Haley’s News And World Report 12.10.03

A Little Hello

Last week, I announced my plans to drop the old column and do a more debate-oriented news report. I’d say two responses were related to the arguments I made last week. The others were demands for my head over killing The Little Things.

Well, unlike the “E” in a lot of cases, I will cave in to the fans. Starting next week, I’ll put the Little Five at the end of every news report. This forum is more for you the readers than it is for me, so who am I to argue? Be sure, though, to send in your suggestions. One of the reasons I moved to a Wednesday news slot is that it was very hard to watch RAW every single week for the column given my schedule at work. Some weeks, I’ll need you to cover my lazy rear.

Let’s Do This

Not much interesting in terms of news, but here are some of the main points from this week, so far:

1)The Rock is gold. I mean absolute gold. Sorry, Eric, but you just have to stand in awe of this guy’s ability to energize a crowd and work the mic so spontaneously. Unfortunately this is natural talent, i.e., you cannot teach what the Rock does. This is painfully evident as the fed is obviously trying to give some of the new guys some mic time on television. Cade looked ok giving his “we’re winners, not whiners” promo, but I can’t buy Batista and Orton on the mic yet. Orton is getting there, but I still get the impression that Batista is trying to stay in character as opposed to saying what he wants naturally.

It might be unreasonable, of course, to compare the Rock with these guys at this point, but the contrast was very stark on Monday. The Rock created a new chant for La Res (FiFi) in an instant, which is something the brainless writers haven’t been able to do for months. Chants, hand signals, and other mannerisms are effective little things (sorry, force of habit) that gets a crowd into the match. With the exception of John Cena, I really haven’t seen any one wrestler using them to his or her advantage. And John Cena is the hottest star they have outside of the old guard of the late 90s.

2)I’m still holding out hope that the writers haven’t totally butchered the relationship-based angle concerning Lita, Trish, Jericho and Christian. My hope lies in Jericho based on what I thought was a little thing he delivered when Bischoff set up the match at Armageddon. It seemed he kinda looked down and away while Christian celebrated, thus indicating some trepidation about the match. I’m hoping at least. Much of the IWC has given up if I’m to assume anything from our resident ranter, among others. This does demonstrate though how the Little Things can keep your optimism up on the product.

That’s why I do it.

3)Vince is apparently making new stars the emphasis of WMXX. Bravo. Excellent idea. No use living in the past. Now the hard part: make us care about the new stars we’ll see at WMXX. You have Cena and Brock down pat, but let’s give ourselves a reason to care about Batista, Cade, Jindrak, Jordan, et al outside of their physiques.

Unholy Union

Over the past few weeks I have read about several wrestlers dying and several writers on this site espousing a line that amounts to something like this:

“They willingly exposed themselves to those conditions, they live and die by that choice, no real sympathy should be expressed as a result.”

If I’m wrong about this, please correct me.

As that is what I understand it to be, I’d like to voice my thoughts.

When I think of entities that do not want unions, I think of Vince McMahon and Wal-Mart. The two are actually very similar in that they are the dominant player in their respective industries and absolutely dread the notion of unions. In fact, from what I’ve heard, you are likely to get fired pretty quickly if you even mention the idea at Wal-Mart.

Why?

Unions, in short, cut into profits. They demand improvements in working conditions, a fair wage, certain amenities that they deem reasonable just to get started. All of this costs the company in question money. On top of that, a company has to spend time bargaining with them and if they feel it necessary, can face the risk of the workers as a united entity walking out of work. There are costs involved here as well so it is easy to see why the Mart and the Mac get ruffled over the idea.

Why they exist, to me, is a lesson of history. Before unions, companies paid the workers whatever they felt was fair. In the case of monopolies, the wages received could not support normal life (i.e. it was not a living wage). Conditions were awful (read some Kipling if you haven’t) and child labor was common. Yes, workers willingly exposed themselves to these conditions. Many simply wanted the chance to provide for themselves and/or their families.

I am not trying to say that the E is a modern day version of The Jungle, but some problems exist. Wrestlers get hurt. A lot. The lifestyle they endure is tough and has long-lasting effects in some cases. They are away from their families.
The upside, though, is different. If worked properly, the system can give a would-be wrestler fame, power and money. Many enter the business for these goals alone. Few actually achieve these goals and I believe even fewer realize how hard it is until they are exposed to it.

In the end, I feel like Wwe is in need of unions for these reasons. The conditions have problems that need to be regulated and will continue to persist if they are not. Maybe it’s just the labor Democrat in me. However, the onus is NOT on Vince this time. Unions almost always are grass roots organizations and Vince does have a right to fight them off, just as Wal Mart does. It is the WRESTLERS who have to demand them and outside of Jesse Ventura, they don’t really have a mouthpiece they can rally behind. It would probably take one or a group of noteworthy wrestlers to make this call and generate the support needed to broach the issue. Or the entire locker room. Otherwise, the status quo will remain. Only in that respect can I blame the wrestlers for what is happening.

That’s my thought for the week, let me know what you think.

Quickies

I still miss Goldust.

For Old Time’s Sake – You Can Dance

Dupree’s French dance is quickly becoming my favorite little thing on RAW. I thought I’d give that one the nod since I already noted Jericho’s look to the floor. Hopefully that will lead to additional little things in the future.

The column comes back next week, so send in the entries.

Haley