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20.12.14 1911
The W - Site Bashing - An Open Letter to Internet Wrestling Websites
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MoeGates
Andouille








Since: 6.1.02
From: Brooklyn, NY

Since last post: 2 days
Last activity: 21 hours
#1 Posted on
Click Here



OK, what the heck is this about? Have the WWFE investors started looking at the internet for the direction the company is going, which is causing trouble for their stock? Are the PTC telling congresmen stuff about the WWF based on internet reports? Or is the WWF just upset about mis-information for the usual reasons?



Moe

(edited by MoeGates on 20.3.02 1558)
Expressing myself EVERY day!
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Jaguar
Knackwurst








Since: 23.1.02
From: Phoenix, AZ

Since last post: 257 days
Last activity: 58 days
#2 Posted on
Maybe people in the back who were told that Austin has the week off are reading these things on the net and complaining? Who knows. If you don't take everything you read with a grain of salt then less power to ya. Or something.

-Jag

edit: What I can't figure out is when they have the poll on that page that asks about what the best match of the night was.... why can't I vote for DDP/Christian???

(edited by Jaguar on 20.3.02 1605)
thecubsfan
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 10.12.01
From: Aurora, IL

Since last post: 1 day
Last activity: 24 min.
#3 Posted on
Let's look at it this way...

Monday Night/Tuesday, news is posted on the 'net that Steve Austin is going home for the week, and things aren't cozy between him and the WWF.

That gets repeated, and reinterputed, and people play telephone till it gets to a sponsor - or someone who sells WWF merchandise and they start freaking out. "No STEVE AUSTIN? He's not working for the WWF? I must call and go nuts to the WWF people.

The WWF people have to explain not only that Steve's coming back next week (they'd explain that somehow even if he wasn't) AND have to prove that they're not trying to cover up a situation...by claiming that all newsletters are scuttlebutt and gossip, and the only people the sponsors can trust are the WWF. This is how they do that.

It's REALLY more of a message to people the WWF is doing business with - "Hey, don't listen to them, they're not credible" than a message to Internet people and newsletter people, since they already knew that "sources" weren't offical words and shouldn't be treated that way.

Now, if the WWF really wanted to fix their problem, maybe they'd be more free with information like explaning that Steve wouldn't be on TV this week - and BEFORE the newsletter people get to it. If you tell the story first, you get the chance to make the first impression - it's the other guy who looks like they're spinning.



.
Rudy
Polska kielbasa








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 4440 days
Last activity: 4429 days
#4 Posted on
Now that the WWF is a publicly-traded company, they're much more vulnerable to smear campaigns, even if they aren't intentional.

What's probably happened is that an institutional investor (big money organizations like pension plans who buy up large blocks of shares) or two backed out of a deal, and laid the blame at the plethora of websites and newsletters that go on and on about how poorly the WWF is being run and how they keep making mistakes that will kill their business.

Any Wall Street analyst who looked into WWFE as a potential investment would find a ridiculous amount of negative reporting and dubious analysis of "facts" that would make anybody unfamiliar with wrestling run away screaming.

Even the big name guys run major stories about the fiscal health of the WWF that are just totally wrong-headed. These are guys who make their living writing about which big guy can beat up which other big guy in pretend fights, and all of a sudden they think they're Lou Dobbs.

The fact is that Viacom would not have gotten into business with the WWF if they were as poorly run as the consensus among the internet reporters seems to be.

They had a down year last year primarily due to charges they took over the XFL, and also due to the bad timing that was forced on them with the WCW purchase and Triple H's injury. And even with that, they almost pulled off the Invasion angle.

The loss of the audience probably had more to do with the sudden end to the HHH storyline that was caused by his injury. The failure of the WCW wrestlers was due to damage that had been done in the waning days of that promotions Turner days, coupled with the lack of big names. Plus, it was time for a natural downturn in this cyclical business.

So while the open letter comes across as McMahon paranoia at its finest, there is some legitimate concern behind it.

There have been publicly-traded companies that have won lawsuits against websites and newsletter-writers for printing harmful "items", or speculation and analysis that was presented as fact. Now that the WWF is a public company, maybe the people covering them need to exercise a little more journalistic ethics, too.

