We live in a world of immediate gratification. We live in a world of blogs, message boards and “fast food” journalism. But the wrestlers of today are foolish when Glenn says that, â<80><9c>(a)ll of the guys I know in the business are reading the internet. Just hoping and praying that they get “4 stars.” I hope Glenn had tongue-in-cheek as he wrote this because it canâ<80><99>t be true. If it is, thatâ<80><99>s just sad.
Most pro and college athletes today intentionally avoid papers, talk radio and message boards because of the volatile nature of opinions expressed. A vocal group of every pro and college team’s fans want their coach fired, the quarterback strung up or their team to acquire the best player or else. They express those opinions every day and the constant drumbeat of negativity can be overwhelming to an athlete’s psyche.
That’s not to say the majority of fans want those kinds of changes or are negative about performance but it’s certainly tangible and contagious. The rise of fantasy sports has allowed everyone to think they could be a GM and also adds to the â<80><9c>opinion clutterâ<80> we have today. But these opinions only affect those critiqued if they allow it to.
Glenn talks about Austin, Rock, HHH and Shawn Michaels knowing to sell and being a good example to the young guys. Another example that all four men set is none paid attention to what the internet said about their matches and none allowed opinions by Meltzer or Keller to shape what they did in the ring. Perhaps talent today should realize that fans on the Internet are entitled to voice an opinion but no one says you have listen to it, believe it or change what you do because of it.
I am not sure if they still do it in the WWE but one responsibility of the website staff when I was there was to pull together what the major wrestling websites were saying about the shows, PPVâ<80><99>s, talent, dirt, gossip, etc. It started years ago as the â<80><9c>Finkel Reportâ<80>, with Howard Finkel writing a report for Vince on news found in the dirt sheets and evolved from there. I always wondered why the hell Vince would care what anyone says about what he does.
Did Ole Anderson or Eddie Graham or Bill Watts ever change their opinions, booking plans or long-term vision because of negative writings? The only guidepost they worked from was the cash register. How many asses did they put in the seats? Who put them there? How do we get them back next week?
So to debate what Glenn wrote about the Internet hurting the wrestling business, I think the wrestling business should have a respectful avenue to allow fans to voice their opinionsâ<80>¦ one that is lined with a Glad plastic bag.
Whatâ<80><99>s hurting the wrestling business right now is a backlash from all the years of hotshotting and a void left by the departure of Austin, Rock and Goldberg. Within a span of five years, the business created three of the biggest stars of all time, only to see them leave. Brock Lesnar never panned out and Triple H hasnâ<80><99>t been able to get as big as he would like. Hulk Hoganâ<80><99>s time is over. Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair are nice attractions at this point in their careers, while Bret Hartâ<80><99>s career is over and so many other veteran wrestlers have passed away.
I wonder what changes WCW made after the focus group voiced their opinions. Probably to not have any more focus groups.
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