Wrestling News, Opinions, Etc. 7.24.02

Ah, damn, damn, damn.  Another One-Hour Special, I’m afraid.  However, I did need the sleep, so I’m not really sorry.  I’m a selfish little bastard that way.  So let’s jump right in with both feet…

THE PIMP SECTION

Ashish reviews the new book on Vince by the ESPN guy, who actually seemed reasonably knowledgeable on the subject when I saw him interviewed on ESPN News.  Dunno if I’m going to pop for the book.  The new Harry Turtledove just came out and I have to pick that up.  However, if Ashish is this high on it, maybe I’ll pry open the wallet and fork out for it.

SPOILING SMACKDOWN

thanks for the unannounced spoilers…. so much for reading your column.  “tough noogies” – Nicole Scrimgeour

See right hand.  See middle finger upraised.

This show is so heavy on Bitch of the Baskervilles content that it should have been set in a kennel.  Just glancing at the spoilers is a disincentive to viewing.  The sight of My Beautiful and Beloved groveling in front of Steph is an incentive to projectile vomiting, so it’s on the “avoid” list for me this week.  As John Hinsz said to me:  I was just wondering if I’m the only one who wants to have The Bitch’s vocal chords removed every time she says the word testicles. If Vince is going to force feed us his princess yet again why can’t he at least send her out in those slutty leather outfits again? Can’t act, can’t speak,
and now she’s not even eye candy. Why is this happening?


Glad to see that Lesnar is being used in a good fashion straight out of the gate.  Yeah, attacking Mark Henry is really going to push that cred up into the stratosphere.

We finally figure out how much it takes to provide Instant Karma to balance out a Rey-Rey/Chavo match:  Albert/Rikishi and John Cena/Test, plus another Jericho loss.

So who’s going to Raw?  At this point, who cares?  It has to be someone blockbuster, and they shot a big part of their load with Trip.  Too bad it isn’t Angle, though.

Other than the fact that Georgie Mak has put out that Royal Rumble will be at the Enema Pimp Center in Boston on January 19th, there’s nothing Ashish hasn’t already revealed to you, so it’s on to…

MAILBAG!

First of all, I have to send a major-league Cheers and Bravo to Jeff Hawkins, who correctly predicted Trip going to Raw and Lesnar going to SD on the 17th.  You’re a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

With apologies to Big Daddy Kurt Dieckmann, who opened with a great quote from Susan Sontag, but Master Steel distills the feelings a lot of us are having about Vengeance and Raw right now, and gets my unofficial Letter of the Week for it:

Allright, this letter will come off as somewhat of a rant, primarily triggerred by last night’s RAW, but also fueled by the WWE writing staff’s total lack of respect for wrestling history and the motivation of the characters for which they write.

The last straw was last night’s fiasco with regard to HHH and HBK.   We, the viewing public, are supposed to be SO dumb and shortsighted that in a span of less than 24 hours we are supposed to believe that:

1.   HHH was ready to join Smackdown, but had such fond memories of “fun” and “friendship” with HBK that at the last minute he was talked into signing with RAW; and…

2.   HBK was ready to walk away from RAW after Bisch talked down to him, but Hunter AGAIN had such fond memories with HBK that he would sprint (sorta) from the ring to try to talk him into staying; and…

3.    HHH would briefly bask in those fond memories by breaking out the DX shirts, the music, the pyrotechnics, the whole nine yards; just so that….

4.    Once we had all been lead down this primerose path, HHH would WITHOUT EXPLANATION OR PREVIOUS MOTIVE leave HBK laying face down in the ring.

What the hell?  Is THIS what writing for the only mainstream show in wrestling has been reduced to?  Was it just my television set, or didn’t the “pop” that resulted from the 3 minutes that DX reunited trump anything else that the night produced?  And instead of capitalizing on that pop, they let the air out of it! I guess those “geniuses” will now throw together yet another last-minute-explanation as to what the supposed motive was behind HHH’s actions.

