Feature: Steve Anderson on the WWE IC DVD Acronym Hubbub


Was it me? Did I start the hubbub, bub?

Yesterday, I opined on the error made on the WWE History of the Intercontinental Championship DVD packaging. In the insert, former Intercontinental champion Buddy Roberts was featured prominently in the collage of ex-title holders. Problem: he never was IC champ.

Later in the day, WWE.com posted an article on the snafu. It started with the famed quote, “To err is human. To forgive, divine.” The piece was lighthearted with quotes from a flattered Roberts and an amused Patterson.

Trust me. I think that the error was spotted long ago and the timing of the article is coincidental. Waitâ<80>¦maybe I now have a scoop. A “The WZ exclusive!”

Oh, joy.

Yes, I wrote a blistering critique of the flub yesterday. Perhaps I was a little harsh. I mean accidents happen, right?

But I still wonder how the hell Buddy Roberts is Pat Patterson’s doppelganger. They have one thing in common. Blonde hair. That’s where it ends. They look nothing alike. And Buddy Roberts spent a few days in the WWF. Patterson? Years. Decades. And he was the FIRST IC CHAMP. You think out of all the former champions, they would at least get that one right.

I guess in and of itself, the Buddy Roberts/Pat Patterson switch is minor. The upside is that it created a variant/out-of-print DVD for the geeks (such as me) who love to own items rife with an error that is pulled from the shelves or immediately revised in a second printing. It will be up on eBay soon and collectors will pay a mint for it.

But it is representative of the bigger picture in WWE. They hire sitcom writers to pen the scripts for shows. Books are written by authors who created tomes on rock stars and other entertainers. At least Joey Styles runs the website. But does knowledge of the business and its history not a qualification to work for WWE?

I’ll go out on a limb. The individual who created the insert for the DVD set is not a wrestling fan, nor does he or she have any sense of the business. Even if you went into a job without knowing about the industry, you think you would educate yourself. Immerse yourself in the product. Or maybe watch an IC match or two to figure out the difference between Roberts and Patterson.

This is where we are today. WWE is showing more and more signs — both large and small — that they are now an entertainment company. Gone is the parlance that includes pro wrestling, wrestlers, and even sports entertainers. The term “superstars” is passé as the men and women you see in the ring are now entertainers.

This is a new era and not a good one at all. In many ways, this could be the boost that TNA needs. The distinction they have been trying to find. Hardcore and casual wrestling fans know what they want. They want wrestling. Entertainment can be found anywhere, but wrestling is something different. Gravitating to Spike TV on Thursday nights and selecting a TNA PPV to buy may come very natural.

Meanwhile, I’ll be holding on to my first printing of the WWE History of the Intercontinental Championship.

Oh, joy.

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