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Dr. Tom looks at Jim Ross, Johnny Ace, and One of WWE's Biggest Problems

By Dr. Tom Prichard Oct 21, 2005 - 5:05 PM print


Enough already! I have had it up to my eyeballs about JR and the way he was treated on his "last" RAW broadcast. After all, this is Sports Entertainment. This is an action adventure series. Hell, things like that happen on TV shows. Anyone can commentate and do play by play. What's the big deal?

First and foremost, I want to make it clear that I am and always will be known as a "JR loyalist." I got to thinking about the words loyalty and loyalist. What does that really mean in the "corporate" world? Well, in my case I found out I was aligned on the wrong side of the aisle politically. That's not the reason I was terminated though, just for the record. But I did see how JR's management style and that of Johnny Ace differed in and out of the office.

I mean, come on. When the same people who ran WCW into bankruptcy came over and were put into power positions in the WWE, don't you think people (and the boys) were asking the same questions? Like, "How in the fuck did these guys get their jobs?" OK, to be fair not everyone who came over and got a good spot was questioned. But when JR was looking to step down, the only person around qualified to do his job was Dynamic Dude Johnny Ace?

Yes, there was some name calling and out loud speculation that young Johnny was in way over his head and would be seen for what he really is. Someone in a much higher position than I was said Johnny was a "manipulating, backstabbing liar." I only had one brief encounter with Ace during a trip to Japan in 1994, not really enough time to make a proper character judgment for me.

Of course he did a lot of great things with WCW and his instituted dress code along with handing out fines for guys who were even two minutes late made him show the corporate brass at Time Warner that he was a man they could count on to get those no-good, degenerate wrestlers in line. And boy did he ever! He turned that company and locker room morale around like nobody's business! I guess that still holds true today.

It's nobody's business. No, wait! It's WWE's business. I understand the importance of a dress code. Image is everything, I wore sweat pants and tee shirts at the office because I felt my image was that of a trainer and coach. Yes, I was on the fourth floor of Titan Tower and yes, once Johnny Ace came into power I was asked to dress more "professional." I reluctantly changed and tried to be more "corporate" (whatever that means, by the way) but things were changing at a faster rate than anyone anticipated.

I'm all for change. Change is good. Sometimes. I felt it was my place to explain when John was getting wrong information and to give him the right information. I found out a hard lesson that sometimes the wrong information is really the RIGHT information and I should just leave it at that.

Johnny wanted to be in on everyting because he wanted things done his way. Understandable. It's now his department and he wants to make sure everything is in ship shaped and up to par. Hell, JR delegated and expected the people he put in charge of a project to follow through. Johnny told you what to do and then if it didn't work to his satisfaction it was your fault. Of course when a new talent was hired who did well it was "Look what I got for us, Vince." Oh yeah, it was Johnny Ace who did the camps and seminars and went on the scouting trips. Johnny and Johnny alone.

Enough of that, too. Johnny is a hands on guy and demands a lot from his staff. And by God he should demand a lot from his staff because Vince and creative demand a lot more from him.

Therefore, when Johnny Ace came in he had the walls painted, put in new carpet, converted an old office into a sort of a "break-situation" room with a fax machine and refrigerator. Things were actually coming together. Everyone was dressing better and the halls of Titan Tower were looking more like IBM than well, the halls of IBM!

You see, JR wasn't as concerned with image as he was with results. Johnny wanted it to look as though he had made significant changes (and he has) and that there was a new sheriff in town! People were taking notice.

Johnny Ace did make Talent Relations look better. JR's main concern over the years had been to bridge the gap between the boys and the office. JR wanted to erase the "Us vs. Them" mentality by being fair and forthright with talent. All the while knowing it is Vince McMahon who is the real boss. It's Vince McMahon who signs off on the real decisions.

I have heard so many negative things said about Ace and his recent firings, finings, and dress code. All he's trying to do is make the company, and in the process the boys, a classy and better perceived product. Just look at the results so far.

JR on the other hand just wanted to present talent that could entertain and put on a decent wrestling match with the drama and enthusiasm most fans want to see. Pro wrestling has always been about entertaining interviews and matches. JR's idea of entertaining and interesting matches included the Rock, Austin, Mick Foley, Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, and Triple H. One other thing JR understands is that you cannot bring up talent from the developmental territories and expect them to come on WWE TV and become instant superstars. It takes time. The problem is too many guys and girls are being called up way before they're ready. Once you get to the big time and have your confidence rattled, it's not an easy thing to recoup.

But creative needs talent. Johnny Ace is head of Talent Relations. So OVW and Deep South had better give him talent...NOW!

It doesn't work that way. Maybe in the corporate world, but not in the real world. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, this isn't the REAL world.

To that, I say horse shit! One of the biggest problems today is bringing up green talent way before their time and putting them in a spot that they have no business being in because they are not ready to handle the pressure. But once again, the real decisions come down to Vince. Vince is the man. That's why I thought taking JR's head out of his ass last week on RAW was pretty entertaining, but also sending a message to any and all future executives. GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR ASS AND SAVE THIS GODDAMN SHOW!

To be honest, I preferred JR's management style over Johnny Ace. But then again, I never could ride a skate board that well either.




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