I remember a few months ago, one of the websites was posting stories about how the relationship between Viacom and WWFE had become rocky, and that the WWF might move back to USA. That story was just totally divorced from reality and could have caused the WWF a lot of problems and might have contributed to a drop in their stock price.

And some of the guys who own these websites have admitted to buying shares of WWFE. They could buy short, and then use their websites to manipulate the market. It's far-fetched, but well within the realm of possibilities.

My guess is that somebody pointed this out to the WWF, and they felt the need to take action. Discrediting the web reporters is the easiest course of action and will preclude the neccesity for any legal action.

However, the WWF will need to beef up their PR department, and make an effort to have someone available to comment, confirm, or deny the stories that reporters have.

They could also crack down on people under contract with them making unapproved statements to the press. It's draconian, but most other corporations have that sort of clause in their basic employment contracts. It would be unfortunate, but anyone who thinks we still have a free press in this country anymore is fooling themselves.

But as long as "respected" wrestling news sites run editorials about how the WWF probably won't be around in a year, and places those editorials side-by-side with news items, then the WWF has a point.

That's all speculation, by the way, but at least I label it as such.

later, Rudy
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 186 days
Last activity: 153 days
#5 Posted on

You know, it's a sign of desperation to start trying to shoot the messenger. Or paranoia.

I know there are a number of journalists here. Can anyone else imagine the kind of real world backlash there'd be if someone or some company in the mainstream tried this?

I think it would be really funny to just get no comments on everything possibly to be reported.





"The best reason for committing loathsome & detestable acts -and let's face it, I am considerably something of an expert in the field - is purely for their own sake. Monetary gain is all very well, but it dilutes the tastes of wickedness to a lower level that is obtainable by anyone will an overdeveloped sense of avarice. True and baseless evil is as rare as the purest good - and we all know how rare THAT is." - Acheron Hades, THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jaspar Fforde
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

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#6 Posted on
I'm actually behind the WWF on this one. I've seen too many "shocking" stories on the web about them to believe that everyone in the internet wrestlng world is just trying to get the facts out.

Let's face it - people have probably lied and or made up stories to get hits. I'm glad that this site isn't one of those sites. In terms of breaking news items, I think Seadawg is the closest there is on the slaswrestling site (I'm probably missing someone and offending them by doing so - I'm sorry if I did) and he's mainly recapping the other sites... if anything it still points the finger at the site that is breaking the news as the source, not the WWF.

I like the WWF. I like that they aren't out trying to enforce their copyright against people who use pictures of Stone Cold as their avatar. I think they have been very fan friendly, and I'm glad that they have posed this open letter on the internet rather than via cease and desist orders sent out to all of the major sites out there.

I hope the Internet Wrestling Guys clean up their act and don't force WWFE to the point of litigation. I would hope that we are not on their radar of targets, because it's really obvious that the people here are just fans expressing their opinions.

So, in short (too late) I think it was a good move.



I love it when a plan comes together
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 186 days
Last activity: 153 days
#7 Posted on

As someone mentioned I think on this topic in the wrestling section, I doubt this is directed at fanboy sites and third-hand news site. It's aimed at Dave and Dave/Bob and Wade.

And I know that they usually (can't speak for 100 % of the time) do all the "correct" journalistic things: multiple sources, verification, etc.

I think this is just an attempt by Titan to control the news that they don't want out.

To me, when I read an article from a reporter I trust, I assume (and we know how dangerous that is) that they have gone through all the proper steps. Just because they didn't necessarily write "We contacted the WWF and they had no comment" doesn't mean they didn't do it.

As I said earlier, I think now every single news item on the big should have a cookie cutter disclaimer from Titan.





"The best reason for committing loathsome & detestable acts -and let's face it, I am considerably something of an expert in the field - is purely for their own sake. Monetary gain is all very well, but it dilutes the tastes of wickedness to a lower level that is obtainable by anyone will an overdeveloped sense of avarice. True and baseless evil is as rare as the purest good - and we all know how rare THAT is." - Acheron Hades, THE EYRE AFFAIR by Jaspar Fforde
Rudy
Polska kielbasa








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 4440 days
Last activity: 4429 days
#8 Posted on

    Originally posted by odessasteps

    You know, it's a sign of desperation to start trying to shoot the messenger. Or paranoia.