I totally understand the idea of “getting someone over”, and I also understand the WWE’s desire to get HBK into the ring one last time.  But you CANNOT piece together a believable storyline just by drawing names out of a hat and pairing them off!  The BETTER scenario for both getting HHH over (again, since he has done so little since his injuries) AND getting HBK into the ring one last time would have been to allow DX one last 3-month run.  HHH could have done most of the ringwork, and HBK could have been a seldom-tagged in partner.  This arrangement would have spared HBK from having to “carry” a match, since by most accounts he’s no longer capable of pulling it off.  And, when it was time for HBK to slide out of the ring, it would have been really easy to let a younger guy be inducted into DX and let the newcomer’s affiliation with DX be the credibility HE would need to “get over”.  WIN/WIN/WIN–it all would have worked out nicely.

Instead, we’re left with this “Lottery” style of story-writing–where there is no such thing as “character”, no such thing as “history”, no such thing as “motivation”.  Instead, just pull the names out of the hopper, give them a lame excuse (or in this instance, NO excuse at all), and then expect the viewing audience to get all worked up and excited about matches that really have no reason to be made.

I could have tolerated the DX fiasco, were it not so reminiscinct of the mindless destruction of the Horsemen ties between Flair and Benoit.  Yes, I’m well aware that Flair is too old to be running around as an active member of any wrestling “gang”.  And I’m also aware that Benoit will be given a big “push” as an individual, and won’t need the Horsemen to pull it off.  BUT, the way they wrote Benoit into attacking Flair first of all made no sense (again, it completely lacked *convincing* motivation) and secondly it had no “payoff”–there never was a blowoff match between the two to finish what was started.  In short, they blew up “history” for no apparent reason and with no apparent payoff. 

Certain concepts (like the Horsemen and DX) should be treated to a certain level of dignity.  They have proven that they are capable of providing a very RELIABLE level of buzz.  If they had NOT chosen to destroy these links, just think of the things they could have occasionally done just by having these two “products” still on their shelf:

1)  Anytime something was mysteriously benefitting Benoit, good ole JR could have wondered outloud whether Flair and Arn Anderson were working behind the scenes for him;

2)  The same with HHH–they could have written in “unknown” style attacks on whoever HHH was facing and left us wondering whether the old DX buddies had been up to their old tricks;

3)  The flipside of the two examples also works:  occasionally Flair or HBK could have been in some hot water and had a save or two come from their old running buddy.

In short, they should have kept these things “open-ended”, where on any given night, we could again see the time-tested “friendship” angle at work, hear the old theme music, listen to the crowd go nuts for what might be the last time, and leave us wondering whether they might pair up again..  Instead, given the shoddy writing that lead to the demise of these two “products”, its now no longer possible to do anything of any significance with these pairings.


Chris Coady, who deserves column space simply because he tolerates living in the smelly armpit of the known universe, Springfield, Illinois (I’m a former state employee, Chris; I feel your trauma), is also slightly confused at the booking:

Did HHH really turn heel last night? I think it is hard to tell anymore. Would D-X be face? Really? Are you sure? Is anyone sure anymore? This is the fundamental problem with the WWE character development style now. We can only guess if HHH is heel, but in the WWE if he aligns himself with Bisch, then is he heel? Bisch so far has come across as cool. His enemy is Steph, who just grabbed Lesnar and took him for a car ride. Just moments before Lesnar thumps Flex, who is face, which makes him a heel and Steph a heel and…and…and…

Is HHH heel? Are you sure?


No, I’m not, and neither is he.

Lotsa Steph talk in the mailbag this week, mostly in the negative.  Let’s start with Harold Walker, who got into trouble at work last week laughing his ass off while reading me:

I have a love/hate relationship with Stephie at this point.  I won’t lie, when she comes out, I stare at her aftermarket rack but I gracefully pull the plug on the volume while doing so.  If there is ever a comaprison to fingernails on a chalkboard in the real world, it is her on-camera voice.

