A documentation of the aggressive arts. Written by Sawyer Paul.

What to post, who to trust

Geno Mrosko:

Everything is a work and everyone is trying to work everyone else so concrete information is incredibly difficult to come by. He, like so many others (myself included), tries his best and that’s all anyone can ask for.
I love it when Geno wrestles with this idea. It’s huge, and important. What do journalists believe when the industry they report on disdains them?

There are reasons to disdain pro wrestling journalism as a whole. The vast majority of it is petty, poorly written, and based on the TMZ model of scoops and rumours. All of the major wrestling websites operate at best on linkbait and worst on utter lies.

Geno and I don’t always agree, but I will always respect his desire to make a better wrestling website and be a better wrestling writer. I simply don’t see that effort many other places. Stroud, Holzerman, and a handful of other guys who write daily about wrestling are all that hold up any semblance of respect in this industry.

I don’t really include myself in this list, because I operate under a very strict tenet: if it’s not obviously true, I don’t report or link to it. That makes me the slow guy, because I’ll sit on things long after most. It also means days go by without anything from me. If you allow wwe.com to have reviews of shows, there simply isn’t enough in the major wrestling world to write every day, so I don’t. Any conjecture on this site is my own.

Unfortunately, guys who want to make a living (or anything at all) don’t have that option. They have to post. The Torch would go out if it wasn’t kept up constantly, so to speak. So they expand their factual reporting with opinion, and that opinion is extended into rumours and fantasy writing, and before long we’re hearing from sources that don’t actually exist. Next time you’re reading the Observer, ask yourself how much of it is actually fresh, new material talking about fresh, new things.

There is an answer to this, of course. The major websites could spend more time researching other wrestling companies. They could expand their reach. Or they could spend time and money on evergreen content. But neither of those bring in the click links. Not much blows up a wrestling website outside of WWE news. So they repeat their recipe. They churn.

It’s not a unique problem to wrestling. This is the current state of journalism. Nobody knows how to really make money while balancing quality work. Well, maybe not nobody. But certainly not everybody.

I don’t think Punk is petty for picking on Meltzer. As a guy who’s picked on Meltzer, I can say it feels pretty good in moderation. But the problem isn’t that both sides hate each other. The problem is that one side has sucked at their job for so long that the other side thinks they’re scum. Which direction you think the arrow goes will definitely say something about the skin you have in the game.