This is the first in a two-part series exploring where to find the best wrestling content on the internet today. I hope you enjoy it and I look forward to reading your comments in the comment section below.
More so than pretty much everyone else involved in the internet wrestling scene right now, I come from an old school perspective on what makes a good wrestling website. The best wrestling websites that I’ve ever seen (excluding the ones that I’ve owned, of course) were those sites that had high quality daily news and rumor reports. And the term “high quality” is of particular importance here because these websites actually produced reports that were worthy of being printed! Websites like Scoops, the original 411, the WICN website, WrestleLine, and others made it fun to log-on to the internet each day to read what was going on in professional wrestling. Perhaps the best part of their reporting was the amateur journalism that they employed on their websites. These writers didn’t make up stories and they certainly didn’t conjecture up false facts based on plausible scenarios. They reported what actual men and women in the wrestling business did and said on a daily basis – can you imagine?! And this level of reality – this level of truth – made their updates the most engaging reporting that has ever been present on the internet wrestling scene.
Unfortunately, a confluence of several events occurred around the same time to bring an end to the high quality amateur journalism that so many of us enjoyed in the early days of the internet wrestling scene. These events included:
- The advent of the easy-to-install newsboard systems.
- Proliferation of low-quality fan-generated wrestling websites.
- Increased and widespread copying and pasting of fabricated reports created by negatively-intentioned, long-time biased, money-hungry newsletter owners with an axe to grind against anyone that they disagreed with in the wrestling business.
- The growing mob of preteen and tween “newz” reporters who didn’t understand the difference between conjecture based on plausible scenarios and hard news.
- Revenue potential based on click-for-dollars advertisements.
And there are so many more reasons why the internet wrestling scene lost its amateur journalistic integrity and became a less fun place to play, but I think these five points hit the mark. In fact, the entire internet is heading down the wrong path when it comes to quality journalism. There is no stronger example of this than the “citizen journalists” who dominate increasingly popular websites like Bleacher Report, Examiner, and the Patch. Most of the time the individuals who become “reporters” at these websites do so with no experience other than being a fan of a sport. This creates a scenario where internet wrestling fans who seek out the latest news on their favorite wrestling promotion(s) are being directed to websites where there is no real news reported. Instead, these fans wind up reading conjectured stories that, frankly, the writers aren’t even well-educated enough to realize aren’t true! By the way, this is what causes the totally false reports about TNA every few weeks. Every interview with every performer in that company highlights the fact that the backstage atmosphere is awesome, everyone feels like a big family, no one with a guaranteed contract has ever received a late payment or missed payment, and that the entire group enjoys working for Dixie Carter (see next week’s column).
You’d never know that this was the truth about working in TNA if you simply typed “TNA” or “iMPACT Wrestling” into the news function of a search engine. And I know some brainwashed or highly uneducated dope out there is reading that last sentence thinking, “Nuh uh! TNA is the worst! Everyone knows it! It’s a fact!” Those poor, poor hatermarks. I hope they come back next week to read the second part of this column.
So where should discerning, educated wrestling fans go to get their news fix? Well, I know that all of you reading this always come to IWHeadlines.com first… but after you’re done scrolling through what we have to offer, I suggest listening a little bit. That’s right. Instead of looking to read the news, you might consider listening to the actual newsmakers themselves.
I’ve spent much of the last 10+ years trying not to visit other wrestling websites besides my own. Lately, though, I’ve been branching out and listening to some of the podcasts, radio shows, and YouTube-based interviews that are being produced by former wrestlers, writers, performers, and announcers. And you know what? Most of them are really great! Jim Ross and his Ross Report podcast might be the best one that I’ve heard so far, but Steve Austin’s Unleashed! podcast is great, too. And what’s great about these podcasts isn’t just the people who are hosting them (although listening to podcasts from guys like Ross and Austin is pretty awesome), it’s that these guys don’t come to the show with an agenda or a desire to spin whatever their guests have to say. They just let their guests talk and give their opinions on different topics in an uninterrupted manner. Plus, they have access to the highest level guests that are out there, so instead of listening to some blathering fans-turned-pseudo-hosts talk about stuff they hear fifth and sixth hand from a “newz” website, you get to listen to true industry insiders and industry leaders talk about what works in this business and why.
And it’s not just the podcasts that are being put out by the former entertainers that are great to listen to; there are some fan podcasts that manage to snag compelling interviews, too. The best one that I’ve heard so far is the Talk TNA Podcast interview with TJ Perkins/Manik. Frankly, the Perkins interview should be required listening for any person involved in the internet wrestling “newz” world who has ever copied and pasted a negative report on iMPACT Wrestling or who only believes that WWE is a superior working environment to TNA.
This brings me to my final point and tease for next week’s Major Impact column: there are definitely some podcasts that I’ve listened to in the last week or two that qualify as required listening. These podcasts and interviews are required listening for all wrestling fans who think that they’re in the know. With that in mind, I want to share some of these podcasts, radio shows, and interviews with you so that you have a firm grip of what really should be considered “required listening.” And I’ll share those links and thoughts with you… next Friday!