The Burning Ground: what this juke is about
The Burning Ground section will be opinion and commentary under the banner.
I have covered and/or been involved in pro wrestling going back to my grade school years. It all started with a monthly newspaper column.
In high school, I launched a cable access TV show and a weekly radio show simultaneously.
I have contributed to the Wrestling Observer, PW Insider, and 411 Mania. I want to thank everyone over at those sites for giving this site its acknowledgement when we officially launched. They didn’t have to do that being so well established on their own for so many decades.
I decided it was time to take a chance and launch something of my own while still sharing information to the other website. There is just too much pro wrestling content for everyone to cover at once. I feel like I spend 24/7 watching and covering wrestling, yet it’s still not nearly enough time to get to everything.
WWD’s focus is on women’s wrestling, smaller indie wrestling and a bit of men’s international coverage.
I am not anti- WWE, ROH, AEW, etc. No other sites can cover those groups better than Wrestling Observer, PW Insider, and 411 Mania. If WWD was to cover it on a daily basis we would just turn into a rehash site. It would be a waste of everyone’s time. The entire Internet already has plenty of Raw and Smackdown recaps each week.
Pro wrestling news coverage has drastically changed for those of us in Generation X. Pay streaming services and the magic of free YouTube and Twitch are a technological gift for the ages. However, it amazes that results and accuracy get lost in the media compared to a few decades ago.
In the 1980s and 1990s, pro wrestling fans would have to pay to call hotlines, know someone in the business, or wait each week for newsletters in the mail to find out results and insider information.
You had to make sure that you were picking the right hotline because several were kayfabe storylines with no value. Kids would be in trouble with their parents for running up the phone bill by a few hundred dollars per month because of these lines.
The WWF had a daily hotline for fifty cents a call that was always advertised in the magazine and on TV. It was nothing more than the roster cutting long recorded promos over the phone.
For a while people could cheat the system by using a pay phone (remember those?) for the regular quarter a call instead of paying full price from their home phones. Eventually it was too much of a headache for the pay phone companies and they ended up blocking every 976 and 900 number that there was. And there were a lot of them in those days!
Black Jack Brown out of New York had a live hotline where you could talk to him about insider news along with other wrestling fans calling in from around the U.S. It was 99 cents a minute! It was basically pro wrestling’s version of a “party line” which were popular among teenagers in the 80s.
“Coach” Kurt based out of Michigan was the best. His line was available in Detroit, Chicago, NYC, and even Windsor, Canada twice a day for fifty cents a call. I don’t know how Kurt did it, but he had correspondents from all over the world and they covered everything.
The updates were recorded and he only had two minutes of time given to speak and fit in all of his notes. If you missed some information, you had to call back and listen again. His accuracy was impeccable!
Kurt would tell you “who beat who”, how, and in what amount of time. He and his small crew of staff took things just as seriously as real news journalism. They never wanted to work people to lose any credibility and steer their paying customers wrong. They never made themselves the story, it was always about the facts and news. At times if there was a big and legit scandal, Kurt would do respectful commentaries about it.
By the early 2000s the Internet phased out pay hotlines and people were getting information for free on their computers. In 2009, everyone started getting smartphones with websites right on them and that phased out desktop computers for accessing instant news and entertainment information.
Today’s wrestling reporting, in my view, has lost a lot of the accuracy and all of the sincerity. There are too many pro wrestling websites and outlets for starters.
WWD is one of countless sites out there and we’re very late to the party. We are proof that literally anyone can have a website, podcast, YouTube, etc. to talk about pro wrestling. There are many to choose from and the few quality sites get overlooked.
It seems like most people today don’t care about sending results in unlike the old days.
My generation lived for getting results and passing them on to Coach Kurt, Dave Meltzer, and Wade Keller. We would run down all the squash matches and what move the top stars used to win over the talent enhancement.
My brain had its own calendar. Every three weeks meant WWF Superstars and Challenge TV tapings on a Tuesday and Wednesday night. NWA/WCW/WCW Saturday Night tapings were every few weeks in Atlanta. NWA/WCW would also have separate tapings for the syndicated NWA Worldwide and NWA Pro Wrestling shows.
Loyal fans and those in the business would tune into the WWF, NWA, AWA, World Class, and GWF TV shows every week still wanting to see how everything looked and sounded on TV despite already knowing the results days and weeks in advance.
Impact Wrestling and ROH TV taping in 2019 are the best examples of how things have changed in quality of information. A site like Wrestling Inc. will somehow manage to get ongoing basic results. Then all of the other sites will steal those results and pass them around the Internet. Gone are the days of multiple reports being sent in from different people to pick and choose from.
Twitter and Reddit are instant basic information with video clips. Fans seem to be more interested in being in the live event experience while trying to get themselves over for more social media followers.
When Priscilla Kelly’s tampon move went viral, that was only sight and news the wrestling world got out of that event. Nobody knew who won the match or what even happened after the incident at the show. The vivid clip had everyone talking for a few days, but nobody cared about the actual “who beat who” results of the match, much less the results of the entire card.
Our goal with this site is to try to bring back some of the old school ways of pro wrestling reporting while in this fast paced and technological society. Mistakes have indeed been made due to a lack of sleep on the Japanese schedule, but I try to correct them as soon as possible.
We hope that WWD grows enough to become a place of daily reading in addition to your other favorite pro wrestling news sites.
Best Wishes and Life’s Best,