It’s only September, but the choice is obvious. I’ve decided to name my 2012 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR.
He is former WWE superstar TYLER REKS.
Reks is no mark, and had the good sense to quit. Reks sees the fake wrestling business for what it is: Fading fast, and having extremely limited opportunity.
The spotty-faced teens & college dropouts who make up so much of the IWC won’t enjoy reading this, but FOR THE WRESTLERS, fake wrestling was much better in the territorial days, and when WCW provided a viable second option. There were literally HUNDREDS MORE JOBS in the territorial days. You could suck one place, but learn; go to a new place and be better; repeat as necessary. Travel was more reasonable. Few made millions, but guess what? FEW MAKE MILLIONS NOW.
You could learn your craft. Become polished. There’s little chance of that today.
There’s little chance, period. You’re looking to please an audience of one. Being good isn’t necessarily enough. Good whim, bad whim, you’re at VKM’s addled mercy.
Reks isn’t. Not anymore. That’s why he’s WRESTLER OF THE YEAR.
Reks wants to be a husband and father. No more AWESOME ROAD TRIM. That’s bigger than any sacrifice he could make in the name of fake wrestling success.
No independents for Reks. GOOD. COLD TURKEY. NO TEMPTATION.
You’ve got to be a mark to become a fake wrestler. To stay a fake wrestler, you’ve got to be AN EVEN BIGGER MARK.
But don’t believe me. BELIEVE THE NUMBERS.
In the four major pro sports (baseball, basketball, football, hockey), the athletes get 50-55 percent of total revenue. WWE wrestlers get 10-15 percent. Beyond a (minimal) guarantee, VKM pays WHAT HE FEELS LIKE.
In the four major pro sports, the athletes have unions. Contracts are mostly guaranteed. All travel expenses are covered. WWE wrestlers aren’t unionized. Contracts are fractionally guaranteed, if at all. Hotel and car are not covered. (It’s worth noting that a few WWE performers do have guaranteed contracts, and get hotel and car. Not many.)
In the four major pro sports, if you’re good, you get ahead. Not so in fake wrestling. You serve at the pleasure of someone who doesn’t know what he’s doing.
The only people who really benefit from the fake wrestling industry as much as they should are the McMahon family, and they benefit FAR MORE THAN THEY SHOULD. The wrestlers are marks. The McMahons fleece them right along with the customers.
But don’t hate the McMahons for what they do. Heck, its one hell of a deal. It’s just history. The pimp always makes out best, and in a big way.
By way of microcosm, consider WWE’s WRESTLEMANIA SCAM.
WWE superstars are REQUIRED to bring their families to ‘Mania. But each has to pay his/her family’s way. Once they get there, the superstars are booked solid with Fan Axxess, etc., and have little time to spend with their families. When the payoff check arrives, the low- and mid-card guys don’t even get enough to cover their family’s trip. THEY LOSE MONEY on the company-enforced FAMILY “VACATION.”
Tyler Reks said NO MO’. Tyler Reks: 2012 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR.
Runner-up: Davey Richards.
Mark Madden hosts a radio show 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WXDX-FM, Pittsburgh, PA(105.9). Check out his web page at WXDX.com. Contact Mark by emailing [email protected]. FOLLOW MARK ON TWITTER: @MarkMaddenX