INTERNET WRESTLING PERSONALITIES 101
Have you read recaps and columns from your favorite wrestling site - only to have to wade through three or seventeen paragraphs trashing one of the "internet wrestling personalities" currently floating around the internet superhighway.
Doesn't that suck? Worse yet, you probably don't even know who half of these people are.
Never fear - because the only internet quasi-personality with any credibility (and no, it's not Scott Keith) is here to enlighten the huddled masses, yearning to breathe free from the stench of ignorance about this vast network of smarkdom.
But first, a primer.
Everyone who knows anything about wrestling (at least in this parallel universe) refers liberally to something called RSPW (rec.sports.pro-wrestling) which for the uninitiated, is a newsgroup that allegedly has brilliant commentary and discussion about professional wrestling - although whenever I go there these days, it seems to be the home of illiterate jackals who post things like "ROCK RULZ" and "How I made $80,000 with a $5 investment". But back in the day, it's rumored, RSPW was the only places you could go to have really, really pretentious discussion about professional wrestling. Furthermore, if you were not part of RSPW before, say 1962, you're a newbie whose opinion on things wrestling means about as much as a promise from Bill Clinton.
Of course, being an internet wrestling personality means one has a vast collection of Japanese wrestling tapes - meaning that Japan exports almost as many video tapes as they do televisions, well-made cars, and high-tech cellular phones that you can surf the web on. If you've never heard of New Japan, All-Japan, FMW, or RINGS - and can't tell the difference between each - you are imminently NOT qualified to be an internet wrestling personality.
But not all the internet wrestling personalities are alike, so here's a brief capsule summary of each of the "smark gods" of the 'net:
SCOTT KEITH (rantsylvania.com, emzee.com, wrestleline.com): The man of a thousand historical references, Scott Keith is best known for his ability to recap a pay-per-view in such a way as to make you feel like you're reading a doctoral thesis...his writing style is akin to overanalyzing an episode of Friends - I'm sure if he did recap the hit Thursday night show, it would involve a discussion of Ross's decreasing workrate and the inconsistency in the Monica/Chandler storyline...has no patience for anyone who doesn't know the difference between a tope, a plancha, and a chalupa...rumored to be considered for a WCW booking position, which means Nitro main-events would almost definitely involve La Parka.
CRZ (crz.net, wrestleline.com, emzee.com): The "Burelle's Transcripts" of internet personalities, Christopher Robin Zimmerman has a knack for transcribing EVERY SINGLE INTERVIEW on a televised show...of course, the fact someone would take the time to transcribe EVERY SINGLE INTERVIEW on a televised show implies the complete lack of a real life one has...attempts to potray himself as a hip cat, with plenty of long-hair, attitude, and allegedly cool taste in music and movies...considers himself "too cool" to accept free tickets for WCW events, when people in places other than sunny California (say, Sioux Falls, South Dakota) would prostrate themselves on the throne of Kevin Sullivan for any opport--
Oops. That was getting a bit personal there.
But SPEAKING of personal...
SEAN SHANNON (rantsylvania.com, wrestleline.com): The self-proclaimed "Slymmster" is best known for two things - shamelessly pimping himself for an ECW booking job (like they even have bookers) and divulging personal details about himself that sometimes come off as a cross between Stuart Smiley's daily affirmations and a tortured soul's therapy sessions...has an uncanny knack for having the same opinion as Scott Keith...is actually fairly knowledgeable about ECW in his recaps, which is in many ways akin to being an expert in medieval folk dancing - nice information to have if you're going on "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire", but useless in any other real world situation...lives close to Toledo, Ohio, which explains a lot, actually.
MARK MADDEN (wcw.com, 1wrestling.com, markmadden.com): Long-time dirtsheet writer and dirty old man, Mark Madden recently moved his "smart" column to 1wrestling.com...it's rumored the reason for the move was his desire to be closer to new best-friend Bob Ryder...opinions are rumored to be up for sale to the highest bidder - or to whomever will give him the rub and get him a color commentating job on Nitro that he really doesn't deserve...offered Scott Keith the opportunity to write for markmadden.com, and then felt the need to put editorial comments of his own in there - obviously breaking some secret RSPW code.
BOB RYDER (1wrestling.com, wcw.com): As long as the paychecks keep comin' in, Bob'll keep telling it like it is - WCW style...believes there's no harm in being a paid employee (oops, independent contractor) for WCW and purporting to report hard-core wrestling news on his website...obviously didn't take any journalistic ethics classes in college...has memorized the words "WCW is going in the right direction" to the point that he'll say them in response to virtually any question asked of him.
RICK SCAIA (wrestleline.com): Part of the RSPW clique, Scaia's ambitions lie far beyond the internet arena...the rumor is that "the Rick" wants to take his band, Romergency, and open for Wrestlemania - unfortunately, the band sucks, so there's about as much chance of that happening as Scott Shannon ever booking ECW...asks fans to stump "the Rick", despite the fact that Scott Keith would know the answer to any of Scaia's questions in about seven seconds...potrays himself as a big drinker and a cool dude, but anyone who's been a fan of wrestling since before 1996 is by definition uncool...lives in Dayton, Ohio, which explains a lot, really.
Personal note: I lived in Dayton, Ohio for about a year on a consulting assignment. Let me tell you something - on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the ultimate level of suckitude a city can achieve, Dayton was right around a 9.75. The only thing saving it from being a 10 was that it wasn't a third-world parasite-infested hell hole like Calcutta, Mexico City, or Detriot.
Anyways, let's conclude this little primer with the granddaddy of all "internet personalities"...
CHRIS HYATTE (scoopthis.com): Depending on who you believe, Chris Hyatte is either really hip and cutting-edge, or a total loser with an overinflated sense of his own worth...most people consider the latter more accurate...the anti-Scott Keith, Hyatte is proud of his inability to be able to rattle off five-thousand wrestling holds, instead working on his ability to rattle off five thousand insults about every website he's ever worked for, and few hundred more about ones he hasn't...takes weeks off at a time - some say it's for rehab for the enormous amounts of alchol he consumes while writing his "Mop-Ups"...which explains a lot, really.
Have I missed people? Of course, but anyone that's not on this list should be thankful - they're either too talented for me to want to piss off, or so unbelievably bland that making fun of them would be close to impossible.
And to those who made this list, and are readying their mighty flames to point towards myself...
Relax. It's a joke. Take it for what it is.
I don't have a cool nickname or a catchphrase, so I guess I'll see you in a while.