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« It’s time for Truex to produce at the Sprint Cup level | Main | Dave Blaney racing from Sprint Cup to Sprint Cars during Daytona Speedweeks »

NASCAR should not associate itself with the WWE

By admin | February 6, 2012

By Richard Allen

On the latest episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, racing star Carl Edwards made an appearance and it was announced that professional wrestler John Cena would serve as the honorary starter for the Daytona 500. This is an association NASCAR should have never entered into.

In 2007, driver Tony Stewart was chastised by NASCAR when he stated on his own satellite radio show that, “I guess NASCAR thinks ‘Hey, wrestling worked, and it was for the most part staged, so I guess it’s going to work in racing, too,”’ he asserted. “I can’t understand how long the fans are going to let NASCAR treat them like they’re stupid before the fans finally turn on NASCAR. I don’t know that they’ve run a fair race all year.”

Now, NASCAR has chosen to associate with the very organization they were “very, very disappointed” to hear Stewart make reference to.

Stewart is certainly not the only person to ever accuse NASCAR of interfering with the results of races. Fans, competitors and media have often insisted that the sanctioning body throws late race cautions for “phony debris” in order to bunch the field and manufacture a dramatic ending. That, by the way, is what Stewart was referring to in his remarks.

Also, it is fact that NASCAR has carried out some of its rulings in secret. In particular, fines they have levied against drivers who too frequently speak their mind or do not otherwise tow the party line. Such a closed door policy further leads to fix accusations. If an organization carries out one policy in the dark why shouldn’t it be believed that they carry out other policies in the dark.

Just last year after qualifying for the Daytona 500, prominent ESPN television host Tony Kornheiser indicated his belief that there might have been a fix involved to bolster ratings for the race itself when popular Dale Earnhardt, Jr. won the pole position for the season opening race.

Just because NASCAR is associating with the WWE does not mean races are fixed. But it offers the possibility of ‘guilt by association’ references by the mainstream media such as Kornheiser and others.

The NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball do not allow franchises to be established in Las Vegas because they do not want to be too closely linked to gambling. Of course, gambling occurs on those sports and to have a team in the city would not mean their sport is controlled by gambling. But, those leagues just choose to avoid the association.

That’s why NASCAR should stay away from the WWE. Such a pairing does not indicate a fix is on. But it opens the door for references to be made, and those are the types of references this sport can do without.

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Topics: Articles |

18 Responses to “NASCAR should not associate itself with the WWE”

  1. Richard Allen Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 9:15 am

    One thing I would like to clarify is that when I say NASCAR should avoid this association I am speaking in terms of NASCAR itself.

    I know teams have received sponsorship from wrestling organizations before. That is an entirely different matter than the sanctioning body associating with wrestling when there are already accusations of fixes.

  2. MC Lock Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    The problem lies in the fact that wrestling has a rather large following of marginally retarded people who will for the most part watch and spend money on anything as seen by their following of Pro Wrestling or WWE.

    The bottom line is that you (meaning NASCAR) can never have enough eyeballs and/or idiots lined up to watch your events or buy your products when your life line is so reliant on mass quantity consumerism.

    This is the Sad but True state of NASCAR today…

    Desperation for money sure makes strange bedfellows…

    If a grown man is willing to buy an Undertaker t-shirt and bandana surely you can get him to come to a NASCAR race and spend a buck…

  3. Luke Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    Rich, I agree completely. I remember upon hearing the WWE connection cringing a bit and wondering who thinks this is a good idea? Raise your hands.

    Perception isn’t everything, but it is important.

  4. Ken Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    MC Lock, you are obviously not a NASCAR fan. My question to you is why did you chose to read this article, then proceed to bash and insult fans of NASCAR with your very rude comments?

    By the way, I am a NASCAR fan, and proudly so. I have a favorite driver that is not liked by the majority, but I stand by the guy. I even have the opportunity to meet him this Saturday at a meet-and-greet. I even manage to attend two or three races a year. Both races at Michigan for sure because the track is close to the Canadian boarder and I can make it home after the race by midnight, even with the boarder congestion. Yes, I buy tee shirts, usually two a year. So what? I even buy my driver’s diecasts. So what? And don’t ever visit my house because if you are as offensive as your comments, you will be most rude to me if you saw my display room.

    Do us a favour. Since you have such a negative attitude toward my chosen favorite sport, then please read articles about my sport, and do not bother us with your tirade. You have only made yourself look like an idiot.

  5. Chris Fiegler Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 3:57 pm

    What NASCAR Drivers Wrestled in a Wrestling Ring?

  6. The Mad Man Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 4:26 pm

    The WCW sponsored the #23 car years ago. I think the driver’s last name was Hooper. Back then, there were no accusations of races being fixed and the sanctioning body didn’t call phony debris cautions to bunch the cars back up. Then Kenny Wallace had a sponsor who was associated with WWF (before it became WWE) and used several wrestlers in the sponsors NASCAR-related commercials. Then there was a break. Both organizations seem to distance themselves from each other which was about the time the race manipulation started. In the last few years, Sliced (but moldy) Bread and Scrub have been on WWE Monday Night Raw. Carl Edwards has been on the same show. John Cena has been in the pits and garage. We had retired WWE wrestler Sgt Slaughter give the start command at Homestead. Now we have John Cena as the honorary starter. So what next? Maybe have The Big Show choke slam Brian France before the race? Put Mark Henry, “the World’s Strongest Man” (according to WWE) on a pit crew as a jack man? Have John Ross and Jerry Lawler replace DW and Larry Mac?