    I know there are a number of journalists here. Can anyone else imagine the kind of real world backlash there'd be if someone or some company in the mainstream tried this?

    I think it would be really funny to just get no comments on everything possibly to be reported.




If a mainstream journalist wrote the way that the internet guys do, they'd be out of work. Either fired or sued, or both.

Over at 1Bob, in their defense, they act like it's a waste of time to call and get a "no comment", or to mention that they got that response. In the real world, that's the bare minimum that a reporter does. You don't go around writing about people or businesses, without giving them the chance to comment.

I write about the toy industry, which is pretty damned trivial, and if I reported in the manner of some of the news sites, I'd either be a joke, or out of work. You have to have standards, and that means calling someone even if you know they're not going to comment. Hell, sometimes a "no comment" can make a story.

The problem is that the wrestling journalists, many of whom worked their way up though the sports department (which is where they put the morons who can't write) don't realize WHY they have to do this.

Printing "scoops" that are attributed to "WWF sources" without including a comment from actual official WWF sources can lead a reasonable person to assume that the comments are indeed official, even if it's just the bitter ramblings of a ring-crew guy who's pissed off at someone.

Also, the dirtsheets and their web counterparts, have a bad habit of editorializing RIGHT THERE IN THE NEWS SECTION! You just don't do that. It's Journalism 101 stuff.

If the WWF were so inclined, they could present a case that some of these websites are deliberately printing and posting false or uncorroborated information with malicious intent. I mean, if you run a story claiming that "WWF sources" say that a major wrestler has a scandal brewing that will hurt his image, and you also have links to a piece on the same page where you go on about how much you hate that person and want them off TV, then you're pretty much screwed.

That'd be libel, and you'd have a hard time defending yourself.

As it is, yes the WWF is trying to control what's written about them. Any business will try to do that. Hell, any person would try to do that. Whether or not they're within their legal rights remains to be seen, but it'd be a good idea for wrestling news sites to at least try to get some comment from the WWF before running a "scoop". Printing a denial is a hell of a lot better than getting sued.

I've written about a toy company that was in dire financial straits, and they released a public statement that they weren't talking to me. The fact that I tried to get them to give me their side of the story kept me from getting sued, and this company sues everybody! It's one of those things that you have to do if you want to have any credibility as a journalist--it's like running spell-check or proofing your article--it should be automatic.

later, Rudy
JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#9 Posted on
What a joke.

"a ridiculous amount of negative reporting and dubious analysis of "facts" that would make anybody unfamiliar with wrestling run away screaming."

It's negative reporting because it was a negative year.

"These are guys who make their living writing about which big guy can beat up which other big guy in pretend fights, and all of a sudden they think they're Lou Dobbs."

These are guys who make their living writing about professional wrestling companies.

"They had a down year last year primarily due to charges they took over the XFL, and also due to the bad timing that was forced on them with the WCW purchase and Triple H's injury."

They had a down year because they stunk creatively. Ratings went down two months before Hunter's injury.

"And even with that, they almost pulled off the Invasion angle."

Not even close.

"The loss of the audience probably had more to do with the sudden end to the HHH storyline that was caused by his injury."

HHH's "Two Man Power Trip" storyline had been a ratings loser for two months. Ratings went up a month after his injury. (Not that I'm blaming him.)

"The failure of the WCW wrestlers was due to damage that had been done in the waning days of that promotions Turner days,"

The WCW wrestlers didn't fail until they were booked into the ground and the entire concept of the invasion (always a short-term panacea in wrestling) was ignored.

"coupled with the lack of big names."

Even big names would've been meaningless after one or two curiousity PPVs had they been booked so poorly.

"Plus, it was time for a natural downturn in this cyclical business."

The cyclical nature of the business comes from a company getting hot from a great idea or a series of them, then going down thanks to mistakes they make. People stop watching for a reason.

"They could also crack down on people under contract with them making unapproved statements to the press."

Everyone in the WWF talks to sheets/newsletter, Vince McMahon included.
DrOp
Frankfurter








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 2293 days
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#10 Posted on
Great points, Justin.

