AS I SEE IT 5/13: An extraordinary achievement and a gutsy move…
AS I SEE IT
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
The common theme this week is people in wrestling who have shown guts in situations where they could have easily avoided it.
First, someone within WWE has had the guts to address the hypocrisy surrounding the Greatest Royal Rumble and the WWE/Saudi deal overall.
Lita, who has periodically done WWE per-shows before PPVs was interviewed by Wrestlezone and had the following to say:
“I understand that they are a business, a global business, and always looking to expand their global presence. However, I do feel it’s a direct conflict of interest with them maintaining any integrity or truth to the fact that they say they would like to push forward women and their roles and their representation in the industry as anything remotely resembling an equal to a male.”
Make the money, that’s fine, but don’t try to cover it up and be like, ‘No, we are doing this because we would like to in the future be able to help progress their culture forward!’ No, you wanted the money and that’s fine. You’re a business and businesses make money. That’s okay. From your perspective over there, I don’t own your business, so that’s ok. But, from a PR perspective, don’t try to be like ‘We’re doing it because we want to help progress that culture forward.’ No, it’s a direct conflict of interest, in my opinion.”
It’ll be interesting to see what effect Lita’s comments have on her future appearances with WWE on Network related pre-shows. What she said shouldn’t be controversial, as Vince McMahon has the right to say “I’m a businessperson and that’s my only concern”…as long as he’s willing to take the heat from fans and sponsors for doing so. WWE is trying to split the difference with making the money while claiming it supports women’s empowerment, and looking hypocritical for doing so.
Then, there’s the story of the week, and likely one of the wrestling stories of 2018: ALL IN and it’s astounding 53 minute sell-out yesterday afternoon.
Multiple sources are reporting that the “All In” show at the Sears Centre Arena, Chicago, IL, a venue with a 11,800 capacity is considered a sell out.
The idea came from Dave Meltzer saying a year ago on Twitter that Ring Of Honor wouldn’t be able to sell out 10,000 plus arena “anytime”. Cody Rhodes promptly accepted the challenge.
The show has no matches announced, save one…and that was announced yesterday as Cody Rhodes will challenge for the NWA Heavyweight Title, currently held by Nick Aldis. The show’s lineup, though does have a major collection of names Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega, Pentagon, Jr. (aka PENTA OM), Rey Fenix, Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, and also just announced earlier yesterday… Rey Mysterio.
An unrelated (?) event not hurting ticket sales was the announcement that CM Punk will be making his first wrestling-related appearance since leaving WWE during the All In weekend in Chicago at the Pro Wrestling Tees retail store in Chicago. When asked yesterday… repeatedly…about Punk, all Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks would do was to promote Punk’s next UFC fight at UFC 225 on June 9. Perhaps Punk’s UFC contract prevents them from doing do…perhaps not.
As for the sellout, the ticket ordering site for the All In event crashed multiple times when tickets went on sale yesterday afternoon leading to people screaming that scalper bots picked them all up.
There are fans struggling to find ways to explain this fast sell-out away, first claiming scalpers bot bought them all, then when that was proven not to be the case when Dave Meltzer pointed out that number is only 250 tickets, hardly a remarkable number.
Then they claimed claiming that even with the low number of scalper tickets online that scalpers might not post their entire inventory. That was proven wrong as well when it was cited that 20,000 tickets were put out first day by scalpers for resale for the recent Wrestlemania, and that even that even the last SummerSlam had 4,400 secondary market tickets out out of 13,600.
In the end, it’s clear from the demand that this is not a scalper driven sellout….as there was clearly enough demand for this show to have sold out without one ticket hitting the secondary market at all.
Then, there are those who’ve already claimed “it’s been done before”. It hasn’t. The last United States wrestling show not run by WWE or WCW that drew more than 10,000 was the IWC/AAA “When Worlds Collide” PPV in 1994 with Los Gringos Locos (Eddie Guerrero/Art Barr) vs. Octagon/El Hijo De Santo and Konnan-Perro Aguayo cage match on top. Even that event received assistance from WCW in terms of production and getting on PPV.
So Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks did it. Somewhere, I can imagine Dave Meltzer is today happily looking up recipes for eating crow after he was proven wrong
Much as it seems in vogue to claim the whole Bullet Club phenomenon is passe or The Young Bucks are over-hyped, they have extraordinary merchandise sales in mainstream clothing stores done otherwise by…you guessed it…WWE.
Between The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes’s podcast/online reality show “Being The Elite” and heavy appearances on the independents, for Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling…this is the only PR they had for this event. They had no weekly TV show or even no infomercial-type paid shows on TV to drive it. Only a podcast and their wrestling appearances, which air on Sinclair syndication (Ring of Honor) and AXS TV (New Japan). But the All In event wasn’t mentioned on these shows ONCE.
In the end, it’s an incredible achievement, no matter how you look at it.
Until next time….