View Full Version : The 9th Annual Wilfred's Debates - Round 1 - Fanny Batter vs. Kev

May 6th, 2013, 9:20 PM

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Now, two new combatants will enter the circle of debate from which only one can proceed. And here is the topic that they will do battle over:

To live in the modern era as a wrestling fan is to know the horror and tragedy of seeing your heroes die or simply waste away with terrible injuries. As we learn more about the science of concussions and long term injuries, we are coming to a time where things can finally be changed to protect the wrestlers that we love. Now WWE has put you in charge of WWE's intriguing new Wrestler Health Initiative, with an open checkbook and unlimited control over the product. Your only job? Make these wrestlers live longer, healthier lives. Which begs the question...


As a reminder, the rules are as follows. If you break a rule, there will be no excuses taken, so read them carefully.

Each debate will have a 72 hour time limit, a 350 word word limit. Videos and pictures are not only allowed, they're downright encouraged.

Also, to finally address the issue of the first one to go or the second having the advantage, a coin will be flipped by me in advance to determine who goes first or second. Completely fair odds for everyone.

If you have any questions about the question you are given, or about how to proceed, please direct them to me BEFORE you post about them, to avoid troubles.

You must wait your turn to post, meaning that you can't rattle off all three right from the get go, you have to post in turns with your opponent and, this is very fucking important, IF YOU GET THE COIN TOSS TO GO SECOND, YOUR INTRODUCTION POST CAN NOT BE A RESPONSE TO THE OTHER GUY'S INTRODUCTION POST.

You must wait until your second post to begin debating what the other person has said. This is the only way to make this fair, it is not up for debate, and I will penalize your asses. So be fucking told.

Your judges are former Wilfred's champions Badger and the_man_diva.

Now let's get down to business. The coin toss dictates that FANNY BATTER will go first.

Fanny Batter
May 7th, 2013, 6:23 AM
The debate regarding the welfare of talent has raged on for years, with a lot of improvements made due to the untimely passing's of Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero, among others. Abuse of drugs has been banned, and talent are given full medicals to ensure that they are physically able to perform without aggravating injuries or health conditions. The difference between now and 2003 for wrestler's health conditions are astronomical, but they can always be better.

The main thing I would introduce is a mandatory time off period of 2 months a year for every wrestler. I'm not suggesting an "end of season" for the WWE, rather rotating the talent so each person can have time off per year. If you ask any entertainer they will tell you that the mental battle is as arduous as the physical one, and being on the road constantly can have massive long term affect's on a wrestler's health in both areas. If a period of rest was enabled, it would give them a chance to recharge their batteries and heal up any nagging injuries that can accumulate by being involved in such a physical profession. It would also promote a stabilized home life, which would hopefully keep guy's away from the road's vices.

I think of 2 contrasting scenarios: Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle. In the last decade of his career, Michaels was given regular time off to recuperate and spend time with his family. He is now retired, healthy, with a strong relationship with his wife and children. Angle on the other hand was refused a similar part time schedule and had to work his contract to the letter, until his body broke down and was subsequently released. In the years that followed he went through a divorce and painkiller addiction. Would this have happened if Angle was correctly looked after and given the time off his body and mind needed?

I believe the WWE owes each wrestler an annual rest period, as the lack of life outside of wrestling can leave individuals exhausted, which is not conductive to a healthy roster.

May 7th, 2013, 7:04 PM
It’s sad when you realise that lots of your childhood heroes have died. From Benoit to Guerrero, Bigelow to Savage, countless others, but for the sake of word count I won’t mention.

After the passing of Eddie Guerrero, the WWE’s wellness policy came into play to highlight and punish those that have taken illegal substances. We have seen Mysterio, Orton, Gregory Helms and many others face the consequences of taking drugs, yet it has not been a consistent or fair policy.

What I’m after is more consistency in its application.

On November the 22nd, 2011 R-Truth was suspended for violating the wellness policy, however it is widely contested that on the RAW event prior to this, R-Truth had actually been discovered with drugs. In the face of a wellness policy violation, WWE opted to postpone the suspension and as a result, maintain their Main Event where R-Truth teamed with The Miz to take on the Rock and John Cena.

