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The Ivy League

November 4, 2009
Ivy McGinnis

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I love the Internet Wrestling Community. I love the way fans from all over the world can commiserate on every wrestling promotion out there, discuss the storylines and the athletes, comings and goings, surprises and swerves, hits and misses, and the whole she-bang. Well, to be more specific, I love the idea of the Internet Wrestling Community. I love what it was supposed to be. Message boards and email chains and points and counterpoints. I love discussion when it happens, and I love speculation even more.

What I don't love, is when fans decide to relabel themselves as 'experts.'

Again, the idea of an expert is not what makes me weep, it's the execution. Here's a test for anyone who's reading this column - go out there and read ten columns at random. Any ten will do. Now, come back and tell me, how many of them were critical of the product they were supposedly a fan of? Criticism is good when constructive, but how much of what you just read had any more depth or thought to it than a constant stream of This sucks, THIS sucks, and THIS sucks? I wouldn't mind this so much - criticism, constructive or otherwise, is the only way things can ever improve - but the heat is typically on one specific segment of a story without looking at the big picture. I suppose I've got an advantage when it comes to that, but I'm not trying to be entertained by the show, so I don't count in that respect.

Somewhere along the way, wrestling fans who took themselves too seriously decided that they could not be positive about the sport anymore. Those of them with good things to say were labeled 'Mark,' while those who had nothing but criticism got to be called an 'expert.' It's not a matter of poor matches or poorly executed storylines anymore, it's a matter of note amongst the sheep that the most negative get to rise above and call themselves shepherds, and lead the way with the sheep hanging on every word.

To wit, the most recent foray into professional wrestling journalism is a woman named Towanda Hotchkins, who was good enough to actually break down the past two weeks' of reAction, piece by piece. To her credit, she's appeared to give actual thought to her comments. I get it, Avenger - you like some things and you don't like some things. Then you took shots at myself, at Phil Haggan, and at William Beaven. So, before I get to the point, let me ask you one simple question: What would you do differently?

My job is not to run the show, Towanda, despite what you seem to think. My job is not to hold everyone's hand and tell them how they're uniquely special balls of specialness. My job is to be the liason between the front office and the locker room, to ensure the health and safety of the roster as a whole, and to act as a road agent when needed.

William Beaven is in charge, not me.

The Beav has been busy with Krow in the past few months, in a pointless vendetta that makes Krow look like a bully who can't handle anyone on the active roster without help, and makes Beaven look like a doddering old fool who doesn't realize that Krow's contract isn't ironclad: he can just fire him. But once he's been beat up the first time, the ego kicks in, and the boss just wants to be over once more.

What I've been doing in the interim, Towanda, is plugging up the leaks. Why haven't I taken on more responsibility? Why haven't I seized power? I don't want it. I have enough gray hair from just being on the road for the past fifteen years, I don't want to be responsible for making sure everyone gets paid. I don't want to have to listen to Vince Jacobs complain - again - when we tell him no, he's not getting the World Title at the next pay per view.

Ask Eddie Olmstead what happens when you take the reins of a wrestling promotion when the bosses go AWOL, pour your heart and soul into it, and then watch everything you worked for get pissed away when the actual owners come back.

To answer your question, Towanda - I threatened to bench callie because she was injured, and I'd rather her take one to two weeks easy - or even off - to heal up so she doesn't exacerbate the situation. I didn't do the same to Vince because any time he's not wrestling, any time he's not politicking to win the World Title regardless of any kind of lack of buildup, coherent story, or anything pointing to his even deserving a shot, he's complaining about it in the locker rooms, on his website, or to the dirt sheets. Or he's interfering in matches he has no business interfering in.

Why don't we fire him? He's got an iron clad contract; I've been through it with the most savage legal minds I know, including the late great Craig Miles, and there's no loophole. Vince gets his guarantee and gets to show up at every booked show, so I'm going to use him where I can.

To answer your question, Towanda - Renshaw and Grunge got a title shot because they asked for one. I assume, at least - I can't understand a word Renshaw says. Maybe one of the other agents can? However, when I checked the board with three hours to go until showtime, the match was already booked. Why would I cancel the match, Towanda? Who am I to cancel the match? I am of the school of thought that champions should defend titles as often as possible, and that anyone should get a shot at any time. For that matter, if Renshaw and Grunge had the stones to beat the Entourage, wouldn't they deserve the belts?

