Monday, 31 December 2001

Open Letter to Mike Aldren

Many of you know that in the past I have stated that I do not like it when writers spend their time insulting each other in their columns, and that they should write about their chosen subject.

    Now, I know this may sound like double standards, but I do really need to say this. What I am about to say is not being published anywhere else on the Internet. I am not forwarding it to my e-zine editors and website masters. This is staying here in the pages of TSC.

    The editor in question is Mike Aldren, editor of Essential Wrestling News, and site master of www.smashwrestling.com.

    Recently, Mike approached me with a view to doing some freelance work for EWN and Smash Wrestling. Before I go any further, let me tell you a little about those approaches.

    As an AOL user, I sometimes make use of their Instant Message system. But more often than not, I have my away message turned on. This is because a lot of the time I am on the net, I am either working on my Two Sheds Review website, or my new pet project, a WAW dedicated site.

    However, recently, whenever I turned my away message off, there always seemed to be a message from Mike there. It happened almost every time I logged onto the net.

    So, as Mike was obviously intent on speaking with me, I sent him an e-mail asking why. He replied by saying that Smash Wrestling was expanding, that he was looking for new writers, and wanted me to work freelance for him. Seeing as Smash Wrestling and EWN is seemingly one of the most respected names in the Internet wrestling community, I said yes. Mike said he would send posting information to me shortly.

    Then, a few days ago, the Topica website people messed up. My entire account had been wiped from their site, and I could not send an issue of TSC out. I sent out a quick message explaining what had happened to the list of subscribers, directly from my AOL e-mail address.

    While many of the replies I had were very supportive, offering me help to get my mailing list going again, one reply I had, from Mike, seemed very disrespectful of what had happened. He made fun of what had happened, and then told me that EWN would be in trouble if that happened to him, because of his 45,000 subscribers.

    While I admit that I may have flown off the handle a little, I do believe that Mike shouldn't have said these things, and I replied to his e-mail saying this.

    A few days later, again with my away message turned on, I began to work on the WAW website. When I turned the message off, another message from Mike was waiting for me. "You may have misunderstood me", he said.

    But that wasn't the only message he left. After my away message, was his second reply; "pathetic".

    Another show of disrespect, so I e-mailed Mike again saying I wasn't happy. His reply; "IM me man to man!" Ooooh. Handbags at twenty paces if you please!

    I replied, explaining the reason why my away message was always turned on, giving him the URL for the website. His reply was, well, take a look for yourself. This is a direct quote. Nothing has been edited.

    Julian,
    I laugh at the suggestion your "one of the most     respected Internet wrestling journalists" as no one I've spoke to has ever heard of you. The only reason I know who you are is due to the fact your below-par column reared its ugly head in TCN.

    Your writing is simply piss-poor and you lack basic     understanding of the English language. I laugh when I read your material and laugh even more now     you've added me to your mailing list.

    Now do you feel insulted?
    - Mike Aldren Essential Wrestling Newsletter - The     WORLDS largest pro wrestling newsletter!!!

    I could go on about how I've done this, people have said that, and I'm about to do the other. All I will say in reply to this is that perhaps Mike should read the recent Reader's Feedback issues I have published.

    Mildly pissed off by this, I wrote a column, not the one you're reading here, about our little encounter. It was fully my intention to publish this.

    But then I decided not to, thinking that it would be unprofessional of me to do so.

    In an attempt to bury the hatchet, I e-mailed Mike, saying that I had written a column but would not be publishing it, giving my reasons. At the end of the column, I apologized for any misunderstanding there may have been. Mike's reply, again unedited, was this;

    Publish it I'm begging you - just as I thought.. all     talk and no balls!

    So, finding that Mike was online, I sent him an Instant Message basically asking him to stop. All he seemed to do was go on about how EWN had 45,000 subscribers, how Smash Wrestling got 12,000 hits a day. He also insulted some of the other people I write for.

    He also begged me to send him the column I had written. Eventually, I thought what the hell. What do I have to lose?

    In actual fact, nothing. Mike continued to IM me, sending me insults, insulting my recent British wrestling columns, my other editors, and also constantly reminding me that EWN has 45,000 subscribers, and how Smash Wrestling got 12,000 hits a day!

    But it was getting late, and frankly, I couldn't be bothered to continue this conversation. I told him to go away and leave me alone.

    The one thing that really bothers me is this. Essential Wrestling News is a damn good e-zine. You don't get that many subscribers by putting out crap all the time.

    And Smash Wrestling, when it's up and running, is also a damn good site. These two pieces of the Internet community compliment each other extremely well.

    Yet Mike Aldren seems to have absolute contempt for everyone else in the Internet wrestling community, no matter how successful or respected they are, and the way that he constantly tells everyone how successful he is rather annoying.

    So what if EWN has 44,800 more subscribers than TSC. Who gives a damn? I certainly don't!

    In short, Mike Aldren's conduct towards his fellow Internet wrestling journalists leaves a lot to be desired. His contempt, his lack of respect, and his constant insults aimed towards his fellow journalists can only, in the long run, harm the reputation he is so keen on promoting.

    Am I trying to tell you all not to read EWN of log onto Smash Wrestling? No. I'm not one to try and force opinions here. You have all the facts before you. I'll let you make your own decisions!

    In conclusion, Mike, I know you are reading this. Do me a favour, and just leave me alone. I have no time whatsoever for someone like you.