Also in 2011 Sin Cara, Darren Young and Heath Slater all received their first wellness policy violations and were dealt with rather swiftly. They were named, shamed and sent home packing for 30 days. They didn’t have a marquee match to co-headline with, but the message the company sent was quite clear: leniency can be applied.

That year, Evan Bourne received his first wellness violation for synthetic marijuana. He received another in 2012 for something “completely unrelated”, yet it was never disclosed. In regards to his second violation, it was during his time as a tag-team champion alongside colleague Kofi Kingston as part of “Air Boom”, the titles were dropped swiftly at a house show and Evan was sent home.

On February 19, Jack Swagger was charged with driving under the influence, marijuana possession as well as speeding. Two days prior he was awarded the No. 1 contenders spot after winning an Elimination Chamber match, and went on to co-main event Wrestlemania with Alberto Del Rio.

A consistent approach to punishment would deter offences and as a result, lessen the number of violations, repeat violations and apathy towards the wellness policy.


Fanny Batter
May 7th, 2013, 8:07 PM
While I feel you have a point regarding consistency being important to the application of the wellness policy, I feel you have overstated the disparity that talent is dealt with when it comes to failures. For example, Jack Swagger's indiscretions happened outside of testing, therefore of course his punishment will be different. Had he failed a company regulated drugs test you would have a point, but to our knowledge he didn't. Also with R Truth, he was suspended and I believe fined part of his Survivor Series pay, so he was justly punished regardless of whether it was the day or week after.

I believe the sharp decline of reported wellness failures over the last year or so shows that the penalties are severe enough to be a deterrent, as everybody reported to have failed company tests has been disciplined accordingly. Without being inside the locker room and witnessing every test, we can only assume that every wrestler on the roster who fails gets reported, as it would be a breach of company procedure if they weren't "named and shamed".

In addition, no wrestler that has multiple wellness breaches have been pushed more than they were before. Orton's push died after his second failure, R Truth is floundering in the midcard, Bourne is still out. Even first time offenders have found pushes derailed. The punishment is working and is fair to all, as detailed with the lessening significance of Randy Orton to programming.

What is clear is that talent do not get adequate time off from the road, as illustrated by the fact that so many wrestlers are broken down by the time they are 40. There is so little down-time that the mileage on their mind's and body's is not conductive of a healthy lifestyle. This can lead to the ill's of substance abuse and mental health issues as lives are lived in the fast lane. I don't think it's any surprise that the wrestlers who have been involved in the most demanding schedules have burnt out the most. Keep them happy, keep them healthy. Give them time off.

May 9th, 2013, 1:18 AM
I’m protecting the brand of WWE while at the same time improving the health of wrestlers and as a result the more exposure they have on television, the better off they are in the long term, without working them to the bone.

A more consistent approach towards the wellness policy is vital because Jack Swagger’s violation was made in the public eye, yet he still had a key role at Wrestlemania, has still been a vital point of television and is still considered a World Title threat. Failed company test or not, a stronger and more consistent wellness policy would include taking into consideration police arrests and not hide behind the fact that Swagger had passed his previous wellness test and penalize him for his mistake.

For every person who argues for Orton’s de-push, R-Truth “floundering” the midcard and Bourne being out, I’d like to contest that they’re lucky to be on television as it is. Bourne himself has been out for a lengthy amount of time not simply due to his violation, but also due to injury, although most people seem to forget that. R-Truth in spite of his slip-up, still participated in one of the biggest Main Events of 2012, is a regular performer on RAW and regularly defeats up and comers who hold secondary belts (re: Barrett, Cesaro). Orton himself has had more than his fair share of Main Event programs, after his second official violation last year he has consistently been made to look like the most dominant superstar on the Smackdown roster and is always within a breath of the World Heavyweight Championship.

Injuries happen in any industry, but wrestlers are responsible for their own bodies. If they can’t handle the schedule, they’re more than welcome to leave like many others have before. Consequently they could take up DDP Yoga, tone down their wrestling style, join TNA or an indy fed if that wrestler was truly concerned about the lengthy schedule. WWE however, thrive on exposure, the superstars need the constant spotlight. They’re not as big as George Clooney or Brad Pitt, they’re D-list celebrities.

