Early this morning I read a blog posted by JR about the state of the wrestling business today. Man, did his views sound hauntingly familiar.
While both JR and I grew up wrestling fans, our backgrounds and experiences are vastly different being that we were raised in completely different parts of the country and influenced by regional wrestling and the personalities that represented that region. However, regardless of the differences in both our personalities and philosophies on the wrestling business, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that JR and I are sitting on almost the exact same page when it comes to the reasons behind the declining state of professional wrestling today. In his blog on his own site, JR sited many of the same things that I have been saying regarding the industry for the past year since I became active on social media.
However, regardless that JR and I share the same sediments, here's the thing that is most fascinating to me. For whatever reason, when JR has something negative to say regarding today's wrestling business, it is listened to with open ears, accepted and respected. Me, on the other hand, when I poise those same feelings, the haters come flying from the rafters ready to attack me, my wife, my kids and the family dog. I am met with so much hate and venom when it comes to my take on wrestling today, that you would think that I'm actually looking forward to seeing the total demise of a business I've enjoyed for over 40 years, opposed to actually trying to help find and offer the solutions to save it.
So why is that? Why can JR say the same exact things that I'm saying, but yet his criticisms are welcomed, while mind are ripped apart by those who read them? Why? The more, and more I look at my position in professional wrestling, the more and more it becomes obvious to me why the wrestling media has made me the most "controversial man" in sports entertainment history.
1. People absolutely just hate me having no idea who I am. They've never met me, never spoken to me, and surely have no clue of what I'm all about.
2. People hate the character that they saw in WCW in 2000, and have convinced themselves that that REALLY is Vince Russo, rather then somebody who was just embellishing what people outside of New York wanted to believe New Yorkers were "really" like.
3. People from New York are stereotyped, and there is a prejudice cast upon them if they happened to grow up in that part of the country.
Outside of those three things . . . what else can it be? A man from Oklahoma, who started working for the WWE about the same time I did, is revered over his comments concerning today's wrestling, while I am crucified for those same sediments? Why? Because he wears a cowboy hat, and I say "Bro"? Because he comes from more of the south while I come from Brooklyn? Tell me, please.
The bottom line is this, no matter where Jim Ross comes from, or where Vince Russo comes from, we have both had ties with the WWE since 1993. We were both there for its biggest period in the history of professional wrestling, and we both follow it today at perhaps it's lowest. From either one of our perspectives, we can tell you what the problem is, why it exists and what is needed to fix it. Regardless of who we are, and what we might represent to different people--we've both been there, done that, and are in a position to give an educated opinion based on our backgrounds.
In other words, whether you're from New York, or Oklahoma, it doesn't matter. Anybody, with any kind of experience in the wrestling business can surely tell you . . . Stamford . . . you've got a problem.