The WWF could, y'know, try to make the shows BETTER. I bet THAT would shut a LOT of us up.



Two hot dogs, a six pack and a PPV or Wrestling tape. What more could a guy possibly need?!?!

...And Marking Out
Slashwrestling.com
The Shooters.net
Elitist
Bauerwurst








Since: 3.1.02
From: USA, USA

Since last post: 4202 days
Last activity: 2546 days
#11 Posted on
I agree. That letter happened because the WWF is pissed about:

1) The Salon article ripping WrestleMania and featuring quotes from Meltzer about the WWF's sinking ratings.

2) Torch and 1wrestling breaking the Austin story, which, as you guys said, must have gotten back to somebody.

For too long, when people did mainstream stories about the WWF, they went directly to the WWF and got spun until they were dizzy. They don't want reporters going to Meltzer/Keller/Scherer and getting a different spin on how well they're actually doing.



Elitist - All the Way Live

We're gonna play some pool, skip some school, act real cool
Stay out all night, it's gonna feel all right...
rockdotcom_2.0
Frankfurter








Since: 9.1.02
From: Virginia Beach Va

Since last post: 640 days
Last activity: 255 days
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#12 Posted on
I have to agree with Rudy on this one, lots of good points in his post, from a guy with experience in journalism.

I have written before in a post about the credibilty of guys like Ryder or Meltzer. Simply because they dont really have that much access as they need for their words to carry weight. Peter King, or Paul Zimmerman at CNNSI, have access to the NFL. If they want to know if the Rams still want to sign Cris Carter, they call Mike Martz and ask him, then quote him in the piece they write. Shapiro says that everybody talks to dirt sheet writers or newsletters, then why is there so much disinformation about the Stone Cold thing? Why doesnt Vince McMahon or Jim Ross talk to Meltzer or whoever and set the story straight? Or why not Stone Cold himself? If you want credibilty to me then quote your sources. At least sometimes give me some credible info, with most of the sites its mostly just mindless speculation. I mean any writer on slash's prediction on the split was as good as any guess or speculation made on the Torch or 1wrestling.

I can understand why the WWF would circulate this letter, If you listen the internet, the WWF is one poor showing on a PPV from going Dark forever. The WWF did have a down year but the sky isnt falling. They still pull decent ratings, not like 1999 but good enough to stay in the black. They have a strong roster and the market all to themselves. Plus they have the backing of Viacom, so theyre not going anywhere for a while. When they start bleeding money like WCW in the end then we should all worry. If Viacom kicks them to the curb then we should worry. OK Im done....




"But the truth is, YOURE the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But Im trying Ringo, Im trying hard to be the shepherd....."

Jules Winfield
DrOp
Frankfurter








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 2293 days
Last activity: 1160 days
#13 Posted on

    Shapiro says that everybody talks to dirt sheet writers or newsletters, then why is there so much disinformation about the Stone Cold thing? Why doesnt Vince McMahon or Jim Ross talk to Meltzer or whoever and set the story straight? Or why not Stone Cold himself?


Rock--do you really think that any of these guys will tell you the truth? Whether the Austin incident really happened the way Wade reported it is a moot point, IMO. I think the bigger point is that these types of incidents happen and are accepted as routine by Vince McMahon and company. I think there is misinformation because you have people spin-doctoring stories to portecet themselves, much like in Politics.


    I mean any writer on slash's prediction on the split was as good as any guess or speculation made on the Torch or 1wrestling.


In theory, Yes. But in reality, I think it's fair to say that some of the information gleaned from these 'sources' is probably first- or second-hand information and likely to be true.


    If you listen the internet, the WWF is one poor showing on a PPV from going Dark forever. The WWF did have a down year but the sky isnt falling.


Have we not been watching the same year of WWF television? This year, my friend, has sucked BIG TIME. Vince has blown every major angle he has gotten his hands on: WCW, InVasion, HHH injury, Rock return, Booker/Rock, Booker/Austin, Jericho/HHH at Mainia, the list is endless...The sky is falling yet, but it HAS sunk a little and could get lower if the WWF isn't careful.


    They still pull decent ratings, not like 1999 but good enough to stay in the black. They have a strong roster and the market all to themselves.


