Week 4: IC 25 -versus- SkeptiKal

Discussion in 'Debator's League 2009' started by Mr. TM, Aug 23, 2009.

  1. Mr. TM

    Mr. TM Throwing a tantrum

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    Should there be a wrestler union?

    SkeptiKal is the home debater, he gets to choose which side of the debate he is on first, but he has 24 hours.

    Remember to read the rules. This thread is only for the debaters.

    This round ends +2 hours after Friday 1:00 pm Pacific
     
    #1
  2. SK

    SK I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaack

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    Hey IC, i'll take the side that wrestlers should have a union, you can go first, best of luck.
     
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  3. IrishCanadian25

    IrishCanadian25 Going on 10 years with WrestleZone

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    Thanks SK. This is a great debate, and I have some training on unions and union avoidance, so I'll incorporate some of the HR dribble I am famous for. I may well concede the "timeliness" point to you as my vacation will preclude me from a load of research, but rest assured I will bring my "A" game.
     
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  4. SK

    SK I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaack

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    I know, great topic for both sides I was torn, hopefully my business education may help me a bit also. Don't worry about the punctuality point, i'll be busy-ish aswell this week so its all good, looking forward to a good debate.
     
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  5. IrishCanadian25

    IrishCanadian25 Going on 10 years with WrestleZone

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    I have often called unions both the best and the worst thing to happen to American business. Unions gave workers the right to organize, to strike, offered them some fair say in being overworked, underpaid, and basically exploited by the business owners of the late 1800's and early 1900's.

    Things have changed, and now unions have become a major hindrance in the American economy. Unions allowed the Irish and Italian mobs to form and organized crime to flourish in the US for much of the last century. Nowhere is the danger of those unions more apparent than in professional sports. Thanks to pro sports unions, athletes who have enough talent to play major league baseball make millions of dollars and cannot be forced to take a drug test without suitable, bargained compensation.

    If professional wrestling has a union, the shit hits the fan, HUGE. It's positives cannot outweight its negatives.

    1. A Pro Wrestling Union will jack up prices for everything. Pro sports teams can count on the fact that a huge number of fans will come to each show, each night. In baseball, teams will have 10,000 - 30,000 fans come to games 6 days per week, get deals for broadcasting from ESPN (whereas some teams like the Yankees have their own multi-billion dollar cable stations), and get subsides for arenas and stadiums from taxpayers. Pro wrestling could expect NONE of this, so as the wrestler union forces men like Vince McMahon to pay millions extra for even the low leverl wrestlers, pay for their health insurance and travel, etc, the result will be costs passed off to the fan.

    SAG can't help / afford it. The screen actors guild protects actors, theatre workers, etc. Well that's terrific. But you know that actors and theatre workers do what they do in a vastly more controlled environment. When a tough spot has to be done by an actor, a professional stuntman can come in, make the jump, while CGI and editing makes the rest look good. Wrestlers have NO stunt men, get ONE shot to do things, and get no benefit from CGI. The danger level for a pro wrestler is higher, so as a result, the cost to the SAG would be greater than it'd be for a real screen actor. SAG cannot afford it, so either the wrestler him / herself has to pay for it or the promotion does.

    You think wrestling is a monopoly now??? If a union is formed and the costs of employing the talent is driven up, only a major company with a fan base and economies of scale in its corner will survive. Smaller indy promotions will be swallowed up like nothing. Forget it. TNA will barely stick around, ROH will get drained of cash as they try to get anyone to stay on their show, and WWE will be the ONLY promotion capable of carrying on a show. So if you want to see competition, and union will prohibit that even further.

    The quality of the product will drop. If the wrestlers unionize and folks like Vince McMahon have to pay for the risks taken in the ring, then you bet that Vince will go to these wrestlers and tell them "no more top rope, no more ladders, no more cages, etc" Why? Because that's the only way to drop the injury risk and lower his costs. If you're accustomed to the level of action and athleticism that you've seen for 10 years, you can kiss it goodbye if a union forms.

    I have more arguments, but A) I have sunburn and need to apply aloe, B) I want to go drink Margaritas and play dominoes, and C) I don't want to blow my load on day one. I await SK's rebuttal.
     
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  6. SK

    SK I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaack

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    Wrestlers should have a union.

    Wrestlers are exploited, plain and simply. Wrestlers sometimes have to perform up to 7 days a week, 8 hours a day during most weeks in the year. There’s no off-season, no rest, and even worse, one of these wrestlers careers could end in one second with one wrong move. But what about those wrestlers who’s careers don’t end with an injury? Well simply, they get let go, no pension, no retirement plan and often left to make ends meat by going to indy promotions and giving autographs. Very few wrestlers are kept around when they can’t wrestle any more, they give their life to the business and what do the majority get at the end? Nothing, this is one of the many problems that could be solved with a wrestlers union.

