Wrestling Rumblings #11
April 17, 2009
By: Jose Marrero of WrestleView.com
You know I don?t think people really understand all the work that goes into this gig sometimes. There are just so many people out there who are competing for your attention and each person here just strives to get your attention for the five minutes it takes to read there pieces. To say its hard is an understatement. After all you guys are not idiots or you wouldn?t take the time out to read these pieces. You want to entertained, informed and challenged on a consistent basis. Whether you like this column or disagree with its content from time to time I think I can confidently say that for the most part I fit that criterion. This week will be no different as while everyone else would want to dwell on there post Wrestlemania rants, the WWE Draft, TNA Lockdown and Tazz quitting I am going to talk about something that I guarantee you no other wrestling website will talk about. I am going to talk about Oscar De La Hoya's retirement and how that could potentially affect the wrestling landscape?you?re reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
To those of you living in a hole Oscar De La Hoya was a professional boxer who retired earlier during this week. However to say he is just a boxer is like saying Babe Ruth was just a baseball player or Michael Jordan was just a basketball player. Oscar De La Hoya was one of those athletes with the ability to transcend his sport and he has been quite successful in Music, Acting and other business ventures. Of course his most well known business venture is Golden Boy Promotions which has slowly ascended into being the top promotional machine in boxing. Golden Boy Promotions also has started up a recent partnership with the Affliction MMA promotion and many in the business are intrigued by it as being the all time gate king of boxing if there is one thing Oscar De La Hoya can do is promote events. So what if Oscar De La Hoya decided to branch off into Wrestling?
The first question many will have is why would Oscar even do this? Well the short answer is because it may be in his best interest to do so. You see through Golden Boy Oscar owns several housings of Kappa Publishing Group. For those who are unaware Kappa Publishing Group is the company that put out Ring Magazine, KO Magazine and World Boxing Magazine all really established magazine titles that have years of history with a solid fan base. It was a very smart acquisition for Oscar as to control the boxing media would only work to his advantage with his boxing promotion business. However Kappa Publishing Group didn?t just sell off the boxing titles ?they also sold off the wrestling ones a well you see Kappa Publishing Group also put out Pro Wrestling Illustrated, Inside Wrestling and the Wrestler magazine as well so for the better part of 2 years Oscar De La Hoya has quietly controlled the biggest wrestling publications in the world. While I don?t read PWI as much as I used to anymore I can say there are many in the business who are still marks for the ink you get in those magazines. Specifically promotions like TNA and ROH who don?t have there own magazine titles to help publicize them. Even WWE has had a longstanding relationship with PWI due to PWI's photo archives containing so many rare photos that WWE makes use of. While they may be in fact ?mark mags? they are as entrenched in the wrestling culture as anything else you already see. In other words whether he realizes it or not Oscar De La Hoya is one of the most powerful people in wrestling right now. Imagine what he can do if he wanted to jump full bore into the business?
I know there are many people who subscribe to the theory that only wrestling people can properly run the wrestling business. I entirely disagree with that theory as I truly believe that there can be and should be if the business is to continue to progress a happy medium. The business has to keep evolving and you can?t do that if everyone just continues to go and rehash ideas and concepts that have already been done. While it can be debated one might argue that Vince McMahon was a outsider coming into the business and because he was not initially a ?wrestling person? he was able to bring new and unthought-of ideas which many of the old guard who were set in there ways were steadfastly against and opposed. While there companies died Vince McMahon today is without question the greatest promoter in wrestling history and the one in which all others will be based upon. Eric Bischoff was another person who was not a ?wrestling person? and his ideas and vision helped shape what became the greatest time period ever in wrestling ?The Monday Night Wars?. Vince Russo was not necessarily a ?wrestling person? he was the owner of a Mom and Pop video rental business and well whether you agree with his current direction or not you can?t totally take away his part in creating what became the ?attitude era?. The reality of the situation is the only people who believe that wrestling has to be done by wrestling people are wrestling people eager to protect there best interests and fans who don?t know any better. The simple truth is because of people who are outside the wrestling bubble the business has evolved into what it is today and if the business is to continue to evolve you need more of those people that are outside the wrestling bubble who can bring new ideas forward and I think Oscar De La Hoya would be a perfect candidate for that.
I don?t want to go out and totally assume that Oscar doesn?t know anything about wrestling but I am pretty sure it's about as foreign to him as an Oscar is to John Cena but that does not mean he doesn?t have the tools to be successful in this business. After all he has been secretly behind the scenes at PWI's family of magazines for the last 2 years and that brand is still as strong as it's ever been. Do you know why? It is because Oscar has the foresight to recognize he does not know everything and to put aces in places. You see most businesses when they swallow up other businesses they tend to lay people off and try to put there own people in there Oscar didn?t do that because well for the most part his people are boxing people and wouldn?t happen to know anything about wrestling. He just took a look at the situation in front of him and said if it isn?t broke don?t fix it and that's how he would approach wrestling by putting aces in places. It is very conceivable for Oscar to bring someone intelligent who can fit in his corporate structure into a project someone like an Eric Bischoff or even a Paul Heyman (reasonably speaking of course despite his demeanor Paul knows how to present himself). Of course when you say something about corporate structure it automatically brings up memories of the mishandling of WCW but see that's just it WCW was mishandled and it was mishandled by executives who had absolutely no idea about what it takes to run a successful wrestling company. In truth if Time Warner wouldn?t have been so ignorant to what knowledge a wrestling person in conjunction with someone outside the bubble can bring to the table WCW would still be in business today. It was all about finding that perfect marriage. I think Oscar De La Hoya is a smarter businessman than the folks at Time Warner and unlike Time Warner I truly believe the buck at Golden Boy stops with him.
Of course people will give me the really good argument of there just isn?t enough good talent out there to start a promotion from scratch and I whole heartedly agree with that which is why I think Oscar should buy in. I really think Oscar De La Hoya would be a perfect business partner for a company like ROH. As ROH's style presents wrestling as more of a competition than actual storyline and its grittiness sort of resembles a boxing and MMA promotion at time. Plus I can see Cary Silken benefiting more from Oscar's promotional genius than a promotion like TNA could. ROH being wrestling's true alternative right now would probably be a match made in heaven for a promoter who would truly be an alternative to what a typical wrestling promoter is. Could you imagine the ESPN coverage Oscar can get for this? Think about it press conferences for wrestling events?weigh ins in where Oscar could have wrestling media since he happens to control a good chunk of it anyway present and really make a spectacle of things. While it may not be conventional it's different and unique and if handled correctly would probably receive industry wide praise.
Before I wrap this one up this week let me say that this probably wouldn?t have a snowballs chance in hell of happening but wouldn?t it be interesting if it did. Imagine it ?Oscar De La Hoya Wrestling Promoter? it would be a serious shot in the arm for wrestling. So while I am sure many of you won't agree with this piece I hope it did indeed challenge you to think and that it was in fact something different because next week...YOU GET TO WRITE THE COLUMN. That's right next week my column will be by you in a manner of speaking. You see I get so much email from time to time on topics that are not related to what I am writing about that particular week. People who just have general thoughts and questions on the business so I am making next week Jose's mailbag barring anything major going on that would require immediate attention I am giving you the chance to step up and be heard. Anyone who wants to see there name in this column with a question or idea can write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
or can reach me at http://www.myspace.com/wrestlingrumbling
and the best of the best will not only be answered but they will be answered right here so go ahead and send those emails in. That's it for this week, next week of course I will try to do better (and with WrestleView's greatest readers calling the shots I am sure I will) and until then I am out.