Chuck Ross

Whoooa Nellie! When Brands Go Horribly Wrong: Psst–Vince McMahon and the WWE Are No Longer In the Wrestling Business. Publicist Alerts the Media.

Mar 18, 2011

If you are a boy baby boomer of a certain age, and grew up in the Los Angeles area, like I did, one of your fondest memories of TV as a kid was watching Dick Lane and wrestling on KTLA live from the Olympic Auditorium in downtown L.A.

Lane’s signature call was “Whooooa Nellie” as he watched some wrestler like Freddie Blassie climb up on the ropes and post of the ring and leap down, stomping another wrestler, or at least seeming to. I remember that tag team matches were my favorites. Reading a blog by Ed Fuentes remembering Lane, it reminded me that he was also endlessly promoting pro wrestling and urging us viewers to attend the matches live.

As a kid getting into almost daily fights and getting stomped by my older brother, wrestling on TV as narrated by Lane was mesmerizing.

If you grew up in New York I guess the equivalent experience was watching Dennis James announce wrestling on TV.

In the book about TV called “The Box” by Jeff Kisseloff, James talked about his days announcing wrestling: “When I went to my first wrestling match, I said, ‘I can’t play this straight.’ Yet, I had to find some happy medium so that the wrestlers wouldn’t hate my guts, so I added sound effects. If a guy was twisting another guy’s leg, I had a crackle bone that I would twist. If he pulled on his trunks, I would tear a window shade. I got hold of a slide whistle when they went up and down. I did one whole wrestling match in rhyme: ‘They’re out of the ring, but now they’re back, and when they do, two heads will crack.’ ”

Most of the wrestlers knew they needed to develop outlandish personalities to distinguish themselves for the TV audience.

Noted one observer in “The Box,” talking about a wrestler from those early days of TV named George Wagner, “When he wrestled as George Wagner he wasn’t a drawing card. Then he came up with Gorgeous George, and television made him a star.”

Another wrestler from those early days, Lou Thesz, remembers in “The Box” that Gorgeous George “got a lot of what we call in the business ‘heat,’ a big response from women. After that, a lot of guys took it upon themselves to come up with some kind of gimmick, like Farmer Jones, who would enter the ring with his pig. I wouldn’t wrestle on the same card with girl wrestlers or midgets or when some idiot brought in a bear, because then you are guilty by association–although I did train a kid who wrestled a bear in Tennessee and kicked the hell out of that bear. He was booked with that bear about a week later. The bear [was in the ring] and saw the kid coming, and it left. The bear remembered him.”

While wrestling never really disappeared from the nation’s airwaves, it didn’t hit a second golden age until Vince McMahon and his World Wrestling Federation (later called World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE) made it bigger than it had ever been, primarily by taking what had been a local phenomenon and making it national. Many say the event that marked professional wrestling’s great comeback was WrestleMania in 1985 and the appearance of a WWF wrestler named Hulk Hogan. That, in turn, led to the boom of WWF (and later, WWE) shows on national TV, from ‘’Smackdown” to “Raw.”

I hadn’t given the WWE much thought lately when we here at TVWeek received a press release the other day that we wrote up and published as follows:

Drew Carey Inducted Into Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Huh? Drew Carey??!!

Comedic actor and game show host Drew Carey is the newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame.

According to the WWE, "Carey established his place in WWE history as a surprise entrant in the 2001 Royal Rumble. However, Carey’s fortunes quickly turned, when the massive WWE Superstar Kane entered the ring, prompting Carey to eliminate himself from the match."

The announcement adds, "The WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony…will take place at the Philips Arena [in Atlanta] on Saturday, April 2, and the one-hour TV special will air Monday, April 4, at 8/7c on USA Network."

Next thing I know, I’ve received an email from one Kellie Baldyga, a publicist for WWE, DEMANDING that we correct the story. She also copied our owner, Rance Crain, on the email.

