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21.8.14 0711
The W - Pro Wrestling - "Paying Dues" - Bullshit or not?
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EastCoastAvenger
Bockwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: Clearwater, FL

Since last post: 1929 days
Last activity: 23 hours
#1 Posted on
Before you ask, no, I didn't just post this to piss people off and be controversial. It's something I've thought of for a while now, and I'd genuinely like to hear some intelligent views on the subject.

On one hand, I can understand it because, in the context of pro wrestling, attending a recognized wrestling school, touring all the indies, and maybe even taking a learning excursion to Canada, Mexico, Europe or Japan is a way to get valuable experience, work with different styles, learn new moves and build a rep. This is the good side of paying dues and I dig it. The bullshit part of "paying dues" is when established guys use the excuse of dues to hold younger and more talented guys back. HHH has been rumored to do this in recent years to Y2J, Hogan has been known to do this since '86. Kevin Nash and Scott Hall are some other suspected offenders.

The bullshit part of "paying dues" is the politics end of it, where established guys, because they feel they have paid dues look at young up and comers and use their influence to keep themselves and their friends in position while keeping the younger guys away from the better paid positions. No need to deny it, it happens in every profession. However, I feel it is worse in "Sports Entertainment" because of the old-boy network that runs wrestling (it's there wherever you go) and the lack of a wrestler's union, which could at least serve as a neutral sounding board for guys to sound off if they feel they're being screwed over by the "clique" currently in charge.

Honestly, being pretty old school myself, I'm slow to say the system is bullshit and should be completely overhauled. There are good reasons to "pay dues". I do feel that the good is rapidly being outweighed by corrupt usage of the system and the fact that many guys who do in fact "pay dues" everyday in the indies and developmental territories aren't getting the shot they should because of established guys who refuse to do the right thing.

There it is. My opinion. What do you think?



Japanese Lesson #1:

Suiteki de atama ni anao akararete iru yona kokoromochi deshta.

Translation: It was like drops of water boring into my skull.

(To be said after watching any Stephanie McMahon segment!)
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cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 10 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87
If someone is wrestling in the WWF - then the WWF has to believe this person is ready to be pushed.

Once you're in the WWF, there should be no paying of dues. If you're over, you win. If you're not, you lose.

The paying of dues should end the moment you step out of the minor leagues and into the majors.

Why should you (hot new thing) be forced to lose to (good old boy) if you're more over than him? Paying dues in the WWF is bullshit. You're on TV. The WWF should book what's good for the product and not what's good for (good old boy).




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The Vile One
Chourico








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 4382 days
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#3 Posted on
Ok supposedly Raven, Jericho, and RVD had to "pay their dues." Why? Both of them have been in wrestling for over a decade, and established TV superstars just as long. I don't know what the hell happened to Raven. However, I'm glad to see Jericho finally get the world strap even though his big feud with HHH is rather disappointing.

I agree with CFGB that paying dues should end in the minors. Because if management(or the Undertaker) are upset with you they should send you back to the minors and keep you off TV. Egos should never get in the way of the best possible business decisions. However, big egos always get in the way of making the best possible business decisions.




"It is a strange fate that we suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing."
-Boromir
Madame Manga
Kolbasz








Since: 16.1.02
From: Silicon Valley

Since last post: 113 days
Last activity: 10 hours
#4 Posted on
What I keep hearing (in Torch Talks, mostly) is that Vince takes pride in *not* giving any credit for a wrestler's position in another fed. Each guy has to find his place in the WWF from scratch. This seems to be the WWF corporate culture, which of course is largely determined by Vince's priorities. The locker room probably doesn't mind it one bit, since it preserves the status quo, but I have my doubts that any wrestler could influence affairs to that extent. A wrestler who agrees with the WWF way of doing things and is willing to make sure things are done accordingly isn't necessarily the moving force behind the culture.

