Monday, March 9, 2009

For Shame WWE - making life difficult for a charity event

Former WWE star and current TNA performer Booker T. Huffman is hosting a charity wrestling event on the Saturday afternoon of Wrestlemania weekend. WWE 0f late has made it known that any of the individuals they have contracted to appear at Wrestlemania or Wrestlemania-related events (such as the Hall of Fame ceremony on Saturday night), that appearing at Booker T's event would be a conflict of interest. Such names as Torrie Wilson, Tito Santana, Nick Bockwinkel, and so forth, have pulled out of Huffman's show as a result.

I understand WWE is always very rigorous about defending its intellectual property, and I understand that Booker T currently works for TNA which is the E's main competition. However, it is no surprise that Wrestlemania has become a tradeshow of sorts for the entire wrestling industry, with indies and other federations all over the country hosting shows and reunions that weekend in and around the WM location. While I understand getting picky in some situations -- WWE was absolutely correct in reprimanding Highlander Robby McAllister for appearing in the TNA audience last year in Orlando two nights before Mania 24 -- this is a charity event which doesn't conflict with any official WWE-sanctioned Wrestlemania events besides Fan Axxess, which runs at other times as well. I think that the more civic-minded nature of the McMahons and the WWE (who actively participate and contribute to many worthy organizations - March of Dimes, Make a Wish, etc.), and pride in the fact that the McMahon-created WM weekend having become bigger than the industry itself, could allow some leeway for an indy fed doing a charity show 36 hours before WWE's big night.

Just sayin' ...


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