Will she be able to maintain face heat and throw Trip into full-heel mode?  Hell no.  They will start cheering Trip and anyone else that comes out and shuts her up.  She has reached a level in the wrestling industry achieved by none other than X-Suck.  She has neither heel heat or face heat but X-Suck heat.  The fans just want her to go away.  They don’t hate her
character and they don’t like it.  They just hate her in general.

The best angle at this point would be for Bisch to start mocking her from the other program and blaming her for angles turning to shit like the NWO and the invasion.  He could simply do a promo where he shows clips of Nash and Hall’s “invasion” back in ’96 and then go further to talk about the popularity of the first NWO.  the he could look right at her and point blank
say that she is so bad she cannot even make a proven angle work anymore.  Maybe a little too shootish but what else can you do.


I’ve used the phrase “X-Pac heat” to describe the reaction to Steph before, but it’s demonstrated itself to be true.  How many groans did you hear from the audience on Monday when it was shown to be her in the limo?

SFVis402 continues in this vein:

I agree 100% about this bullshit with bringing Stephanie back in.  Apart from being a great piece of eye-candy, she has no business dealing with the WWE.  She is, as you say, horrible as a booker, entertainer, writer, whatever they give her to do other than dress up as a hottie.  While I wasn’t high on them bringing in Bischoff, I thought maybe it had a chance, until, that is, they named Steph the other GM.  Now I’m back to flipping back and forth between Raw and whatever else is on(f*ck Smackdown, Hogan and Flex made that unappealing enough without Steph), until Brock Lesnar, RVD, and Mr. Benoit show up on the tv.  God damn Vince for thinking that whatever he finds entertaing, we’ll find entertaining.  I truly do hope that NWA gets big enough so that its shows will be on tv, and are enter taining enough that more people will watch, so that WWE, namely Vince, gets a kick in the ass to start showing shit that is actually entertaining.

Longtime reader and correspondent William Transou has a solution to our mutual problem:

I too am afraid that the time has come to put a hit out on Stephanie McMahon. Let’s get a pool going, I’m sure there are hundreds of people out there that would love to contribute to the death of Steph. After reading your column yesterday, I found myself actually excited to find out what was going to happen next. That is one of those feelings that I have not had while watching the WWE in a long time. The amount of possibilities and scenarios that they could have gone down were endless. I was truly hoping for the best and wanting to find out more than anything ( I was so excited that I was up until midnight, on a work week, waiting to see the spoilers). So to have to drag myself into work today, with the thought that I wasted all night online for nothing pisses me off. What the hell are they thinking?? What the hell are they doing to the product that I enjoy so much?? I am at a loss for words at this point. There’s nothing any of us can do, except wait. We can’t not watch, mainly because we are hooked, but also because the mark in me still sees hope. I yearn for the days of old: Monday night wars, DX, the Corporation, The Ministry. Those were the days, and I shall be here waiting for it to turn around.

I don’t think I’ll fork over any cash for a murder, but I will pay my share to have someone cut out her larnyx.

Nalyd Psycho makes an argument against Steph, but for nepotism that seems pretty valid:

I’m totally with you. Not only is Steph an annoying character, but she totally doesn’t fit the part. She shouldn’t be a face and she most certainly should not be the anti-Bisch(You only have to change one letter to get her.)

Being a fan of useless things, the first thought I had was how ironic it is that both GM’s have the same fatal flaw as a booker, allowing biasses to over-ride the best interests of the company.

The ironic thing is that the WWE could be a case of nepotism being a good thing. Shane brings a more light-hearted side to things while still remaining tough, which is refreshing. He’s light years ahead of the female McMahons when it comes to acting, and with more experience should surpass his dad. And when he does decide to lace up the boots it’s an entertaining match that makes his opponent look great.

Amazing last week I felt that Smackdown was clearly the superior show, two moves later, it’s on the brink of being completely unwatchable.


Knight Post also pimps for Shane:

Totally agree about Steph.  I didn’t catch any updates about RAW and watch it without knowing Bisch was GM.  When I saw him enter, interrupting Booker, that was interesting.  Now to hear the self indulging, egotiscal, chalkboard grinding locker room bike is back just deflates the high of RAW.  Surely with all the money and talent the WWE have, they could have chosen someone else.