What had drawn her ire was the headline. Baldyga wrote in her email, “We are no longer a wrestling company but rather a global entertainment company with a movie studio, international licensing deals, publisher of three magazines, consumer good distributor and more.”

No doubt WWE is into more things than just wrestling, which is its bread and butter, I thought, but this can’t really be a big deal. I was busy and emailed her I’d call her the next day, which was yesterday, March 17.

First thing yesterday morning I received this email from her: “Chuck, did you mean call me today (Thursday)? I apologize but I really need the correction made sooner than later if possible…”

As regular readers to this blog may recall, for most of my career as a journalist I haven’t gotten along with most publicists. Most of them don’t like me, and I don’t have patience for many publicists.

Baldyga was beginning to bother me. First, our headline was perfectly fine and accurate. Second, what was this “demand” about changing OUR headline?

I called her and introduced myself. The conversation then basically went as follows:

Me: Your release says that Carey is being recognized as being an entrant in the 2001 Royal Rumble. I believe that was a wrestling event.

Kellie: No, we don’t do wrestling events. They’re entertainments. And we don’t call them wrestlers. They’re superstars and divas.

I’m thinking to myself, is she kidding me? Is this woman mad? The company’s official name is World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. Its crown jewel is an event called WrestleMania. In the best tradition of wrestling on TV since its earliest days, they put on terrific shows (and events), with athletes who are performers and they’ve got storylines that are far more elaborate than any Gorgeous George and Freddie Blassie would have ever imagined. Why would they want to run away from who they are, from what’s made them wildly successful beyond most people’s dreams?

Me: Kellie, I really don’t have time for this. WWE presents wrestling events. I’m not going to change the headline or anything in the item. If you’d like, I’ll just remove it.

Kellie: Huh? What?

Me: Kellie, I don’t have time for this. What do you want me to do?

Kellie: Remove it.

So I did.

Kellie sent me a follow-up email saying “I hope nothing was contentious in our conversation…” She added, “I know the perception is that we are a wrestling company but we are actually much more than that–we are a global media company which is how our Chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, positions us.”

Whatever. Take away wrestling from WWE and what do you basically have? I don’t think WWE is quite as diverse as global media companies such as News Corp. or Time Warner or Viacom, but what do I know.

As I went to sleep last night I kept thinking about what I had read in Ed Fuentes’ remembrance about wrestling in L.A., and hearing Dick Lane’s voice in my head from decades ago: “Call Richmond 95171. That’s Richmond 95171 to reserve your tickets now!! Whoooa Nellie!"


  1. If they were still conducting legitimate competitions, they’d still have the respective state commissions that also oversee boxing sanctioning and supervising said competition.

    You also would NOT have all the lame, idiotic storyline going on between fights.

    Of course they’re a freakin’ media company! Their ultimate goal is to SELL pay-TV programming!

    They may yet be taken over by any of those big guys you mention. Businesses undergo cycles, and eventually this kind of thing becomes appealing to them again.

  2. I guess then they should change their name to “WME” – “World Media Entertainment” – then… or find some other word that starts with “W” that they could change their name to, say “World Wide Entertainment, Inc.”

  3. Loved Dick Lane. Used to go with my grandfather to Long Beach Municipal Auditorium in the early ’50s to watch wrestling and roller derby–both announced on KTLA by the inimitable Dick “Whoa Nellie!” Lane. Back then, I had no idea of his prominence in films as a character actor. In the ’60s I discovered him playing Faraday on Boston Blackie films. He was one of a kind…and that Kellie chick at WWE (I believe that stands for World WRESTLING Enterprises) is a total b—h and WWE has denigrated the entire “sport” of wrestling through the ’80s to current years. McMahon and his lame wife (who fortunately wasn’t elected to office) can go take a hike as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Hey Chuck, i was sent here from this article, http://www.wrestlingnewssource.com/feed_news-18624-Opps_TVWeekcom_Article_Sends_WWE_Publicist_Into_a.php I had to laugh WWE is not wrestling? DOH

  5. If McMoron wouldn’t be such a MORON…
    His company’s name is World WRESTLING Entertainment. No matter how he spins it, WWE will always be a WRESTLING company. If he wants to avoid being perceived as a wrestling company then maybe he needs to change the name to WSE – World Sports Entertainment…oh wait, then his company name would be pronounced WUSSIE!