Fanny Batter
May 9th, 2013, 5:20 AM
I don't see how you can argue that wrestlers are better off with more exposure, as there are few stars today. If anything, preventing overexposure would help rather than hinder their TV presence, as well as give much valuable rest and recuperation time for people in a profession which remains so demanding despite continued improvements to safety.

Has Jack Swagger been prosecuted? The answer is no. If he is found guilty, I would expect he would be subject to disciplinary action. Until then he has a right to resume his work schedule. Plus, did he win said title at Wrestlemania? He lost a midcard match for a midcard title and wasn't promoted throughout the event, a fact that may not have been consistent without his arrest. You say he hasn't been punished, and I think you've misinterpreted that.

I believe you are too harsh on people who fail drugs tests. Why should they not be prevalent parts of programming? Yes, they've made mistakes, but surely everybody is deserving of another chance? Should rock bands not be allowed a charting album if they've broken a law? If the individuals have served their punishment and are seen to be attempting to amend their lifestyles, they should be able to continue with their careers. I think those that fail and go on to lead a career without any other indiscretions are good role models as they have made mistakes and have improved themselves as people in the process.If they don't, they will be caught again, and they will be punished again. Fairly.

Injuries of course happen in every industry, but as I've mentioned it's not just the physical aspect of the job that is so demanding. "If they can't handle the schedule" is a very ice age way of thinking of things, the world is different now and lifestyles change. The WWE should take this into account and give these men and women adequate time off so they are physically and mentally able to do their jobs to the best of their ability, rather than living the life of a never-ending circus act.

May 9th, 2013, 9:02 PM
A wrestler benefits from less exposure? Sure, tell that to Tyson Kidd, Zack Ryder, the Uso’s, the Prime Time Players, Cody Rhodes, Damien Sandow, or NXT wrestlers who are ready to be called up, mid-card title holders and many others who have been fired along the way who could fill the gaps of those who clearly aren’t deserving of being on television with their substance abuse issues.

Has Jack Swagger been prosecuted? More importantly, what message does this send to other wrestlers who are on the brink of using illegal substances outside of testing times? Your argument for where the belt sits in the food chain of WWE is irrelevant, as is whether he won or lost. Irrespective of what you believe about Swagger’s standing within the company, the fact remains that he has been booked as a considerable threat to a World Championship belt, despite being caught with an illegal substance in his vehicle, while others (mentioned in previous posts) have been suspended accordingly.

A rock band and a wrestling organisation are two completely different things. Yes, they both share the spotlight, but WWE’s focus is on family-friendly entertainment with larger than life characters that young children look up to and idolize. A member of talent wanting to sign up with WWE does so with the full knowledge that they are going to be seen as childhood heroes. Am I being harsh? Hardly, I’m protecting the integrity of the business model and the wrestlers themselves, and by continuing to let these slips go by sends mixed messages to talent.

Those that fail are more than capable of leading great careers, but there needs to be a process that sees these employees sent a strong, firm message that this level of carelessness is intolerable. I’d rather see Orton on a slow, meteoric rise towards cleaning up his life from addictions.
Yet two months after returning from another wellness violation, Randy Orton was positioned in a No. 1 Contenders match for the World Heavyweight Championship. What a journey towards redemption that was, what a great message that sent WWE Superstars…


May 9th, 2013, 9:10 PM

And now it's your turn, readers. All you have to do is reply with your vote and a short explanation as to why you voted the way you did, and your voice will be heard. Remember that your votes count for 50% of the total judging for every tie, so your one vote could be the difference between your choice moving on to the next round or being left out in the cold.

Badger and The-Man_Diva will send their votes to me via Private Message as usual, to keep them secret until the end. Voting will end on Sunday, May 12th. Now have at it!

May 9th, 2013, 11:16 PM
I'm voting for Fanny Banter.

I was almost ready to abstain from this one... Kev had the better arguments, but I think the problem is Kev, you went after the 'wellness policy' which isn't always designed for the health of the wrestlers. It's designed mostly for the public image and the drug usage problem. whether or not you believe in the use of such items like marijuana usage. So even if the policy is applied evenly, it doesn't do anything in regards to the health of the wrestlers outside of getting assistance for drug usage.