Which is EXACTLY why I expect more than what I'm getting. With the market all to themselves, the WWF , at least theoretically, has the opportunity to increase their fan-base and ratings to unheard-of heights. They've PISSED all over the chance so far.


    When they start bleeding money like WCW in the end then we should all worry. If Viacom kicks them to the curb then we should worry.


I disagree. I think the time to worry is BEFORE things get in the red. The time ti worry is when trenas show that things may be headed in that direction. I think the time to worry has been here for a short while.



Two hot dogs, a six pack and a PPV or Wrestling tape. What more could a guy possibly need?!?!

...And Marking Out
Slashwrestling.com
The Shooters.net
Rudy
Polska kielbasa








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 4440 days
Last activity: 4429 days
#14 Posted on
I've pretty much beaten this dead horse, so after this response, I'll move on other topics.

But, JMShapiro felt the need to do a running commentary on out of context bits of my post, so I'll return the favor:

<< "a ridiculous amount of negative reporting and dubious analysis of "facts" that would make anybody unfamiliar with wrestling run away screaming."

It's negative reporting because it was a negative year. >>

By "negative reporting" I did not mean the reporting of negative facts, I meant the inclusion of negative editorializing within the context of news items. Big difference.

<< "These are guys who make their living writing about which big guy can beat up which other big guy in pretend fights, and all of a sudden they think they're Lou Dobbs."

These are guys who make their living writing about professional wrestling companies. >>

Uh...that's what I said. Just because they write about professional wrestling companies, that doesn't make them experts on financial matters all of a sudden.

<< "They had a down year last year primarily due to charges they took over the XFL, and also due to the bad timing that was forced on them with the WCW purchase and Triple H's injury."

They had a down year because they stunk creatively. Ratings went down two months before Hunter's injury. >>

So, you thought that the early part of last year, with Jericho and Benoit and a string of the best PPV's in WWF history "stunk creatively"? I disagree. The ratings went down due to the short attention span of the casual viewer. If things "stunk creatively after that, it was because they had to trash all their post-Wrestlemania storylines when HHH was injured, and they had to crowbar in the WCW Invasion. They were forced to book on the fly, and it showed.

One other point about the ratings. In late 2000, Nielsen revised their population numbers. Whereas 1 rating point used to equal around 850,000 people, now it equals just over a million. That means that ratings numbers dropped about 15% just due to the Nielsen recalculations---the same number of people were watching. Now, of course, there are fewer people watching, but they're still above 1998 levels for RAW, and Smackdown has around six million viewers that the WWF didn't have at all until 1999. I've never seen any of the wrestling reporters make note of that fact when comparing today's numbers to pre-recalculation numbers. Last year when people were crowing about how RAW's 3.8 rating was the lowest since 1998, they failed to mention that the rating number represented about 700,000 more viewers than it did back then.

<< "And even with that, they almost pulled off the Invasion angle."

Not even close. >>

You're telling me that for one brief moment, when ECW showed up, that they didn't come close? We'll have to agree to disagree on that one.

<< "Plus, it was time for a natural downturn in this cyclical business."

The cyclical nature of the business comes from a company getting hot from a great idea or a series of them, then going down thanks to mistakes they make. People stop watching for a reason. >>

Yes, the fad wears off. That's the problem with a business that has a cyclical nature. However, the WWF has so far managed to ride each fad wave, and come out on the other end stronger each time. Give them credit for that, at least.

But if the crowds were going to leave because the storyines sucked, then they would have left in droves back in the waning days of Vince Russo, with the "Greater Power" and a dearth of actual wrestling. Yet, those were some of the highest ratings that the WWF had.

But, I'm starting to repeat myself, so I'm out of this topic.

Later, Rudy


















JustinShapiro
Scrapple
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Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#15 Posted on
"JMShapiro felt the need to do a running commentary"

I'm not sure I felt any need, but you had some factual inaccuracies about ratings'n'stuff.

"By "negative reporting" I did not mean the reporting of negative facts, I meant the inclusion of negative editorializing within the context of news items."

Does "The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the New England Patriots 28-21 thanks to the horridness of their special teams" include negative editorializing in the context of a news item?

"Uh...that's what I said. Just because they write about professional wrestling companies, that doesn't make them experts on financial matters all of a sudden."