  6. To be fair the WWE HOF and the Pro wrestling HOF are two separate places. But with that said trying to shy away from wrestling phrase seems a little stupid as that’s what it is.

  7. WWE has plugged http://www.prowrestlingevents.tk on their own website.

  8. We’d like to say that the company run by the sons of the Original Sheik, All World Wrestling League, is a wrestling company. We have wrestlers in our company such as Tim Horner Jr. Whipdog Johnson, and of course, Sabu. Pro wrestling will always be pro wrestling no matter how hard it’s tried to be masked.

  9. There is an entity called the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, which is completely separate from the WWE. That argument would have made more sense.

  10. Cool story bros.

  11. I really hope this has a Streissand effect.
    The thing that’s so silly about all of this is that no one is fooled but the WWE themselves. When you see two people grappling in a ring, in a fixed (though enjoyable) environment, where a winner is crowned by pinfall or submission, what do you call it but wrestling? When you compete at WrestleMania, what do you think the main event consists of? Wrestling.
    Look at Vince McMahon’s track record of failures: the XFL, WWE films, constant celebrity endorsements that bore the audience more than excite them. The guy wants to be more than just a wrestling promoter, but he isn’t. He sucks at doing anything else. So instead of simply taking pleasure in being the best wrestling promoter of all time, he pretends like he’s some kind of mega star in all of entertainment. That’s not true. He’s had other ventures, and they’ve all failed like they should. No one on this earth goes to a Raw show and says “Clearly this isn’t professional wrestling.”
    Basically, Mr. Ross, rest assured that the WWE is still a wrestling company. There’s just an egomaniac in control. He always has been, he always will be. It’s just a real bummer when that childish kind of pontificating breaks the enjoyment of millions of fans.

  12. Last time I checked, the marquee had “Wrestling” in the title.
    Wrestling is supposed to entertain, but at the end of the day they entertain by wrestling.
    Also, do they even know what the word “diva” connotates in the entertainment industry?

  13. What the hell??? Sad day in the world of wrestling.

  14. My biggest problem is that Drew Carey’s sole reason for being in the 2001 Rumble was to promote his OWN pay-per-view happening not long after. There are plenty of celebrities with stronger ties than that for the HOF ‘celebrity’ wing, surely.

  15. Somehow I don’t think buyrates for a PPV called EntertainmentMediaMania would be that high. WWE really should take note.

  16. WWE management has gone even madder! Pro-wrestling is an artform. It’s like McMahon is ashamed for WWE be called “wrestling”. Why not just have the different divisions that he is trying to nurture under different banners and keep wrestling as wrestling. Eg: World Entertainment Films, World Entertainment TV. These can be non wrestling. Trying to hoodwink people into thinking they are the same is silly. Sure he can put a few of the wrestlers in these shows. But why try hide they are wrestlers when everyone knows. I guess he is that concerned of what his neighbourhood thinks of wrestling he is trying to transcend it. Keep the wrestling as wrestling, the WWE looks silly playing with words.

  17. I worked in the adult industry for a few years, no one outside of the adult industry call it the adult industry. But you would never see a company change a site like porn.com to adultindustry.com. That is exactly how you loose business. If people liked WWE for their movies they would have one in the box office that lasted more then 2 days.