I guess HHH and Steph run WWE by default. Or should I say their EGOS run WWE.  Wrestling is bleeding hard losing the casual fan, so it needs triple bypass.

Shane O’Mac would be a better GM of Smackdown.  The taunts Bisch could give Shane about the “INVASION” would both cut hard but also be funny.  Shane could also play a role of ruthless owner always trying to find a way to get rid of Vince.


Your grammar and spelling could use a little work, but I’ll chalk that up to being pissed off about the Bitch of the Baskervilles.

Brad Evans goes into my corner on how Heyman should have been named SD GM:

I’ve read your column for a while now and its very good.  Anyways, I just thought I would write you to say that I completely agree.  If there’s one thing that hard working people hate, its nepotism.  I can honestly say that this may be the most blatent case.  The ship has sunk since she’s started booking(I admit there’s many reasons for that but her booking is certainly one) and she’s got the most annoying voice i’ve heard on tv since urkel.  Hell, she’s not even good looking which would probably grant her a pardon on some of her booking blunders.

What makes matters worse is that it ruined a potentially intriguing angle with Bisch.  They could have gone so many ways with it.  They could even have had Heyman play the gm, giving old Prince Vince the satisfaction of having Paul E and Easy E suck up to him on national television on a weekly basis.  There is no way that anyone can accept Steph as a face and now it seems like they are just going to be recycling the same old material.

What it must be like for the veteran hard working mid-carders to see her get all of this tv time(which she’ll get in spades, i’m sure) and then only alloting 5 minutes for them to work a match.

I guess life isn’t fair and some people still get born into royalty (so to speak) and Steph is going to be shoved down our throats for years to come.


Well said.

Chuck Miller is even more skeptical about the booking than I am:

What scares me more about Steph and Bischoff both being on WWE television as “general managers” of Raw and Smackdown is the eventual (and believe me, it will happen) moment when Vince goes in a locker room and finds Steph and Bischoff smooching, which will eventually create the “McMahon-Bischoff Regime,” and will combine the Raw and Smackdown brands into one entity.

You know it’s going to happen.  Steph can’t spend four weeks on TV without the scripts having every wrestler either falling in love with her (Test), marrying her (HHH), or making googoo eyes at her (Angle), not to mention when she makes goo goo eyes at THEM (RVD).  And don’t get me started on her love-hate relationship with Jericho.

And Bischoff also has a tendency to make himself the main focus of the storyline.  He couldn’t leave the NWO well enough alone, he had to become the main figurehead of it.  And no man who ever suggested the Team Challenge Series should ever be allowed to be a figurehead of any organization.

Mark my words – within 6 weeks of bickering and wrestler-poaching from each GM’s roster, that steaming pile of steph and Eazy-E will be caught doing the horizontal mambo on screen.  I mean – what other way would there be for Steph to flash off her rack to one of the witnesses in the Gold Club trial?


Hey, the Team Challenge series might have worked if AWA had any wrestlers that anyone actually gave a rat’s ass about at that point.  Of course, it never would have been suggested in the first place if they had any wrestlers that anyone gave a rat’s ass about.

Couple o’ Shorts and Sweets:

Steph on Smackdown? Well that’s one way to get the shows’ ratings to level off… – Brian Johnston

When I took a look at the SmackDown spoilers to see who the GM would be I wasn’t surprised that the Bitch was back. I bet the second she left a few months ago she has been crying to daddy about not being on TV. Now we, the wrestling fans, have to suffer. The dumb thing is though the WWE is the one hurt by this. People are not going to put up with her and they’ll just change the channel. A very bad move by the former WWF. – Russell McShane

WE BREAK AWAY FROM THE ANTI-STEPH MATERIAL TO BRING YOU YOU’RE A MORON

agent1872001@yahoo.com, who thinks he’s an absolutely brilliant wit by using my name in the sent-from field, shows what calibre of intellect he really is:

You goddam whiner! Stop crying about Stephaine McMahon. She is a great on camera talent. And thank god you are taking six days off. Why don’t you do us all a favor and don’t come back at all. And instead of stabbing inanimate objects, why don’t you do us all an even bigger favor and stab you self in the head or the heart. Piece of shit! Get a real job! LOSER!. I hope your mamma is dead.

