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Ask WNW: Union, Cena/WWE vs. CNN, WWE At MSG, Snitsky

Written by Richard Gray on Nov 13, 2007 - 11:39:44 AM

I've brought this up in the forums before and I was wondering your thoughts on unionizing professional wrestling. I think a lot of the reason that so much attention is being paid to professional wrestling on the subject of steroids and their drug policies is because, first off the Benoit tragedy of course, but secondly because investigations into Major League Baseball have turned up nothing, which I think is largely because of their players union. So what is stopping professional wrestling from organizing a union to save them from some of the negative press surrounding them right now?

Promoters such as Vince McMahon have always hated the idea of a wrestling union, even firing wrestlers for even thinking of organizing one. A union would allow wrestlers to have group insurance, benefits, and grievance options, however, this would also mean wrestling companies would have to document their salary structure (something that would be very hard to do). I’m not an expert on the formation of unions or know what exactly all of the pros and cons of one are, so I am not going to make a judgment either way. I understand arguments from both sides. It would be hard for an organization such as WWE to document their salary structure as a developmental talent or jobber is obviously going to be paid much lower than a main event wrestler and it would be an impossible formula to compute. WWE argues that they pay talent enough in their downside guarantee to buy health insurance but could you imagine what the premium would be? Go to an insurance agent and say, I jump off of ladders, get hit in the head with chairs, cut myself in the forehead, and do extremely high risk wrestling maneuvers for a living. Can I get some health insurance? WWE is not completely heartless as they do try to help out their performers past and present as they will pay for a past performer’s drug rehab or front money for surgeries for current talent. Hopefully I answered your question, although I didn’t give much regarding my opinion of a pro wrestling union.

My question is a two part question. First, what if any legal actions are available for WWE or John Cena regarding the editing of Cena's comments? And secondly, if they have a legitimate case with this situation do you think they will pursue it?

I’m not sure what WWE could do against CNN but I would say that John Cena has a case for defamation of character. They took comments that were out of context to make him look bad. I doubt anything will happen as it would probably be a much bigger hassle than it’s worth after legal fees. Cena doesn’t need the money and the only thing he would be proving is that CNN is corrupt and wrong but that’s already been exposed. The only legal action that I could have seen WWE taking is trying to block the documentary from airing had it not been changed, but now that they have edited the comments there shouldn’t be a problem. I will add that I felt like the piece was complete garbage and totally inaccurate (as did most of the people that voted in our WNW poll).

Great job with the site! Keep up the good work! As a New Yorker, I was wondering when the next WWE event will be held in Madison Square Garden?

Thanks for the compliment, it is very much appreciated! WWE Royal Rumble 2008 takes place live from Madison Square Garden in New York City on January 27, 2007. Tickets are not yet on sale for the event and most likely will not go on sale until next month. WWE is in no rush to put Rumble tickets on sale because they always sell out the Garden quick and they wanted to place their number one focus on selling out WrestleMania.

I'm a huge fan of monster heels and really enjoy watching Snitsky. Why do you think he is having so much difficulty getting over with the majority of fans?

I like Snitsky better too but I think the biggest thing keeping him from getting over is all of the goofy storylines that WWE booked him in the past. Remember the weird angle he did with Goldust a couple of years ago? Snitsky is one of those guys that was not utilized properly in the beginning and unfortunately that will probably follow him around for the rest of his career. It is extremely hard to repackage someone after the fans already have a perception of that person unless WWE makes some drastic changes to his look. However, it is not impossible as WWE turned things around for Jamal, I mean Umaga.

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