All This Nothing – Is It Something?

Scott Hudson

Man, the wrestling news is flooding in like RSVPâ<80><99>s for the Bobby Lashley Training School.

In other words….oh, Iâ<80><99>m sure you understand.

But I wonder. Is all of this nothing really something ?

A year ago we were still caught in the grips of post-Benoit-mania and all its ancillary media hoopla. We were awaiting the in-ring debut of the once and future Pacman Jones. The WWE decided (quite unrelated to the Benoit tragedy, Iâ<80><99>m sure) to suspend 15 wrestlers for *ahem* wellness policy violations.

But as we start preparing for the end of the year nostalgia columns, it has become readily apparent that, how do I say this tactfully – nothing is going on. Wrestlers have stopped dying pretty much. Even the old-timers are hanging on in pretty good shape (Rest in peace, Killer.) The suspensions have stopped for a while. No scandals have erupted (as of Thursday October 2, 2008 at 3:30pm)

I mean seriously. Jeff Hardy ties one on at the Nashville airport and is politely escorted off of an airplane. Jake Roberts gets loaded up on…something….and embarrasses himself in front of a small crowd. (What the hell? â<80><9c>Heroes of Wrestlingâ<80> was in 1999!) â<80><9c>Hurricaneâ<80> Helms is back! Stop the presses!!

But, no news is not necessarily good news.

Interest in the overall wrestling industry seems to be shuffling off its mortal coil at the same rate as interesting news is being generated. In other words, no news is…..yawn……not good for business.

It goes without saying that I am not advocating any wrestler do anything stupid just to get wrestling back in the headlines (Iâ<80><99>m looking your way, Disco.) But, absent some damn fool making a damn fool of him or herself in public (if you will), what event can kick start the wrestling news business? I do not doubt that, in a world where Brooke Hogan is allowed to roam the streets unfettered, gossipy tidbits will still pop up on the wrestling news horizon. My question is this: is the lack of buzz hurting wrestling?

No longer is a divaâ<80><99>s Playboy spread (*ahem*) newsworthy. Celebrities no longer mean anything when attached to a wrestling storyline (Kevin Federline? Anyone?). The scandalous underbelly of the sport has not reared its ugly head in quite some time. (Note to self: Scandalous Underbelly would be a terrific name for a TNA Knockout faction. For what thatâ<80><99>s worth, I still enjoy The Personal Demonâ<80> Jeff Hardy.â<80>) All of this nothing may equal something.

If people are not talking about wrestling around the water cooler on Tuesday or Friday mornings, the casual fan is tuning out the show. If the casual fan tunes out the show, ratings go down. If ratings go down, promoters do incredibly odd things to jack up interest (million dollar giveaways and Pacman Jones come to mind). If incredibly odd things are thrown in, the casual fan stops watching as they grumble â<80><9c>bull$h1tâ<80> and turn to CSI: La Jolla. If casual fans turn away, no one talks about wrestling at the water cooler.


Book something that gets people talking. Book something that gets you on â<80><9c>The Insiderâ<80> or a recurring update on the front page of TMZ. Jesus, the Hogan family (who are only tangentially connected to wrestling anyway) get more mainstream publicity than WWE and TNA. Granted, they deserve it, but still! The public has voted and the appearance of other professional athletes just does not work (unless itâ<80><99>s a Mike Tyson or Buster Douglas from 18 years ago or Floyd Mayweather from this past spring). Do not bring me Kyle Vanden Bosch and tell me to watch to your show. With all due respect to TNA and Mr. Vanden Bosch – WHO?! Bring me Britney Spears (who would, actually, probably do it). Bring me Shia Labeouf directing monkeys to attack Triple H. Bring me Helio Castroneves vs. Irwin R. Shyster.

Otherwise, the Shawn Stasiak blogspot radio show will continue to get more coverage than it reasonably has a right to expect (which is none).

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