    Unions are different from what they used to be, but the need for one could not be ignored if wrestlers went on strike. History has shown that when workers in a company strike, the owners have to listen, this is what needs to happen in wrestling. Now granted, conditions aren’t as bad as 100/200 years ago, but look around, professional sports, most of Hollywood in fact most areas of business have strong unions, so why not wrestling? Actually I think I’ll answer the question…

    Why do wrestlers need unions?
    1. Terrible working conditions.
    It’s no secret that wrestlers worldwide work under bad conditions, this is most apparent in the WWE. WWE wrestlers can work up to 7 days a week, performing at house shows, tapings, live events, ppv, autograph signings etc. They work for the majority of the year, with barely any break, they travel all across the world, living out of suitcases in stressful conditions. Now, this wouldn’t be so bad, but wrestlers are at a constant threat of injury, their career could end at anytime, and what happens after, well I’ll get into that later. Wrestlers also have to keep in great physical shape, they have to work out whilst on the road, they are encouraged to take muscle enhancers, which can be very dangerous and have lead to death and long lasting mental affects.

    2. Terrible retirement/ life after wrestling.
    So wrestlers are at a very high risk of injury, and we see them get injured a lot, injured wrestlers who aren’t very valuable, will most likely find themselves shipped out of the WWE very quickly, Look at what happened with Andrew ‘Test’ Martin, after suffering a serious neck injury, he was released, with little income, work and in a lot of pain, he turned to drugs, and unfortunately died. While this may be an extreme case, life after wrestling is very very bleak for most wrestlers. Look at a lot of the ‘legends’ of the business, forced to tour round indy promotions signing autographs, just to support their family, they give their life to wrestling and are often left penniless.

    3. Lower wages/ low share in profits.
    Now that WWE is basically a monopoly, with low competition, they can now afford to cut wrestlers wages. The WWE is the only promotion with a safe, guaranteed wage, TNA is still a small upstart and can’t offer the wages WWE can, and there’s no guarantee that TNA will be around for long. With WCW gone, wrestlers have no control or bargaining chip, it’s the WWE and their steady wage or nothing. Now while WWE wrestlers wages may not all be low, they are considerably lower than when WCW was around and there was competition for wrestlers, obviously wrestlers would feel the knock on effect from this.

    All of these problems could be solved with a wrestlers union, but…

    What are the benefits of having a wrestlers union?

    1. Improved working conditions.
    A wrestlers union could easily improve conditions. Wrestlers may be granted vacations, an off-season could be implemented, wrestlers could work less days a week. A wrestlers union could mean that wrestlers may not have to compete in as many high risk cage/ ladder matches, therefore with less risk of injury, meaning they can wrestler better and longer, which would actually improve WWE’s profits.


    2. Protection for wrestlers.
    A wrestlers union could put a stop to unfair treatment of wrestlers. It could mean that wreslters are not discriminated against by bookers (Michael Hayes), wrestlers aren’t unfairly dismissed (Matt Hardy) and that wrestlers finally get a say in what they have to do. This could mean huge benefits, maybe Owen Hart could have opted out of the stunt that caused his death if there was a union (unlikely but possible). There would definitely be less injuries, which would be a huge benefit to the WWE, wrestlers would be able to perform at a higher standard and have more longevity, obviously increasing fan enjoyment and therefore increased profit.


    3. Financial improvements for current/ retired wrestlers.
    With a union, wrestlers could finally be paid a fair wage, and not a fair wage according to Vince McMahon, but a fair wage based on the economy and the cost of living. Retired wrestlers could be offered a pension, a retirement plan, guaranteed appearances, I mean it’s the least they deserve after giving everything to the business.

    Now there’s obviously costs, costs I’m positive Vince would want to go anywhere near, but if the majority of wrestlers went on strike, Vince would have to take notice. I can’t ignore that there’s costs, I’m not an idiot, but sometimes things have to be sacrificed. With increasing deaths/ mental problems stemming within the wrestling world, things are looking bleak. Plus, a union would offer benefits to the WWE as well, productivity could easily increase, with healthier, happier wrestlers, which would lead to increased fan enjoyment, which would increase ppv buys, merchandise sales, ratings etc.
    The WWE may wonder how they can afford a wrestlers union, but the real question they should be asking themselves is, how can they afford not to?
     
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  7. SK

    SK I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaack

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    That’s a fair assessment of unions, and while things may have changed, unions are still apparent and very important. Now whilst there is danger in unions in professional sports, there’s also a danger when there’s no unions.

