BUTâ<80>¦to be honest, I just donâ<80><99>t see this lawsuit as having much chance. Even though wrestlers are obviously NOT â<80><9c>independent contractorsâ<80> in the true sense of the term â<80>” after all, they donâ<80><99>t choose WHEN they work and canâ<80><99>t vary WHO they work for within the time frame of their employment agreement â<80>” they all sign contracts proclaiming themselves â<80><9c>independent contractors.â<80> Furthermore, they all know what theyâ<80><99>re getting into â<80>” they realize the pitfalls â<80>” and do it anyway.
The only way to make WWE and TNA do the right thing is for wrestlers to unionize. And that will never happen. If you got every wrestler in the world in the same auditorium and got them to agree to unionize, every single one of them would be trying to make the best deal for himself at the expense of the union the minute he got some privacy and a cell phone.
Itâ<80><99>s the island of misfit toys and a business based on deceit, so itâ<80><99>s not exactly an environment that breeds solidarity. Heck, Hulk Hogan didnâ<80><99>t want to do JOBS for lesser wrestlers. What makes you think heâ<80><99>d sacrifice even a miniscule chunk of his earnings for them?
My advice to wrestlers: Buy your own health insurance and start your own retirement plan. In other words, be responsible adults. And remember: This is the life youâ<80><99>ve chosen.
ESCAPE FROM STAMFORD
Congratulations to Jonathan Coachman, who has escaped the fickle clutches of wrestling to stake a claim in the world of â<80><9c>realâ<80> sports as an anchor for ESPN. For someone with Coachâ<80><99>s training and ambition, itâ<80><99>s just a more stable life. Youâ<80><99>re not always on the road or at the whim of a madman. Things arenâ<80><99>t as exciting, to be sure; theyâ<80><99>re just better. I say that as someone who loved wrestling â<80>” and still does â<80>” but Iâ<80><99>d certainly had my fill by the end of my tenure at WCW.
The upshot is, Coach is REALLY GOOD. He should rise through the ranks very quickly.
WWE doesnâ<80><99>t allow split priorities, so Coach wasnâ<80><99>t going to be allowed to try working both jobs â<80>” which makes me wonder if Mr. McMahon realizes that ECW play-by-play man Todd Grisham is also a featured announcer on Fox Soccer Channel?
Nobody likes a tattletale, Danny â<80>” except, of course, me. Actually, wrestling companies would be well served to let TV and radio announcers double dip. With all due respect to accomplished lifers like Jim Ross, conventional forms of mic work draw the more talented performers. If wrestling could get a few of those to moonlight â<80>” imagine Al Michaels on Smackdown â<80>” the product would be better.
HOW TO BE AN INTERNET HEEL
Do whatever it is Iâ<80><99>m doing, I guess. I wrote a column a while back comparing the qualities of ROH standard-bearer â<80><9c>American Dragonâ<80> Bryan Danielson, the greatest in-ring talent to ever walk the face of Godâ<80><99>s green earth (WHOOO!…oh, wait a minute, heâ<80><99>s not THAT good) and those of WWE champion Triple H, who merely draws lots of money.
By way of Internet bozo response, my attention was recently directed to the ROH web site message board, where I am absolutely REVILED for 10 pages. Not bad.
ROH should bring me in for a run as lead heel. Iâ<80><99>m a proven commodity. As proven as they can afford, that is. Then again, ROH probably canâ<80><99>t afford me. (Cue 10 more pages of anger.)
BROOKE REALLY DOES KNOW BEST
Having perused a few episodes of â<80><9c>Brooke Knows Best,â<80> a few observations:
Brooke Hogan has IT. Oh, she has ZERO discernible talent, having already proven she canâ<80><99>t sing. But she has that certain something, that CHARISMA, that makes her interesting and marketable, and her innocence, however feigned, makes her strangely endearing. Brooke should get into movies. She might not know how to act, but she already knows how to be a star. Thatâ<80><99>s what matters.
To recap: no talent, overwhelming charisma. Whoâ<80><99>d have thought that was hereditary?
By the way, Brookeâ<80><99>s body is FLAWLESS. Not to sound like a dirty old man. Hi, Terry.
DDMe & ME (one in a series)
One of my old WCW buddies reminded me of this one:
When Eric Bischoff first assumed command of the company, one of DDMeâ<80><99>s earliest attempts to exploit his friendship with Eric was to contact a bunch of prominent independent wrestlers he knew and offer to convince Eric to hire themâ<80>¦for 10 percent of their future earnings, that is.
DDMe likely picked up this idea while toiling for Verne Gagne in the AWA. Gagne attempted this stunt with many young wrestlers he â<80><9c>sent onâ<80> to other promotions, including Ric Flair.
DDMeâ<80><99>s dissolved his scam when he realized that Mr. Bischoff probably wouldnâ<80><99>t be thrilled by it if he found out. But can you imagine that? Preying on the boys like a vulture? Itâ<80><99>s vintage DDMe. He never had a thought that didnâ<80><99>t benefit him first and foremost. The funny part was: DDMe always sold it as trying to help YOU. (That said, Yoga for Regular Guys has made me a new man.)