Considering they write about the business of the professional wrestling companies, I'd say they have a pretty strong knowledge of wrestleconomics, especially in terms of (yes!) the four major revenue streams.

"So, you thought that the early part of last year, with Jericho and Benoit and a string of the best PPV's in WWF history "stunk creatively"?"

The first three months were glorious. It was all downhill after WrestleMania -- Jericho and Benoit's push came after two months of awful TV and was cut off after two weeks.

"The ratings went down due to the short attention span of the casual viewer."

They have a short attention span for bad television.

"If things "stunk creatively after that, it was because they had to trash all their post-Wrestlemania storylines when HHH was injured,"

They trashed their post-WrestleMania storyline the day before Hunter was injured when they made the decision to scrap the Taker/Austin feud and go with a Jericho/Austin title match at KOR. Their post-WrestleMania storyline with Austin turning heel and aligning with Hunter had been awful to that point.

"and they had to crowbar in the WCW Invasion."

Certainly, although they half-assed the invasion enough that they didn't even have to stray from Heel Stone Cold vs. WWF babyfaces. Plus WWF vs. WCW was handed to them on a silver platter so they really should've put a bit more thought and effort into it. Interpromotional isn't really that hard to book -- invaders come in and lay out WWF guys, WWF sells bigtime, WWF eventually overcomes this most heinous threat. WWF kind of skipped the important parts.

"They were forced to book on the fly, and it showed."

Nobody forced them not to make any long term plans. Nobody forced them to pull the plug on Jericho and Benoit's pushes after two weeks because they didn't move ratings. Nobody forced them to rush a woefully unprepared WCW product onto TV. Nobody forced them to put on three months of directionless TV from September to November after they had picked their direction of Alliance vs. WWF.

"You're telling me that for one brief moment, when ECW showed up, that they didn't come close?"

Definitely, for those two weeks prior to the PPV, they had it down perfectly. Why they abandoned everything that was working so well is beyond me.

"Yes, the fad wears off."

The fad wore off in this case because the company turned their top babyface heel and didn't make any new babyfaces to oppose him, putting on boring TV in the process.

"But if the crowds were going to leave because the storyines sucked, then they would have left in droves back in the waning days of Vince Russo, with the "Greater Power" and a dearth of actual wrestling."

As crash-TV/sports entertainmenty/Russorific/wrestling-lite as those shows were, they still made for weekly episodic television pulled by the red hot Austin train. After Austin got hurt, Rock carried the TV, this time more cohesive and wrestling-intensive but still excellent storytelling. After WrestleMania, they lost Rock (out of their control), turned Austin (totally in their control), didn't turn Hunter face and didn't have Jericho or Benoit or Angle at a strong enough level to pick up the slack. Combine that with the directionless TV, and you've got the fastest ratings slide in wrestling history. Ratings go back up in the summer for the invasion storyline and Rock's return, but the WWF screws those up too.
rockdotcom_2.0
Frankfurter








Since: 9.1.02
From: Virginia Beach Va

Since last post: 640 days
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#16 Posted on

    Originally posted by DrOp

      Shapiro says that everybody talks to dirt sheet writers or newsletters, then why is there so much disinformation about the Stone Cold thing? Why doesnt Vince McMahon or Jim Ross talk to Meltzer or whoever and set the story straight? Or why not Stone Cold himself?


    Rock--do you really think that any of these guys will tell you the truth? Whether the Austin incident really happened the way Wade reported it is a moot point, IMO. I think the bigger point is that these types of incidents happen and are accepted as routine by Vince McMahon and company. I think there is misinformation because you have people spin-doctoring stories to portecet themselves, much like in Politics.



Thats my point Drop, theres no a trust factor between the WWF and the so called wrestling journalists. Thats where the problem lies. The info isnt worth a damn because the parties dont trust each other or cooperate to get the info out. Unlike the NFL, for example where the journalists have the respect and trust of the league and its major players. Like in my Mike Martz-Peter King example.



"But the truth is, YOURE the weak, and I am the tyranny of evil men. But Im trying Ringo, Im trying hard to be the shepherd....."

