|By Raj Giri||August 29, 2012 | Comments|
Dawn: [Sighs]. I'm leaning towards closing it. After 17 years of my career being crystal clean -- I was never in the dirt sheets, I had a great reputation, great work ethic. I never did anything wrong, I was never difficult to work with. You never had reports like that on me out there. This is my legacy? That I'm a thief?
WrestlingINC: What do you think of the business today? Has it been making the appropriate steps to helping the guys out later, when their careers are over?
Dawn: They're not helping them. They're not helping them. That's why I get so upset. Here, I'm trying to help them. You know what? Honestly, I understand why Vince doesn't help anyone. I completely understand because no matter what you do, it's never enough.
They're always thinking that you should have done more, you have more and you should give more or whatever. I can only give what I have. Let's say for example, Vince [McMahon] sends Kamala $5,000. So, let's just say they send him $5,000. People would say, 'You're a multi-billionaire; you only going to send $5,000?'
So, unless Vince sends out money to make everyone financially independent, it's never going to be enough. He can't do that with everyone that's walked through his doors.
WrestlingINC: So, with the stories you've seen, what advice can you give to younger wrestlers about how they can better adapt to a life away from the ring when the time comes?
Dawn: We were actually in the middle of working on an educational program. What the program was -- let's say, I'll use someone as an example, Billy Gunn who has been off TV for a while. Or, let's use Jerry Lynn, for example. He just announced his retirement because his back is in really bad shape. He says, 'Dawn, I gotta retire. I need to get my act together and not make money wrestling anymore.'
So, I would find a school for him in an hour radius of his home, like a trade school. I'd ask him what he wants to do. He could say, 'I want to be an electrician or whatever. Then, I'd find a school within an hour radius of his home that would be willing to donate a fee. Because we're 501(c)3. So, they could donate the fee in exchange for the press and exchange for a write-off. He would be responsible for his books or anything like that because accountability is important also.
After his two-year program, we'd have a whole program put in place to help him build a resume, look for jobs. he's have to report in that he went out on interviews. If he didn't get the job, he'd have to call in and find out what he's doing wrong to help him with his next interviews. That's what our program was.
WrestlingINC: It seems like that would be very helpful. If you decide to keep the charity, is that something that you think you'll move into?
Dawn: Yeah. If I decide to keep the charity open, I will work more on those programs that I have set in my mind that I'd love to set. Right now, we have a disability program that is complete. I just have to put it up on the site. We have retirement programs put together that we have to put up on the site. I even got my insurance license just so I could understand more about it.
I'm very dedicated to helping these guys but if I;m going to get treated this way, it's kind of counter-productive. I'll spend the time with my children.
WrestlingINC: You've probably had a lot more positive stories than the negative ones like Kamala. Do the negative ones outweigh all the positive ones?
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