It was announced on June 4, 2014, that WWE will be offering financial management, debt consolidation, and scholarships, for free, to former contracted talent. I first found out about this through Mick Foley’s Facebook page. While I am incredibly pleased with this decision by WWE I was very disturbed by some of the comments I saw regarding this decision.
In a world so full of greed and cynicism it restores my faith in humanity a little that a large company like the WWE cares for their employees by offering these things. And to see a good and kind thing made fun of, reduced to snarky comments such as (paraphrased) “Vince just lost $750 million, he should offer financial management to himself.” To be quite honest, the comments hurt and took that glimmer of hope restored and turned it into anger.
Maybe I’m too loyal for my own good, maybe it’s because I’m incredibly biased on the WWE as I’m a life-long fan, or maybe it’s because I spent 2 and a half minutes with my wrestling hero at age 11 and him asking me to not get involved in drugs; I feel, saved me from going down a very dark and dangerous path, that I feel a need to defend the WWE. The gentle wrestler that I met when I was 11 was Kerry Von Erich, and he sadly passed away 9 months after I met him. I’ll never get to thank him.
WWE is an incredibly tough thing to explain, it’s a sport…but not, it’s entertainment… but more. It’s everything kind of all rolled in to one. It takes the controversies of the day and blows them up to caricatures of themselves, showing how, at times, ridiculous those controversies are, and then deal with very real and heart breaking issues, like drugs, suicide, and losing one of their own.
They are the only entertainment/sports that as a whole, gives back to the community on a daily basis. I don’t know if it’s because of the intimate and sometimes invasive nature, of us, the fans, I don’t know if it’s because there isn’t an off season, and if you have WWE Network (which I do and I love it,) you can watch your favorites daily, that makes them do these good things. But, between their devotion to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, their efforts to get children reading, their support of the Special Olympics, their support of the Susan G Komen Foundation, and their constantly evolving attitude toward the health and well-being of their talent (hopefully that extends to the employees that aren’t in front of the camera,) WWE amazes and humbles me not just because of the amazing talent, but because of the absolute good that they, as a whole, do.
To me, it always seemed as though, they chose to do these amazing things, because they’re the good and right things to do. I have had the honor of meeting many of their talent and they seem like decent human beings, too. WWE, whether it’s Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley influencing her father, or the talent going out and doing good themselves; they seem to realize that even though that the entertainment they provide can be brutal, they are in the unique position to support causes that actually mean something, and that is a great thing. So, for all the nay-sayers, internet trolls, and snarky comments, this fan will always defend the WWE and their employees/talent because they do amazing, good, and true things outside of the ring as well as in.