In the world of Sports Entertainment there are a lot of 3 letter acronyms, abbreviations and initials. I could sit here and list them all, but that would be a tedious task since I can think of about 100 right off the top of my head! What I want to do today is talk about the three letters that mean the most to anyone that would be coming across this little column of mine. By the time you get done reading this you will know why hot babes like my wife call me Not Just Another Fan!
This would be the easy route to go down. The WWE in some shape or form has been in existence for over 40 years. When Vince McMahon Sr. broke away from NWA in 1963, I’m sure there were people that didn’t think that the World Wide Wrestling Federation would be able to make it on it’s own. They didn’t just survive. The WWWF thrived. In the last 3 decades, with the vision of Vincent K. McMahon JR they have been the trendsetters on how a successful promotion should be ran. There will always be a group of fans that are not happy about a product and are looking for something else, that is inevitable. WWE has found a niche of people though that loves their product and is extremely faithful to it.
It is arguable that fans of WWE are more passionate than fans of regular sports teams since theirs is a product that is watched all over the world and not just in a local community. You can go to just about any city in any country that has cable and you will be able to find someone that knows and/or has heard of Hulk Hogan, the Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin. This is remarkable simply due to one key fact. That key fact is that the industry in general is shunned by the supposed legitimate sports reporting world. You could watch ESPN Sports Center for an entire year and not once hear mention of WWE or any other wrestling organization for that matter. How are these men all known you might wonder…it is through the marketing mastermind that is Vince McMahon. Whether you like him or hate him, he has been more successful than anyone ever at what he does. That is not debatable…it is a fact.
All that said; these were not the three most important letters that I was referring too.
ECW & WCW?
It is just too easy to put these two organizations together. It probably isn’t fair though. Both company’s histories are similar in some aspects and completely different in others. I can get deeper into that at a later time perhaps. One thing that they did have in common that I do want to discuss is their followings. Both WCW and ECW had a faithful group of fans that would seemingly go to the ends of the earth just to support their respective company.
With WCW I suspect that a lot of fans were bandwagon fans like myself. I was always a WWF fan growing up and had gotten bored with the product so I stopped watching wrestling. When I heard that my childhood hero, Hulk Hogan had turned heel (actually someone told me he was a “bad guy” as heel wasn’t a term in my vocabulary at that point!) and Razor Ramon and Diesel were his tag partners it made me want to see what was going on. I got hooked and the rest is history. I lost some interest about the time that Russo came in, but I never stopped really watching until the final edition of Nitro.
I can honestly say that I never really felt emotionally connected to the WCW product. I loved The NWO and will always have a special place in my heart for that time. It still wasn’t as emotional of an experience as what I had as a child watching The Hulkster defy all odds month in and month out. WCW was important, but not the most important 3 letter acronym to anyone reading this column right now.
With ECW there was never the huge number of fans watching, but rather the few fans that did attend live events were very outspoken and watched with a passion and intensity that had never been seen before. It was almost like a fire. I spark started and no one noticed. Once the full-fledged fire broke out, everyone had no choice but to notice. Paul Heyman’s brainchild was nothing less that revolutionary. At the time I did not watch it and to this day I really wouldn’t consider myself a fan of it. That however, doesn’t change the fact that the impact that ECW had on WWE and WCW was enormous.
ECW is not the most important 3 letters I’m talking about today though.
TNA, ROH, XPW, CZW, ect…?
This has got to be it. Right? Wrong.
These companies and some others have begun to have an increasing impact of the wrestling scene today. Some of the wrestlers themselves have broken the traditional rules by actually becoming better known themselves than the company they actually work for, which is amazing. Just look at a guy like AJ Styles. He has wrestled all over the world and is in my opinion the most popular wrestler today that has never been on a prime time television-wrestling program.
I am not going to sit here and act like I have an extensive knowledge of a lot of Independent wrestling promotions. I do not. There is one thing I do know that I can state as a fact. None of them are the most important 3 letters to anyone reading this.
The Three Most Important Letters Are…
The Internet Wrestling Community as we like to call ourselves is a unique place. In all reality there is no “place” that we can call our own. We have wrestling web site after wrestling web site all over the World Wide Web…but there is nothing tangible about us. I have undoubtedly had thousands of people read my columns before from all around the world. I have received emails from people in 14 different countries spanning 5 continents. Yet, if I were to be standing in line at the grocery store I would not even know if the person in front of me or behind me was a member of this amazing assembly of people.
Our existence was inevitable once the Internet became prominent. Our strength and the influence that we have today on the very industry that we love could not have been predicted. I know that we still do not have the control that some desire, but we have to be realistic while looking at ourselves. In the past 12 months we have seen two of the biggest evidences of our power in the wrestling world…WrestleMania 20 and Taboo Tuesday.