Well, that just about covers everything.  BTW, the reason I was taking “six days off” was because it was Wednesday, my final column for the week was done, and I didn’t have another one until Tuesday, six days later.  Learn to read a calendar, schmucko.  As for Steph being a great on-camera talent, look, there are people reading this at work.  You’ve just caused them to look very undignified rolling around on the floor laughing.  If there are any static electricity injuries from office carpet, you’re to blame.

By the way, the other guy who tried doing the sent-from field thingy with my name at least called me a gay porn star and child molester (wholefnshowes@yahoo.com…yahoo really needs to destroy their e-mail service, which seems to be immune from the destruction they’ve laid on everything else they’ve touched).  Be a little more creative than wishing I was dead, okay?

NOW BACK TO MAILBAG

Dino Zucconi takes a stab at the Grand Conspiracy Theory which can prove that Vince set everything up from the start to gain Complete Control:

Eric Bischoff used to work for the AWA.  Vince McMahon did everything he could in putting them out of business.  Before the AWA closed down for good, Vince managed to get Bischoff into his back pocket.  They kept everything professional for a while, giving Eric time to climb the corporate ladder in WCW.  Finally, when Eric had scaled the mountain, Vince threw him a bone.  A red and yellow bone that he no longer desired to have in his company.  With Hogan went all his friends, who ALSO had worn out their welcome with Vince, but NOT with wrestling fans in general.  In return, Eric sent packing various wrestlers who “would never make it” to Vince, where surprisingly, they DID (Trip, Austin, Foley, Mero…). 

When business was low in 1995, Bischoff created Nitro, NOT to jump WCW’s ratings, but to provide the competition necessary for Vince to rebuild the WWF in a new image. 

Vince continued to throw Bischoff some sloppy seconds (Nash, Hall, Hennig, Crush, Bulldog, Anvil, and The Greatest Wrestler of All Time Bret Hart) to give WCW the impression of having “talent,” all the while knowing that eventually things would fall to pieces, while Vince’s crop of NEW talent would eventually become the big thing. 

Finally, WCW fell, while the WWF rose to levels NEVER before seen, and eventually WCW crumbled to earth with nary a whimper.

And people thought that hug on RAW was staged.  I think it was just about eight years overdue, since that’s when Hogan first showed on WCW to start the whole friggin thing in the first place.

Now, as for Heyman, I could have him overhear a Bischoff conversation with a “Vince” in the early 90’s while working for WCW, and blackmailing Bisch AND Vince into the whole shebang, and with no honor amongst things, he made it out relatively unscathed, but that’s about the best I can do with Captain ECW.


Sounds pretty good to me.

Nick Saikley allows me to take a break from wrestling for a moment:

I was hoping you could answer a computer-related question.  Are there any programs that could convert Windows Media Files (usually video) to MPEG or AVI?  My WMP won’t work (always tells me there’s an “internal application error” (?)) so I was hoping there was a way I could convert the files so I could actually view them.  Thanks anyway.

Unfortunately, no.  TMPGEnc used to be able to convert WMF to MPEG and AVI, except that M$’s goddamn lawyers came down on them like a ton of bricks and told them to take it out or suffer the Wrath of Bill.  Since then, everyone’s been afraid to try making one.  You can try to find a really old copy of TMPGEnc or try uninstalling and reinstalling WMP (I’ve had to do that a few times).

Speaking of screwing M$, I have a reader who shall remain anonymous looking for keys for .NET Server, Advanced Server, and the Web Server addition.  I don’t have them, and neither does cracks.am.  If you do have one of the keys that I know are floating around, could you pop them to me in the mail so I can send them to this guy?  Thanks in advance.

