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Ask the Editor
Ask the Torch: Dress Code, Wrist Band Message, Cade-Windham, WM21, old WWF gimmicks

Sep 10, 2004 - 3:19:00 PM
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By Wade Keller, Torch editor

PWTorch.com reader Anthony P. asks: Charlie Haas has writing on both of his taped wrists. What does it say and what is the significance? It looks like it says RUSS.

WK: His time brother Russ Haas died a few years ago while they were working in the WWE developmental system. He writes his brother's name on his wrist tape as a memorial to his late brother.

***

James Ahearn (Torch Newsletter subscriber since 2001) asks: To comply with the new dress code, do wrestlers have to bring "backstage clothes" with them to events? For example, Chris Jericho wears non-dress pants and a t-shirt for interview segments, etc. Does he have to wear business casual while he travels, then when he gets to the arena, change into his "work clothes" of jeans and a t-shirt? It just seems to me that Vince McMahon's fetish for tidy dressing has gone completely overboard. Since when did a rock star or a movie star ever become less popular because they were seen in an airport in ratty clothes? It's virtually part of the uniform. This goes even more so for WWE performers, who are portrayed as outside mainstream norms and rules governing human interaction. (Raw: Where you go to escape the rules). If Vince wants his performers to be "superstars" they should dress like them. Take a look at the pages of People magazine or Us Weekly. Not a lot of business casual.

WK: The dress code was created due to wrestlers looking shoddy with Zubaz-like pants or other casual workout clothes. Vince McMahon felt it was important for his independent contracts to better represent the WWE product by looking like "professionals." He probably wouldn't have instituted the dress code if not for what he felt was abuse of the casual dress policy. Yes, wrestlers have multiple changes of clothes to represent how they must dress when arriving at the arena and how they want to appear on TV. The whole dress code policy is ironic considering their motto, "Raw: Where you go to escape the rules." Chris Jericho brought up the very point you did about how WWE performers are portrayed as individuals, so they should portray themselves that way outside of the arena and not all look like office workers heading to their job at IBM. WWE management feels wrestlers will feel more professional and thus act more professional if they dress the part.

***

Torch VIP member Kevin Vojdani of Orange County, Calif. asks: I have a question regarding the use of outdated WWE gimmicks that appear on the indy scene. I've seen reports of several Doink the Clowns appearing in small town shows and I read here some time ago that Tom Brandi still does the Sal Sincere gimmick from time to time. Do these guys pay some sort of licensing fee to the WWE to use their trademarked gimmicks? Or is it just such small potatoes that the WWE doesn't want to spend the money to make them stop? I've been wondering this for a few years now. Keep up the great work.

WK: WWE has gone after wrestlers who have used their trademarked gimmicks in the past, which is why for a few years when the heel Doink character was still fresh in people's minds, on the indy scene you'd see "The Evil Clown" listed on match line-ups. The usage of the name Doink remains illegal without WWE's permission. In some cases, it would be more trouble than it's worth to have lawyers going after a small indy show that lists someone like Sal Sincere. If a wrestler worked full time and was always advertised on indy shows as his former WWE gimmick, I'm sure they'd go after them. It's a matter of whether it's infrequent and hard to track down who to blame - the wrestler for portraying the gimmick or the local promoter for advertising the name. It could be a case where the promoter uses the old name to sell tickets without the wrestlers' permission. It's that kind of nuance that probably keeps WWE from going after everyone.

***

Greg Clark of Victoria, Australia asks: I noticed in the WWE Raw magazine, and heard J.R. mention this on Raw a number of times, that Garrison Cade reminds him of Barry Windham, and even Dick Murdoch and the Funks. I must be missing something. In what way does he wrestle, or even remotely resemble Windham?

WK: I do see a resemblance in terms of his size and body-type and how he moves in the ring. In Ohio Valley Wrestling, when Cade had longer hair, he definitely resembled Windham in his promos, with a touch of Steve Corino or Kid Kash thrown into the mix.

***

PWTorch.com reader Pluckey asks: I thought I read somewhere that the Wrestlemania tickets are going on sale Sept 12 (or something like that) for the people that signed up for the "presale." Do you know anything about it and what the "password" is? If they sent me an email about it, I've must have deleted it (all the AOL junk mail).

WK: I haven't kept up on what the presale date is. Do any readers know the password and want to pass it along to the rest of the PWTorch.com readers? Drop me a line and I'll publish it.

***

To read all recent "Ask the Torch" articles, just scan down a few inches to the "Latest 12 Ask the Torch Articles" listing, or just click on the "Ask the Torch" link on the left menu bar.

If you've got a question for "Ask the Torch" or more information to add to answer provided above, click here.

Note: I, along with other Torch staffers and contributors answer reader questions all the time at the VIP Forum message boards. If you aren't a Torch VIP member, here are details on signing up.

-For subscription info about the Torch VIP ESub Membership option, which saves money by skipping the actual home delivery of the paper copy of the Torch Newsletter (although you still have a chance to read the weekly Torch Newsletter online), click here: Torch VIP ESub Subscription Info. (Sub prices range between $1.05 and $1.37 per week - same price U.S. or overseas.)

-For info about the Torch VIP/Newsletter Membership which includes a VIP website password, VIP Email Express, and home delivery of the print copy and online access to the Torch Newsletter: Torch Full VIP/Newsletter Subscription Info. (Sub prices range between $1.75-$2.25 per week for full package - more outside of U.S. to cover additional postage expenses.)

Torch editor Wade Keller founded Pro Wrestling Torch in September 1987. He has been interviewed as a wrestling expert by dozens of TV and radio stations across the country; he has also been quoted in dozens of major newspapers and magazines across the world. Media entities that have featured Keller in stories covering wrestling include National Public Radio, Fox News Channel, ESPN Magazine, the New York Post, Entertainment Weekly, the Associated Press, and the Washington Post. He also hosted his own weekly two hour wrestling talk show on KFAN sport radio in the '90s. Over the past 16 years Keller has also interviewed, one-on-one, wrestling's top names for in-depth "Torch Talks" and feature articles including powerbrokers such as Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff, Jerry Jarrett, Bill Watts, Jim Cornette, Jim Crockett, Jim Herd, Paul Heyman, Terry Taylor, Kevin Sullivan, Jim Ross, and Vince Russo; top wrestling stars such as The Rock, Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Rick Steamboat, Jerry Lawler, Bill Goldberg, British Bulldog, Road Warrior Hawk, Jesse Ventura, and Hulk Hogan; and legends such as Lou Thesz, Gordon Solie, Bruno Sammartino, Roy Shires, Terry Funk, and Verne Gagne.


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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. PWTorch.com launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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