In the world of professional wrestling, it has always been about the show. Since its beginnings, what takes place in the ring, and more importantly, outside of it, the production and spectacle has been paramount in attracting an audience.
The entertainment venues, broadcasts and relationships have changed through the decades, but the art of framing the story with larger-than-life entertainers has been the same.
This evening wrestling fans in Wisconsin have a chance to hear the stories, in front and behind the TV cameras, from the ones who told them. "Mean Gene" Okerlund, Jim Ross and Jerry The King Lawler, three of the greats who’ve seen some of the greatest matches of all time, will participate in a panel discussion at 7:30 p.m. in the Northern Lights Theater at Potawatomi Bingo and Casino in Milwaukee.
"This is the first time ever that these three legends have ever shared the stage together at the same time outside a WWE production," said David Herro, who is promoting the event as part of the "Pro Wrestling Report" program that he hosts with Dameon Nelson that airs weekly on WCGV-TV (24) in Milwaukee.
Nelson will moderate a 90-minute discussion, taking questions from the audience and leading the three through stories from Verne Gagne's AWA, to Ted Turner's WCW to Vince McMahon's WWF/WWE. The three on the panel have more than 40 years combined in the business.
"The legends will pull back the curtain and tell stories from the road … who was destined for greatness and fell short," Herro said.
Stories will range from Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant to The Road Warriors, different title bouts and of course, WrestleMania.
I hope someone asks Okerlund how it was to work with Milwaukee’s favorite son Bob Uecker during those first WestleMania pay-per-view events.
Attendees must be 21 or older to enter and tickets are available online and at the door. For $50, they are offering seats in the first three rows and an exclusive meet and greet with Okerlund, Ross and Lawler. Other seats are $20-$30.
HARLEM SHAKE: The latest viral meme sensation – albeit rather annoying – has gone crazy with video uploads to YouTube. Athletic teams, business office staffs, groups of friends … thousands upon thousands of these videos are everywhere online.
Now, regularly something like this would never get off the ground, as I’m sure no one went through the trouble to get permission to use the song created by Baauer and copyrighted by the artist’s label, Mad Decent.
However, the music firm is progressive and has found a way to monetize the effort. YouTube uses a service that constantly monitors uploads for copyrighted materials and deletes videos in violation … unless a deal has been made. Mad Decent usually allows items to be posted for the first month for free, to help raise awareness of its songs.
"Harlem Shake" is making the label money for each video posted on YouTube, as well as every download from iTunes or other online outlets.
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.