Saturday, February 14, 2009

A Piece of my Mind Feb 14th 2009 by "The Big Cheese" Sal Corrente

The recent incident between the fans and Chris Jericho in Victoria, British Columbia, is a sad one on all levels. When I first started in the business fans were scared to death of the wrestlers. I can remember being in the Westchester County Center one night when Afa “The Wild Samoan #1” ran into the crowd after a fan, he wasn’t able to catch him because the people all scattered. In today’s society, and with fans being aware the Pro Wrestling is Sports Entertainment, I am not sure fans would run. Many of them are just looking to provoke an altercation. In this incident, the fans were certainly not acting respectfully and from what I saw from the videos available, the building security was pathetic at best.

In Chris Jericho’s case, it’s a tough call to make. It is easy for someone like me to sit here and say he should have handled it better. We have all been provoked at one time or another by fans inside the building and outside. Many of us will never know what real harassment is. Can we even imagine what someone like Jackie Robinson went through? How many punches could have been thrown? I assume that, as this incident runs through Jericho’s mind, he is considering how he could have handled it better. It’s a bad deal. Fans everywhere should be embarrassed for these people in Victoria. The building needs to think about getting better security people. If people are going to be allowed to congregate like that then real uniformed police should be on hand. In Jericho’s case, I am sure this is one of those moments that will alter his life in many ways. How he enters buildings, leaves buildings how he deals with fans as a whole. It truly is a shame that some people do not know how to conduct themselves.

The other thing that needs to be examined is insulting fans. As a manager I have been asked to do this ... basically been ordered to do it. I don’t believe in it and don’t like doing it but I am very good at it. I don’t believe I need it to “get over” and get my heat. I yell at the fans but insulting them just makes no sense and it shows me that a guy needs that kind of “cheap heat” because he really can’t work. In the case of Chris Jericho, the guy is a tremendous worker if it’s true that actions speak louder than words. Then if Chris Jericho is going to be one of your top heels let him work and get his heat. How hard is it to figure out why insult people that are paying you money to come and see you.

I was on my way to LA today as I boarded the plane in Atlanta.I looked behind me and there was WWE Producer/wrestler Jamie Noble. I introduced myself and we started chatting a little. He was familiar with WrestleReunion. We eventually started talking about our careers and realized that we were on the Yokozuna Memorial Show together. I remembered Shannon Moore being on the show but I didn’t remember Jamie being on it. It was a night that won’t easily be forgotten if I ever forget it. It was so hard realizing that someone I basically started with was gone. The Undertaker, Kane, Tim White (WWE Referee) The APA (Bradshaw and Farroq) along with Billy Kidman, and Kanyon were all there. I got a chance to see all the wrestling members of the Anoai and Fatu family as well The Great Samu, Afa “The Wild Samoan”, Rikishi (JR Fatu), Ecki Fatu (Umaga), The Tonga Kid (Sam Fatu). As far as I know everyone there that night donated their services and got them to the event for free. I am always busy traveling as was everyone else, but paying tribute to someone who broke into the business with you was a must. I have been in this business now since nineteen eighty one. That’s an awful long time. It always strikes me funny when I run into a guy and find out we worked on one or numerous events together and I don’t remember it. I used to think that I would remember every match every guy every city. It just doesn’t happen that way. But it’s always fun to revisit the past and remember the good old days. These blogs give me a chance to do just that.

The photo with this article was taken at WrestleReunion 1 in Tampa. It is of Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka and “Rowdy” Roddy Piper. It is probably the first and last time many people saw these two guys on the same side of a tag team match.