As for ego determining decisions that ought to be made "rationally", welcome to the real world. I don't think I've ever worked for a company (Silicon Valley, computer and video games) that made decisions on a purely rational basis. Cowboy managers exist everywhere. Can we call crowd appeal a rational basis for any business decision? Frankly, the audience is more whimsical than any booker could be (OK, maybe that's pushing it, especially in light of the last year's angles.) Think about it in terms of where *you* work. A new hire is always disruptive no matter how good he or she is at the job. Does it make sense to tear apart the whole department to accommodate one person with hot new stuff? I'm not saying I haven't seen that done, but morale goes in the toilet when it happens. So there's a probationary period at most companies, and a wise manager isn't going to tell his established employees to move over for the new kid the first week he's there.

One of VKM's top priorities seems to be an idea that *he* is the starmaker, not any other fed. That WCW and ECW's judgment on a wrestler is suspect by definition. Obviously this applies more to the situation a couple of years ago than it does now, but it's still a large part of his thinking, IMO. It keeps showing up in such details as Flair's promos. I have the feeling that Vince truly gets off listening to people like Flair and Hogan dump all over WCW, even though he's scripted it that way. It's as if he believes that the current one-fed state of affairs justifies everything he ever did as a promoter, and he can't stop crowing.

MM
Punkinhed
Salami








Since: 23.1.02

Since last post: 4185 days
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#5 Posted on


I agree that there seems to be a lot of negatibe "paying dues" in the WWF. I don't know if simple crowd appeal should be the sole determing factor (or even if it is) but I believe that there should be a little bit of dues paying when a superstar comes into the WWF. Nothing huge, just a bit of a beatdown. No matter how over someone is, they should work their way up. When they get there, THEN they should get the oppertunities they deserve.

Assume I've spent, say, 7 years in the indys. I'm good and the WWF picks me up. My first time out, I do very well, well enough that I get a Raw "cameo" as it were. That goes well also. Should I expect a belt shot immediatly? No, not anytime soon. It's not paying dues so much as simply working your way up the ladder.

(edited by Punkinhed on 15.3.02 2103)
"Oh! The light! [pointing to the setting sun] Blackness comes when the light goes away!" "Yeah, but this is getting to be a pretty regular thing." "I don't care. It still scares the sh*t out of me." "Fritz! Get up for God's sake, get up! They've killed Fritz, they've killed Fritz!"
MarchOfThePigs
Salami








Since: 10.2.02
From: Sudbury, Ontario

Since last post: 4413 days
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#6 Posted on
Look at Tajiri, he was really over, then he got held back, and now no one cares about him. If someone is over and they are going to make Vince money, I don't understand why they would be held back just because of politics. I'm not saying Tajiri should be main eventing or anything, but he was really over with the crowd at one point, and now he is that guy who kicks and spits mist and has that hot chick with him for some reason.



Prying open my third eye.
Ike
Salami








Since: 14.2.02
From: Burlington, Ontario

Since last post: 4324 days
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#7 Posted on

    Originally posted by Punkinhed


    Assume I've spent, say, 7 years in the indys. I'm good and the WWF picks me up. My first time out, I do very well, well enough that I get a Raw "cameo" as it were. That goes well also. Should I expect a belt shot immediatly? No, not anytime soon. It's not paying dues so much as simply working your way up the ladder.

    (edited by Punkinhed on 15.3.02 2103)



Your system is fine Punkinhed but the WWF's system seems to be to shove a new guy down the audience's throat for a while, give him a title, then bury him or forget about him for a while after that title run ends. Tajiri, RVD, Booker T, even Jericho are recent example off the top of my head.

Angle is an exception because he is just that awesome. He's been going nowhere but up until the nWo showed up.

