Since I’ve been doing the weekly “Raw: the good, the bad and the ugly” posts over at UGO.com the comments have always run the gamut from “You suck!” “Fire Shitterson!” to “Brilliant observation!” and “You are so handsome!” (maybe not that last one so much, but you get the picture). Lately though, I’ve started to see a particular trend in the comments, however, one where people say what amounts to, “You’re being critical, but you haven’t offered any ideas!” with one or two folks even calling me out and requesting that I give my ideas for how certain storylines could be better. What they’re asking for is Fantasy Booking, or Backseat Booking, and I don’t do it.
For a very eloquently stated reason why, here’s CM Punk talking to Peter Rosenberg:
The fact of the matter is, that no matter how much inside information I remember from my time at WWE, how much I learned on the set of the Wrestling Retribution Project, or how many dirt sheet reports I read, the fact of the matter is that none of us really have any idea all the myriad factors that go into making any kind of decision in WWE, TNA or any other promotion really. To take an easy example: A lot of folks like to talk about how WWE should turn John Cena heel, but while it’d be a neat story, it would also jeopardize the immense amount of money the company and Cena himself make on merchandise sales. Not to mention the fact that maybe Cena doesn’t even want to be a heel, and the guy is a big enough brand that he could probably put the kibosh on it if he wanted.
That’s why in all of my wrestling writing, I try to avoid playing the “What I would have done…” game, and focus on analyzing what actually makes it to the screen. I even try to leave dirt sheet reports (which I read as religiously as anyone) out of it, as they’re a predictably unpredictable mix of truth, lies, half-truths and half-lies, i.e., pretty much useless except as a form of entertainment in and of themselves. Even if you know nothing of anything going on backstage in a wrestling promotion, any fan can watch what they see on television and have an opinion about it – just like you can with your other favorite television series – and that’s what I try to provide each week.
Plus, if I ever got into my fantasy booking ideas, I’d lose all of my readership that that wasn’t interested in hearing about extended “Is she or isn’t she a tranny?” Divas storylines. It’d be a bad scene.