Matty C
May 10th, 2013, 12:13 PM
This was a tough one. Batter made the choice I would have chosen but he didnít jump on a few things that stuck out for me in Kevís argument. With that said, it didnít feel like Kev attacked Batterís idea much at all. Instead, it just felt like they played ping-pong with Kevís idea.

Kev did say that if they canít handle the heat they should get out of the kitchen but I agreed with Batterís counter-point of that being a dangerously old way of looking at things.

Given that I felt the back and forth on Kevís idea was a virtual saw-off, Iím going with Batter based on him defending his idea better.

May 10th, 2013, 1:56 PM
Another very close one here. That being said, I'm giving my vote to Kev.

Kev brought up specific examples of instances behind his point where the WWE's current policy is failing, and could potentially, if utilized in a more consistent manner, actually benefit its talent.

While FB's logic is sound and solid, he didn't bring up any specific instances, and I feel like he was goaded into deflecting Kev's stance rather than pushing his stance out there. His stance, quite honestly, got lost in the shuffle, and his posts became less about why time off would be most beneficial and more about how the drug policy is flawed.

May 10th, 2013, 1:59 PM
Fanny Batter wins.

Kev spent too much time of the defensive and not enough time breaking down the flaws in the 2 month rest period.

May 10th, 2013, 7:19 PM
I'm voting for Fanny Batter

He got first pick and used it to pick the best idea in this scenario. Kev did well to pick another good argument but they both sort of got swayed of the subject somewhat and started debating things that did really need debating. Close call but FB scrapes it.

The Rogerer
May 10th, 2013, 7:33 PM
I have to go with FB on this one. His argument is something that's been argued before and seems common sense, but he was able to incorporate how it would be viable and could be used to help the show as well. Kev focuses on a lot of examples for the wellness policy that don't necessarily ring true. Recreational marijuana use is not a serious threat to Swagger's health, and although a serious approach to the wellness policy is a good one, focusing on the punishment aspect maybe wasn't the right way to argue it.

May 13th, 2013, 10:54 AM

Popular Vote: Fanny Batter (5-1)

Judge Badger: Fanny Batter

To me, I think this debate drifted off-topic a bit. I do agree with the gist of what Kev was saying that consistency with the wellness policy would send out a strong message to WWE employees and keep them in line. However the question was to suggest a way to improve the HEALTH of stars, and I felt Batter was able to stick to the topic more whilst attacking Kev's points whereas Kev was on the defensive most of the time and didn't really cover the health aspect of things.

Judge Diva: Fanny Batter


I think Fanny had a great idea and made a great choice that I really wouldn’t have thought of, straight out of the gate. Kev had an interesting argument, but Fanny was right … Swagger got caught on his own, outside of a Wellness Test. Kev really shot himself in the foot by making his argument connected to THE WELLNESS POLICY. I think had Kev said he would implement consistent and fair punishments across the board for any PUBLIC indiscretions regarding drug use, he probably could’ve won my vote. Kev raised some very good questions, such as what kind of message such indiscretions send to the fans/children … but ALSO mentioned, in response to Fanny, that if wrestlers can’t handle the schedule, then they should leave or work an indie fed. Well, it doesn’t matter what WWE does with the Wellness Policy or what, if people want to get fucked up … they will. It’s all about willpower, really.

My vote goes to Fanny. He came up with a method that he CLEARLY stated would help give wrestler’s a break … allowing them to mentally and physically recuperate, while also trying to keep them from turning to vices that would ultimately ruin them or their families. He wasn’t just talking about drugs, but also alcoholism and infidelity and massive overspending. As someone who helps with the booking for a wrestling promotion, the idea of giving someone time off so creative can ROTATE talent as well as possibly come up with storylines further down the road for a returning face/heel was a great one and is, actually, a method I would love to see implemented in WWE.

As a side note, I would just like to say that I think people get really up in arms about the use of weed in wrestling. I’m not a Cannabis smoker, but I really see nothing wrong with it. I do, however, see a problem with people drinking shitloads of alcohol – which is legal – and driving under the influence like Chris Jericho or Funkadactyl Cameron.