Originally posted by Wild PegasusYes, but that would be 5-10 seconds of the average fan not knowing who Thesz is. For it to be effective, fans would need to know Thesz. All they might recognize is Stone Cold's move.
Who cares if the average fan knew who he was or not? What, they're going to see that 5-10 seconds, and turn off the show completely for the rest of the night, never to watch WWF again?
JR & Lawler mentioned the Haas brother's passing on the air & offered condolensces (sp?) to the family, and I bet 95% of the audience had no idea who he was.
Matthew: You would've loved it, David. A week in a foreign country, strange people, strange customs... Dave: Oh, I know what you mean. I've been to Canada.
Haas is different because he and his brother were working for the WWF at the time of his death [or at least his brother was]--he probably had to mentioned for morale's sake. The equivalent would be a company choosing to acknowledge the death of a current employee as opposed to someone who worked there for a week nearly 20 years ago.
I can't believe people are comparing wrestling to baseball, football, and other legitimate sports. No, they are not the same, as much as you would like them to be, and the WWF does not have the responsibility to the tradition of pro wrestling in the sense that MLB, the NFL, and the NBA have to their respective sports. In those sports, tradition is created through actual competition. In wrestling, tradition is whatever the promoters want it to be, and can change at any time.
Here's still another angle... Lest we forget, WWF programming is made with the casual fan in mind. That's who their obligation is to, not the "smarks" and not even to the workers past and present. If Vince had decided to mention Thesz and/or McDaniel it would have been nice, but he was definitely not obligated. The biggest rule of wrestling is to keep the largest amount of people watching. Vince chose not to mention the deaths of two wrestlers who probably were retired well before a lot of the audience had even been born. He erred on the side of business as opposed to the side of the smarks. Although I'm a pretty old-school fan [to the point where I'm considering no longer watching wrestling, period] I think that the whole "tradition" thing is a work, and is only dragged out if it can be exploited in some way. The old promoters were as bad as Vince McMahon, and I doubt they would behave any different were they given an opportunity. If anything, I think they might have been worse.
Earlier in this thread, I mentioned an article on WWF.com about the purchase of WCW and the lineage of the NWA title. While I could not find that article, I did come across this one. It is humorous on some level to see the copious accolades showered upon Mr. Thesz for his contributions to professional wrestling in this article as a vehicle to give Kurt Angle additional credibility as a pro wrestler.
Then again, I suppose most readers wouldn't know who this Thesz guy was anyway, so there was no point in running this piece. After all, if it happened before last week, it didn't happen at all.
I didn't think one thing or the other about the WWF not mentioning the passing of Thesz and McDaniel until I started surfing the Internet Tuesday morning. I knew both had passed away, but it didn't register with me Monday night when I got home and played my tape of Raw that the news of the deaths were omitted from the broadcast.
Should the WWF have mentioned their passings? There is no "right" answer. The posters in this thread (both pro and con) make good points.
McDaniel was never with the WWF, at least not that I remember during the time I've been watching wrestling (1983 to current). But, I would assume through the MidSouth and NWA/WCW association that JR would have made a mention.
Thesz? I don't know. Is there some backstory there? Had he been critical of the WWF? Was there bad blood between Thesz and McMahon (or McMahon Sr.)? Like it or not, the WWF belongs to McMahon (and the stockholders, but they're more like silent partners because they cumulatively own less than 50% of the stock), and McMahon has the right as the owner of the business to do what he wants (assuming legality, etc.).
Personally, I'd be a hypocrite if I derided the WWF for failing to mention the passings. I knew about their deaths and I didn't realize they weren't mentioned until I was told they weren't mentioned the next day.
If I had been offended enough, I would stop watching WWF programming. A few years ago I belonged to a Kiwanis (community service organization) club. I was traveling to a meeting with three other members of the club. Where I'm from, common courtesy is to pull over to the side of the road if you meet a funeral procession. It started back years ago when roads were too narrow for cars to meet one another and the funeral processions were given right of way. Well, we met a funeral procession and the guy who was driving passed cars in our lane that had pulled over and sped on by. I was offended. I soon left that club because I didn't want to associate with people like that. Was it petty? Sure. Was it my right? Sure. The moral: The WWF may permanently lose some viewers because they didn't mention the deaths of Wahoo and Mr. Thesz. I support the right of anyone who is so deeply offended to do that and I respect them for making that decision. But, I also don't think I'm in the position to say the WWF was "right" or "wrong".
Originally posted by Spaceman SpiffWell, they just did a little "remembrance" to both McDaniel & Thesz on Smackdown. I wonder if they had that planned all along?
Not to sound like a dick, but they didn't. Meltzer reported that Vince specifically told Ross not to mention it on Monday's broadcast, meaning that Ross told Meltzer this information himself. Also, I have access to the pre-air smackdown via satellite, and these packages were not included.
Nonetheless, regardless of his motivations, Vince did the right thing by airing these.
Originally posted by BigDaddyLocoI'll call it damage control my friends.
I'll call it "you think we're more important than we are". I didn't hear ANYONE else complaining about it than those of us on the Internet. Maybe it's because others didn't know who they were, maybe it wasn't such a big deal. Yes, they were legends, and there's no doubt about that. But quite honestly, I don't think anyone in the WWF really cares about what the Internet wrestling "community" has to say. And that's all the better for them. God knows what would happen if they started booking according to our whims, never mind "only running a tribute because we demanded it". We're fans, and that's all we'll be. Just deal with it.
(Sorry, but I'm tired of people online taking credit for ANYTHING the WWF or any other wrestling organization does.)
I'm tired of people assuming we have no influence. We're a good source of feedback for the WWF. They have to take into account our biases but the same is true of other sources. For instance the live crowd is getting a different experience to the tv viewer.
In this case they pissed off a section of their fans when it would have cost nothing to appease them.
BTW, I don't know about serious bad blood between Thesz and McMahon, but it was pretty obvious Thesz didn't think highly of the "sports entertainment" style. But he'd been critical of pro wrestling for at least the last 20 years or so. I remember how he wasn't too crazy about the big musclemen in any of the promotions during the Eighties.
Jim Ross was still working in the Mid-South region when Wahoo McDaniel was last working in the NWA. Wahoo made a few appearances in the Mid-South region but I don't believe he and Ross were ever part of the same promotion.
It's just a guess, but I think it's less personal than just a case of not wanting to spend TV time on something that less than 5% of the audience will appreciate. Even so, I don't see the big outrage. Vince McMahon is a poop. Like this is some new revelation to anyone?
I know, I know... he kicked him, then threw him. But when legend becomes fact, print the legend. For what it's worth, HMD, I would have totally read any journal posts that you would've made from wrestling school.