Archive for July 28th, 2010

More Thoughts on Dawn Marie, Wrestlers Rescue, And the ‘Wrestling Media’

Wrestlers Recue is at best amateurish, at worst fraudulent. If only the first, then perhaps Dawn Marie at one point had her heart in the right place, and perhaps she does still.

Though Wrestlers Rescue is not the solution, neither is it the problem. (Incidentally, I’ve seen the organization’s title both with and without an apostrophe even on its own site; from now on, I plan to go consistently without.)

The problem is that pro wrestling, as a profession, is still organized feudally – even while pro wrestling, as an industry, has essentially concentrated in the hands of one company and one family, and become a huge global business. The McMahons are billionaires or close to it. Now Linda McMahon, who doesn’t come off like someone who would know an original idea if it clotheslined her, is spending $50 million to try to buy a U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut. This is money generated by the blood, sweat, tears, and  in many cases very lives of hundreds of others, performers both inside and outside World Wrestling Entertainment itself.

No matter how well-intentioned, Wrestlers Rescue is doomed because it is based on the indie model: set up a table at a convention of mostly has-beens and never-weres, sign some autographs, sell some T-shirts, and hope that a few of the pennies trickle to a few of the many people out there who have been broken by this system, or just naturally fell on hard times.

It doesn’t compute, people. The entity with the resources to begin to make things significantly better, if not right, is WWE. The way to hold WWE and the McMahons to account is to speak the truth about what their naked ambition has wrought and what they need to do to fix it.

That brings me to the “wrestling media.” Where have all the full-time wrestling journalists been on this story? Not just the rise and fall of Wrestlers Rescue, but also the scrutiny of WWE policies and practices? I don’t mean by this florid columns wringing your hands or showing off how smart or cynical you are, how you see through PR and also see that nothing can be done about it. I mean investigation and analysis that are persistent, clearly communicative, and at times inconvenient.

From where I sit, I’ll tell you where wrestling journalists seem to have been. They put more energy into climbing over each other to be the first, by five minutes, to post “spoilers” of prerecorded Raws and SmackDowns than they do into educating their readers on the McMahon family’s push for temporal power – and how, by adding real value to public discussion, fans can play a constructive role in reforming the industry’s appalling occupational health and safety standards.

They have been profiles in caution. Here’s hoping one or two will discover the spine to do something  more than just report the next spinebuster.

Irv Muchnick

Missy Hyatt on Dawn Marie

Below is a statement Missy Hyatt, another former wrestling personality, issued about the Wrestlers Rescue controversy.

Irv Muchnick

***************

I hate how so many people jumped on the band wagon that Dawn is a fraud before they ever allowed her a forum to defend herself. I’m a personal friend of Dawn, so naturally I will defend her. People who are bashing Dawn forget to realize the expense of legal fees, corporation fees, phones, & misc. to maintain a charity . Guess who swallowed any losses & upstart fees to Wrestlers Rescue? DAWN!!!! What ever profits that trickled in with ebay sales, auctions, went in to some holding account. I know for a fact that Steve Williams was sent approximately $5000.00 to help off set mounting medical expenses prior to his untimely death. I know an additional $2000 was donated in conjunction from the Cauliflower Alley Club.

I am very upset that everybody who is associated with Dawn was lumped in as thieves or con artist on various message boards without anybody asking for a statement or any proof. To my knowledge, only one person in the wrestling business decided to distance them self based on the recent negative article that was circulating.

When Dawn filed for the 501(c)(3) paper work to become a non profit charity it needed a corporate structure to be shown in the paper work. This is why I am listed as secretary. I started all of that paperwork before having it out sourced to an attorney to be completed.

The 501(c)(3) filling is a long tedious headache of paper work to fill out and file. I believe it took Dawn almost a year to have it all sorted & filed. The actual 501(c)(3) company is listed as Pro Wrestling Releif, (Dawn already had Wrestlers Rescue LLC organized and filed as a for Profit so we could begin the work that needed to be done.). I know Dawn personally shelled out a few thousand dollars in filing the 501(c)(3) paper work & the lawyer fees that took to complete it. As a 501(c)(3) they are eligible for tax free status and grants.

My participation within Wrestlers Rescue consisted of signing for free at Dawn’s convention, raffling a gift basket at the Paul E Normous memorial show, agreeing to be on the cancelled cruise, & helping Dawn gather the 501(c)(3) paper work [which was completed by a lawyer]. Various people accused me and others of having our hands in the cookie jar, despite NEVER handling or having any access to any money. I guess asking me about my participation would be too much of an oversight. To my knowledge, the participation of most wrestlers was either volunteering their services & donating memorabilia in order to be used for fund raising purposes. To call any wrestler a thief would be grossly inaccurate, since we never handled the financial aspects of the charity.

Tammy to my knowledge only did the convention, some miscellaneous errands, agreed to be on the cruise & be apart of a book deal that will be out for release in 2011. Tammy did not have any access to any money. Rather then mention what her actual participation was for Wrestlers Rescue, Tammy released statements that hurt everyone that has volunteered their services to Wrestlers Rescue. Though her comments may have hurt many of us on a personal & business level I can understand if she may have reacted out of fear and concern for herself. The way everyone had reacted and smeared this obvious smear campaign is scary.

Like I stated earlier, Dawn will release a statement showing her innocence & the lack of research done in the many malicious articles. My personal feelings are a friend defends each other until there is proof that shows that they are guilty. I’m defending Dawn until I see proof that she misappropriated funds. I believe in Dawn based on the character of her as a person, rather then just blindly throw accusations without her side of the story.

Missy Hyatt

1st Lady Of Wrestling


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