  18. Reporters should do their homework. WWE has been pushing themselves as an entertainment brand for 10 years at least.
    If I was WWE I would ask them to remove little news article as if its going to help them get coverage they couldnt get on their own.
    WWE has positioned themselves in a certain brand which reverts back to Entertainment more than anything.
    People who remember Wrasslin’ in Armories and gyms back in the 70s don’t fully understand this concept. This is one of the primary reasons WWE has destroyed all the old regional promotions and become a global brand.

  19. Man i couldnt have said it better myself. You hit it right on the head. The shame of it all is it only hurts and angers the hard core fans who have made McMahon billions.

  20. This was satire right?
    This wouldn’t really be real could it?
    Not wrestling?
    So now they are the WE?
    And now they have “Mania” every year?
    Though the argument that a lot of the men and women that work for them aren’t wrestlers might actually hold up…

  21. Chuck
    Iread your blog and you are correct,
    if the WWE is not wrestling then what would you call it, the word wrestling is right in their logo. how Stupid can someone be. I don’t care what she wants to call them ( Superstars or Divas ) it still comes down to be just plain old Pro Wrestling plain and simple. Who ever Kellie Baldyga is she really needs to get real. In closing I would never, ever
    have given in and removed the headline.

  22. You forget that once a press release is released anyone is allowed to post it. Once its out of their hands they have no right to say a damned thing about it. All TV Week did was do a news article on it. Rather than be gracious for any kind of publicity, the WWE demands that an entertainment site remove the article. WWE is in need of all the customers it can get, no one cares anymore about scripted fights. I hate to break this to people who are still wrestling fans, but WWE is trying to diversify because it see’s that their downfall is coming & are trying desperately to find anything that will keep them afloat. A lot of businesses are in the same shape and trying to diversify their brands, which is why you see companies like Zippo selling things other than lighters now. WWE will never be taken seriously as an entertainment company as long as they have oiled-up grown men settling their scripted differences in a ring. Mickey Rourke basically lost his Oscar chances for the Wrestler because of his association with the WWE & wanting to perform at Wrestlemania. The majority of society views wrestling as moronic and sorry to say this, but McMahon doesn’t have the intelligence to change perceptions. If he did you would see storylines that were written like popular episodic tv, with the production values to match.

  23. Love the story Chuck. WWE is both a wrestling company and a media company. Bottom line.

  24. Good for Kellie! Wrestling is completely fake and needs to be exposed for the entertainment that it is. This not the true sport of wrestling. It’s buffoonery. And SCRIPTED, I might add!

  25. The moment she said, “No, we don’t do wrestling events,” why didn’t you just hang up the phone? Who is SHE to demand what YOU headline says?
    Next time, just say no, and hang up.

  26. I agree with McMahon – I’ve watched the WWE, and that’s not wrestling anymore. A typical episode of Raw contains about 15-20 minutes of actual wrestling in its two hour show. The remainder of that time is spent talking, which you think would advance the storylines, but the writing is endlessly redundant, featuring the same 4-5 guys wrestling each other every week for years. What it results in is a Pay-Per-View event featuring 5-6 matches that you’ve already seen for free on USA 1,000 times in the last month. Then, in the ultimate “screw you” to paying fans, on the night after the PPV, Raw usually features rematches of all the previous night’s matches, most of which change the result people paid an absurd $54.95 to see.
    In the peak periods in the mid-80’s and late-90’s, it certainly wasn’t high brow theater, but there was at least some consideration for adult viewers. Today’s WWE is just flavorless colored sugar meant to sell purple and orange shirts to toddlers, the only audience still in awe of their weak, stupid, and redundant product.

  27. Nice article, got a good laugh out of how much WWE seems to be in denial over being a “wrestling promotion”. Might as well change the name of that company from WWE to “World Sports Entertainment Federation”.
    On the other hand, I’m not sure if I would do that either, as I haven’t seen anything close to “entertaining” or resembling “wrestling” in WWE in years.

  28. I thought Whoa Nellie originated with Pat Brady, sidekick to Roy Rogers, who shouted the phrase each week to his jeep Nellie Bell. Which came first, Lane or Brady?