Jules Winfield
El Den
Pinkelwurst








Since: 18.1.02

Since last post: 3901 days
Last activity: 3229 days
#17 Posted on
>>Everyone in the WWF talks to sheets/newsletter, Vince McMahon included.<<

That's untrue. Approach random WWF workers and tell them you're from a pro wrestling web site or dirt sheet -- doesn't even matter which site, or which sheet. Just mention any of them by name. Then ask for an interview.

Not only will the majority of them NOT comment, but a few of them might get belligerent with you. Scott Hall in particular. I know of which I speak.

Some WWF workers WILL chat with net writers off the record if they trust you not to slander their names. As for official interviews on sites like the Observer, Torch, or 1wrestling, the majority of those are set up for mainstream newspapers, which the WWF DOES cooperate with. Marvez interviews are primarily for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and show up on the Observer as well. That Austin interview 1wrestling did with Scherer last summer was for whatever newspaper he writes (or wrote) for. The WWF guy we talked to at the time said he didn't know it was going to show up on 1wrestling, and wasn't pleased about it.

And you know, most of the stuff a wrestler will chat with you about is really nobody's business in the first place, and has no business being used as a source of news.

Denny

JustinShapiro
Scrapple
Moderator








Since: 12.12.01
From: Pittsburgh, PA

Since last post: 3 days
Last activity: 2 hours
#18 Posted on
"Approach random WWF workers and tell them you're from a pro wrestling web site or dirt sheet -- doesn't even matter which site, or which sheet"

Uh, Meltzer and Keller aren't exactly in the business of approaching random WWF workers.

"most of the stuff a wrestler will chat with you about is really nobody's business in the first place, and has no business being used as a source of news"

Meltzer and Keller aren't exactly in the business of tricking wrestlers into talking and stealing their chit-chat either.
Rudy
Polska kielbasa








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 4440 days
Last activity: 4429 days
#19 Posted on
Geez, make me break my word. Okay, let's go over the points:


<< I'm not sure I felt any need, but you had some factual inaccuracies about ratings'n'stuff. >>

What were they? You didn't point them out to me in an obvious enough manner. You made some wrong statements and shared some of your opinions about the ratings, but you didn't really correct anything I said.

<< Does "The Pittsburgh Steelers lost to the New England Patriots 28-21 thanks to the horridness of their special teams" include negative editorializing in the context of a news item? >>

Of course not. Pittsburgh special team's woes are pretty well established as fact (dammit!). However, if somebody wrote that "The Steelers lost because several players are unhappy with their direction and many inside sources believe that the current ownership is inept and is ruining the team.", that would be on par with the recent Salon.com article about how WWFE is a "crumbling empire". Given that the Salon piece is by a guy who likes to smear McMahon, it's not really a surprise.

<< Considering they write about the business of the professional wrestling companies, I'd say they have a pretty strong knowledge of wrestleconomics, especially in terms of (yes!) the four major revenue streams. >>

I take it you weren't paying attention a few months back when loads of bandwidth was wasted by them trying to figure out how much money Ric Flair would have lost by selling his shares to Vince at his cost---WHEN IT WAS A FICTIONAL STORYLINE ELEMENT, AND THERE WAS NO WAY TO ESTIMATE SUCH A NUMBER BECAUSE THEY NEVER ESTABLISHED WHAT HE SUPPOSEDLY PAID FOR HIS "HALF" OF THE COMPANY.

I've been reading these guy's half-assed attempts at analyzing the financial numbers, television ratings, and corporate goings-on, and I think they need to stick to writing about who does the best moonsault, or at least take a night class in remedial business I have to cover that stuff and analyze it, and I know when somebody's faking it.

For instance: This year, when the first-quarter results are released, the big story by the reporters who don't understand such things will be the huge rebound that WWFE experienced. Last year they took the write-down on the XFL, and didn't have Wrestlemania during the first quarter, but that fact will hardly be mentioned. If they don't make huge gains over last year's first quarter, it'll be a disaster. Only Wade Keller seems to have a decent grasp on how to read the financial numbers.

