Thursday, December 31, 1998
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
WWF's hard edge is good
This article was written in response to "WWF Wallowing in the Dirt" on December 16, 1998 by Stuart Green. Mr. Green has his opinion on the WWF and the controversy it causes. Unfortunately, he fails to see what the WWF gives its fans the right to have an opinion, to decide who are the heels and who are the faces. Eric Benner shed light on this subject recently. The WWF also lets fans judge for themselves. Was crucifying Stone Cold over the line? Or did it just fuel your hatred for the Minister of Darkness better known as The Undertaker.
With the exception of the aforementioned event and a few others, the WWF is closer to reality than WCW. Maybe not reality, but it does represent the oppressive bosses of our society, the gothic lifestyles, the degenerates, and our common folk. They don't want us to believe the Brood is really a group of vampires. And anything goes in war, you want to embalm your enemy? Go ahead and try. Racism, however unfair and unjust it may be is an unfortunate facet of today's society. Whoever said a sport where 250 pound guys pound on each other should represent the model society? Wrestling is not nirvana or the utopian universe nor should it be seen as such. I didn't, maybe some politician in Washington did, but you won't hear that from any hard-core WWF fan.
I don't want to be spoon-fed anymore. I want to think for myself, cheer for whomever I please, and flip off the boss when he struts to ringside. Formulating your own opinion is what makes wrestling great these days. More specifically the WWF, unlike WCW's stale atmosphere. I heard that the censors were stark mad when Goldberg said @$$. Ted Turner won't like that.
The hard edge is good for the WWF. Losing the ratings war for 83 straight weeks wasn't working. Although I will admit I was one of those who occasionally switched onto WCW. Maybe because Eric Bischoff used some shock value to. The NWO was supposed to be seen as another organization taking over an established group. That was unheard of, at least on these shores. Hulk Hogan, a heel, who would have ever thought? How many true WCW stars jumped ship? He shocked us all and enticed us to watch week after week. Not 83 straight mind you, because the WCW main events got old. Two great, prime time talents, always fought for not when the match ended in DQ. And that trend continues today.
As far as D-Lo and Mark Henry go, there were reasons behind their inactivity and non-use. What was that again, pathetic black guys? Mr. Green referred to them in some shape or form. The reason they weren't pushed in the past is because Mark Henry can't wrestle. There was no excuse for D-Lo, because he is a very talented wrestler. Wasn't he just the European champion a short while ago? Now look Mark Henry who has improved in recent weeks is also being pushed. I have been a fan of those two since their early nation days, and now everyone is starting to recognize, as D-Lo would say.
I have always preferred heels over the faces, but I wasn't strictly for the bad guy. I have always formed my own opinion of the wrestlers. Tiger Ali Singh isn't portrayed as a bad guy, because he is Asian. Mr. Green's piece sounds as if he is accusing the WWF of cultural bias. Not true, I like Tiger, the reason I like Tiger, even though he may insult Americans, is because of his cocky swagger. The same reason I liked Ted Dibiase. Coincidentally they have a similar gimmick.
The Godfather isn't a Pimp in real life. Wrestling is sports entertainment. The WWF does not want its fans to go out and use and abuse women. Vincent K. McMahon knows how to make money. He also has never stated fans should act out what they see on television. Anyone with half a brain can draw the line between right and wrong. That line is in black and white, but television is where some fantasies are played out.
Mr. Green should know television is television, and understand we do not have to imitate what we see. However imitating Steve Austin is one thing I encourage everyone to do. Steve Austin doesn't care what other people think about him. And he doesn't care for the way Mr. McMahon runs his company. You don't have to flick off everyone you see, but if your boss abuses his power, tell him about it. If you get fired, then you know who got you into this mess, and it wasn't Steve Austin. It was you, what you see on television should be taken with a grain of salt. The WWF wants you to enjoy the show they put on.
Move over Ringling Brothers. The WWF is the greatest show on Earth.
Jesse Beck is from Pittsburgh, PA. He can be emailed at PeplsElb0w@aol.com