  29. Hi Doug. Good question. I know for a fact the Lane was announcing wrestling on KTLA by 1947. I’ve seen some references to his doing it in 1946. “The Roy Rogers Show,” co-starring Pat Brady, which had the jeep “Nellybelle” in it, didn’t appear until 1951. However, I’ve also read that the name of the jeep “apparently developed out of Pat riding an ornery mule in earlier movies, and addressing it with phrases like ‘Whoa, Nelly!’ ” I don’t know the dates of those movies.
    As for the original derivation, I’m not sure of that either. According to the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, second edition, unabridged, it says for “whoa” that its usage of “stop! (used especially to horses)” derives from the time period 1615 to 1625.

    Chuck Ross
  30. First of all, “Richard Perez,” pro wrestling has already been “exposed” to the fans for well over a decade, so you really need to grow up and stop being so adolescently militant about driving that point home. Throwing tantrums like the one you just did in your post here only expose YOU for the uneducated troll that you really are.
    Secondly, you don’t begin sentences with conjunctions like “and,” “or,” or “but” unless otherwise forced to. Doing so is considered poor grammar.
    Third, if you’re such a diehard boxing/MMA fanboy or simply one of the other countless idiots who have to go out of their way to call pro wrestling “fake” as though wrestling fans didn’t already know that it is a work (as I’d explained in my first paragraph to you) or otherwise insult wrestling fans for appreciating the venue for the sport/theatre hybrid that they clearly know it is, then why don’t you just shut your mouth and move on to the next post without making a scene on the World Wide Web?
    Finally, did it ever occur to you to push for pro wrestling to be presented as a real sport as it had been back in the day and then perhaps watch it? Who knows? YOU JUST MIGHT LIKE IT THAT WAY! Say what you will about pro wrestling being “fake” just because of how scripted it is, but pro wrestlers actually work hard–the majority of them, least ways–and put their bodies on the line for the sake of entertaining those people who are willing to pay to watch them work their craft. Try going to a pro wrestling show someday in the near future–even if it’s just a local independent show–stay from the opening match to the main event, and then come back to share your thoughts. Maybe then we all will take you seriously.

  31. “TheMinimumDose”:
    Just because a sport is scripted–or, as you would more likely than not say, “fake”–doesn’t mean it’s not a sport. Yes, pro wrestling involves its fair share of theatrics; we’ve all known that since the late 1990s, possibly even before then (i.e., that one episode of the 1970s cop drama Starsky and Hutch where the boys try to protect a pro wrestler whose life is being threatened by a stalker). However, ask anyone who’s ever set foot in a pro wrestling school–the Steel Domain in Chicago, IL, for instance, or the Hart Family Dungeon in Calgary, Alberta, Canada–or otherwise been trained to wrestle, and he/she will tell you just how brutal training alone can be, much less actually performing a match. It doesn’t matter if the company you’re wrestling for is WWE, TNA, ROH, David McLane’s Women of Wrestling promotion from 2000-2001, or any of the many independent promotions that are out there; putting on a wrestling match requires more skill and athleticism than you, sir, give it credit for. Try watching pro wrestling outside of any garbage federation Johnny Cafarella has ever produced (i.e., CRUSH or Wrestlicious), and you’ll see what I mean.
    PS: It isn’t as if MMA doesn’t has its fair share of promos from fighters building up their bouts on PPV, so don’t even BEGIN going down that road. Mixed martial arts may be a legit sport, but you’d be surprised with how many elements it has borrowed (and still borrows) from pro wrestling. Also, some MMA fights have been fixed in the past (i.e., Coleman vs. Takada, Taktarov vs. Masias, etc; see http://www.mmaforum.com/general-mma-discussion/82208-fixed-mma-fights.html for more details.), so insulting pro wrestling “fake” is just moot and therefore a waste of time–not to mention redundantly and grossly cliche at this point.

