The Mean 6.18.01: Widro


There certainly are and have been many mysterious, enigmatic superstars in the history of professional wrestling: men who the fans have cheered and revered, but never gotten the full story on. Here at the Mean, I always do my best to present the history of the industry’s best and brightest and then look at them from all angles.

In this column, I put under the microscope a man whom I am constantly receiving questions on. He is one of the most talented men in the world of internet wrestling yet so little is really known about the man known only as Widro. This week, I attempt to unravel the mystery

The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle believed that everything in life could be broken down into two extremes: excess and deficiency. He believed that if a person could find the medium or mean between the two extremes in all that they did in life, they would travel down the path to happiness and virtue. With pro wrestling fans, the two extremes are clear: the deficient “mark” enjoys watching wrestling more than anybody but has very little knowledge of anything not on TV, while the excessive “smart” knows every backstage dealing, but as a result can become highly bitter and cynical, losing their ability to enjoy the show. These two extremes view each wrestler differently, often disagreeing with each other. Each week I look at both perspectives and then attempt to find “The Mean” between the two. This week, let’s take a look at Widro

Every day when you look at the internet’s best newsboard here at 411wrestling, you probably notice a variety of names, pseudonyms and initials following the posts giving credit to the people who posted those items. But there has to be one name that stands out as it appears far more frequently than any other: Widro. What does this single word mean? Read on and find out

Jonathan “Josh” Widro (as he is affectionately referred to by his few friends and confidantes) entered the field of internet wrestling in the summer of 1999. Despite no formal training, and no experience in the field, Widro was hired by one of the biggest sites on the internet, At the time, the site had two major stars: Ashish “Stone9Cold” Pabiri, the site’s veteran and most venerable contributor, and Dave Gagnon, an up and coming and charismatic youngster with a growing fanbase. Widro started out in the lowly position of Thunder recapper, but was quickly boosted to doing Smackdown recaps, impressing fans with his straightforward and brutal style.

Widro’s big break came when Gagnon, the man who many expected to carry 411 into the 21st century, made an abrupt departure heading for the “greener pastures” of Scoops Wrestling. There was an opening in the upper echelons of 411, and the dedicated Widro, revealing that his myriad of talents were not restricted to recaps, but also extended to the all important realm of web-mastering. Widro leap-frogged several more experienced members of 411 to become the number two man on the site, forming a solid team with Ashish.

His presence and visibility grew on the newsboard and his power and influence expanded behind the scenes; Widro was on fire. Gagnon, following a disastrous stint at Scoops, made a brief return to 411, but was quickly overshadowed and shoved out by the unstoppable Widro juggernaut. The balance of power was also shifting in their Ashish-Widro team as Ashish began to focus more on projects outside of the site and Widro picked up the slack. However, 411 was about to undergo a radical transformation

Widro played a big part of the 411 relaunch in 2000, but he could not have foreseen the next big change in the site as they gained a new big-time player. Chris Hyatte, the legendary and controversial firebrand who had made his mark on Scoops as the “Howard Stern of internet wrestling,” had left his old job at Scoops after disagreements with management and jumped to the fledgling ScoopThis site, which promptly shut down. Suddenly the most controversial man on the internet was left without a home until 411 came a calling; Ashish and Widro recruited Hyatte to join the site, bringing with him his famed “Mop-Ups” and scores of new readers. Suddenly, the pressure was on for everybody on 411, Widro included, to step up their game to the next level.

Just when it seemed as if nothing could go wrong (in addition to 411 picking up Hyatte, Scoops closed it’s doors, leaving a big hole in the internet wrestling world), tragedy struck: Ashish was hit with what looked to be a potentially career ending injury. In addition to Hyatte, 411 had a great stable of up and coming young writers including PK, Josh Nason, Sean McCluskey, and others, but without anybody to lead them, there was no chance for the future unless.

A leader did emerge from the shadows, and Widro was his name. Refusing to let a site with such potential die just because Ashish was gone for the time being, Widro took charge. He appointed Hyatte to become the daily news updater and Hyatte revitalized the genre with his offbeat “Midnight News” updates. Widro brought back the Wrestler Profiles sections of 411 and organized the mid-card writers like they had never been organized before. Perhaps most importantly, Widro had the foresight to bring in a young man with a slightly offbeat idea who by all early indications will be the internet’s next superstar: Ben Morse, writer of The Mean. Above all else, Widro kept the updates to the newsboard frequent and filled with facts; 411 was back.

Today, Widro is clearly the man behind the success of 411, known along with the more visible Hyatte as the “Two Man Power Trip.” His behind the scenes contributions and dedication (the man works 60 hours a week from his real job to keep the site going!) have cemented 411 as the next big thing in internet wrestling. As for the fans

THE MARK: The Mark fans come to and are overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information at their fingertips. They see the name “Widro” and marvel in much the same way Dorothy and company did at the thought of the Wizard behind the curtain. They know little of him, and seek to learn more, but Widro is a private man, keeping his personal details to himself. The Mark fans are alternately respectful and fascinated by the hard work and mystery of Widro, making him an overwhelming success in their eyes.

THE SMART: Usually, jumping from a lack of formal training to a prime position is something that the Smart fans dislike but in Widro’s case, there is an exception. The Smarts are aware of the tremendous amount of adversity Widro has faced and the hard work he puts into the site on a daily basis. Those who understand the inner workings of a wrestling web site literally overflow with respect for a man who does it all by himself and does it well.

And finally

THE MEAN: To the outside world he is many things: hard-working, mysterious, cynical, sarcastic, hard-edged, businesslike and more but to the few who actually get the privilege to speak to the boss on a regular basis, he’s a sweetheart of a guy. Yeah, he’s cynical, but he’s a funny sonofabitch, fun to talk to, and extremely knowledgable. And as far as the hard work goes, picture all the work you assume Widro does and multiply it by about a hundred. Am I writing all this just because he’s the guy who can fire me tomorrow? I guess nobody will ever truly know (note to Widro: I’m not), but take it as the truth. Widro is the heart and soul of this site, and whatever we become in the months to come, you can be sure he’s the man behind the curtain. Oh yeah, and he’s got two nipple rings, looking for some way to get a third.

In the mean time, thanks for reading