Mailbag: Rock vs. Cena, Pirating UFC, Wrestlers health care, Hall of Fame



HALL OF FAME

Dave:

I completely agree with you on WWE being classless by advertising Ric Flair for the HOF this year while under TNA contract. However, 2 years ago, TNA was using the WWE Hall of Fame rings in their story lines (Hogan giving his to Abyss  and Abyss gaining "Hulkamania" type power and also the Ric Flair/Mick Foley storyline involving Flair's ring.)  I just think it would be ridiculous for them to not allow him to go when they have featured the rings in their storylines as a big deal.  That in itself is pretty brutal when you think about it.  Makes them look really second rate when their "rival" company's "awards" represent power.

Just my two cents!
Michael O'Brien (not the promoter)


Why isn't Matysik on the ballot for your Hall of Fame? He's a better announcer than those others, even though he just worked St. Louis and not a territory. And St. Louis was such an important town. He ran Muchnick's office, did promotion and eventually did booking...ran opposition to NWA in St. Louis and was key figure in McMahon getting St. Louis for his first TV..then worked for McMahon. How many worked for both Sam and Vince? He did independent shows forever, then produced the classic St. Louis dvds and wrote four books (that record book is excellent too) and supposed to have another due soon. He's doing some little cable show now that is fine considering the talent. Outside of Ross, what other announcers did that much?

Chris Charboneau


DM: More an oversight, Matysik in the 70s and early 80s was always considered one of the best announcers of the time with Solie and Lance Russell.


NCAA TOURNAMENT

It's not like Cael Sanderson needs to add to his legacy or anything, but if the scales begin to tipped to the east coast and the Big 12 schools start consistently losing notable recruits, I would think that could be pretty huge down the line. And, for my own selfishness, I hope it happens just because at least it could be another shot in front of bigger populations and more media - by inadvertently latching itself onto the UFC.

Wonder if it's even feasible that he gets near-skunked last year individually, despite looking like they have another team title.

Watching Ed Ruth was like watching Bubba Jenkins last year. You just look at him and know if he can develop the skills to compete, he's got everything else that's so easy to mold to become a star in MMA. Mentality, intensity, charisma, having a rap, etc. It's so frustrating year after year how the NCAA, USA Wrestling, etc. just is content with never changing its ways, because this weekend should be HYOOGE for them. I mean, just the fact that Blair Academy is more known for basketball than wrestling is sheer insanity.

I'm looking forward to Flores-Rey in MMA one day too. Great storyline. They're 3-3 vs. each other in college, with Flores 3 wins being in the EIWA's and Rey in the NCAA's, but Rey beat him 3 times in 2010, but people like Flores more because he just kills guys... you know what I mean. BOOK IT.

UFC, Fox Sports and Big 10 Network synergy could be big boost for the amateurs - especially in an Olympic year. Not sure how ESPN's deal is structured with the NCAA, but if wrestling isn't locked in as a package with other non-major sport championships, that group taking hold could mean good stuff - IF they can somehow get the old guard mentality to step into the new century, which I believe they can easily do if Zuffa and graduated fighters can get on board.

Everyone usually knows who should not go pro and stay for the Olympics/opens, and if everyone could slightly get along, everyone could benefit. Visibility is given to a guy on his way for Olympic gold (which the sport needs), guys going into MMA can increase what they're worth through more hype (yeah, I know we likely won't have a Sugar Ray Leonard, but why aim low and settle, right?) and the occasional gym war could pop up for someone's services whose potential is incredible. Bells, whistles, personality pieces and more hype for the NCAA's which already has a kick-ass atmosphere filled unique personalities and stories - except nobody knows it. And being incredibly forward thinking, MMA as an Olympic sport proponents would obviously swoop on the opportunity to get a little more support for their cause.

Thanks,
Mike Sempervive


UFC SUING ILLEGAL STREAMERS

UFC's decision to go after consumers who are illegally streaming pay per views is a very risky move. As someone who has never streamed a ppv event, I don't have any interest in this, but given the prior history of such actions, UFC are treading on dangerous waters.

In the UK not too long ago, Internet service providers sent letters to some customers, warning them to stop illegally downloading content. The letters named copyrighted works that they were accused of downloading. Problem was, a lot of those folks had not even heard of the stuff they were accused of pirating!

Another legal company, called ACS Law, tried a similar thing, aimed at people who they claimed were pirating pornography. Their letters asked for payment, or face court action. Some paid, to avoid embarrassment. A few took the case to court, and won, largely due to unreliable evidence and the behaviour of the legal firm involved.

Especially in a litigious country like the USA, UFC needs to be really sure that every person, every email, every IP address they have logged as having pirated their shows is correct. All it takes is one slip and Zuffa especially will likely face a legal and public relations nightmare of their own doing.

Piracy is something that needs action taking on, but going after those who consume is like avoiding the drug dealers and going after the users. Yes, they're the problem too, but surely going after the streaming sites would be a better use of time.  At least that way, there's little chance of alienating fans who may/could/have spent money on the product.

Name withheld by request


ROCK VS. CENA

It's obvious based on the build that they are positioning Cena in a must-win situation for WrestleMania, so the only two paths that make for a compelling future is to either have Cena turn heel (which I don't see as an option given the loyal demographic he caters to, and the WWE's lack of talent depth), or, what I feel is the most likely scenario, which is that in their WrestleMania match, Cena has Rock set for his finisher, and either just after executing the Attitude Adjustment or as he has Rock in position, someone jumps onto the ring apron to distract Cena, and a second individual attacks Cena from behind with a chair, allowing Rock to recover, hit the Rock Bottom, and win.