  32. Pete:
    Not all wrestling involves “oiled-up grown men settling their scripted differences in a ring.” There are actually wrestling venues that take wrestling more seriously than WWE does and treat it more like a legitimate sport, and they have become quite popular and respected among diehard wrestling fans (e.g., Ring of Honor, SHIMMER, and EVOLVE). I’m willing to bet, too, that if WWE presented its product more realistically than it does now, what with all the cars being driven out to the ring, leprechauns running around, in-ring segments where furniture and other fixtures are brought out to the ring as if it were little more than a stage for a high school drama club production, and the rest of the cartoony nonsense that goes on, more people would be tuning in to WWE programming and to televised pro wrestling in general, and the sport would be taken more seriously by many of the people who frown upon it nowadays. Unfortunately, with Vince McMahon being so set in his ways and with such garbage as Wrestlicious somehow making its ways onto the airwaves despite its blatant smuttiness, such an occurrence might not happen for quite some time, if at all.
    Being the world’s most well-known and thoroughly established venue in its [primary] industry, WWE has a responsibility to take itself seriously and present itself as such. Unfortunately, they have chosen not to, and unless a product that DOES treat itself seriously rises to power and becomes a serious threat to the way good ol’ VinnyMac does business, WWE will stay the way it has for a good, long while, much to the chagrin of many a wrestling fan worldwide.

  33. Ditto.

  34. Double ditto on that.

  35. Another theory is that Smiley Burnette, sidekick to Gene Autry, first used “Whoa Nelly” in the late 1930s — which predates Dick Lane and possibly influenced his use of the phrase. Roy Rogers and Pat Brady replaced Autry and Burnette as singing-cowboy/sidekick in the 1940s. But I could not find proof of this theory.

  36. That’s pretty dumb on the part of the WWE. Who knows… a few years from now this could be studied in business schools the same way “New Coke” is.

  37. Hilarious! As a publicist, I know Kellie hated making that call as someone she reports to ran around with their hair on fire screaming “We are not Wrestling! Why do they keep saying we are Wrestlers???..make them stop!”
    Kellie, you made my day easier, I just have to keep getting diamonds for other people but no denying what and who they are!
    Wink, Wink!

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  39. WWE is just being ignorant. Yeah, I read that article. Ya know, Everyone on the Air or Stage could say, “I’m in Entertainment.”….but they don’t because it is vague and meaningless…
    “Oh yeah? So, now WWE is not Wrestling- but Just Entertainment? Well, what Kind of entertainment, Vince?”…
    -“You know, its Entertainment Entertainment. We host Entertainments and Entertain people with shoddy verbatim dialogue and some Entertainment in an Entertaining Ring, with Entertainment Announcers. I think that it is all quite entertaining, quite frankly.”…
    “Vince- What in the Blue Hell did you just babble about?”

  40. you are confusing the term sport with athletic. Nobody denies that that professional wrestletainment is an athletic endeavor requiring some specialized skills – but it is little more than live stunt work. Sport it is not: “A sport is an organized, competitive, entertaining, and skillful activity requiring commitment, strategy, and fair play, in which a winner can be defined by objective means” – note the definition.

  41. If the ‘Superstars’ were called wrestlers, the company would be subject to more regulation than it wants (for good reason)

  42. I read that Vince McMoron bought a fake college degree (which makes sense since he grew up in special ed). His lack of brain power is why he has succeeded in destroying wrestling. He has turned it into a silly illogical unrealistic cartoonish fairy tale. It’s no longer wrestling just like Mr McMoron is no longer functioning like a normal person. Perhaps it’s a reflection of his distorted view of life.