Memo to Billy Philpot:  Warez sites are all shady.  They’re pretty much nothing but porn banners and broken links, which I why I rarely, if ever use them.  There are some good sites for small utilities (like the FOSI sites and Acedown (once he gets his scripting fixed)), but you need to swing some cash together for Usenet.  BTW:  go commercial on Neverwinter Nights, because the multiplayer is a big attraction, and you’re locked out of that without a unique key.

Another Memo to Steven Brown:  I didn’t invent the word “oogums”.  In fact, I’m not sure where I dragged it out from in my memory bank.  But I do enjoy using it.

Tom Spurgeon slapped my pee-pee for not doing an In Memoriam for Ward Kimball last week, which I should have done.  I’m more of a Warner Brothers smark than a Disney smark, but Kimball was, for a long time, the heart and soul of Disney animation, and my lack of props was unforgivable.  Mea culpa.

Loads of Jason Gallo fallout.  Let’s start this up with Jason Siedzik:

Hmm… police academy in Connecticut… oh dear God, he’s in my hometown.  On a clear day, I can see the building’s location (on a mountain) from my home.  Wonder what he looks like in case I see him.  Remember, the cadets in this academy are not in any way, shape, or form, representative of the “city” (ha!) where the academy is located.  I’m wondering if he could have possibly made it in there… I mean, come on, “Connecticut” isn’t THAT hard to spell.

Looks like my fascist bud John King has a stalker of his own in Chris Jackson:

Please don’t say it’s true! Jason Gallo will no longer grace my computer screen with his profound and well delivered arguments? But..but..but..who will make me laugh, and cry (for the thought of someone actually typing these words, then going to hold his miniscule dick with tweezers through his mother’s grandma panties)? I will go to bed tonight praying Mr. Gallo will not stop writing you, for this shit is funny as hell.

P.S. John King is now #3 on my All-Time Cool Person List. Bravo Mr. King, please video tape Mr. Gallo getting aroused while finger-popping his stretched starfish while watching you sodomize his family, we need a face to send to Ginuess(sp?) for biggest moron alive. His legacy should not die with us, his idiocy should live on forever, until all generations can use Jason Gallo as a reason not to swallow one’s own semen. Keep Rockin.


Two stalkers, actually, with the other being Will Beakley:

I would like to thank you for posting the exceedingly prosaic words of your fascist bud John King.  Never in my long history of surfing the ‘Net have I come across prose such as his.  Masterful, simply masterful.  It is my most fervent wish that Mr. Gallo continues to supply you with such a never-ending supply of comedic material, for indeed he has become the catalyst to some of the most entertaining material that I have read in quite some years.

Run, John.  Run quickly.

Runs With Goats is just one person who’d like to meet up with Gallo:

Unfortunately I was offline and missed last weeks Gallo letter but was thoroughly amused by this weeks. But I was thinking if he really did offer to buy the plane ticket and fly you out there then why not take advantage of it? Call his bluff. Get him to send the tickets. Then just raffle them off to your readers or something. Give them away. I know I’d take a free trip. But then if he didn’t follow through and buy you the tickets then he’d look like he was bitching out and was scared of you coming out there.

Believe me, if he sent the tickets, I probably would give them out as a contest prize.  However, John King would never forgive me if I didn’t offer them to him first.

Some people, though, wouldn’t want to go near Gallo.  Loyal Canadian Reader Chris Oster, for one:

I have to thank you for the valuable service you’re providing us all though…thanks to you, I’ve had the foresight to cancel my trip to Foxwoods, in C-o-n-n-e-c-t-i-c-u-t.

Mark Sherrick makes me an offer:

…an uncle of mine is one of the higher-ranking state policemen in the state of CT, and with the people he knows, you could do some damage to your little buddy Gallo, if he actually indeed is in the academy…you have him on record with death threats, and many other
things that could have him removed from the academy and probably arrested…care to bite?


