Saturday, November 28, 2009

Chris Benoit Story Takes Dave Meltzer & Company Out of Their Comfort Zone


* Podcast of Muchnick’s November 23 interview with host Sarah Meehan of UnderScore (Hardcore Sports Radio, Sirius Satellite 98):

* CHRIS & NANCY Holiday Errata Project:

* An Exchange with Sean Radican of Pro Wrestling Torch:

“Dave’s reaction to your book seems odd and he does a hell of a job covering wrestling, so I’d like to see a concrete response from him about all of this at some point before making a judgment.”

I agree with all parts of these observations about Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter by Sean Radican of Pro Wrestling Torch. The next question is, “Why?”

It is now commonly accepted by many people of various political persuasions that the American media failed to expose the flaws in President Bush’s claim that Iraq was well along in its development of weapons of mass destruction – the major immediate justification for launching the war there.

Most of the sports media now agree, in retrospect, that it was wrong to hoot down Steve Wilstein, the Associated Press reporter who noticed that Mark McGwire had a jar of androstenedione, a steroid precursor then banned by many other sports, while he was setting his baseball home run record in 1998.

Yet in wrestling, Meltzer, with a spasm of macho posturing, so far refuses to confront levels of the Benoit story that he both helped me research and himself ignored or downplayed at the time.

Sean Radican has said “everyone should read CHRIS & NANCY.” Whether or not you ultimately share his generous conclusion that it’s “a very compelling read,” I don’t think his core recommendation can be responsibly denied by fans who profess concern for the performers they spend hundreds of hours a year cheering and booing.

At the conclusion of my interview Monday on Hardcore Sports Radio’s UnderScore, host Sarah Meehan said: “I know what you’re saying. With respect to the fans and the way that fans react to things, this isn’t OK what continues to happen in and around the world of professional wrestling.... And regardless of the filters through which we view the sport or the entertainment that it is, it still is a very real phenomenon what happens to these people.”

Irv Muchnick


Reviews of CHRIS & NANCY can be viewed at these links:

Mark Hanzlik / Sacramento News & Review

Randy Shaw / Beyond Chron

David Bixenspan / SLAM! Wrestling

Writer Anthony Roberts

Rich Tate / Georgia Wrestling History

Joe Babinsack / Wrestling Observer

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