Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Vince McMahon is NOT the Grinch

Santa & John Cena
Courtesy: WWE
@kevinhunsperger & @my123cents on Twitter

My original intent for this post was to actually be a vlog. I recorded it twice and for an unknown reason, the video cut out halfway through. So I'm sticking to my original roots and writing a blog. I will return to YouTube in the near future though, so don't fret. The topic today, the WWE/USA Network's decision to broadcast a live version of Monday Night Raw on Christmas night. 

It's the first time in the nearly 25 year history of the program that it's aired live on Christmas. Many fans got quite vocal about the decision on social media following the announcement. I feel like I'm in the minority when it comes to supporting WWE/USA Network in this decision. Here are a few of the reasons why.

When I first started watching wrestling in the mid-1980s, Christmas day and Christmas night shows were commonplace. The WWF, Jim Crockett Promotions and World Class Championship Wrestling held shows on Christmas day. Some years there were double shots or as many as three shows on that one day. And it wasn't just the mid-card guys performing. Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Randy Savage, The Road Warriors, Dusty Rhodes and countless other men and women were out on the road. 

Courtesy: ESPN
Other forms of entertainment perform on Christmas and other holidays. Most Broadway shows have a performance. Christmas day is huge for the NBA. There are games all day and evening on ABC and other networks. The movie theaters are open. Disney World and Disney Land are hopping with visitors. In fact, my friend Chad told me the busiest time he was ever at Disney Land was on Christmas. After spending the day cooped up with family, people want to get out and be entertained or distracted with programming on TV that's not a rerun of a Christmas movie.

My sympathy is also low on this subject because I work in an industry where there are no holidays. The news business doesn't take off for Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years or Easter. Granted, I don't work all of these holidays, but there have been years and years where I did.

Christmas unicorns
Courtesy: WWE

Let's not forget it's not just the WWE Superstars who will be away from their fans as critics have pointed out. The production team, commentators, referees, stylists, music and sound operations, etc. will all be on the road this Christmas. It's fair to say there are likely thousands of other people (wrestlers and other talents) who would kill to be a part of that Christmas night Raw.

I'll wrap up with this challenge. If you are truly appalled and upset by this decision by WWE and USA Network, I challenge you to turn off the TV Christmas night. Don't watch the show live and don't record it either. Refrain from watching the recap on YouTube on down the road. To truly make a point and hit both companies where it hurts, don't watch. I, however, will be watching. My hope is our Superstars and those putting the show on air will be compensated appropriately for this first-time adventure in the modern era of professional wrestling. 

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