    The actual marketing reasons are quite simple. Both organizations have the same demographic audiences. They even have some of the same fans. So doing some cross-promoting makes sense from a marketing standpoint. However, when you’ve got drivers and fans accusing the sanctioning body of manipulating the races and it’s affecting the bottom line, you need to use some common sense and draw the line somewhere before you don’t have any fans left.

  7. Keith Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    Rich

    I thought the same exact thing you did.

  8. Luke Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Good question…did that really happen?

  9. Tony Geinzer Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 5:11 pm

    If Bill Frances where alive today, would have they condoned such trash?

  10. Offkilter Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    I think every track needs a ring. Disagreement on the track? Let the two drivers settle it with a cage match after the race.

  11. Dennis Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I’m more opposed to cross promotion with wrestling as I think it’s a very poor influence on society. Then, again, there seems to be little in the way of standards on television anymore. I think I’m getting too old for this world and I’m only halfway done. LOL

  12. Overra88ted Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 8:59 pm

    Racertainment, the WWE and Jr. nation are the base of the same TV demographic. Pretty obvious, both groups are delusional.

  13. Russ Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    This obviously has at least the tacit approval of the powers that be in Daytona, and is at best short sighted. For a sport that is struggling to reclaim some sort of positive vibe and momentum it makes no sense.
    Again it brings into question the seriousness of it as a sport. And in an era where sponsorship is becoming a serious issue, I doubt if it impresses those that they need the most.

  14. dion Says:
    February 7th, 2012 at 11:27 pm

    You guys really don’t see it, do you? John Cena is much more than a wrestler. His favorite sport is NASCAR, he has a huge classic car collection and is good friends off the track with Carl. Cena is the most requested athlete by the make a wish foundation. I think he has granted over 200 wishes. He is also an actor and has appeared on many different programs. He is todays version of Hulk Hogan. I am a huge wrestling and racing fan. I actually graduated with honors from college, so I am not “mentally retarded” as that person says about wrestling fans. I am highly educated and knowledgable in racing and other sports. I am also not a redneck or a southerner.

    And to the person who asked about NASCAR people in the ring, it has happened before. Even Jeff Hammond and Hermie Sadler are associated with TNA Wrestling. The gillette young guns have even done commercials with Cena in the past.

    Honestly, you couldn’t have found a better person to start the Daytona 500.

  15. Bill B Says:
    February 8th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    There is a scale that all televised spectator sports must decide where to balance - on the one side is entertainment on the other side is the integrity of the sport. Rarely can any rule or policy serve both at the same time.

    A lot of the policies and rules NASCAR has put in place in the last decade have leaned toward increasing the entertainment factor. The Chase, GWC, wave arounds, lucky dog, double file restarts. These were all added to increase the probability of a race being exciting right up until the last lap which definitely is for the purpose of the entertainment factor. Throw in lots of questionable debris cautions to increase restarts, wave arounds and GWC finishes and it’s easy to see why there are comparisons to the WWE.

  16. Randy Myers Says:
    February 8th, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Thanks Dion for defending a marketing decision that possibly opens the door to some younger fans. It’s about time some of the fumble thumbed idiots who call themselves reporters/writers/bloggers took the time to do something useful for the sport in their spare time instead of constantly stirring the pot with useless drivel.

  17. Rodney Munch Says:
    February 8th, 2012 at 11:34 am

    (*applies palm to forehead* while reading these replies) MC Lock, you could not be more right. I hate it, guess I just will never understand why *anyone* would watch the WWE other than pure, pent-up homo-eroticism and possibly because the gators and coons are outside thus preventing them from continuing their usual activity of running head-first into a brick wall or watching the grass grow or maybe their cousin/sister’s up’town getting her maternity wedding dress for their big day tomorrow. No, I’m not being facetious (sp?), I think its a completely idiotic non-sport which dumbs down the already moronic viewers it has. But then again, I have heard similar statements about NA$CAR…at least it *used* to be a real sport though. As for any potential “fanz” this cross-whoremotion may attract, I say the former sport would be better off without them. Doubt there’s very much money obtained in their households anyway and they’ve probably spent what little they had on either crystal meth, the lottery or betting on the Pig Racin’ down at the flea market. To rasslin’ fanz I’m sorry, and to those already typing slanderous “yewaint no fan” p***off, I have been since I was 4 years old and have followed it religiously since I was 7. I’m 31, from the deep south and my family watches rasslin…and my ma and pa aint kin neither so dont bother with the stupid flame wars. Just try and imagine how this makes us fans look to somebody that DOESN’T drive a pickup or listen to country music. We need those city slicker types as fans too.

  18. Mike Says:
    February 8th, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    What is all the anger here? All John Cena is doing is WAVING THE GREEN FLAG, just like every other celebrity that has done it in the past. It’s not like WWE forced NASCAR into it, NASCAR most likely CHOSE Cena to drop the flag just like they pick every other person to wave the green flag for all the other races, and the grand marshal, etc.

    This is a non-issue. I have never seen so many people upset about the choice of who gets to wave the green flag. That is all he is doing… move along people, nothing to see here. Where is another Danica article?