The Impact of Social Media

A bit ago, I wrote about how the WWE could drastically improve some aspects of their company by embracing the use of Youtube. While I still think it’s something they need to do, the past month or so has also shined a light on how social media can have a less than stellar effect on someone. The platform that has that sort of influence more than the rest would be the lovely world of Twitter. Two incidents that stand head and shoulder above the rest are the now infamous Sami Callihan/Eddie Edwards Bat Botch (try saying that one five times fast), and TJ Marconi using the newly named “Ego Drop” on a member of Grims Toy Show, a famous Youtube wrestling personality.

The latter is probably a lesser known incident due to the people involved, but it has sent waves throughout the wrestling Twitter world. For months, TJ Marconi and Grims Toy Show have been going back and forth, both on Twitter and across a number of lesser-known promotions. It all culminated in a brawl during an SWF show, during which Marconi performed a Dominator on another worker. The initial angle that circulated made it look like a botched spot, which caused a number of wrestlers to speak out against TJ. The biggest without a doubt was Ethan Page, and it has actually led to companies taking Marconi off of their shows.

The biggest problem here is upon seeing the spot from other angles it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as initially thought. In fact, it actually seems as though Marconi prevented any serious injury by lifting the opponent up, so his head didn’t hit the mat.

The lack of other immediate angles didn’t show that, however, which was quite a shame. Since then, Marconi has adopted the moniker of “Public Enemy #1”, and has done what he could to turn the negative perception of him around. He has even gone so far as to name the move the Ego Drop as a not so subtle dig at Page and has used it to draw massive heat as seen below.

Whether or not the damage can be repaired is yet to be seen. As someone that knows TJ personally, I can say that I wouldn’t see him as the type to intentionally hurt someone, and I do hope that it hasn’t permanently messed up his career.

The other incident is much more well known, and even though it was taped months ago, it only recently aired on television. Of course, I’m referring to the botched bat spot that was seen on IMPACT. For those who haven’t seen it, I won’t link to it because of the graphic nature of the aftermath, but a quick youtube search will bring it up.

While it was clear that it was an accident, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it was one of the more brutal spots in recent memory. It left Eddie Edwards with numerous broken bones in his face, and it was quickly said that Sami Callihan was an unsafe worker. While accidents do happen, and both men have been adamant that there was no ill intentions behind it, the way it has been handled since raises a number of questions.

Between tweets, interviews, and podcasts, Callihan has been doing everything he can to make this situation work as part of a character. The only problem is he seems to have sparked a bit of outrage in his lackadaisical handling of it all.

While both of these situations vary a bit, one common link exists between them, and that is Twitter. Almost immediately after the Marconi incident, the video was up online and circulating. The same goes for the Callihan incident even though it was taped months ago. If this were back in the pre-social media days would either thing have blown up the way it did? I highly doubt it.

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