At WrestleMania 20 we saw, along with everyone else in the world the true power of The IWC. Days before the event is become common knowledge across the IWC that this would be Goldberg and Brock Lesnar’s last matches respectively in WWE. Just a few years ago this would have been an obscurely known fact with just a few, if anyone at all in attendance that night knowing. However, due to the amount of people that now frequent wrestling news sites the majority, or at least the verbal majority made their presence known on the biggest stage of them all. The entire match you could hear the crowd heckling Goldberg and Brock. You had to marvel at the intensity that the crowd was showing. They didn’t know because WWE told them…they knew because we told them. Part of me was embarrassed, but another part of me was proud. I was embarrassed that fans would ruin a perfectly built match between two guys that I legitimately would have liked to have seen in a match, but I was proud of the fact that I was a part of history.
Taboo Tuesday was a direct result of WrestleMania if you ask me. I think that The IWC proved a point and that point was that we are not to be ignored anymore. I know that a lot of the vocal members of the IWC thought that Taboo Tuesday was a joke, but I did not see it that way at all. I saw it as a submission or a good will gesture by Vince McMahon. He will never give us total control…Lord knows he shouldn’t. I wouldn’t give anyone else control over my dream and my life’s work. Why should he? But he did give us some. He gave us a taste of what we desire. If you ask me, it was a major victory for the IWC.
Now I know you must be thinking to yourself, “What is the point of all this?” The point is that we have become our own identity. We are an invisible force with no real leader to be our face, yet we are directly making an impacting like never before. We have our power in the words that we write in forums and on wrestling news sites. The great thing is that it doesn’t matter if you are black or white, short or tall, skinny or heavy weight…you still have a voice in the IWC and you can make an impact. Never be afraid to say how you feel. If you don’t like things how they are and I do, that is fine. We don’t have to agree. We are all on the same team even if this is your first visit to a wrestling web site or your 10,000th visit. Lets support each other and support Sport we love.
If you agree or disagree with anything that I have said about The Three Most Important Letters please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org. I reply to every wrestling related email.
Did anyone else feel even a tad bit sorry for Daniel Puder at The Royal Rumble when Benoit, Guerrero and Holly were going to town on his chest with all of those chops? I think my own chest was getting sore just from watching!
Is it odd that Snitsky, Carlito Cool and Heidenreich have all only feuded primarily with one person since all of their debuts on their respective shows?
Could we see a rematch from last years WrestleMania? The opening match of WrestleMania 20 was Cena/Big Show for the US Championship. If Cena wins the tournament (which we all know he will) and Big Show wins at No Way Out it could happen. (I’m not going to hold me breath though!)
Would anyone be interested in a Not Just Another Trivia Challenge? It would be a Trivia Challenge with most of the questions being submitted by you…the readers. If you think it might be a good idea please let me know.
Not Just Another WrestleMania Trivia Question: I will be doing WrestleMania trivia questions for the next couple months leading to WrestleMania. If you know the answer please email me at email@example.com and I will include your name in my next column.
Who interfered during the Randy Savage/Ricky Steamboat match at WrestleMania III, costing Savage the match?
I had a record 102 people answer my last Trivia Question correctly. They were:
A bowl of cereal, DreamWarrior, Shane Barry, Jay Garza, Brandon Berthelot, Dustin R, Woozerno1, Jason Duffy, Theodore Brown, Cory Weinberg, Colin George, Shaun Tilton, Ian Jenkin, Joshua Gay, Erwin Alamilla, James Peffer, Jesse Webb, David Williams, Victor Orians, Danny Dampier, Chris Lozier, Vince Riolo, Chad Linde, Denny, Joshie Washie, Mike Giracello, Saeed Wilkins, Tommy Hall, Shawn Schaeffer, Roland Stanley, Richard Whaley, Mario Carmel, Ralph van Deurs, Andy Y, Matt Koivu, Jason Vargon, Steve Adams, Carlo Cardelli, Touhoua Yang, Reaz Kurimbux, David Romero, George Hazar, Jake Drury, Dennis Liermann, Thomas H, RELOAD0993, Roger Lehman, Adzz Ward, Jim Gadziemski, Scott Maxwell, Michael Cook, Johan Aubray, Andrew Nixon, Geraint Hinton, Oliver Bond, NiNJATURTLE81, Billy Rouse, Jeff Wittenhagen, Aron MacDonald, Dougie Nunny, Ryan Meza, Barry Boice, James Billington, Rodney Marsh, Andrew Jackling, Craig O’Donnell, Chris Fitzpatrick, Mitch Winter, Ryan Cotter, Eric Ray, Brent, HBKKID1017, PhenomRich, Robert Brown, James Goldsmith, Xternal631, Curtis House, Pmike3, Matt H, ghettowill2002, Joe Lanza, Furiouspooh13, TexasJustice316, Hank D, bigbadbaileydawg, Peter Blaze, Jon Gomez, CJTAZ, Mike Delaney, Aoum, JeremyV1, OneSanitarium7, Ryan Sadler, Tom Fehn, David Holland, Daddy-Bones, Wkohn08, Thomas “The Raven”, Mintzs, JohnnyX311 & Shane ‘O
The Question was: “Mike Rotundo held the WWE Tag Tam Championships with 2 different partners. The first was Barry Windham. Who was the second?”
The Answer was: “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase
I hope you enjoyed my column this week. I love writing these. You guys and your feedback make me want to continue. Thanks once again to everyone who responded to my last column. I hope this gets just as good of a response!
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