Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Plugola Central: Your Humble Blogger Launches Website for His Book Exploiting His Secondary Rights

ECW Press has announced a March 2007 publication date for Irvin Muchnick’s book WRESTLlNG BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death and Scandal.

The Spring 2007 ECW catalogue calls WRESTLING BABYLON the place where “closet fans meet closet intellectuals.”

A nephew of Sam Muchnick, the late legendary wrestling promoter, Irvin Muchnick has written about pro wrestling behind the scenes for more than 20 years for publications as diverse as The New York Times, The Washington Monthly, and an online magazine published by the Museum of Sex.

Muchnick’s People magazine article on Hulk Hogan blew the lid off the drug abuse of the sport’s signature superstar. His award-winning Penthouse profile of the ill-starred Von Erich clan was the first to connect the dots between wrestling, televangelism, and MTV-style production values. His never-before-published investigation of the death of Jimmy (Superfly) Snuka’s girlfriend suggests the cover-up of a murder.

The book’s appendix – a comprehensive listing of the dozens of wrestlers who died prematurely over the last generation, with little or no attention, all for our guilty pleasure – is both a valuable resource for wrestling historians and a shocking document of the ruthless way sports entertainment eats its own.

Publishers Weekly recently recognized ECW Press ( as one of the fastest growing and most diversified independent publishers in North America.

For information on how to pre-order an autographed copy of WRESTLING BABYLON, go to

Follow news about the book on the WRESTLING BABYLON Blog,

Friday, September 08, 2006

Do Any of You Out There Have Further Info on Claims Administration?

A number of class members have corresponded with me about their experiences with the claims administrator over disputed information. I’m now writing back to as many of them as I can. In addition, I’m inviting others out there to share their stories in this area. (I’ll keep our exchanges private unless we explicitly agree otherwise.)

Here’s why:

One of the plaintiffs’ counsel, Diane Rice of Hosie McArthur, has asked the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to postpone from the week of November 20 until early December the oral argument on the objectors’ appeal of the approval of the class-action copyright settlement. The court had posted the week of November 20 as the anticipated window for the hearing.

Rice’s letter to the court strikes us as strange. First, another plaintiffs’ co-counsel, Michael Boni of Kohn, Swift, had already twice told the court that he would be making the oral argument, so it’s not clear why Rice’s presence is even necessary. Second, there was a procedure for all the lawyers to inform the court, well in advance, of expected “bad” dates, and it’s odd for Rice to be so casually seeking to juggle the announced schedule. Finally, Rice in her letter doesn’t even claim a direct date conflict; she just says she needs the hearing rescheduled because of the Thanksgiving holiday. Well, the week of November 20 is indeed Thanksgiving week, but there was obviously no chance that the appeals court would schedule arguments for Thanksgiving Day or the next day.

All in all, bizarre.

We – the objectors – can’t help wondering if there’s something behind this move. Could it be that the settlement parties are stalling for two weeks in order to gather more mature data on the state of the claims for some reason? Taking speculation a step further, could it be that the settlement parties are planning to tank the existing settlement, which is obviously in deep trouble on appeal, and announce some new unilateral improvement in an attempt to buy the releases of class members who want their claim awards, with or without court approval?

As all of you know, there’s currently a dispute over the parties’ illegal use in appellate briefs of information from outside the district court record – and, moreover, information that even the parties now admit was inaccurate. (We think it was more than inaccurate – it was deliberately misleading.) As you also know, in the midst of a parallel fiasco, the claims administrator extended the deadline for “corrected” claims to August 31. That deadline just expired.

It’s against this backdrop that we solicit further information from anyone out there who is motivated to email me at