Ike
A Fan
Liverwurst








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 3494 days
Last activity: 3494 days
#8 Posted on
I think there should be some form of paying dues. I think its a good idea to have incoming talent see how well they do with jobbing and learning the WWF ropes. It might not be a good idea to do that to incoming stars, but the ones from the territories or Tough Enough should. They have to learn to be respectful and understand the backstage culture. Thats why I think Maven has a future in the WWF. He knows how the WWF wants things to look, he is very humble backstage and has a good presence. He will succeed where others have failed.

As for incoming talent,If you look at Invasion, you will see the WCW superstars looked slower and didn't bring anything to the table. They had almost had to relearn everything. Those who adapted to the style such as Booker, Storm and a few others are still in the WWF, while the others were sent down. I do think totally burying incoming talent is not a good thing. At the same time, people like Jericho, the Radicals, RVD and Booker T got time to prove themselves and they worked out well. They did what the others couldn't go do and now are premiere stars in the WWF. I'd say having them job after their first few matches is a good thing. If you watched Tough Enough 2, Big Show freely admitted, he was an asshole, because he thought he was the man after coming into the WWF. I actually wonder how many people need this type of treatment when they come in (point to the NWO).

However, I do think after a year of paying dues, it should be over. Anything past a year is just politics. I will say the WWF tends to push their own talent ie Rock, Angle and Maven, faster than incoming wrestlers. It gives the idea the WWF is a superior product compared to the other organizations. I'd also point out the WCW and ECW did the same thing to, so I think its an industry thing rather than just the WWF.

I do agree Vince's ego tends to get the best of him in times and after watching the last few months of wrestling this year, I think that has passed on to Stephanie and Shane to a bit. I do think the McMahon family should get their egos in check, but its hard to do when they own the company. Its like playing ball in the neighborhood and the jerk kid has the only ball. You have to be nice to them if you want to play. It sucks, but if you have a good time playing whats the harm, plus what jerk kid would occasionally bump for you?

A Fan- Life is politics.
The Vile One
Chourico








Since: 3.1.02

Since last post: 4382 days
Last activity: 4259 days
#9 Posted on
Well I have to say that WWF is very inconsistent on this whole paying dues crap. Look at Kurt Angle. When he came on television he got pushed to the moon. He got that undefeated streak. He got the European Title and shortly after the IC title. He won the KOTR tournament and a few months later became WWF champion. Now, I personally think Angle has been misused lately, and if he had to pay dues, WWF started making him do it a bit late.

Look at RVD. He came in and was getting pushed almost non-stop until after the Invasion. What was the point of building him up as a main eventer just to push him back down?

Look at Tajiri. He came in and became really over with the crowd and even started winning titles. Now he is just the WWF whipping boy.

The Vile One, the split is a mistake, NWO returning is a mistake, and the McMahons on tv all the time is a mistake. Oh and the XFL was a mistake too, anyone remember that?




"It is a strange fate that we suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing...such a little thing."
-Boromir
shea
Bockwurst








Since: 1.2.02
From: Brooklyn NY

Since last post: 3936 days
Last activity: 3822 days
#10 Posted on
I really think that, given the way the business has radically changed over the last 5 years or so, paying your dues IN THE INDIES is overrated. If a wrestler is really talented, he can only pick up bad habits in the minors, not good ones.

When it comes to the major leagues, keeping the lockerroom happy is definitely a top priority. Most of these guys have sizeable egos, and resentment sets in. But we've seen over the last few years a few people (Goldberg, Giant, even Maven) who have bypassed the traditional route to the big time, and I think as time goes on we'll see more.
ges7184
Lap cheong








Since: 7.1.02
From: Birmingham, AL

Since last post: 108 days
Last activity: 31 days
#11 Posted on
Bottomline, if you can entertain the crowd with your promos and matches, you should be placed in the position where you can make the company money (which would generally be the upper end of the card). It shouldn't matter how long you've been in the industry. Kurt Angle has been a prominent player because he is good at what he does.

If you based things on "paying dues", Big Bossman would have to be a main-eventer. I don't think that would be a good thing.

