Thursday, October 12, 2017

Jimmy Jacobs Fired from an Increasingly Paranoid WWE

The latest casualty in WWE's rampant punching down
Photo Credit: Scott Finkelstein
The war between WWE and the Bullet Club has claimed another victim in Jimmy Jacobs. The former Ring of Honor superstar had been working in creative, at least until his bosses found out about the picture he took with the Bullet Club when the group invaded RAW in Ontario, CA on September 27. According to Pro Wrestling Sheet (and corroborated by Dave Meltzer), WWE officials were furious and fired Jacobs as a consequence of him meeting up with and sharing a picture online with friends.

Unfortunately for consumers of wrestling in America, WWE has no competition, and none of these actions that a quite frankly tryhard outlet like the Bullet Club is perpetrating should have any bearing on decisions the company or the people in charge there make. WWE's war against the group is wholly unnecessary, and the fact that Vince McMahon and Paul "Triple H" Levesque are waging it has three true-outcome reasons behind it. The first is that they're so protective of their revenue intake that they cannot bear to have anyone try to dip into it. Occam's Razor suggests this is probably the most likely scenario. Capitalists acting in capitalistic manner is about as surprising as McMahon slapping a navel-gazing, high-potential athlete "gimmick" on a high-percentile Black superstar. McMahon and Levesque acting as greedy pigs would be par for the course.

Reason number two is that WWE legitimately is shook by the Club's actions. Obviously, WWE has no reason to feel threatened by a rogue stable that may or may not be acting with the explicit blessing or on direct order from its two parent companies (obviously, the fact that none of them have even come close to being disciplined by Ring of Honor or New Japan Pro Wrestling means the silent assent is there). However, I find it funny that people would die on the hill that WWE is not acting with all the paranoia of late-Presidency Richard Nixon when it's showing signs that could easily be interpreted as paranoia. Just because WWE shouldn't have a reason to fear doesn't mean the people in the office won't act like it.

The third reason is professional jealousy and spite. It could be from McMahon. It probably would more likely be from lieutenant, heir apparent, and indie darling collector Levesque. Either way, that WWE craves social buzz is well-known. It's also an open secret that WWE has coveted the Young Bucks for a long time. The fact that they're leading this charge and getting social buzz at WWE's expense while metaphorically flipping the company off in the process can't be settling well, so given the reported personalities of both McMahon and Levesque, putting the screws to the Bucks and their comrades would not be out of the realm of possibility.

No matter which of the three reasons is true, it's not a good look. The people paying for this aren't going to be McMahon and Levesque. It won't be the Bushiroad and Sinclair corporations. Hell, it may not even be the Bucks and Cody Rhodes, to be honest. It'll be someone like Adam Page. It's definitely Jacobs. All he wanted to do was get a picture with old friends. Regardless of their intentions, someone shouldn't have to fear for their job if they meet with friends, especially someone whose job is not on screen and whose presence with "the competition" would mean somewhere between "jack" and "shit" to the average WWE fan.

Whatever the reason behind all this reaction, it's out of control. Asking people not to "poke the bear" is laughable given that the literal interpretation of that phrase assumes that the target of poking is a wild animal who only reacts on instinct. WWE is helmed by people who know better, and part of knowing better is not only realizing when the people haranguing you don't pose a threat, but also exercising restraint at personal slight and not capriciously firing someone because you're mad that not everyone falls in line under your boot. It certainly means perhaps expecting a sense of humor for someone pulling a similar stunt that you did when you were the underdog in a war against a corporate entity.

I don't know what Jimmy Jacobs is going to do now. Maybe he goes back to the indies to work or perhaps to take the book. Either way, he shouldn't be out of a job. While WWE's pettiness has yet to approach AAA's in Mexico, it's still hurting people for reasons that while not clear are bad for everyone involved and for the business on the whole.