Personally I never thought the titles were in jeopardy for Spike and Callie, but stranger things have happened.

On the subject of the Tag Team Championship, do the Legion of Dairy and Vox Nihili have rematches coming? Well, wasn't Legends technically Vox Nihili's rematch against the Legion of Dairy? Does the Legion get unlimited return matches?

More specifically, Towanda - neither cHEESE, egg NOG, YoGuRt, Alias, or Astropop have asked for a return match. They don't ask, I'm not going to assume they want one. Renshaw and Grunge asked for a tag team title match, so they got it. Don't fall into that tired old cliche of the bitter smark who hates the municipality because it's holding down the most talented wrestler that ever existed (who just so happens to be the smark's favorite). It is not the responsibility of the office to make wrestlers.

To answer your question, Towanda - Mary Lynn Mayweather is a licensed attorney and is paid by the FWO to be both a wrestler and a licensed attorney. I never saw any of One Eye's reinstatement paperwork, because it didn't come to me. It went to Beav's office, and filtered to legal because that's where the legal documents go. Talking about things you don't understand is fun, isn't it?

I've been doing this for literally two months shy of fifteen years now, Towanda. I've dealt with people who make the generic Mafia you called by name look like the Land of Make Believe. I've fought for respect in the locker room despite the efforts of women like the CSWA's Teri Melton who earned everything she has on her back, and I've fought for the truly talented in the locker room on an individual basis as their manager. I've been publicly criticized for not knowing how to work, for not knowing how to manage, for not knowing how to play the game to get what I want. Look around, Towanda - I have outlasted all of my peers and contemporaries, and I did it on my own terms.

Why do you get personal attention, out of everyone else who's been critical of the show?

And Ivy? Where are you? You at least have half a brain to try and run things while Beaven's bent over. Oh wait, you're too busy shoving your work on Mary Lynn and kissing your own ass.

Because you made it personal.

Years ago, Avenger, there was a wrestling promotion called the CSWA. It was a monolith of sports entertainment, with the emphasis on sports. Back when the words Unified Champion actually meant something, it was the only wrestling promotion that every Unified Champion had a run with. While it was one of the last promotions to undergo the cultural shift that occurred in the mid 1990s, it never suffered for it, as it never went the cartoonish route that the New York offices did. The ass - kicking, take - no - prisoners, logical and wrestling based angles that ran were some of the strongest in the history of the sport.

Until one night in March, when the Numbers One and Two draw in the company's history swerved another top name in a World Championship match. This would eventually lead, six months later, to the ultimate grudge match. In that space of time, a very vocal group of fans started to speak out against the CSWA itself and how they were a crooked group of owners who were screwing the real biggest star in the company. Never mind that the story itself was a compelling, captivating one - and I speak solely as a fan as this was a good two, three years before Eli Flair was even sniffing around the main event - never mind that buyrates went through the roof because the fans wanted to see what was going to happen next. Never mind the fact that the screwed individual started to believe his own press, and instead of becoming the most over babyface in the company's history with the way he was robbed of the World Title, his only contribution to the history of professional wrestling is a footnote marked with the tit
le The Whiner Who Would Be King.

Never mind the fact that the entire story that the herd of smarks were so gung - ho complaining about came to a head at Fish Fund XI, the biggest event in professional wrestling history, in a way that none of them could've ever seen coming and none of them would've ever imagined could've happened.

The herd complained about the entirety of the story that they knew nothing about, Towanda, and ruined a wrestler's career in the process. The herd was so convinced of their own self - righteousness that they couldn't turn a perceived negative into a positive at the culmination of it all. The herd let a few shepherds with keyboards and opinions polarize them into divided camps who did nothing but watch the show and complain about every aspect instead of watching the show for what it's meant for - entertainment.

You disagree with the direction of the FWO, Towanda, fine. You've got every right. You offer constructive criticism of the show, fine. We love to hear it. You decide out of the blue, that I'm responsible for the content and conduct, solely because I'm the only member of the road crew that appears semi - regularly on camera, we've got a problem.

You decide that you disagree with the story as a whole when you don't know where it's going, don't want to give it a chance but continue to watch because it gives you something to complain about? I can't help you, and quite frankly, don't want to try.

It's easy to play armchair booker, isn't it, Towanda? Critique without creation is the least talented bit of writing since TPS reports.


This is Ivy.