As far as guys like RVD and Tajiri, I'm not sure that it as much of a matter of being held back as it is the federation dropping the ball. The federation has been doing a lot of "dropping the ball" lately, even in top feuds like Y2J/HHH. It's also a matter of just simply too many wrestlers on the roster, and there is just not enough room on the top for everyone.
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 1 day
AIM:  
#12 Posted on
People argue all of the time about the WWF taking a guy, bringing him in hot in the main event, and then pushing him back down to the midcard.

I always hear this as a bad thing that kills the heat of the guy.

I've always considered this as Vince's way to keep the midcard from getting completely stale and unimportant. If the fans care about RVD the main eventer they are going to care about RVD the midcard guy - right? What easier way to set up the initial expectations of the fans then to put the people in the top of the card for a bit to get their name / face / moveset established and get the crowd wanting them?

Look at it this way... would you rather debut on RAW or Jakked? Would a wrestler have a better shot of getting over by starting in the midcard on HEAT or by getting screwed out of a win on SD!?



I love it when a plan comes together
cfgb
Lap cheong








Since: 2.1.02
From: Ottawa, Ontario

Since last post: 10 hours
Last activity: 6 hours
#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.87
You do make a good point Guru - but here's my problem:

A couple years ago, the WWF's hottest new thing, Kurt Angle loses his first match to the incoming Tazz. Tazz comes in - chokes him out. I turned to my brother, absolutely pissed off, and said "they just pissed away a perfectly good winning streak to a guy who's going to be laying down for Bob Holly inside a month".

Well - it wasn't Bob, it was little cousin Crash. Crash friggin' Holly!

I'm NOT a Tazz fan. In fact, I can't stand him. However - the WWF never even gave him a chance to follow up on taking out Kurt to see how the fans would react before he was jobbing to the roster. That was apparently paying his dues. Well if he had dues to be paid - he should have worked them out elsewhere prior to his debut. How am I supposed to take Tazz seriously as a "killing machine" as JR would have me believe if he can't score a pinfall over Crash Holly!

That's probably the best example of dues paying I can come up with that's a load of BS. Or maybe it's 'cause he's short, who knows? ;-)




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Crazy Vaclav
Loukanika








Since: 15.3.02
From: USA

Since last post: 4507 days
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#14 Posted on

But cfgb, didn't they try to play up the Tazzmission as being illegal, and thus Kurt Angle's streak not being over? I saw most of that pay-per-view, and I thought that Angle talked to some EMT's later on (after he regained consciousness) about how his streak wasn't over. I thought they should have played that up more later on, maybe leading to a rematch (or did they?).
Catapult
Pinkelwurst








Since: 19.1.02

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#15 Posted on
It's true that they tried to come up with something about the Tazzmission being illegal, and Angle's streak not really being broken. But then they went on to job Angle to Rock on a Raw not long after that. So either way, his streak ended in that time period without any big payoff.
EastCoastAvenger
Bockwurst








Since: 4.1.02
From: Clearwater, FL

Since last post: 1929 days
Last activity: 23 hours
#16 Posted on
Hey, I just noticed: I engaged in a bit of self-censoring with the title of this post originally (bulls*it, not bullshit), and when I checked it out a few minutes ago, it was changed! No complaint, I just wasn't sure if it was cool to say bullshit in the post tiles. But it is, so look forward to more cussin' from EastCoastAvenger in the near future.