Damn right I care to bite.  Please, Mark, go for it.  I’d love to see Gallo put in his place.

jdavis actually did some research and found some very interesting information:

I actually took the ten minutes to go to the Connecticut Police Academy site (link below) and look for Jason Gallo. Well I didn’t find him but I found a Leonard L. Gallo who happens to be the chief of the East Haven Police Department, and since good old Jason has the grammatical skills of a ten year old I thought that was just too odd a coincidence. It’s all just speculation but I wonder if the elder Gallo realizes that the younger is plotting murder over a internet column he didn’t agree with. It would also be a terrible shame if he was in the academy and they found out that he was planning on becoming a officer so he could become above the law (Just Like Steven Seagal). Well that’s my ten minutes of Private investigation work into the big Jason Gallo mystery, ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

The Aforementioned Link

East Haven Police Department Chief Leonard L. Gallo 471 North High Street East Haven, 06512 203-468-3214


Oh, if his daddy really is a police chief, he’s going to be in such trouble…God bless you, Mister (or Ms.) Davis, for this info.

To end this week’s excursion off, CoyoTGirlX touches on a very sensitive subject among some people:

The Internet Wrestling Community seems to run rampant with homophobia.  Granted, it may be somewhat of a product of the form of entertainment that is a common bond between the members of said community, but it has always been a fairly major obstacle to my enjoyment of most wrestling columnists.  You, however, have at least shown a knowledge of “gay culture” (assuming there really is such a thing), far above any wrestling opinionist I have yet read.  Maybe you can shed some light on the nature of the love of gay bashing that ‘net writers seem to have.  Any enlightenment on this would be greatly appreciated.

Okay, let’s see if I can answer this without offending anyone (yeah, like that’s ever stopped me before).  A good portion of wrestling columnists (and wrestling fans) are pretty young, in their late teens and early twenties, an age where, let’s face it, sexual identity is still being established and has to be psychologically bolstered (WWE explicity markets itself to the 18-24 Males demographic).  So, in order to “prove” heterosexuality, they tend to go overboard and all the way into apparent homophobia.  Since I’m 37, my days of sexual confusion are distant memories, and I feel perfectly comfortable tapping references from all forms of subcultures, including gay culture (me calling Billy Kidman “the Greasy Little Twink” is the most explicit of those).  I just file things away in my mental memory bank and bring them out at appropriate moments.

If you look at it from a certain viewpoint, wrestling is extremely homoerotic.  Muscular, sweaty guys hugging each other, rolling around on the mat…it’s PG-13-rated gay porn for people too afraid to go into an adult bookstore.  Therefore, there’s always this possibility that if some young wrestling fan “comes out of the closet” and admits to liking wrestling, the reaction among their peers might be “Woah, he likes watching guys get it on”.  In order to counter that, the wrestling fan has to appear to be “one of the guys” and overcompensate.  They’ll discuss Steph’s or Trish’s tits or anything to get the subject off of hot, sweaty near-naked male bodies.  That will lead to homophobic comments.  Anything to take away the subtext.

The homophobic aspects you’re talking about also tend to crop up in any youth-oriented subculture where there is a taint of homosexuality contributing to the basis of the culture.  Early Punk was like that, to take one example.  In England, punk’s major influence was David Bowie, who was definitely not projecting a completely heterosexual image at the time.  In New York, it was the New York Dolls, who pranced around on stage wearing lipstick and high heels.  A good portion of the fan base for Punk was gay (for instance, the Ramones’ artistic packager Arturo Vega).  There are explicit references, if you look for them, in certain punk songs about homosexuality (the Ramones’ “53rd and 3rd” is the best example).  A lot of Punk acts turned homophobic in order to deny those influences and remove that “taint”.  It also didn’t help that the “opposing” culture to Punk was Disco, which wore its gay origins on its sleeve.

So you have a very potent mix involved in wrestling:  a youth-oriented subculture where there are explicit gay undertones, in a time where we’re still plagued by the mass culture stigmatizing gays.  It’s no surprise to me that a lot of wrestling writers are homophobic.  However, maturity will eventually come, and they’ll look back on stuff they wrote and be a little embarassed about it.  Small comfort now, especially since a new crop of kids will take their place and repeat the same cycle, but it’s something you have to live with in order to be a wrestling fan on the Net.

Oh, shit, am I late.  See you guys next week.