Friday, August 31, 2007

Open Letter to the WWE

People are wondering who is to blame for the drug abuse and suspension of the wrestlers. I have a suggestion.

We, the wrestling viewing public, are partially to blame. We live in an instant gratification world. We want it NOW. Our fast foods, our information, our entertainment must be available immediately or we lose interest and desire. We demand that the athletes be ready to perform at our convenience, regardless of their physical health, job pressures, or home life. In this, we are to blame.

But, Vince McMahon and the WWE are also partially to blame. Vince McMahon has made 3 brands of wrestling for public view 3 days a weeks (not counting any re-broadcasts or pay-per-views). He has the wrestlers on tour more than 250 days a year (my estimate, which according to the wrestling books published, is low). How many of us regular, working people would be away from our families for that long.

Yes, they get to go home, but they don't get to stay there for long. This schedule pushes the wrestler's body beyond the limits of endurance. So, why are we surprised to find them taking "a little something" to get by. Their bodies do not get time to rest and heal. Their families do not get time to enjoy them. Their spouses feel like they are single parents, which they are due to the wrestler being gone. When a wrestler comes home, he or she has to try to "fit in" to a family that has to make due without them most of the time. And they are tired- emotionally, physically and probably mentally. They have learned to work thru the physical pain of performing nightly or at least 3 nights a week on the road. How many spouses out there would not be resentful of having to be mother& father all the time. The wrestler wants peace, the family wants time, the spouse want attention-does anyone see that there is conflict here?

Also, the wrestler themselves are the blame as they are the ones who take the meds they feel they need. They cannot escape blame. They know that they are doing wrong, but are caught in a career trap.

We, the public, want wrestlers with a super body. Where do they get the time to workout with the schedule they have? Is it a surprise that they need "enhancement"? Also, Vince McMahon rarely shows a wrestler that is not "ripped to the max" or, in the case of the women, breasts like over sized coconuts. Why?

If you look at the wrestling past, the great feuds were not built in a single day. With a pay-per-view every month, no good feud has a chance of growing. The writers have 4 Mondays (in the case of Raw) to build a good plot line. Is it any wonder that they have trouble doing this?

Mr. McMahon, Mrs. McMahon, please stop pushing the wrestlers so hard.

Consider this:

Each brand has a pay-per-view every 3 months and twice a year the brands meet on a pay-per view. There would still be a WWE pay-per-view monthly, but this would give more brand loyalty. And as all brands are WWE, this is not bad. You could build up rising stars quicker this way. And this would give the writers time to build the kind of storyline we saw in the early 80's.

After the brands meet (like at WrestleMania), then have a lottery on Monday Night Raw. This gives at least two days (weeks) worth of storyline trying to fit in the line-up and start feuds.

After every pay-per-view, let the champion speak or do a run-in, but not compete that night, especially if they are on Raw.

Lessen the schedule for house shows. This will actually build excitement for when the WWE comes to the fan's town. Now, if you miss a show in your area, you just wait for the next time, ti won't be long. Lessening the schedule will have a big effect on lessening the injury level. These past few months we've seen so many wrestlers get injuries-the kind that aren't gone by next week. Lessening the schedule also gives the wrestler some "down time" with their family. They can enjoy their family without being injured just to see them. Their families can have meaningful time with the wrestler and the wrestler comes back ready to perform again.

If you doubt that this would be popular with the audience, let the independent wrestling newsletters take a poll. See what the people say. You might be surprised.

By doing these things, I believe you will see a lessening in the drug problem in the WWE. You can't say there isn't one when 10 wrestlers get suspended. But this is a problem that in self-created. So, let's un-create it. The fans benefit, the wrestlers benefit, the WWE benefits- win/win situation.

Mr. McMahon, you can make things like this happen. You have made money from wrestling, just as your father did. Make a health care system for wrestlers and their families. With proper health care, the company will not see much in the way of drug problems. Include in the health care, family counseling and psychological counseling. Make this a better than Blue Cross/Blue Shield, I believe that many of the past wrestlers lost to suicide or other unexpected death would not have happened if this would have been instituted. Yes, I know that it cost money, a lot of money. But the workers in the WWE Corporate offices have health care- so should the athletes.

Mr. McMahon, please, care for these men and women work give their bodies as sacrifice for our entertainment. We, the fans, do. So should you.