WWE: 10 Stars Accused Of Not Paying Their Dues

Wrestling fans love to complain; in our own socially maladjusted way, we're often a lot like fans of actual sports, in our own, socially maladjusted way. Many are armchair grapplers with a million things to say about the product,but only the internet to listen, where online forums, social network feeds, and blog posts abound with homespun wisdom on everything from which Diva we wish we could approach publicly to whether or not the Oklahoma character was just misunderstood. It's a kind of social schizophrenia: we have an audience, even if it is only ourselves. We're kind of like our angry grandfathers in a way, except our telescreens yell back at us. Among the most popular topics is whether or not a given wrestler deserves a spot. Over the years, the industry has seen plenty of stars accused of not paying their dues, not only by so-called "smart" marks, but by journalists and even fellow wrestlers. Here are ten who, fairly or otherwise, have been so judged - some deserve some defence, while others are less easy to back up, but at the end of the day, only wrestlers are really in a position suitable for judging the merits of their peers...

10. David Arquette

Wrestling promotions seek out publicity wherever they can, which is a tradition that predates the WrestleMania model of involving celebrities in the main event. Even before Liberace wrestled Bam Bam Bigelow (that happened, right?), boxers like Jack Dempsey and Muhammad Ali were seen in wrestling rings, bringing with them an air of legitimacy. This pandering for mainstream attention is often met with rolled eyes and shaken heads from a small, easily-irritated portion of the Monday night faithful. What kind of audience are they trying to attract by putting some creature named Snooki in the ring? Why would any wrestling fan want to see a football star in the main event? Most frustrating of all, though, what kind of dope puts the World Heavyweight Championship on the guy from the long distance commercials? Arquette's reign was meant to be a joke, but even he knew that the World Heavyweight Championship, a belt that had graced the waists of legends like Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair, shouldn't have been treated like a prop in a Carrot Top routine. Keep in mind, though, that Arquette reportedly donated his WCW earnings to Melanie Pillman, widow of the late Brian Pillman, so though he may not have paid his dues as a wrestler, but he did the right thing in the long run.

Check out "The Champ" by my alter ego, Greg Forrest, in Heater #12, at http://fictionmagazines.com. I used to do a mean Glenn Danzig impression. Now I just hang around and co-host The Workprint podcast at http://southboundcinema.com/.