WWE are about to launch a TV network (or they’re about to pull-out of launching a network, who knows?) and they have been using the internet to try out some of their ideas for shows:
Idiots Fall Over with Dolph Ziggler
I Talk To People In The Funny Accent And They Laugh At Me with Santino
Lets Shit On Some Old Stuff Nobody Really Cares About with Road Dogg and Josh Matthews
WWE Used Me To Feed Cena For This Rock Thing At ‘Mania And Now I’m Jobbing On Superstars, Fistpump! with Zack Ryder
The main attraction on the network seems to be this Legends House thing. The concept is simple (and not at all original): You throw a bunch of has-beens into a house, provide alcohol and watch the ratings soar. Roddy Piper, Jim Duggan, Mean Gene and The Iron Sheik are all rumoured to be appearing.
Sheik (with the help of Eric Simms) has managed to stay relevant thanks to appearances on Howard Stern, shoot interviews and basically turning his whole life into a work. He’s done this without McMahon’s help and I’m sure Vince will use this show to exploit every penny he can out of him.
Kamala recently had his leg amputated. Do you think WWE will throw him a bone (no pun intended) and give him a slot in the house? How about Perry Saturn, the life of whom really went to shit after he left WWE? How about Billy Gunn, who now sells phone-calls in order to pay the bills? How about Chyna and a number of other divas who either got into porn or just went fucking nuts after leaving the business? How about- nah, fuck it, I’d be listing names for the rest of the day and my deadline is in like 3 hours.
I don’t want to make WWE look like a cavalcade of c**ts here. They kept Droz on the payroll after his injury, they provide doctors and pay for surgery, they spend a ridiculous amount of money on
grapes rehab for guys like Matt Hardy, Scott Hall, Sean Waltman… I think the WWE Wellness Program is fantastic and they should really go out of their way to show the good something like that can do. It’s not like all those people are fucked either, they can still make money from DVDs, shoot interviews, books and so on.
Mick Foley has done really well with his books and even toured a “stand-up comedy” show based on his career. Chris Jericho has written some great books as well. Ric Flair – ha! – Ric Flair now sells phone-calls and everything else he can get his hands on. It looks like the best thing to do right now is to retire in your late 30’s and live off your brand/name/reputation.
WWE publish most books “written” by wrestlers and they seem to be making a move into the shoot interview market with things like the Shawn v Bret DVD set, so how long before we see a DVD published by WWE that features Orton shooting on things from 6 months ago? How long before we see YouTube shows featuring Ziggler talking about how shit the match he had 30 mins ago on RAW was? It’s not inconceivable; Hulk Hogan gave several interviews which included the line “It’s a work, brother!” during TNA’s UK tour last month.
Hulk has “wrestled” for 35 years and held the top spot in the largest two companies the business has ever seen. He’s made an album, a cartoon, a TV show about a speedboat or something, multiple movies, a juicer, two reality shows, two videogames and is currently under contract with TNA.
Hulk has about $300,000 to his name.
If you’re a guy trying to break into the business and you find out that wrestling’s biggest ever star has nothing to show for it, wouldn’t you be like “Fuck this”? Not every wrestler goes through a terrible divorce, sure. Maybe only a few have watched their offspring grow into murderers, but Hogan made upwards of $1.5 million per PPV appearance in ’97.
Hogan still has an opportunity to make money right now, so let’s look at this Sorensen kid. Say the line from the doctors was a little worse and it turns out Sorensen can never walk again, what can he do?
- He can’t write a book about his years in the industry because he’s only 22
- He can’t do shoot interviews because the majority of people didn’t know who he was until Ion jumped off the rope
- He can’t sell “Best Of” DVDs because he hasn’t had any memorable matches
- He can’t sell merchandise because he was really generic
- He can’t make appearances at signings because he was never over
- He can’t show up at indy shows because his legs don’t work
Thank fuck he’s gonna be recovered and ready to return in 12 months, eh?
This is more of a “10 Thoughts” style thing than what I normally write. Check out Blair’s Air Up There from 2 weeks ago if you want to read a proper article on the things this business can do, I just wanted to write down my thoughts about Sorensen and the situation a lot of wrestlers find themselves in when they can no longer “compete”.
Why do you guys/girls think that so many of the people we grew up watching have ended up in the gutter?
Do you think the WWE Network will do anything other than exploit former stars?
Who do you think managed to maintain a normal life after their career ended?
Tags: ask ric flair, Billy Gunn, Bret Hart, chris jericho, Chyna, Dolph Ziggler, Hulk Hogan, iron sheik, Jesse Sorensen, Jim Duggan, john cena, Josh Matthews, Kamala, martyrshow, Mean Gene, Mick Foley, perry saturn, randy orton, Raw, road dogg, Roddy Piper, Santino Marella, scott hall, Sean Waltman, shawn michaels, The Rock, TNA, vince mcmahon, WWE, WWE Legends House, WWE Network, WWE Superstars, WWE Wellness Policy, zack ryder