Guru, not to sure about the logic there. Starting big doesn't work all the time and in fact could backfire with some career-killing results. Back in the day, a dude started out on the road, and if he got over without tv with the fans in the house shows, he got on the tv shows. THis had the effect of a slow build with word of mouth helping to build a cult following. By the time Worker #21354 got onto tv for the first time, he had both a ready-made audience and a bunch of people who have heard about him, but never seen him, so crowd anticipation is high. It could work today. Just have guys work the house shows, then eventually start with Jakked (or the jobber show du jour), then appear on Excess, then after 3 or 4 months of building up like that, BOOM! Explode on Raw with a standard intro match, or (if he's just the shiznit and you gotta get his ass in a main event STAT) do a run in on one of the current top card guys. Nice, deliberate, the audience doesn't feel like something's being pounded down their throat and if the guy is a green rookie, he's got some time to get seasoned before getting tv time.

ges7184, I can think of something infinitely worse than Bossman: main even/World Champ! Remember the Ole Anderson era of NWA/WCW? I seem to remember a certain guy who "paid his dues" in Ole's eyes and got put into the upper card over a LOT of more deserving guys. His name was SHOCKMASTER!!! Thankfully, his clumsiness embarassed the front office enough to get them to bitch-slap Ole for putting this guy anywhere NEAR the top. Imagine the horror if he hadn't tripped on his own fat, flat feet and crashed through that gimmicked wall like some fat, glitter covered stormtrooper (hey wait...). ANother case where "paying dues" is GROSSLY misused!



Japanese Lesson #1:

Suiteki de atama ni anao akararete iru yona kokoromochi deshta.

Translation: It was like drops of water boring into my skull.

(To be said after watching any Stephanie McMahon segment!)
Guru Zim
SQL Dejection
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 12 days
Last activity: 1 day
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#17 Posted on
(I have nothing to add to the thread. I uncensored the title when I changed it from "Payind Dues" to "Paying Dues". Apparently the quotes fux0red something in the edit thread code, and I didn't feel like putting it back censored because a) bullsh*t and bullshit both mean the same thing, so one isn't less offensive than the other and b) if you are going to make the point, at least type the word. That said, don't go crazy with the swearing. I'm not pro-vulgarity but I don't stand behind censoring or filtering.)



I love it when a plan comes together
WTF13
Boerewors








Since: 22.1.02

Since last post: 4397 days
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#18 Posted on
From the stuff I've read [admittedly, just online histories by self-proclaimed "experts"], Ole Anderson pushed people whom he considered to be loyal to him, not necessarily people who'd paid their dues...

I think a lot of Tazz's lack of success was definitely due to his size. But I will say that I still don't understand the purpose of that beating he got at the hands of Bossman. We're supposed to be impressed because he keeps getting his ass beat again and again?

I don't think Angle is having to pay dues so much as he's just the odd man out right now for storyline purposes. I don't think dues paying is really something that relates to what goes on in the ring anyway. I feel like the de-pushes of popular stars are more a case of the writers not knowing what to do with people--especially if they're cruiserweights like Tajiri, or smaller guys like Tazz.



"No one has a beer party at Scott Hall's expense!"
Dr Unlikely
Frankfurter








Since: 2.1.02

Since last post: 1 day
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#19 Posted on
Not to take any shots at him, because I actually like him again of late, but one guy who really seems to be a major exception to "paying dues" in the WWF is the Undertaker - how long was he in the WWF before he was killing Hulkamania and that sort of thing? I know he was around before the WWF, but so were a lot of the guys they've brought in over the last few years.

It's an odd thing, and I don't really care, but I do think it can be counter-productive when they bring in a guy who seems to be able to get over and "make money" fast like RVD or even Booker or Tajiri, then seem to go out of their way to slow them down. Maybe they have their reasons, I dunno.
Travis
Boerewors








Since: 7.3.02
From: Baltimore, MD

Since last post: 4475 days
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#20 Posted on
Bradshaw's probably the worst. He's been tag champ twice and constantly on TV. What dues has he ever paid? He's been one of Vince's guys forever and never sacrificed his body or put forth any extrodinary effort to get himself or the product over. He's been phoning it in since the early 90's and now he's a "locker room leader". (hazing general)

What a crock. "Paying your dues" in the WWF probably refers to taking closed doors meetings with Pat Patterson and Steve Lombardi.



"People building their own cages rage at thoughts of liberation."- 15
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