Voice Of Reason 9.21.02: Hers Are Way Bigger Than Grapefruits

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The McMahons must not really know what to do at this point. WWE business continues to fall, despite their best attempt to stabilize things. There are no sure-fire angles left for them to try (and botch) and the only major free agents are unlikely for regular WWE gigs anytime soon.

So in a blatant show of desperation, WWE has sunk lower than the Least Common Denominator and has been promoting near-porn on Raw. After wrestling fans recoiled in disgust at the “HLA” promoted two weeks ago on Raw, WWE didn’t scale back on its push – instead they made it a centerpiece of a lackluster Unforgiven PPV.

In the match payoff of the inter-brand feud between Billy and Chuck and Rosie and Jamal, Eric Bischoff added stipulations to up the ante and add interest in a match between two teams who don’t have tons of heat on their own. If Smackdown’s Billy and Chuck win the match, Bischoff will have to kiss Stephanie McMahon’s ass on PPV. But, if Raw’s Island Boys come out on top, Stephanie must have some HLA – Hot Lesbian Action – for the world to see.

As a jaded wrestling critic, at first the stipulations make the outcome of the match seem certain. The McMahon’s are ego-driven megalomaniacs who love to see former enemies humbled on live TV. So having Bischoff kiss Steph’s ass would be the ultimate revenge for the Monday Night Wars. Also, the outcome would make some sense in the storyline, as Bischoff (the heel) got heat on Stephanie by ruining the wedding, so Steph would get the last laugh on PPV.

But without the clouded goggles of internet smark-dom, a closer look at the match seems to indicate a different outcome. Jamal and Rosie have been built up extremely well, using swift beatings to generate heat with the “3 minute rule”. Traditionally a hot new team would not be booked to lose in their first official match. In addition, humbling Bischoff again does nothing but weaken his heat, and he has been incredible in his role as Raw General Manager.

So I predict that after Rosie and Jamal defeat Billy and Chuck at Unforgiven on Sunday, Stephanie McMahon will engage in some HLA.

It serves so many purposes, and seems so obvious if not for the implicit low-class of the act. WWE has done a lot to promote the HLA concept in recent weeks, and in traditional wrestling logic, that means it is building towards a payoff that will reward the fans at the storyline’s climax.

By promoting a major stipulation for this match, WWE once again has to rely on the premise that fans will believe that the stipulation will actually be carried out. How many stipulations have been wieseled out of by WWE (and WCW before its death), cheating the fans of the payoff they paid $35 to see. Too many times to count.

Unforgiven will almost certainly get WWE’s lowest PPV buyrate in years. What better way to make fans who passed on the event feel guilty about missing a PPV than to have had Stephanie making out with another hot chick in the ring? It helps WWE business threefold: 1) creates a buzz and momentum headed into Raw 2) it helps to rebuild trust with WWE fans who feel cheated and 3) creates a large interest in an Unforgiven replay.

Tthe McMahons pride themselves on going above and beyond the call of duty to better the WWE product, and to prove to the other workers in the company that they will do anything. Heck, if Stephanie will suck face with another woman live on PPV, how can anyone complain about anything she asks them to do?

In reality, it might not happen at Unforgiven. Billy and Chuck might go over Jamal and Rosie, and Bischoff will kiss Steph’s ass. Maybe that will be the start of the end of the brand extension. Perhaps Jamal and Rosie will win but Steph will somehow renege on the stipulation. But if WWE is intent on making some waves and recreating a buzz using the circa 1998 trashy content like HLA, there is no better way that to see Steph in the ring in the loving arms of a trashy stripper.

Jonathan Widro is the owner and founder of Inside Pulse. Over a decade ago he burst onto the scene with a pro-WCW reporting style that earned him the nickname WCWidro. Check him out on Twitter for mostly inane non sequiturs