    But to be fair, the WWE could do that now if they wanted, they are basically a monopoly with very little competition, if Vince McMahon were to jack up the prices, fans would still attend shows and buy ppvs. I can understand that in other sports, unions made this possible, but in wrestling, this could and has to some extent, happened without unions. Vince would have to pay more money for all wrestlers, but look at it this way, wrestlers would be injured much less often, meaning they could be on top of their game, with no excuses, fans would obviously enjoy a match if the wrestlers can give their all, which could easily lead to increased income for the WWE, if fans are kept happy, they’ll pay the prices.

    But what about pro sports players? They are also at constant risk of injury and only get one chance and most professional sports have unions, why should wrestling be any different purely because they are at higher risk of injury? The promotion should have to pay for it, they should look after their wrestlers and they may find that wrestling gets better and more popular because wrestlers could perform better.

    I don’t see why, if anything, a wrestlers union would increase competition to the WWE. Wrestlers could begin to use rival companies as bargaining chips again as was done with WCW during the Monday Night Wars. If a high quality, big name wrestler can get more money at TNA due to a union, then they could always jump ship, giving rival promotions a bigger value and more star power. It’s things like this that would spark an interest in wrestling, just look at WCW, during wrestling’s most popular time, all they had to do was attract some top wrestlers and competition to the WWE was born. If this happened again, we could very much see another boom in wrestling, which would benefit wrestlers, fans and owners alike.

    I think that’s a brash generalisation to make. If Vince said "no more top rope, no more ladders, no more cages, etc" I think he, you and I all know that fans would be much less interested in the product and therefore sales and profits would decrease. I agree, Vince would probably take less risks, I don’t think he could completely outlaw all these things. Even if he did, that would leave a perfect opportunity for competition to offer what WWE doesn’t, leading to all the positives I previously mentioned of increased competition. A wrestlers union would hopefully protect wrestlers from injury a bit more and mean less gimmick matches for wrestlers, but this means when they do have gimmick matches, they’ll be much healthier and it would be less risky as they wouldn’t be as fatigued, leading to a higher quality match.
     
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  8. IrishCanadian25

    IrishCanadian25 Going on 10 years with WrestleZone

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    Exploited? They are? To me it seems like they are given jobs with tremendous financial upside and potential, given the chance to see the world, and given the chance to perform in front of millions of fans. In addition, they are given a chance to hone and advertise their skills for careers beyond the ring, such as The Rock transitioning into film or Brock Lesnar into MMA.

    When you say the wrestlers "work" 7 days a week, bear in mind their work day is mostly travel and meetings for a few hours, followed by 10-20 minutes of "work" in the ring. They don't wrestle for 8 hours / day. And they do a TV show, a couple house shows, and then have time off. Wrestlers USED to work 300 shoots/ year, but now it's closer to 220. Let's see...52 weeks / year, 5 days / week - I work 260 days / year myself! And if something keeps me from doing my job, (injury, say) I don't get a "downside guarantee," and I don't get merchandise residuals.

    And why is that? Because these wrestlers are very foolish and spend their money with little regard for their futures. They make 6+ figures, some top guys make 7 figures, and they damn sure have the ability to go out and open a 401k. Just because they didn't save money while they wrestled doesn't mean they need a union to demand someone do it for them.

    Very few workers of any kind, union or non, are kept around if they cannot work, SK. It's a fact of life. Very few businesses allow people who cannot contribute to the company to stick around.

    Teachers can stick around after they are well past their "prime," refusing to make room for younger, more able teachers. And do you know why these teachers can stay working until they are 80 despite not being effective past 60? Because they have a union that is far too strong, and teachers are given "tenure."

    Your union would keep wrestlers who are past their prime in the ring, and that would decrease the in-ring product, buy rates, etc. Not good.

    Wrestlers don't need a union in order to strike. But if they strike, they run the risk of being allowed to leave and being replaced by any number of the hundreds of young kids in wrestling schools and indy promotions around the country, or even the world.

    You're kidding, right? Wrestlers have better conditions now than they ever have before. Their conditions aren't "terrible." They have catering, access to gyms, doctors, and nutritionists, a wellness policy which encourages them to avoid steroids and drugs, etc. I WISH I had all that shit, I really do. And I maintain the 7-day work week is rare, and often is a result of travel.

    In the 80's, wrestlers worked a lot more at house shows and stuff. Now, there are fewer house shows because the cable considerations and higher PPV buys make the company more money.

    A shame they work for a company that considers physical fitness so highly.

    And the muscle enhancers? Again, ask Rey Mysterio how that wellness policy is working. Ask Jeff Hardy. Kennedy. Etc. It didn't take a union to get a wellness policy, it took a business man and an owner who wanted to do the right thing,

    I've already covered the retirement peice. And for posterity's sake, remember that WWE is an American company, built on capitalism. If you force unions and require retirement be paid out, wages will have to go down or the WWE will simply say "you want to restrict our business, then we'll just close."

