Badseed's Bottomline #401:
My Job Interview with the WWE
Hey yo! Yea, you read that right and no I didnít get the job, but letís discuss it anyway. I mean, the whole experience was good for a laugh.
So, I have been applying for a job with the WWE for years. When I was a kid, I wrote a letter to James J. Dillon when he worked there in hopes of landing a job. I mean, I didnít know better. As a kid, I was full of ideas. They had so many tag-teams and I thought I could help them create an Intercontinental tag-team title. I also thought I could help them decide to make the Bushwackers a vicious heel team like they were when they were more commonly known as the Sheepherders.
I love wrestling. When I was a kid, I remember tape recording a matches so that I can listen to them later, write down the play-by-play and create a story for my mother, father and sisters to read. I had a wrestling magazine in my house and I diligently put one out every week with the use of my typewriter. I actually believe that it helped make me the writer I am today. I literally wrote 11 stories yesterday for my sports section and I did it from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Not bad. Writing has always been a strong part of my life. It is all I do.
But wrestling has always been a passion. I remember when I was really young and could play with GI-Joe toys; I created a wrestling federation. I had too many characters. Some got lost in the shuffle. Some would get repackaged. I used extreme storylines I picked up from television shows like Hunter and Knots Landing. I was way too old for my age. I had weekly shows and monthly pay-per-views before the WWE ever thought of monthly pay-per-views. Sadly, I made no money. I couldnít afford television equipment. I was, but a kid. I did tape record songs and play them as entrance music. I also held interview shows, too, so wrestlers could vent and I could create storylines. I was a little twisted, but when I got older, I made my little sister carry on the tradition; so much that every once in awhile, we create some of the wrestlers we made and have them fight on our PS2. Weird, huh?
Anyways, you really have to be twisted to get into the wrestling industry. But I never thought I would have a shot. The closest I got was when I announced for USA Pro Wrestling and interviewed Balls Mahoney, Jimmy Snuka and King Kong Bundy while working the LOD return to the indies and the Mikey Whipwreck retirement show. Those were the days, but I have values and the minute there was suspicion around the promoter and his mysterious posts that would appear on the message board, making fun of my black girlfriend, I quit. Whether it was him or not, I didnít want to work for a racist company or one that encouraged it. So, I felt like I lost my opportunity.
But then I met someone who worked for the company and he referred me to the WWE. They are apparently big on referrals and shockingly, I got a call from the HR recruiter who really was a very cool guy. He fixed up my resume and got to know me over the phone; really working hard to put me over to those who would be interested in hiring me. Maybe that was his job, but I know from past experiences that he went above and beyond. He was like an agent looking out for his client and it was probably the one positive experience I had with the whole ordeal.
So, they set up the interview for a week after Thanksgiving and I am nervous, because I never thought I would realize my dream. You ever have a dream you believe you canít fulfill so you hold on to it and it has more meaning, but once you get close, it almost scares you away? Well, that was me. I never thought this would happen.
And then I started thinking negatively. The job was all the way in Connecticut and because of various reasons, I do not have a license or a car. I would have to take the Metro North and then a bus. The $10K more I would be offered would go to travel and I would essentially be making the same amount of money. Was this worth it? I kept thinking that I was good at this and therefore, I would make more money with raises and such and make a name for myself, possibly even using the WWE as a stepping stone to something bigger. That got me through the nerves.
I traveled with my best friend, Mike, to the WWE. This was every bit as much a dream for him as it was me. We followed wrestling together and he was pushing me to get this job. Great guy that he is, he waited in the parking lot for me while I was interviewed in the WWE headquarters; a massive structure that was actually not as busy as I thought when I entered and saw old one receptionist and barely anyone walking through the halls. It may have been a down-day, but I waited, perusing through the WWE Magazine, trying to relax. I think I saw Shane McMahon drive by when I was entering the building and for some reason that made me extra nervous. My friend saw Tommy Dreamer while he watched his Zune in the car. He was excited and that made me happy, because at least someone had something to be excited about.
I finally get to be interviewed and the HR recruiter shows me around. I got to see the gym. What a massive gym. I wanted the job just for that. I am an avid body builder. I work out hard. Then I saw Andreís boots. That was cool. I even got to see HHHís leather/jean jacket he used to wear so much back in the day.
