This is not a news column. That will be coming in a day or two. This is a public response to some people who have written to me asking me to verify if a wrestler they "spoke to" was, indeed, the real deal.
Obviously, I don't know every wrestler's IM name and email but I know enough of them to know that, most of the time, you're not speaking to the real deal if he or she contacts you out of the blue and begins conversing with you.
I have encountered many fake wrestlers all over the net. MySpace.com is filled with them. I used to go around busting the fakers but it's a far bigger job than I can possibly handle. Plus, I just busted a fake Mark Jindrak who turned out to be the real Mark Jindrak. That was embarrassing! But I am used to it. I busted the fake WCW Magazine publisher who was on AOL years ago. It turns out it was the real one and I ended up editor of the magazine. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade, I don't know how that happened but I am sure glad it did.
I just want to give you all a little heads up on some things so you are better able to discern if you are talking to, or writing to, the wrestler you think you are.
If you write to a wrestler though his or her official website (not the subsites on WWE and TNA) and they respond, especially if their email address has their real name in it, chances are you are talking to the real wrestler. Often the emails will be friendly and short and won't be a private nature. These people are very busy and, while they want to respond to all their fans, it is a time consuming task and not all are that computer savvy. Moreover, after being on the road and finally getting some downtime, they value every second. So don't be surprised if you write a wrestler a long letter pouring your heart out and he or she responds with a short letter acknowledging you and encouraging you to tune in or to come to the shows.
On communities like MySpace, honestly, more often than not, the wrestlers you find are fakes. Some ways you can tell are by looking at their user pictures. Are they all screen shots taken from TV and other pics that could be obtained on the net? Do their profiles read like a bio someone wrote on the history of the life of that wrestler? Check out the groups they belong to. Most have very little time to be involved heavily online in a community and aren't in many groups. A big one is what times they are online. Most fakes know enough to turn off their public notifications that they are online but check their blogs, comments, and other things. If they wrote a blog on a Monday night at 8:45 p.m. and they are on Raw, chances are, they're fake. Wrestlers aren't thinking of blogging 15 minutes before show time.
There is a fake Carlito on MySpace who has only screen shots up for pics and is in total character all the time. His favorite saying is, of course, "That's not cool" and he has some facts wrong. Research! Good fakes will research but sloppy ones will make mistakes you can pick up. When you question them, they will get very offended or show attitude. Sometimes they will ignore you completely.
I have been on MySpace for almost a year. In that time, I have come across at least 15 Chris Jerichos. I wrote to all of them asking a simple, easy to answer (for Chris) question and guess what? None knew the answer. Some ignored my letter, some answered back vaguely, others cursed at me. Then the REAL Chris Jericho came on there and said (in his own voice through a media player) that he hadn't even heard of MySpace until a few weeks ago. Mmmhmm. Busted. But many people still believe the fakes out there are real.
John Cena has a MySpace account now. He verified it during a "5 Questions with the Champ" segment on WWE.com. Now what are all the fake Cenas going to do with their time?
If a wrestler on his OFFICIAL (I can't stress that word enough) website links to MySpace, you can rest assured that he or she is actually in the community.
Gregory "Hurricane" Helms has links from his website to his MySpace site and back and he is the real deal.
In fact, he has posted a list of the only REAL WWE wrestlers and divas on MySpace on his profile page. It's a short list, folks.
I know of several TNA and Ring of Honor/Indy workers and divas legitimately on MySpace. I have verified them through various means (even if it meant having to apologize when I found out they were the real deal and I was wrong about them being fake.)
I am considering listing all the wrestlers and divas who currently have a legitimate MySpace account for you. That way, you will know you are commenting and writing to the real deals and not some wanna be behind the screen.
I obviously don't know every single wrestler who is on MySpace but I am slowly getting to the real ones and verifying them.
My question to you is, would his info be helpful to you?
I will post a poll in the forum and you can tell me there. If you think a list of current legitimate wrestlers on MySpace.com would be of interest to you, let me know. I will list their names and their page URLs.
If most of you don't frequent that online community, I won't bother.
No matter what, through, I caution you to be very leery of any wrestler who contacts you out of the blue, who seems a little too friendly especially if he or she is married, or who gives you "inside information". A real wrestler would not chance their job by giving out confidential storyline or backstage information to a fan. Any wrestler who tells you to keep your conversations a secret and not to tell anyone you are talking to them is not a wrestler. It's a fake protecting him or herself from getting busted.
There are always exceptions to every rule but, in general, if you are not sure you are speaking with the real deal, listen to your instincts. A real wrestler won't be offended if you ask him or her to verify themselves. In the case of Mark Jindrak, after I called him a fake, he wrote me back on MySpace offering to prove he wasn't by having me write to him via his official website and he would answer. I did and he did and, well, I apologized for the trouble I caused him but that's what a pro does.
A fake will do anything and everything they can to avoid you knowing the truth.
The internet is a great place but it also breeds a lot of lonely, fanatical people who will do anything for attention - even stealing someone's identity.
Proceed with caution.
Please check out the forum for my poll question and, if I see there is an interest in the legit wrestlers and divas I know are on MySpace, I will post them here and link them as well through a special link on the side of my column.
I will be back soon with news you can use!
PS: If you are a wrestler or involved in wrestling and have an official website or MySpace account and would like it linked here, please drop me a line with the URL. I will be verifying it before posting, of course.