The Book of Legend: Chapter 7

Joe E. Legend


So I read what Glen (Disco) wrote about me and I feel it necessary to respond.

I’ll start off by saying I’m happy he admitted to having ADD, since he seems to only have read the part of my last article which he misconstrued as agreement with ANYTHING he has to say.

He claims I’m “playing the fool” in order to get attention on the wrestlezone forum.

I really believe that “playing the fool” would be to continually try to draw cheap heat from EVERYONE to keep your name in all columns. It’s working (to a degree, since I’m now writing about his column) but I don’t really believe it’s putting you over.

Specifically, you mention that I “now agree with everything you said about Shark Boy”. If you’d bothered to read the rest of the article, you’d see that I think it’s a mistake of an angle. It’s a short term way of getting him some attention that will eventually burn him out as a joke.

People won’t laugh WITH him, they’ll laugh AT him and then they will DISREGARD him as less than worthy of their attention.

Now, I really like Shark Boy and consider him a pal. I’ve toured with him to SEVERAL countries around the world and ALWAYS look forward to hanging with him wherever we wind up. Maybe THAT’S why I’m just happy TNA is getting him on TV, even if it is in a poor light. It’s getting a good reaction now, but I hope they don’t run this thing too long or it will do more damage to him than good.

I know Glen thinks that “if they’re laughing, they’re entertained” so ANY reaction is good. Well, sometimes laughter IS good, but it HAS to lead to something more or the joke wears thin quickly.

In a previous column, he sited the “Rock & Sock Connection” as a money making “ha ha”.

It was actually an angle to take Mick Foley from a homicidal loon and turn him in to a sympathetic character. He would be the dork and make The Rock seem even cooler. Really, the Rock was already the coolest guy in the world and it wasn’t believable that he’d really hang around with Mick, so they came up with the “hero worship” storyline to ensure they’d have time together on screen. I was there during this time and saw MANY fans reacting to Rock in a similar manner (though not QUITE as “geeky”), but it helped people to empathise (and thus, humanize the monster “Mankind”) with Mick and make him seem less threatening.

It was a good way to ensure his “babyface” status.

Rock threw Mick’s book in the garbage and when Mick found it, he cut a vicious promo on Rock, making him feel guilty and having to earn Micks’ trust back. Turning the tables and having the Rock chasing Mick’s approval made Mick “worthy” of the people because he was worthy of the coolest guy in the world… The Rock. When he did, Mick was MADE as a “man of the people” and moved up in the eyes of the general public as a character they could get behind.

The end result wasn’t people laughing AT Mick. Now they were laughing WITH him.

They used laughter as a way to draw people in and let their guards down just long enough to identify with this character but then used sympathy, empathy and drama to reach their goal.

Laughter started the ball rolling, but it had a direction and a purpose larger than “they’re laughing, so it’s done”.

I know you feel obligated to defend TNA at every turn since you ARE drawing a paycheque from them, and I think you really believe what you’re saying, so I wouldn’t call you a hypocrite.

But I don’t agree with MOST of what you write. Nothing personal, just 2 different views on how we believe things SHOULD be done in this business.

It’s no secret that I have a LOT of heat with TNA. I could easily let this cloud my judgment when writing these columns and just spend my time burying their product.

But then I’d sound like EVERYONE else and to be honest, that would be wrong. Just like blindly praising everything they do would be equally wrong since it’s obvious they are NOT winning over enough new fans to improve their ratings. They’re in a holding pattern and need SOMETHING to garner attention from the general public to improve ratings.

Maybe like CONSTANTLY using the competition with a MUCH larger audience to piggyback off of.

Like possibly costing mid-card a guy his job with WWE by pointing him out in the crowd at a TNA show when he’s just visiting friends. If it was Cena or ‘Taker, it’s newsworthy. With this guy, it was just a selfish plug that helped no one and probably hurt this guys career, not to mention his partner who will now probably be jobbed out because “creative has nothing for him as a singles guy”.

Like setting up shop across from WrestleMania giving out TNA merch in a desperate attempt to draw SOME attention TNA’s way. In truth, it IS your target audience, but it simply makes TNA look desperate by running a flea market next to a MONSTER event.

Like taking old WWE gimmicks and putting them on guys who should be a #1 “them” instead of a #2 WWE rip-off. But as I said earlier here and in my previous column, if TNA is SO bereft of original ideas and have found something that might draw a short term interest on talent, run with it.

It just seems to be a band-aid on missing limb. It might stop the bleeding in the short term, but get to the hospital quick or the patient will die.

ON the positive side, you can’t deny TNA has TALENT!!

They have Kurt Angle who I believe is probably the best in-ring performer in the world.

They have Samoa Joe, possibly the best link to bring in indy fans to the TNA brand.

They have the “Motor City Machine Guns” who I believe are THE BEST TAG TEAM IN THE WORLD!!

They have Christian Cage, easily the best mic man in the company and in the top 3 workers in the business.

They have Rhino who is an INCREDIBLE talent and a believable monster who simply DOESN’T have bad matches.

They have AJ Styles who is what the t-shirt says, phenomenal!

I could go on and on and on about the Petey Williams and Christopher Daniels and so forth, but you get the point.

I have heat with TNA, but if they do something right or well, I would be a selfish liar to deny it.

I think the idea of FINALLY pushing Kurt as a bad ass is great. Showing a few training videos of this “once in a lifetime athlete” will do FAR more to gain the respect (and ultimately, dollars) of the general public than ANY psychiatrist sketch he could do with Nash.

I think Rhino getting away from his “recovering alcoholic” angle is a good idea. He’s a MONSTER!! No one believes in a monster who is disciplined enough to go through a 12 step program.

When TNA talents are played to their strengths, they are MONEY!!

Eric Young is comedy, keep him such.

Shark Boy is comedy, keep him such, but let him be himself. It’s a great character on it’s own.

So to summarize my point, Glen, I can’t say I agree with very many (if any) of your points. But if I do, I won’t hide behind a character and play a role to deny it.

It’s called honesty. Look in to it.

“What is possible, has been done. What is impossible has YET to be done”

All the best and God Bless.

Joe E Legend

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