can do so by clicking here.
Jaya Roopansingh is an intern at SLAM! Sports and SLAM! Wrestling and is very happy for the chance to spend her days writing about wrestling. Send her your feedback at email@example.com