PWI Update

Six years ago, I took on the task of writing a weekly web column for primarily to remain on the fringe of the industry and to make some people laugh. I had no interest in sticking around nearly as long as I have, so much so that I recall asking then-Managing Editor Lisa Rocchi to “shoot me in the neck if I’m still writing this column when I’m 30.”

In four weeks, I’ll be 33, my neck is virtually unscathed, and, right now, you’re reading the final edition of this column.

For my final installment, I sit down at my desk with hopes of both entertaining and riling. The feedback I’ve received over the years tells me I’ve been successful at doing just that. Really, I can only recall three instances where I got genuinely angry pieces of mail: One suggested that all ideas that could ever be used in wrestling had already been done, one corrected my use of the word “penultimate,” and one was from my good friend Rich Angelo, who legitimately objected to my griping about John Cena’s mike skills. Aside from that craptastic hat trick, it’s mostly been accolades and indifference. Sweet, sweet indifference.

I’d like to use my final 1,000 words to thank all the wonderful people at PWI that made this column not only passable each week, but damn near good at times. They took my drivel week in and week out and morphed it into something that resembled a well-written recap of the weekly events. The brilliant minds of Jeff Ruoss, Harry Burkett, and Frank Krewda continually kept me on point and encouraged thoughtfulness. Whether it was Jeff’s truly skewed way of viewing things, Harry’s pragmatism, or Frank’s “you-can’t-put-that-in-writing-because-it doesn’t-make-sense”-itude, each has been instrumental in my column’s “success” (it’s a relative term), and I can’t thank each of them enough. It was a pure joy to work with them each week. I had as much fun dissecting the column and shooting the breeze as I did sitting down to write it.

Next up, all the wonderful people at Kappa Publishing, who allowed me to ramble on for 300-plus weeks. They could’ve pulled the plug at any moment, but regime changes and all, I remained. Like a cockroach … or the plague. Who am I kidding? I could walk right into the middle of palatial PWI headquarters in scenic Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, with a T-shirt emblazoned with my name and photo and still 90 percent of the folks there would have no clue who I was. Seriously, though, I appreciate the opportunity.

Of course, I couldn’t recognize the great folks behind PWI without acknowledging the amazing writing staff I’ve gotten to work with the past six years. I have been unbelievably fortunate to work beside such talented folks as Dave Lenker, Dan Murphy, Bill Meltzer, Will Welsh, C.F. Hunter, Brady Hicks, Al Castle, and, my all-time wrestling crush, Brandi Mankiewicz (she’s very real, and very awesome), among so many others. “The Turn” was an amalgamation of the styles and skills of all of the writers I was able to work with these past six years.  “Amalgamation” being writer speak for “subconscious plagiarism,” of course. If I’ve forgotten anyone, it’s only because there have been so many great people that it’s impossible to name you all. Plus, I’m drunk. Rat-ass drunk … Wait … I mean “creative.” Rat-ass creative.

Finally, my life in this industry would not have been as long or as enjoyable as it was without the following two groups. First and foremost, I can’t imagine I would’ve lasted nearly as long in this gig without the support and encouragement of the aforementioned Lisa Rocchi-Doyle and legendary publisher—and future hall of famer—Stuart M. Saks. Many a long afternoon did the three of us sit together and churn out book after book or fight over which bits of profanity I could sneak into a story (the answer: not many). They are two of the best co-workers I’ve ever had the honor to punch a time card next to and, more so, two of the best human beings I’ve ever encountered—just decent, good folks who cared about the product and wouldn’t put up with my crap.

And, in the end, the past six years would not have been possible without the support and rage of my fellow wrestling fans who took time away from searching for early morning Internet porn to check out the site each Friday morning and read the column. I never—not for one of the 94,608,000 seconds this column has existed—took you, the reader, for granted. The fact that you took any amount of time out of your schedule to read the thoughts and quips of this columnist still boggles my mind, in a good way, of course. I truly and genuinely appreciate each and every one of you.

Although I now head off for whatever-the-hell it is you do when you leave the wrasslin’ mob, I encourage you all to continue to support the PWI family of publications in all their forms. Some great and exciting things are happening with the books through virtual publication and social media. It’s a very exciting time to be a PWI reader and fan. I believe in Stu and Frank and their vision. They care about this publication and I am confident of their leadership. Enjoy PWI, support PWI, and become PWI. Engage the writers, set the tone for the books, and take advantage of all this great staff has to offer. Remember, when the state of the industry seems its bleakest, PWI has been a stalwart of all that is good and fun about wrestling for the past 30-plus years, and with your support, it’ll be there for the next 30.

The End.

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