    Andrew Martin was given a number of chances with the WWE and it didn't pan out. How is it WWE's fault that he wasn't strong enough to avoid drugs? Or that he hadn't saved some of the money he made in the boom period? Is a union suddenly going to make these guys smarter?

    And what about everything WWE has done for Scott Hall, Marty Jannetty, and Jake Roberts? Second chances? Company paid rehab? Take your choice. People in ALL walks of life make bad decisions, and it's not unions that save them. Perhaps if Andrew Martin had left on better terms instead of blowing up like a child and throwing everybody under the bus, it'd have ended differently.

    WCW wages were out of control. In fact, you've effectively just won this debate for me.

    1. WCW paid marginal, past-their-prime talent millions in guaranteed money. Why? Because they had the Ted Turner piggy bank to use.

    2. When those stars got injured, they were still due those millions of dollars. When WCW went out of business, Turner was still on the hook for those millions.

    3. WCW ended up losing tens of millions of dollars, and ended up selling to Vince McMahon, because they paid certain wrestlers unfair wages. You're saying wages are considerably lower than in WCW? Well of course! The WCW wages put the company OUT OF BUSINESS! Is that what your union will do? Force the companies to pay wages it cannnot afford, causing them all to go out of business? Then NOBODY makes a wage!

    I think I've shown the idea of wrestler unions to be a foolish and counterproductive idea...
     
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  9. Mr. TM

    Mr. TM Throwing a tantrum

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    Glad I gave you guys the extra time. SkeptiKal, I have said it before. Sorry to have to pair you two, but you and Franchize have been massive here. Both of your debating skills have been great for rookies. Too bad he missed this weeks. But you have both beaten up on the Admin in the League.

    Clarity of debate- 1 point
    SK wrote this like he knew I would love:). He gets this point here.

    Punctuality- 1 point
    SK, as unfortunately, IC had to go.

    Informative- 1 point
    Both brought up some great information, some of it were locks in this debate, and some could be challenged. IC's points were left too unchallenged, but he did give them. He gets this point.

    Emotionality- 1 point
    SK really brought up some points and took the people's approach to this debate, and did it well against IC's top down approach. I like that.

    Persuasion- 1 point
    An upset in my books has happened here. I wonder how the other judges will score this one. IC and me seem to have a similarity. I am a social historian, he is an HR guy. And he worked this debate here just over SK's. Both were great, and this point could be given to SK by the four other judges for all I know. Great Great Great job.

    TM rates this 3 points SK to 2 points IC.
     
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  10. Cena's Little Helper

    Cena's Little Helper Mid-Card Championship Winner

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    Clarity Of Argument - You had a few spelling mistakes in your argument, SK, and, I'm giving the point to IrishCanadian25 here, but only based on the marginal difference I mentioned. Both of you gave very clear arguments, so, kudos.

    Point: IrishCanadian25

    Punctuality - SK gets the point here.

    Point: SK

    Informative - I'm awarding this point to IrishCanadian25 based on a marginal difference as well. But, the research you brought in, SK, would have been sufficient to get you this point over almost every other debater.

    Point: IrishCanadian25

    Emotionality - Good job, SK, giving your argument and then going in for a rebuttal right after.

    Point: SK

    Persuasion - SK, the only word that comes to mind when I think of your argument here is "cogent." Virtually everyone focuses on either the structure or the language of their argument, but focusing solely on the former makes your argument dry and boring while focusing solely on the latter makes your argument specious. You found the middle ground, and it worked like a charm.

    Point: SK

    tdigle's Score

    IrishCanadian25 - 2
    SK -3
     
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  11. CH David

    CH David A Jock That Loves Pepsi

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    Clarity: You both had clear and precise arguments.

    Point: Split

    Punctuality: SK gets this point.

    Point: SkeptiKal

    Informative: Both brought in some good information to the debate, and experience to boot. I think I will have to go with IC, for the simple fact he had more first-hand knowledge and experience.

    Point: IC25

    Emotionality: I didn't really feel much emotion on here from either guy.

    Point: Split

    Persuasion: I'm giving this point to IC. He was effective in being able to combat SK's points, but SK did the same. I think SK could have beaten anyone else, but IC handled his business, but only barely.

    Point: IC25

    CH David scores this IC25 3, SkeptiKal 2.
     
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  12. Miko

    Miko WATCHA GONNA DO, BROTHER!?

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    Clarity: Good job the pair of ya

    Point: Split

    Punctuality: Like all the others said

    Point: SkeptiKal

    Informative: IC25 wins this by using his general knowledge of unions and stuff to prove his points.

    Point: IC25

    Emotionality: IC25 once again, what with the emotionality shown, or something to that extent

    Point: IC25

    Persuasion: I think IC25 had the better argument, some good points by SK but to be honest IC was the clear winner here for me.

    Point: IC25

    I score this round
    IC25 - 3.5
    SK - 1.5
     
    #12

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