Unlike past weeks where I?ve pointed it out, this hasn?t been a slow week in wrestling news. I must?ve written this column three times on three different topics and when I thought I had the topic I wanted I was still wrong. I?ve often pointed out right here in this column that I am not big on internet news sites. Sure I do check out Wrestleview from time to time and even the Wrestling Observer site but for the most part it’s really not my thing. Too many scandalous things get written and retracted and at the same time everyone is really for the most part reporting third hand information anyway. However when running errands, exercising or traveling I am a big fan of sports radio, and well that would also include wrestling audio as well. One of the cool perks about working here is I do have a account set up in the Wrestleview VIP area so every so often I sample some of those shows in addition to other shows that I listen to. This week I happened to listen to the Pro Wrestling Rewind for the first time ever (which I want to add all of you can as well for free right here on wrestleview.com/rewind) and heard Andy ?The Power? Knowles diatribe on Rey Misterio in which he commented that Rey allowed himself to fail the wellness policy simply because he wanted time off. He would also go on to pretty much lambast Misterio and Hardy and others like them for being poor role models and challenged anyone in the Wrestleview Radio Network to disagree with him. Well it’s no secret my voice has not been heard anywhere on Wrestleview since Wrestlemania but since I am a part of Wrestleview itself I will wholeheartedly accept that challenge?you?re reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
Andy, first off let me state that for the record I respect your opinion along with anyone else’s as a fan of wrestling. I have often said that almost anything in this sport beyond the bare facts is pretty much subjective and can be argued either way by anybody. Topics like which angles work, who has talent, and who can book can be argued repeatedly with the only true judge of success being PPV buys and television ratings, and even still it all comes down to personal taste. I also respect your position as a father. I myself don?t have children but do have a special needs person in my family and a great deal of understanding into the effort that goes into the day to day grind of dealing with that situation. However with all that being said I find it ridiculous to state that anyone would want to lose a six figure pay out and potentially risk publically damaging their reputation and well risk losing even more than what they have lost for simply a 30 day break. Rey Misterio has a very short shelf life to make big time money as I can?t see him continuing this for very much longer and since I can?t see him doing anything else post wrestling; I would have to assume he like anyone else in his situation would want to make as much money as possible. I don?t know if Rey has a valid prescription or if he didn?t and would hate to subscribe to the theories that are being bandied about as to how this whole mess started, but I think 99% of the people reading this would agree with me and say that no man is going to slander his reputation just to get time off.
The issue of role models was also bought up, and to Andy’s credit he is not the only person to bring it up this week as many people have mentioned that to me with the whole Jeff Hardy situation. In reference to Jeff Hardy himself, let me state that it wasn?t but a few weeks ago that in this column I was the only columnist/reporter on the web to defend Kurt Angle and many of you said I was crazy and called for his head. Of course by now you have all seen that Kurt Angle has been found not guilty of most of those charges, and I do have the belief that the last charge will be thrown out at the appropriate time also. So in essence, you were all wrong. I have said it before in private and I will say it again here in this forum, we who would call ourselves ?wrestling media? do have a responsibility that goes a bit beyond being a normal fan. We influence people with our views and opinions, in a lot of ways it’s really what we set out to do each and every time we stand on our proverbial soap boxes. However many of my ?colleagues? don?t share that belief and run out there with their heart on their sleeves and say or write whatever they want on whomever they choose with reckless abandon. It’s irresponsible journalism like this that makes it impossible for anyone in the IWC to be taken seriously by anyone outside of it. I aim for the day where that can change, and rather than join in the senseless slamming of individuals I don?t even know, go another way. It is my feeling that you can share your views and opinions based on facts and without forcing them down someone else’s throats but by helping them form their own views and opinions themselves. I don?t know enough about the Jeff Hardy situation yet to really have an opinion. I have encountered people in my life who have been in similar predicaments to Jeff Hardy that were just hoarding medication and didn?t realize the quantity they were holding were illegal and trust me they were not drug addicts, and I refuse to persecute someone just because they have a past. We have a legal system and I will let things play themselves out.
Where was I before that rant? Oh yeah, we were talking about role models. Andy had mentioned how hard it was for him to tell him the truth about why Rey Misterio lost a match to John Morrison for the Intercontinental Title. He pretty much went on to do the whole ?Shame on you? bit to Rey Misterio since he is one of his kids favorite performers and they had a really great experience meeting Misterio at a WWE live event. Andy, wrestlers are not role models. I know many of you are going to argue this to me but they are not. Are they looked up to? Of course they are much in the same way that Actors and Athletes and even Politicians are looked up to but at the end of the day while they may be heroes to your children it is not there job or for that matter even their concern as to how their actions should be perceived by your children. I grew up admiring Hulk Hogan. He was my favorite wrestler as a child and when the steroid revelations concerning him became open knowledge in the 90’s that didn?t influence me in the slightest, do you know why? Because even though Hogan was my favorite performer, he was just that a performer, bear in mind I couldn?t have been more than 11 years old when Hogan was ousted as a steroid user but I got it. I knew that Hulk Hogan was who I saw on TV and that the person behind the scenes could have been totally different. Was the character of Hulk Hogan still a hero to me? He probably was but that was the extent of where my admiration ended. When I needed a real role model I looked more closer to home, and I know for many people that isn?t easy and well it wasn?t for me either as I grew up with two drug addicts for parents, my role model was my cousin Lou who took me under his wing and always gave me a good example of what hard work, dedication and perseverance can do for you. We=2 0were both big time wrestling fans, the biggest in our families as a matter of fact and when the ugly side of my heroes, Lou didn?t hesitate to show me the difference between perception and reality. Wrestling is a cartoon there are heroes and there are villains, and in many ways wrestling is a parody of real life. As in real life, there are heroes and there are villains. It sucks that sometimes in real life the person that is portrayed on T.V as the hero is actually the villain but that’s just the way it is sometimes. It’s why we have parents, friends, and others who are real that we can know and we can look up to and regrettably sometimes even they let us down. Andy, you are a host of your own radio show on an ESPN radio affiliate, if you were my father you would be my hero, as you are probably to your own children, you are there role model. Just as Lou who would later grow up to be a somewhat decent Independent wrestler and later on even get a stint in the early days of ROH as part of the original Embassy as Diablo Santiago was and still is to me.
I should state that for the record Andy did say that the explanation he gave to his son was that it just wasn?t Misterio’s night which was probably the only explanation his son really needed, but when his son and other children get older I think the difference between Rey Misterio and Oscar Guitterez should really be clarified for his children. After all just because someone does something in there own personal lives does not mean you shouldn?t feel free to watch and admire what they do in their chosen vocation. I am a fan of actors, athletes and wrestlers who have checkered pasts but I don?t let that stop me from enjoying what they do on screen, during the game or in the ring. I?m sorry to call you out Andy but you did issue the challenge and it is one that I felt needed answering. I would be happy to further debate you on your show, in this forum or even in private if you so choose.
I am sure I am going to get a lot of people who have a lot to say on either side of this debate, and of course I encourage the feedback. Feel free to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org I try to answer every email received in a timely manner. That’s it for this week, next week I will try to do better, and until then I am out.