January 5, 2007
Mike Abitabile

The Devilís Advocate:
Are We Back? Weíre Back

I hope every one of my readers had a wonderful holiday season. I received a few emails wondering where I have been. I made the decision to take a break during the holidays due to the fact that many of the wrestling news sites slowed down their news coverage. As it is my job to critique them, it is hard to do that job when they are not doing their own. And, donít misunderstand - that actually wasnít an insult, just a fact. So instead of trying to write columns based on filler, I decided to sit the holidays out as well. But I have returned here and at my blog. While the wrestling internet is still getting back in the thick of things, and is clearly not at 100%, there are still a few things Iíd like to discuss this week.

Jim Ross Sums Up the Reasons for This Column

Over the holidays, Jim Ross, who pens an excellent blog at his official site (here), posted his thoughts on the negativity exhibited on wrestling news sites (here). To quote from one of the greatest commentators of all-time:

I definitely do not think that all the wrestling media are bad, by any stretch of the imagination. However there are some who seemingly feel compelled to focus on the negatives of the business and spend much less time on the good side while covering bad news or running with inane rumors, as if they were hard facts. I want to believe that most of these folks are wrestling fans, but frustrated because the creative content that they see weekly on TV isnít their cup of tea. I can relate to that, in general. However, those in the wrestling media that are overtly negative are simply following the trend of the national media as our society is apparently more interested in bad news, the never ending coverage of tragedies, gossip, dirt, and scandal. I donít blame anyone in the wrestling media for that, as this is a societal issue and as long as there is a market for it, people will continue to provide it. Itís akin to the TMZ TV show and their coverage of the dirt and gossip, which many people that I know enjoy. It seems to be working for them. Whenís the last time a show from Nancy Grace, Hannity and Colmes, etc. focused their hour of TV on ďgood newsĒ? If they did that, their all important ratings would die a natural death.

I have read many wrestling news items involving myself that I knew were wrong or grossly embellished, but that goes with the turf. I am oftentimes satirized or made fun of, on various websites or in newsletters, because of what I write here, as many people think I should be more harsh and caustic regarding my ďday job.Ē Dying on the hill of ďI donít like the creative, so therefore I am going to quit in protestĒ would be about as stupid as the reporters or fans who suggest that I do such.

I couldnít have summed up my feelings any better. My issues are only with the fact that many of these sites have to dwell on negativity and not the positive sides of a story. And whatís worse is that they seem to enjoy when there is bad news concerning WWE. An example: Raw ratings go down and everyone uses it to justify their beliefs. What they donít tell you is that the rating number is still a great number in the television business and is helping USA Network become the most watched cable channel week in and week out (here). There are always two sides of every story, and the sites seem to just want to tell you the negative one. And, as JR put it, there seems to be a market for it. But, there also seems to be a market for people who want to hear the other side of the story, which is why I pen this column and will continue to do so.

OnlineWorldofWrestling.com Ė Bookmark It

Over the years, I have religiously used a few different sites as wonderful resources. Such sites as the one I am writing this column for, the Wrestling Information Archive (here), and Obsessed with Wresting have been up for many years and have so much information and media content, that I donít know what I would do without them. Well, recently, Obsessed with Wrestling had to change its domain name to Online World of Wrestling because of a dispute. You can read about the entire issue here (here).

I should mention here that I have never spoken to the owner, operator, and editor-in-chief of the-now Online World of Wrestling, Brad Dykens, once in my life. I donít know the man from Adam, put I do know that his site is amazing and can only imagine how much work he has but into it over the years. If I was in his shoes, I would be extremely angry and frustrated. This is why I am mentioning this here in my column. I use Bradís site often and want to get his story out to as many people as possible. If you are using ObsessedwithWrestling.com, stop doing so right now. Head over to OnlineWorldofWrestling.com (here), and use that page instead. You rarely hear me telling people what to do because I believe in sharing opinions and allowing the readers to make their own decisions, but right now, I am going to tell you to use the new web site instead. Fair is fair and from what I have heard through the grapevine about the kind of person Brad is, fair is exactly what he deserves.

Things Are Looking Up

Finally this week, I just wanted to throw a shout out to PWInsider.com. If any of those guys are reading my columns (Hi Mike!), let me be the first to thank you for fixing the new codes that block copy and pasting so that Firefox is now compatible. If my plea to fix your new coding system in my column from a few weeks ago had anything to do with this, I appreciate it. Now I just have to type up your news when I use it (or take a screen cap), but at least I donít have to add in the time consuming steps of having to copy the news item link, open up Internet Explorer, paste it in there and wait for the page to load. The truth is, as Iíve said before, I like reading the news on sites like PWInsider, but get very frustrated with the negative editorial comments that are mixed it.

Things should be completely back to normal on Monday when Raw returns, so keep your eyes on my blog and Iíll be back next week, hopefully with some more news to analyze.

Feedback is always welcome at figurefanatic@gmail.com or you can visit my blog here.

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