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SLAM! WRESTLING: Guest Columnist

SLAM! Sports
SLAM! Wrestling







November 17, 1999

A.C. Jazz a breath of fresh air

By ROD RUFF -- For SLAM! Wrestling

 In the battles between the two major feds over the past few years there has been no shortage of shots taken at one another, by both people in the feds and between the fans of the two. Almost every Monday night we can tune in and listen to the wrestlers bash the opposing fed through parodies or so called "shoot" interviews.

The WWF has been doing it for years now, making fun of Ted Turner's rasslin, and now we see the WCW parody the WWF for almost half of their 3 hour Nitro. For the longest time the WCW only made comments towards the adult nature of the WWF, and how they were a different product with some discretion towards their viewers, particularly young children. But with all the changes backstage in WCW over the past few months and the evolution of their product one question stands out in my mind: Integrity?

Not integrity from the overall promotion, they have every right to change their product, but integrity from the people and wrestlers who came out in public and stood up to the new attitude of the WWF, people who stood against that insidious, degrading, tasteless product of the WWF. Now the WCW is more or less the same, and if it's not at the same place as the WWF it's trying to get there. So amidst this change in WCW integrity comes from the most unlikely of all people, former Nitro girl A.C. Jazz.

This week, A.C. has reportedly quit the Nitro girls after refusing to do a match with Spice this week on Nitro. Internet reports stated that the match was to be either a evening gown or mud wrestling stipulations. Refusing to do a match under these stipulations, she consequently left the Nitro girls and WCW. With all the recent jumps, signings, and major changes between feds A.C. Jazz becomes the one of the very persons in the wrestling business to have some integrity, stand up for her own personal values in a business that has a controversial stance in it's treatment of women.

It is interesting to note all those in WCW who were against the product of the WWF, they are now strangely silent. There was no warning to the fans about the change in product from management, at least Vince had the nerve to explain to his viewers the change that was going to occur.

Hulk Hogan talked about the porn of the WWF, and the disdain he had for it, but we all know if Hogan could still be the #1 man in WCW he would still be there, T and A or not.

Our own Canadian hero Bret Hart, the most outspoken man against the WWF's attitude, doesn't seem to mind the new WCW product so long as he is getting his world title push. Bret, do you let your kids watch Nitro anymore?

WCW's internet man, Bob Ryder, criticizes the WWF all the time for it's product, but he is by far less critical of the new Nitro. It's alright Bob, it's hard to be more critical of your preferred product. All the WCW fans out there that criticized the WWF for so long, do you now criticize the WCW? Or do you just turn a blind eye towards your favorite promotion because you just want them to be number one again so bad so you can say you stuck with them all the way. I'm as guilty of that as anyone, being a WCW fan for a long time now, but do any of us have integrity? No. We don't.

Thank God someone does. I have gained a new respect for A.C. Jazz with her departure from the Nitro girls. She didn't want to become like the female wrestlers of our time, where the winner of a female match is the only one who has her clothes left on. She could have probably made a lot of money if she had taken a larger role as a female wrestler, but instead she became one of the few people in the big feds to stand up to the promotion. You have a blown fresh air into my life, in a world where integrity isn't often attained and many don't even bother to try and achieve it.

They say wrestling just reflects society, no wonder we can hardly find any people with integrity in the business. How much easier does it seem these days have a blind eye then to turn the channel; it's interesting how an entertainment form like wrestling has enough influence to make us compromise our values.

So I tip my hat to you A.C., I wish you the best in your future endeavors, I hope your integrity can carry you to greater heights.
Rod Ruff lives in Calgary, Alberta and can be reached by e-mail at rodruff@home.com. He wrote a column for us on May 18, 1999: Top 10 reasons WCW is suffering

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