  43. Sorry to arrive late to the party, everyone, but this one guy just rubbed me the wrong way in saying what he said here.
    @Gob: First of all, Mr. Elitist, it’s called professional WRESTLING, not “professional wrestletainment.” Show a little respect to this craft that you so arrogantly refer to as “live stunt work” by calling it by its real name and not by some cutesy little title that you happened to pull out of your derriere.
    Secondly, telling someone to “note the definition” of something only makes you come off like the conceited cretin you apparently are. Unless you revel in insulting the intelligence of other people and having the world know you’re a pompous little know-it-all who can’t just shut up and let others be, then either be wiser in responding to others’ posts on the Internet, or don’t bother posting ever again.

  44. I can’t help but agree, Sindey. Worse yet, because of that (and because of other, tackier, more braindead wrestling federations on the market like “hip hop”-oriented UWF and that somehow beloved smutfest of Johnny Cafarella’s known as WRETCHalicious), people who aren’t fans of pro wrestling continue to refuse to see any value in it and instead regard it as a “redneck ballet” for “toothless, skoal-chewing hillbillies” that features “juiced-up actors pretending to slap each other” when in fact, back in the day, everyone of every demographic could enjoy it. It’s a crying shame, really.
    BTW, on a semi-related note, everyone like BigEthan from urbandictionary.com who comes onto the Internet to bash pro wrestling is a mindless (and, oftentimes, illiterate) joker who has nothing else better to do than put on an air of pathetically bogus machismo and try to make fans of the craft feel like idiots for actually finding some value in something that he himself (or sometimes she herself) finds to be “fake” and “gay” just because it’s a sports-theater hybrid. Seriously, anyone who has this mentality is every bit an embarrassment to humanity as any so-called “wrestling fan” who thinks women “suck” at wrestling and that women’s wrestling is a “joke” and as such think good old “Johnny C’s” Wrestlicious is the greatest thing to happen to the industry since the original GLOW. In my not-so-humble opinion, both parties need to shut their fat, ignorant mouths and keep their biased, clueless opinions to themselves, as nobody from either of these two groups knows what he/she is talking about.

  45. I know I, too, am late with this, but…
    @Gob: Wow! Nitpicking over minor things that inflict only bare minimum–if, in fact, ANY–damage in credibility to the argument otherwise being made…yeah, that’s not petty at all (SARCASM).
    Seriously, though, who the hell cares? I’m actually more offended by your need to use such a cutesy, derogatory term as “professional wrestletainment” to refer to pro wrestling. Even if pro wrestling is, as you insist on also calling it, “live stunt work,” that doesn’t change the fact that wrestling can still be incredibly dangerous. Just ask Darren Drozdov, who was paralyzed after taking a botched running powerbomb from D’Lo Brown back in 1999 during a Smackdown! taping, or any wrestler who retired in no small part because of a neck injury that he/she endured during his/her wrestling career, such as Stone Cold Steve Austin or, more recently, Adam “Edge” Copeland. There guys and gals put their bodies through hell for the sole sake of putting on a show for their fans, and if you can’t respect that, then shut your mouth and move on to the next post to troll.
    Seriously, though, my friend, get up off your high horse and get over yourself.

  46. To quote one Ms. Sara Dizzle in reponse to Ryan Dilberts’s article bleacherreport.com article from September 6 of this year entitled “Beth Phoenix Is Not Enough: What the WWE Must Do to Save Women’s Wrestling”:
    “Well said sir. Let athletes be athletes and simple bouncy titties be just that. It’s a sport… theatrical, yes, but a sport indeed.”
    ‘Nuff said. Feel free to read the article itself, though.

  47. Agreed! This “Richard Perez” douchebag you’re referring to is a joke for saying what he said. Probably some bitter-@$$ baby who’s still mad at good ol’ Vinny Mac for running his beloved WCW out of business. What a loser…

  48. Drew Carey Inducted Into Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame. Huh? Drew Carey??!! Really, since when?

  49. Thanks for sharing that inside story about how WWE positions itself. More importantly, thanks for the memory of Dick Lane and his “Whoooa Nellie!” catch phrase.

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