Hello, my intended...
Well, here we are again... The palindrome that is 2002 will go down as probably the unquestioned nadir of the business. Do I hold out much hope for 2003? Sure, I'm optimistic. How much worse can it get, right? They're likely gonna pull in Goldberg and Austin, the Rock might drop by for a few weeks before he leaves to shoot a live action 'Johnny Bravo'... 'Ooooooh, MAMA.' I can only figure he got this gig because he raises his eyebrow alot. Well, they both do... I mean, sure, I can believe a black/islander combo can play a blonde caucasian with an Elvis fixation... Must... Not... Laugh... Hey, it's not like they're sending HHH to be in a Conan movie, right...?
....Damn. I do get a smile when I think of the 'lamentations-ah da women-ah', but that doesn't mean I'm flinging eight bucks at it. WWE Movies... Argh. Yeah, that should be a cash cow. Look at all that talent you got under exclusive contract... Oops. Independant contractors, eh? I'm sure Melissa Gilbert and SAG might want to have a word with you about that, Vince... Guess which one?
If you think you lost street-cred eating it from the Pandas, wait till 'Half-pint' kicks your teeth in, and all your boys off of TV. I know Zenk is probably dancing around the house at the idea... Heh. See, the thing is, you could keep the SAG away when it was a 'sporting event', but you've shot that in the ass, haven't you, Vince? You'll rue the day you didn't pay off the Jersey Commission for their license, and that choice is coming to bite you straight in the ass to a score from John Williams. Yeah, man. You think Jesse and Roddy were pissing in the wind about that union thing, pal? You'll WISH they succeeded. I guarantee it. And if SAG doesn't kill your ass deader than disco, then I'm pretty sure AFTRA would be happy to pick up the pieces... and kick the shit out them AGAIN.
Shall I mention now that both of these unions are called 'Internationals'? As in no running to someplace not America to duck out. Every major city has a local chapter of SAG or AFTRA, and last I checked most of your TV broadcasts this year have been from union represented territories. Keep on joking, King. We LOVE anti-union jokes and aspersions cast at us about our general work ethic... especially from people that're gonna wind up needing us.
As a union member, I can say that we might miss on a few organizing opportunities for a while... You might even get under the radar for a bit. Maybe for a long bit. But nothing lasts forever... Shall I mention that the MINIMUM rate for a principle player (on camera, more than 5 lines) in a weekly primetime one-hour show is $5,633 per show, and requires a 19 hour week to be paid them for being in said SINGLE one-hour weekly show. And that it includes on-camera announcers as principles..? Now, that rate INCREASES the longer the show is - as does the required paid hours. I can see Vinnie doing that trademark 'Holy Crap, Am -I- Gonna Get It NOW' gulp as I write this. Heh. Warms the cockles of whatever is pumping the blood for me...
Ernest Miller and the rest of them have probably gone into cardiac arrest... For the slow class, when you consider no less than twenty people blabbering per show? that translates to $112,660 MINIMUM for said week. EACH week. And that's just on the ONE-HOUR programs, like Velocity... $292,916. That's how much you're gonna have to pay for 'someone to call their momma' each year, MIMIMUM. EACH person. Starting to see why no other show tries to run all year? Guess what else? That minimum requirement INCREASES when there are special skills or stunt work required... The unions are just waiting for the Pandas to get done with you, brother... Then, since they'll have stuff like court records of you saying that you're an entertainment program...? How long ago was it that you broke that little newsflash? Can you say 'back pay'?
Remember that last article I did where I said 'Death' alot?
Still think I'm fucking JOKING?
On the plus side, think of all the free press you'll get when everyone famous starts talking about what a low-life scum-nut you are... just before they suggest a boycott. Mind you, it's not like I want you to close shop and die in the gutter, Vince. Heavens, no! But as a guy that's done that whole 'independant contractor' thing in the construction business, I can say that I didn't quite bust my ass like I do now that I have medical coverage and pension credits. People work harder when they know they're not gonna be out in the cold if something goes wrong. It's better for morale. Good morale is good for business. Think it's by accident that Duane would rather make movies where he's got union coverage than to bust his ass for you?
And before you really go pissing yourself about how everyone is suddenly gonna cost a ton, try to understand that the whole union thing isn't about raking you over the coals. It's about making sure the workers are represented and protected. Unions prefer to work WITH the guys in charge towards what's best for everybody - even the guys in charge. Success is supposed to be to everyone's benefit, and continuing success is what we're trying to maintain. Shutting you down won't fix things, but you'd be legally blind if you didn't see that things sure need fixing. Things can be negotiated to make sure you're still able to operate, and still be able to make sure the boys aren't staring down a career-ending injury every night that they go on. Yes, Vince, house-shows count as additional performances under the union rules. How many times a week you getting that Crash Holly to kill himself? Six? Six two-hour shows a week, eh? That's just $33,798 a week... 52 weeks a year? $1,757,496... What are you paying Crash again? $75000-125000 a year? Heh. Yeah, the unions're gonna LOVE that.
While I know you're used to that whole totalitarian rule over the peons by fear thing, it's not good for business. Look around if you don't believe me, Vince. All those yes-people doing whatever you say to do; no matter how stupid or offensive or harmful to the product it is in the short/long run? They do it - usually against their better judgment - because there's no other choice except unemployment, and when the fans march/tune out in disgust you have the audacity to blame the workers? When everything that goes on the air does so after your 'input' and 'approval'? Not that it's a State Secret or anything, but BULLSHIT.
Don't think that it's not addressable, though. Don't think there's no way to comply with union rule. There's a ton of people on your roster that could be capable as announcers, but they never get the chance. Give that chance to them on a thirteen week rotation. Hell, you could even use the guys that are injured and unable to do ringwork... Angle, Nash or Jericho in the announcers booth = ratings, I guarantee it. Plus it cuts the cost from the MINIMUM $292,916 to a more affordable $79,229 (assuming they stay off TV after their 13 weeks) - and it gives you a better idea of who the fans don't mind hearing talk/seeing work when the ratings come in. Plus, it allows the less eloquent promo cutters to get some fucking much-needed practice. Practice might still not make perfect, but I promise you it cuts down on the suck.
As an added bonus, it could even get some of them a fanbase. The more people on the roster that the fans know who the hell ARE and like and/or dislike is a good thing. Think people will be so quiet watching Rico wrestle after he's been on TV for thirteen weeks talking shit about everybody? Certainly not. Some people will buy tickets just to see someone kick his ass - and getting people to buy tickets is supposed to be the POINT.
Just some friendly advice from your old buddy, Bobo...
You're welcome. See you SOON.