My conversation with the HR recruiter was pleasant. He even told me I was a great guy and that he enjoyed the conversation because it brought up so many memories he had forgotten about. I remember every little bit of wrestling history that I saw. I think I could out-quiz even some of the higher ups with some of my knowledge.
Anyways, so I was sent to another area for a second interview. It was a trailer, but when I entered, inside was a beautiful office with cubicles and such. I was to meet with the voice of Smackdown some guy who was such a Taskmaster. I was nervous, because my referral quit and I thought that his action could be used against me. But that was the least of my worries. Taskmaster (not really who you think) immediately entered the room and in a polite way, blasted me for criticizing the product; reading excerpts from my Badseedís Bottomline and using it against me. I actually do appreciate the time they took to read my columns before the interview and I did notice that my hits at G-Pop went up with five wrestling related articles hitting the top 10, so thank you.
For the record, when I asked a question about the Big Show a few weeks ago, I was not attacking him for complaining, I was pointing out that he is hurt so much, but he is doing so much work, appearing on all the programs and really getting ECW over and the title. I was commending him for his work ethic despite his injuries. I also believe TNA is a superior product, but that it would make the WWE better. It was a very awkward conversation and they made me feel bad for having an opinion. I call it constructive criticism. My sister told me those who are angered by criticism fear it, believing others will agree and so-called shit stirring will get out of hand and hurt the product. I think people should get their heads out of their ass and realize it helps to have someone criticize something, especially when they are doing it because they love the product and want to see it do better. Ridiculous.
Anyways, Mr. Smackdown explained to me that WWE.com (I was interviewing for a section editor position) was a propaganda machine used to hype the product, not criticize it. He also pointed out that the Dudley Boys once got someone fired because they would not talk to someone the WWE hired who had criticized them in the past. How lame is that? Wrestlers have such egos that they wonít talk to the guy and try to come up with an understanding. Do wrestlers who read the so-called dirt sheets do so with a tissue? I mean, seriouslyÖI write negative stories all the time, but through grown-up talk, the subjects of those negative stories understand and move on and try to turn a negative into a positive with a follow-up story of retribution or change. And obviously, if I worked for the WWE, I wouldnít criticize their product. I work for the Bronx Times. Do I go around criticizing the Bronx Times in my sports column? No. Why would I do it in the WWE? Makes no sense.
Now my interviewers were nice during the whole ordeal, although I caught hints of condescending tones when they looked at my paper and my resume, but I could have been caught up in the negative vibe from our conversation about what they called dirt-sheet reporters. All I know is that I am a journalist. I have a degree and I work for a legitimate paper and have awards given to me commending my work. I write a wrestling column, because no one else would give me a shot at writing for wrestling so I had to find it somewhere. At the Bronx Times, I write about hard news and come up with stories that do not work off scripts or planned events. To be mocked slightly was almost funny. Anyways, so they said goodbye and gave me a business card for my troubles. They never even said when I would hear back, which was a dead giveaway.
I get back in the car and my friend was trying to get me excited about the idea of working there, but I wasnít hearing it. I knew I didnít get the job, but I was bummed, because I didnít want it anymore. They work like 80 hours a week. Some nights, I would have to stay in a motel because the buses donít run. When you break it down by hour, I make more money per hour than they do and I get to go out with my girlfriend and enjoy life. My girlfriend told me that she was happy for me that I got the opportunity to live my dream, but was worried that if I took the job (and I would have at the time, because it was my dream; even though I didnít think it would work out) we would fight and it would lead to a breakup. Some things are worth more than a paycheck. I love my current girlfriend. Itís been nine months and I am very happy. I want more from that. It means more than the WWE.
And, a week after my interview, I have a new perspective. Some dreams should never be realized, because then they are tainted. The WWE product is not as sweet as it once was to me. I saw too much. I heard too much. And I want much more; not of the WWE, but more of what I am doing now; writing columns that are true to myself; writing stories that are helping communities and helping kids realize that there is more to life than street violence, especially when their positive actions are rewarded with a story in the paper. Thatís me. Thatís why I became a journalist. I am already living the life I was supposed to live. Read A Purpose Driven Life. I have my purpose and it is one I plan to fulfill. Dreams are for suckas. LOL.
Next week, I continue my story about my experience and try to wrap my head around this belief that I am a dirt-sheet writer and compare it to the ďjournalistsĒ at WWE.com. Until then, I am the river from which all others flow and when I am gone, none shall take my place. Peace.
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