It seems more and more lately there have been incidents involving wrestlers in legal disputes. We are still in the midst of the Kurt Angle situation and now this week we also had the arrest of Christopher Daniels on a DUI and well we have seen other incidents in the past. WWE has a wellness policy in place that as much as people challenge the strength and legitimacy of that policy they can?t say that they have not seen big name stars suspended for violating it, Rey Misterio was the most recent guy to test that policy and fail, but I can?t help but wonder with some of the other things I see in wrestling isn?t it time the major wrestling companies adopt a condu ct policy as well?you?re reading ?Wrestling Rumblings?.
I understand that well wrestling while a major part of a full time wrestlers life is not the only thing in a wrestlers life; but I do think it is still somewhat embarrassing to the industry whenever someone well known has a incident in which poor judgment has been exercised. Fact is whether some will face up to it or not, wrestlers are role models and representatives of their company. It cannot help TNA or WWE when one of their athletes runs afoul of the law or gets caught in a compromising situation. Advertisers don?t want to put their money behind a product that is tainted with drug abusers and criminals, especially one that openly goes after children, it sends a bad message. This is just still one small part of the problem but for fun, lets create our own personal conduct policy for mainstream professional wrestlers.
1. Any criminal action levied against you is subject to penalty pending further investigation.
Well this rule just about says it all doesn?t it? The NFL, MBL and NHL all have policies in place that allow there commissioner’s the power to suspend an athlete should they be involved in any criminal dispute. Some of these suspensions even come down before the legal process finishes playing out depending on the evidence at hand and the severity of the situation. I think professional wrestling should do the same. In a case like Christopher Daniels recent arrest you might have the power to penalize an individual for embarrassing the company and maybe in a case like Kurt Angle’s where evidence is shaky you wait and let the situation play itself out further before acting. Every case should and could be handled differently, but at the same time every criminal action against a wrestler should be reviewed. As stated previously it does not help any company, sports entity, etc. to have negative press for one of its employees.
2. When commenting in a public forum (T.V or internet) all employees should take heed to any comments mentioned in regards to their employer, industry and/or its fans.
This is a good rule to have in place. We saw the comedy that developed with comments from Matt Hardy this week online. I can?t say that I blame WWE for the way the situation escalated. After all Matt Hardy really went off on a tangent and to do so on WWE’s forum sort of took things too far. Whether his comments were true or false it doesn?t help anyone when Matt Hardy buries part of the fanbase. Fans are fans and should cheer or boo anyone they so choose. It’s there right as paying/viewing costumers. TNA actually has a rule in place that has been in place for a few years that prohibits talent from talking bad about the company in public. It seems to be a rule that excludes main event talent as we have seen several main event talents in the past criticizes the company. This shouldn?t happen as these matters should be kept in house. In WWE’s case this rarely happens and well it really shouldn?t as with WWE being a publicly traded company any criticism from an employee could potentially affect its market value and cost the company money.
3. Any leaking of or hinting of any future storylines is subject to penalty.
We see it happen too often these days. A wrestler does an interview for a newspaper or a T.V show and gives away an angle before it has a chance to play itself out on T.V. I understand the fact that kayfabe is dead in this era of wrestling but at the same time there still needs to be a bit of secrecy to the product. After all if someone told you how the finale of your favorite show ends before th e season even starts what interest would you have? Any employee of any wrestling company?even independent wrestling companies should keep a lid on storyline direction.
4. All employees when on company business should be respectful and polite to all fans.
Now there are some fans who would argue that all wrestlers should be respectful and polite to all fans, all the time. I respectfully disagree, I think a wrestler should be somewhat nice to fans at all time, I mean I?m even somewhat old school in that wrestlers should somewhat be in persona every time they are in the public but I do think there are moments when a wrestler may not wish to be bothered and that should be respected. Just because you saw John Cena shopping for groceries doesn?t mean he has to take a picture with you. I do think that w hen a wrestler is on company business he/she should try to be as accommodating and polite as possible. After all, every fan who solicits them is in essence a paying customer and a pleasant experience would make them a repeat customer.
5. No employee is allowed to publicly speak about any punishment levied against them for violating any company policy without permission from their employer.
We all saw the comments Rey Misterio made this week in regards to his violation of the wellness program. It has been speculated that WWE was very unhappy regarding this situation and well why wouldn?t they be? If WWE really had it their way they wouldn?t suspend anyone, after all a wrestler who sits out can?t make them any money wrestling. This is not just against Misterio I don?t think in some cases it does WWE any good to have any talent speak openly about their failure of the wellness policy. The failure by itself costs them money, talent speaking out and giving details and/or criticizing the company could cost the company even more money. In Misterio’s case if he had a valid argument to the policy it should have been presented in private, not in a public forum.
I think that there are certainly more rules we can add to this list but I will just leave it as is for now. Anyone who wants to add a few or talk about anything else for that matter can do so by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week I will try to do better, and until then, I am out.