I wasn't going to do an update this week since I really didn't have anything for you. However, my e-mailbox has been flooded with e-mails about something, and it's been mentioned on just about every other pro wrestling website. So, I feel compelled to give my two cents.
If you haven't seen nor heard about it, there's an auction on eBay for a personal appearance by Road Dogg Jesse James (click here to see it).
Everybody seems to think it's a really bizarre item, and it points to how "low" the Road Dogg has sunk. I guess that, on paper, I disagree with that assessment. The whole business of personal appearances is a little squirelly to begin with, but so many professional athletes are involved with it that seeing something like this doesn't really shock me. I do have a number of observations, however, some of which are due to me being a semi-regular user of eBay (around 150 transactions or so).
- This kind of thing definitely has a precedence on the Internet. About four years ago, Demolition Ax had a website where, for $10,000, you could purchase a personal visit from him where he would present you with this WWF World Tag Team belt (in contrast to the replica that Road Dogg will bring you).
- One would think that if you were advertising something worth several thousand dollars, you wouldn't have it all in CAPITAL LETTERS with a lot of misspellings and grammar mistakes.
- I think that part of the "hysteria" over this entire thing is how much money he's getting for a two-hour personal appearance. That price is certainly high, but not totally unrealistic. It reminds me of right after Ronald Reagan left the presidency...he was paid something like $2M for two 20-minute speeches in Japan. Everyone went ballistic because he was "selling out the presidency". It had nothing to do with the speeches being in Japan, rather it was that he was being paid so much for so little work.
Even at the time, I thought "So what?". So, it would be OK if he made $200,000, but because they are willing to pay him $2,000,000, that somehow makes it wrong?
- When you look at the seller's rating, it's a little bit iffy. If you're not familiar with eBay, it might not look all that bad; however, basically any more than around one negative feedback for every 500 transactions is probably a cause for concern...eBay etiquette is such that you're really got to make someone mad to get negative feedback.
- Maybe all big ticket items on eBay have lots of retractions and cancellations...I wouldn't know since I only buy and sell small stuff. However, I find it unbelievable how many retracted and canceled bids there are for this auction. It must be someone's full-time job.
- Theoretically, they should have made this a Dutch auction, given that Road Dogg has the ability to make more or less an unlimited number of personal appearances. However, given all the big cancellations and retractions, that would probably be unmanageable.
- I read somewhere that the Iron Sheik's rate is $800/day. Wherever I read this, it said "For the $800, he'll do anything...he'll wrestle, he'll sign autographs, he'll even put the Camel Clutch on your grandmother."
- Ryan M. wrote in on this topic, and said "Something funny my friend and I thought of is if an indy or backyard fed won the Road Dogg auction and made him job out to everyone in their organization for two hours."