As I See It
by Bob Magee
June 18, 2012
Pro Wrestling: Between the SheetsPWBTS.com
So what was that about no bullying?
On last week’s RAW, Vince McMahon proceeded to ridicule Jim Ross, up to and including his Bell’s Palsy.
For those who tune out RAW shortly after it airs, McMahon placed put a cowboy hat on, and attempted to impersonate Jim Ross does his “Stone Cold” call, then twisting up his own face as if ridiculing Ross’s Bell’s Palsy, then handed the hat back to Hornswoggle, laughiong at the impression, and told Hornswoggle (ala Ross), “Sauce it.”
Despite the fact that fans want to see Ross on air as much as his health will allow, McMahon continues to play this running S&M show with Ross and piss off fans; and makes WWE’s anti-bullying efforts look like so much window dressing for Linda McMahon’s perpetual Senate campaign.
Speaking of bullying and Linda McMahon’s perpetual Senate campaign; there was the recent attempt at legal bullying by WWE; after Manchester Journal Inquirer Managing Editor Chris Powell wrote two columns stating that Linda McMahon could not on one hand use her experience as a businesswomen (aka “job creator”) to sell her candidacy to the people of Connecticut; and on the other hand say that linking her to WWE’s storylines and dramatic depictions is unfair.
Powell went farther, claiming McMahon’s “…practical qualifications for office did not extend beyond her fantastic wealth, and that wealth derived from the business of violence, pornography, and general raunch,” Powell wrote.
Brian Flinn, WWE’s senior vice president of marketing and communications, charged the Manchester Journal Inquirer of libel in a May 24, and threatened a lawsuit if the paper didn’t retract the statement.
Not only did the Journal-Bulletin not retract the column, but it filed suit against with the Federal Election Commission, stating that WWE was in violation federal election laws by illegally helping McMahon’s Senate campaign by threatneing the lawsuit.
Flinn claims the lawsuit by the newspaper is without merit. “WWE is not attempting to prevent the media from exercising its First Amendment rights….WWE acted solely and specifically to defend its business and corporate reputation from the reckless and false statement that WWE is in the business of pornography.”
Unbelievably, Linda McMahon claimed that she had no knowledge of WWE’s threats against the Journal-Inquirer.
While by the strictest definition WWE’s programming is not pornography, it’s a bit difficult to claim that WWE’s programming over the years had hardly been family-friendly entertainment, as the company would have you believe it is these days.
On-air storylines about “hot lesbian action”, Edge and Lita’s supposed “Live Sex Celebration”, HHH drugging and marrying an unconscious Stephanie McMahon, and Trish Stratus being forced to get on her knees in the ring and bark like a dog…to name a few…were hardly content for your local Baptist church picnic’s entertainment.
WWE campaigned (along with a number of wrestling websites, including the flagship site of this column) against right-wing bullying against this content by the Parents Television Council many years ago.
WWE can’t try to pretend the company didn’t have this content in the “Attitude era”.
The company has made a business decision to change the content; both to benefit the public standing of the company to stockholders and advertisers, AND to benefit Linda McMahon…. an effort that sometimes has gone way too far in sanitizing WWE’s PPV and TV product.
If Linda McMahon wants to use her WWE experience to sell herself as a Senate candidate, she has to deal with the scrutiny that comes from having been a part of it. Trying to muzzle or threaten the press when they point out the inconsistencies in having it both ways AND in the deliberate change of the product’s content to beenfit her 2 campaigns for the Senate in simply wrong.
Even worse, it’s bad politics.
The Connecticut media lined up behind the Manchester Journal Inquirer, across the board; and the McMahon campaign was forced to do quick damage control.
This story plus the petty storyline(?) bullying of Jim Ross are both symptoms of a problem that WWE has to address if it wants to truly improve its image to the general public in the way it claims that it does.
To close, one last reminder…Coming up this Saturday, Combat Zone Wrestling presents: Tournament of Death 11 on Saturday, June 23 at The Ultraviolent Underground, located at 139 Ebenezer Church Road, Townsend, DE with a 2:30 pm belltime.
First round matchups…
NOI Drunken Scaffold Match
DEVON MOORE vs. LUCKY tHURTeen vs. DANNY HAVOC
Ultraviolent Ladders Match (Dedicated to the memory of JC Bailey)
DRAKE YOUNGER vs. RORY MONDO
Pains in the Glass Match
CZW World and Ultraviolent Underground Champion MASADA vs. SCOT SUMMERS
Ultraviolent Bats Match
‘BULLDOZER’ MATT TREMONT vs the returning ABDULLAH KOBAYASHI
In non-tournament action:
Former Partners Get Ultraviolent – Fans Bring the Weapons
‘CHAINSAW’ JOE GACY vs. RYAN SLATER
Tickets are priced at $35 for 1st row, $30 for 2nd row, and $25 for general admission. Click here to purchase CZW tickets online, or buy them at the door before the show. Doors open at 2:00PM.
For directions to the Ultraviolent Underground, go to this link on Google Maps, or enter 139 Ebenezer Church Road, Townsend, DE into your car’s GPS device.
For media requests, vendor space and sponsorship opportunities contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upodated information can be fopund on CZW’s Tournament of Death XI Facebook Fanpage
Until next time…
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