Sunday, July 04, 2010

A Piece of my Mind July 4th 2010 by "The Big Cheese" Sal Corrente

This blog generally reflects my opinion. I humbly hope that my opinion most, if not all times, is fact based. If I don’t like someone in the wrestling business I try not to let it reflect my opinion of their work and/or contribution to the business. I will even book someone on one of my events I don’t particularly like if it’s the best thing for the event. I have done it before and will do it again as long as their attitude and likelihood of actually appearing won't potentially harm the event.

It’s been a long time since I have written anything but this is a quiet weekend for me anyway. I can hear the fireworks blasting away as I am taking some time to regroup before hitting the road again. It’s also been a sad week with my friend Rick Steamboat sitting in a hospital. You hear all the stories roaming around but it makes you realize how quickly things can turn around. My schedule takes me around the U.S. on a regular basis as does Rick’s so we haven’t seen each other in about a year maybe a little less but we keep in touch via text. I was supposed to see him a few weeks ago when I was in Tampa but it just didn’t work out. No big deal, I thought, I will catch him next time. How many of us say that thinking it doesn’t have to be this time, right now or maybe you won’t have that chance. It appears that, although he took ill, if stories are correct, there will just be a long recovery period. So thank god there will be a "next time" for me and a guy I have known almost my whole time in the business.

I can remember when Rick started
working for George Scott and I was a referee for the company behind George’s son've got to love nepotism. I had a very good relationship with Paul Jones so I told him "look we have no idea how long Steamboat is going to be here. I may not get a chance to work with him again, so I really need to referee his match. He is one of those guys you at least want to be able to say you were in the ring with once." I knew Paul would have to go around Byron to get it done but he did. I was happy that I got to be in the ring with a guy who was one of the best ever. It turns out that I got in the ring with Steamboat at least one other time due to a miscommunication on Byron’s part which worked out my way and as part of an angle with The Nasty Boys and Paul Jones. But who knew at the time there would be a next time?

As I watched the angle put together on Monday with the Nexus guys and the legends I thought it was put together great ... kind of old school. It’s hard to be overly critical when something is put together so wel,l but a little attention to detail would have really made it a five star presentation. How about using some legends that WWE has access to that actually had some history with Steamboat besides all being WWE producers? I would have thought Sgt. Slaughter would have been an excellent choice notwithstanding that he can still work if this was all to lead to some tag match to get these guys over. Another good choice might have been Don Muraco or Jimmy Snuka but who knows what leads to these decisions? All in all it was a great angle with a slow build not just some hit the ring one minute beat down. This had you sitting watching and, although not really wondering, you got to go on a ride with the talent and actually enjoy the scenery along the way. It made me long for the good old days once again.

I realize in any business that what is actually going on within the company is different than what outsiders perceive is going on that shouldn’t be in dispute. I also realize anyone who is without authorization, leaking that information outside the company with the purpose of malice. should be fired without question. It is only the idea that there has to be more going on than we see with TNA to make you not worry for them. I don’t know what it means when you bring in two of the biggest names on the Indy scene Rob Van Dam and Jeff Hardy and you. as a rule, are drawing less people than either of those guys has drawn on Indy shows by themselves. I can tell you first hand since WrestleReunion’s wrestling event with Rob Van Dam outdrew many TNA house shows. What is even sadder is that TNA puts on a much better house show than WWE does if you’re a wrestling fan. It’s not a better show from a production level but, for those of us who remember what a live wrestling event used to be, you’re doing yourself a great disservice if you haven’t attended a live TNA event outside of the IMPACT ZONE. I have done it myself and I was amazed that a company that doesn’t seem to be able to put together a consistent TV product can put together such an entertaining live event.

I just want to touch on a other few things. The WWE has to miss Shawn Michaels. Make no mistake about it, in my opinion , he would be, by far, the best performer in the company if he was still in the company. If I was Vince McMahon I would make sure I get this guy back if there is any way possible to do it. I worked with him years ago when he was a very good talent with a bright future. Of course, he far exceeded anything I thought he would accomplish. The last time I saw him he was a different guy than I remembered. You didn’t want to take a chance being around him in the old days with only one eye open. Lord only knows what would have happened. What a loss for the company for sure. I have heard nothing but how Vickie Guerrero is the sweetest person you ever want to meet. It's nice to know that good people still find their way into our business. I don’t think there isn’t a heel in WWE that wouldn’t want to have the heat that Vickie has. It's another remembrance of old school. Isn’t it always the heels with the most heat are the best people in the dressing room?

The final two points I want to mention is Linda McMahon running for office seems to always be in the news. I haven’t followed the election very closely but if anyone in our business thinks that Linda is less capable than the majority of people that are elected to office today then,clearly, you aren’t very knowledgeable about our business. I am not endorsing Linda or even saying she is the best candidate in her race but if anyone is trying to make people believe she isn’t qualified to run, your issues must be personal and not political. I have heard people say different things about Linda but never that she wasn’t a good business woman. The other is the Martha Hart lawsuit, I have to agree with Brett on what Martha wants which is to erase Owen from the WWE history. It makes no sense to me and I can’t imagine it would to Owen either. I would have let WWE do whatever they wanted (tastefully of course) with Owen's name and likeness and earmarked all royalties for his children or, at the very least, his favorite charity. Now on the other hand my opinion means nothing and if the McMahon’s cut a deal with her right or wrong they should stick by it and if they ignored the cease and desist order then they deserve to be sued.

The picture with this article is of me and Rob Van Dam who headlined WrestleReunion 4 in Jan. 2010. We are hard at work putting together another WrestleReunion in Los Angeles for Jan 2011. You can get all information regarding WrestleReunion 5 at

This has been a piece of my mind