The two who interfere in the match are Hollywood stars, positioning Rock for a full fledged heel turn where he can portray the egomaniac movie star that Cena had been accusing him of being throughout this past year, who took the shortcut to grab a victory away from Cena at the biggest match of his career, only to walk away again to pursue his Hollywood pursuits. This establishes a SummerSlam rematch that will have even more anticipation than this initial confrontation, since Cena will have revenge heat on his side, and Rock will be able to cut promos insulting the fans leading up to the rematch, portraying himself as having outgrown the limits placed upon him by the WWE, just as Cena accused him of. Since SummerSlam is in LA, they can build upon Rock being in his true hometown, Hollywood, and Cena moving into enemy territory with his back truly against the wall.

The heat on Rock would be compounded when he again leaves after WrestleMania (this time bragging as he does so), and they could even have certain performers like Jericho (who are part time WWE talents) "filling in" for Rock while he is gone, defending Rock's decision to pursue other career endeavors, with these advocates of Rock claiming that they, like Rock, also have the talent to seek such ventures, while WWE performers like Cena are jealous of their success.

The Rock heel turn would be the only way of truly garnering serious interest in a rematch while allowing Rock to freely play a character that he now has to shy away from as a face. In fact, what is missing from this particular build to WrestleMania is Rock not being able to address the Hollywood situation with any level of honesty given that the fans would react negatively to any mention of his movie career, but after turning heel, he can become the man who transcended WWE, and lay claim to having done so in a way that will garner a significant amount of heat.

Keep up the excellent work guys!

Francesco Castano


HEALTH CARE

The latest Observer newsletter of March 12th, 2012  on page 16 has a short write up about the contract of  Paul Levesque  (HHH)  and the WWE.  In the course of reading this segment we find that the contracts signed by WWE performers includes a provision that the performer both have and show proof of medical insurance coverage as a condition of employment.  Since we do not have the actual contracts available, we can go by what the Observer has reported.

This leads to an interesting question of how is Paul Levesque covered compared to the person or persons in the ring when he performs.  Is Levesque  covered by an employee based family  WWE  sponsored plan his   wife and children enjoy for any and all medical issues when he performs in April or is he in the same league as perhaps the rest of the card in having to find and pay 100% of his premiums? Thus two performer can have the same injuries and have completely different coverage, benefits, co payments and future care .

Linda McMahon wishes to overturn recent health care reform laws. The Linda McMahon 2012 web site for her US Senate campaign has barely anything  of substance about health care.

"I will work to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a market-based proposal that reduces costs to individuals and increases competition, allowing consumers more freedom to choose their health care. First and foremost, we should allow small businesses and organizations to “pool risk” to offer insurance to their employees at lower costs. Second, we should to allow companies to sell health insurance across state lines. Third, we must help bring down medical costs by working to eliminate frivolous lawsuits".

The GOP candidates are in agreement that eliminating the "individual mandate" for Americans to purchase their health insurance is part of what they despise about "Obamacare". Yet the origins of the Individual Mandate was an idea first promoted by very conservative think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation. Mitt Romney had the individual mandate part of his health care reform for the state of Massachusetts as a conservative principal to prevent people from "gaming the system" and being a freeloader of only getting health insurance when they were sick or needed care.

Newt Gingrich also was a regular supporter before he ran for president of the individual mandate through his own health reform org called the Center for Health Transformation. My efforts in promoting health care reform used a lot of material from both Romney and Newt in my lobbying efforts.

Now we see that Linda McMahon will oppose and individual mandate for health care reform while the WWE demands this from their performers as a condition of employment.  What else does Linda McMahon wish to be overturned and eliminated?

Most of the new WWE developmental talent is very young.  Many of those potential stars can remain covered by their parents policies till the age of 26, saving the WWE a lot of money.  Does WWE developmental talent and their families become covered by the WWE group coverage upon employment?

Linda McMahon also wants to pool coverage for businesses to lower premiums for group coverage.  Wouldn't WWE performers  have access to group rates if they were employees instead of independent contractors?

After performing for the WWE, what percentage of talent can honestly say that they have zero injuries?  The WWE pays for certain injuries according to the Observer article.  If Linda McMahon was able to repeal all of the Health Care Reform Act, this would allow every single insurance company to deny coverage for every single WWE performer who  was ever  injured or had medical attention in their tenure with the company.

Does Linda McMahon wish to eliminate this part of health care reform which will benefit WWE performers after they leave or are "future endeavored"?

The WWE should be commended for their restrictions on blading,  chair head shots and substance abuse assistance.   Does Linda McMahon prefer deregulation of small business so that smaller promotions can run a business where we the taxpayers have to pick up the tab for the blading, head shots and substance abuse?

Linda McMahon's health care proposals as a candidate for the US senate  have less substance than most TNA television shows.  Let us take a look at what Linda McMahon wishes to eliminate.

- Over 42,000 CT seniors have had their drug costs lowered by eliminating the "donut hole" in their coverage.

-180,000 CT residents can not have their coverage rescinded because of a mistake on their applications.

- Over 580,000 CT Medicare beneficiaries now receive certain preventive services – like mammograms and colonoscopies – as well as an annual wellness visit with their doctor without paying coinsurance or deductibles.

-192,000 Ct children can get coverage and not be denied for pre existing conditions.

I seriously doubt that Linda McMahon will seek to lower the quality of  health care coverage for herself and her family to the level of  basically worthless plans sold by insurers in a few states before reform.  Her web page paragraph about health care in Linda2012 is about what your families health coverage will be I imagine.

Paul Kacprzak

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