<< Nobody forced them not to make any long term plans. Nobody forced them to pull the plug on Jericho and Benoit's pushes after two weeks because they didn't move ratings. Nobody forced them to rush a woefully unprepared WCW product onto TV. Nobody forced them to put on three months of directionless TV from September to November after they had picked their direction of Alliance vs. WWF. >>

I didn't say any "body" forced them to work the way they had to last year, they were forced by circumstance. The plan reportedly was for a face HHH to chase a heel Austin for the title over the summer. HHH's injury killed that plan, and the backup plan with Benoit went out the window with his injury. The timing on the WCW deal was rushed by AOL's haste in getting rid of WCW, so the WWF was left with a brand that they had to rush to get back on TV in order to keep it in the fan's minds. In hindsight, we can point out all sorts of things that they could have done better, but they didn't have the benefit of that hindsight.

And for all its shortcomings, even you admit that the Invasion gave us a couple of weeks of great televison. Again, an outside force, this time in the form of the ECW bankruptcy court, forced another direction change, and stalled the momentum of the Alliance. If not for the long delays in settling the ECW bankruptcy, we might have already had "Alliance RAW" featuring a feud between ECW and WCW by now.

<< Plus WWF vs. WCW was handed to them on a silver platter so they really should've put a bit more thought and effort into it. Interpromotional isn't really that hard to book -- invaders come in and lay out WWF guys, WWF sells bigtime, WWF eventually overcomes this most heinous threat. WWF kind of skipped the important parts. >>

It wasn't handed to them on a silver platter, it was "Take it now for almost nothing!" They had to do something with the brand once they bought it, especially with all the contracts that they did pick up. WCW lost its TV, and the WWF rushed them onto television to keep them alive in the fans minds. They just got waylaid by the anti-WCW sentiment of the crowds. As for it not being that hard to book....if it's so easy, why aren't there more well-booked wrestling shows on TV right now? That was a bit of a silly take on the whole thing.

<< You're telling me that for one brief moment, when ECW showed up, that they didn't come close?"

Definitely, for those two weeks prior to the PPV, they had it down perfectly. Why they abandoned everything that was working so well is beyond me. >>

Try a stern warning from an angry Bankruptcy trustee. That'll make you drop a storyline real quick.

<< After Austin got hurt, Rock carried the TV, this time more cohesive and wrestling-intensive but still excellent storytelling. After WrestleMania, they lost Rock (out of their control), turned Austin (totally in their control), didn't turn Hunter face and didn't have Jericho or Benoit or Angle at a strong enough level to pick up the slack. Combine that with the directionless TV, and you've got the fastest ratings slide in wrestling history. >>

Your timeline is off. The ratings slid when RAW moved to TNN, and Nielsen changed their population statistics. It wasn't nearly as big a slide as the internet writers make it out to be. In the advertising industry, back in the heyday of the Russo era--the WWF delvered up to eight million prime-time viewers a week. Now they deliver around ten million. It takes them two shows to do it, when it only used to take one, but it's still pretty impressive, and not nearly as drastic a drop in the ratings as "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire" or "Survivor" have seen.

But you do a good job of showing what happens when websites report unsubstantiated "facts" about things like the business end and ratings. People believe bad things that aren't really true, and that can hurt a publicly-held company. Which was the point of the WWF's open letter.

That's really my last word on this.

later, Rudy






















El Den
Pinkelwurst








Since: 18.1.02

Since last post: 3901 days
Last activity: 3229 days
#20 Posted on
>>Uh, Meltzer and Keller aren't exactly in the business of approaching random WWF workers.<<

I never said they were.

>>Meltzer and Keller aren't exactly in the business of tricking wrestlers into talking and stealing their chit-chat either.<<

I never said they were.

I'm not calling anyone out here. In a nutshell: you said every wrestler talks to newsletters. I said (with a few examples) that your statement was untrue. Now, I know Meltzer and Keller's respective phones are ringing off the hook with scoops galore from a who's who of wrestling talent. But it's not EVERYone. I promise you that.

The perception that many wrestlers hate dirt sheets and net writers is not bullshit. Many of them legitimately despise the sheets/net, and it doesn't matter if your name is Meltzer or Keller or something less familiar. You won't get shit from them.

Denny

(edited by El Den on 21.3.02 1843)
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I was able to navigate the site alright, but I am scared of the 16% of people who voted that Hogan should be the WWF champion at WM 18. Calling up such dark and evil forces can never be a good thing.
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