Kids and Wrestling

Kevin Kelly

So, the WWE is targeting children, eh? In other great news, cult leaders unite to say polygamy prevents cavities and the White House says the surge in Iraq is working. To say Iâ<80><99>m skepticalâ<80>¦well, maybe a little.

Seems a new marketing initiative inside the Walls of Titan is aimed at gaining the eyes and allowances of the 6-10 year old set. Theyâ<80><99>re going to create a new WWE Kids Magazine and find other ways to go after the kids in your neighborhood elementary school. I wonder how many of the zillions of executives they have now in the WWE used to work for â<80><9c>Big Tobaccoâ<80>. Why not unite the two and have John Cena ride to the ring on top of Joe Camel?

As bizarre as the concept of wrestling targeting kids, itâ<80><99>s been tried before. After the New Generation nearly bankrupted the company and then turned into the Attitude Era, the company tried to go back and target kids again. It was a laughable disaster. To anyone inside the Walls of Titan reading this, go to someone whoâ<80><99>s been with the company more that ten years and ask if they remember â<80><9c>Krozorâ<80>? Letâ<80><99>s take you back to early 1997 and the Company Meeting held at a non-distinguished hotel in downtown Stamford, which is the worst town I have ever been in.

Jim Cornette and I sat in the back of the room as some old guy, who was an outsider hired for large coin, got up and began a video presentation. The audio on the tape was unmistakable. It was the theme from â<80><9c>2001-A Space Odysseyâ<80>. Yes, Ric Flairâ<80><99>s theme! And right as WCW was stomping us in the ratings! So, of course, Corney and me both let out a â<80><9c>Whoooo!â<80> at the right point of the song. 400 people in a room and two assholes gotta ruin it! Goddamn that was funny!

Jimmy and I are practically pissing our pants we are laughing so hard as the preview of â<80><9c>Krozorâ<80> rolls along. Apparently the Undertaker is going to be in space and fight monsters or some nonsense in this comic book. There was more but itâ<80><99>s hard to focus on the screen when you are crying from laughter. The preview endsâ<80>¦ stunned silence followed by polite applause. It was awkward, like if your babysitter asked you and your wife to review her newest porn movie. You feel obligated to like it but it was wrong on so many levels.

Needless to say, â<80><9c>Krozorâ<80> only lasted one preview issue in the WWF Magazine and soon, Vince Russo got his clutches on creative and that was that for targeting kids. Now, what the WWE got was the most lucrative period in industry history so what they wasted on the vomit-inducing space comic wasnâ<80><99>t missed. And we still had our fair share of â<80><9c>younginâ<80><99>sâ<80> at showsâ<80>¦ most with their little middle fingers in the air, mouthing swear words they hear from Momma and Daddy.

So, will this latest marketing initiative last or be productive? No and no but at least polygamists and George W. Bush wonâ<80><99>t be the only ones wrong.

Should kids be targeted by the WWE? Should the WWE adjust their target marketing to an older group? And what kind of slogan can they use for this child-friendly campaign? I suggest “WWE–We’re more than just steroids and silicone!” I bet you have better suggestions than that. Let’s hear them in the forum.

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