The Saturday Matinee News Report 11.23.02


Hello again and welcome again to Saturday, for all you new readers out the, I’m Flea and thank you for joining me. Can you keep a secret? Well, if I can’t, I can’t expect YOU too, so I ain’t saying a word. Today I have all sorts of things to type and if you hang in their till the end, there is a great piece of writing on Page Six, as I bring you another Internet Wrestling Community Flashback. In between here and there are several things you may or may not find interesting, depending on your state of mind at the time. Before we get into that here is something I found rather funny

Over on, there is a technology story about a new device invented to keep you from getting cancer from cell phones. You put it on your head like a hat and can chat all you want!!!!!! without the fear of dropping dead from an aneurysm or something. Just when you thought you have seen it all, you read stuff like this and realize how brilliant a man PT Barnum was when he said “A sucker is born every minute”. Great thing about this is all it will take is some Hip-Hop Hooligan to start wearing one and white Middle America will eat them up with a spoon. You know how to keep from getting cancer from cell phones? Use a pay phone. It worked in the French Connection, it will work for you.

Let’s get to it


Stone Cold Steve Austin finally made some news worthwhile talking about (GRUT) by being the featured attraction at an autograph signing, bringing anywhere between 3000-5000 people, depending on which source you read, to a Circuit City in Richmond By God Virginia, leading to riots, arrests and probably a whole bunch of yelling, screaming and name calling. Glad to see Richmond has improved their image since the last time I was there – not one mention of a goat-roping or ape-raping in any report I read. But what I did read was most of the reports came with the left-handed compliment of “yes he drew that many people” but left before everyone got taken care of, just like the bald headed wife beating prick that he is. I think that’s bullshit, but then again I am biased in favor of Austin and don’t really give a rat’s ass about his personal life, I would just like him back on my TV screen pronto, as in Monday, preferably. Yes, I was hostile in my feelings towards him when he just up and walked out on everyone and I still think he’s a rat bastard for doing so, but I can overlook that as opposed to having Rob Van Damn stinking up the joint with his burnt out promos and his circus gymnastics. So getting thoroughly disgusted with the web’s “anti-Austin” stance, I was ready to just bypass this whole thing until I read this

The Richmond Times Dispatch reported that an estimated 5,000 people showed up for Stone Cold Steve Austin Circuit City’s Grand Opening Signing, with only about 3,000 of them getting into the store. You can click here to read the story. This was reported by Dave Scherer earlier, I just wanted to post a follow-up.

The Autograph Signing was listed as being a one hour signing, and nobody, and I do mean nobody, expected the turn out they got for the Signing. Not even Steve.

I was told that even more than 5,000 fans came. Some as early as 9 AM to wait in line for the ONE HOUR SIGNING which took place at 6 PM. The Highway Patrol and State Police were outside the building to control the crowd.

Steve was suppose to stay for only ONE HOUR, that was the arrangement. But he wound up staying a total of TWO AND A HALF HOURS, and that still wasn’t enough time to accommodate all the fans who arrived to see Stone Cold. I was told that Steve looked great and had a lot of fun with the fans and did his best to try to get everyone taken care of, it was incredible !!

– Georgiann Makropoulos –, 11,23,02

When you really want to feel good about something, read every column she ever wrote. ALWAYS there with the facts and ALWAYS positive, unlike the f*ck that wrote this

Steve Austin still has the ability to rile people up. In his first public appearance since going home when he didn’t like the creative direction of WWE, an autograph signing at a Richmond, VA Circuit City store last night turned into a wild scene when Austin left before everyone who came got their item signed.

– The f*cking Lariat, 11.22.02

The dude was contracted for , as Georgie points out ONE HOUR and attempted to be as accommodating as possible, but you can’t please every hick in the hood. But it’s all over now and I think the main point of all this is that Austin can attract more people that your average house show, and if properly arranged, could have brought THREE TIMES as many people to the autograph signing and probably been allowed to f*ck the Mayor’s wife. If the Mayor of Richmond is a woman, switch “wife with husband” – I can’t be bothered to check. So what (?) does this mean? Well, first off, let me tell you that there is no question now that any hatchet left unburied is just a figment of web and dirt sheet writers over active imaginations and absolutely unjustified “horror” at the allegations of Austin having to smack Debra around. Take a look at this, which I “borrowed” from a recap of an interview with non other than Good Ol’ JR himself

(Good Ol’ JR) Compared Debra to Lucille Ball on I Love Lucy, but that on that show Lucy was the star, while “Desi was just hanging around” in this scenario he noted that she was married to the biggest star in the company. Funniest line regarding Debra was when he said, “just like the Rock says, sometimes you’ve got to ‘Know your Role'”.

– 11.22.02

She’s a bitch evidently, which really is no excuse for violence, but she is not as “innocent” as the angelic figure she has been made out to be. But GRUT (and a ton of others) are the only ones who care about that stuff; it certainly isn’t me. What I want is for Austin to get his shit together and remind all these hacks on how to cut a promo. Not to mention how to bust your ass in the ring and actually put some LIFE into a product, while enjoyable to me, is missing that extra spark. That spark is not Big Bad Booty Pump, I can assure you of that. So this is good news as far as I’m concerned, seeing as Austin is not being treated like a social leper (as predicted by..ummmm YOU?) and seems to be in contact with all the right people, who are hopefully saying all the right things in an effort to get him back – a surprise appearance at the Royal Rumble and proceeding to kick everyone’s a would work just fine. Or any other scenario, so long as they don’t attempt to push a “heel” Austin, a part brilliantly played by Austin, but something that the fans never really bought. The other general complaint was Austin’s refusal to “put over” Brock Lesnar, which at the time seemed like a grievous offense but in hindsight is 50/50 and check this out

However, it appears the plan to push Brock to the moon has been halted slightly by the failure of McMahon to sign Lennox Lewis to a shoot fight. McMahon believed a win over Lewis would make Brock a mega star, but without that kind of mainstream publicity he is not worth sacrificing the rest of the WWE roster over entirely.

– BOSS! Getting his money’s worth out of his subscription to The Observer.

As stupid as any “real” fight between two worked sports is, Vince is right. The real money to be made would be a super Wrestlemania buildup between Lesnar and Angle, seeing as they are both WRESTLERS and could go out there and really show us something, a opposed to a glass jawed overrated British boxer who couldn’t carry Ali’s jockstrap. So, in hindsight, Austin didn’t want to be cannon fodder for a monster push that died at Survivor Series to the Big Show. Can’t really blame him now, can we? So I’m ready for Austin to return and end his career the proper way as opposed to being remembered as a man who quit. I think he has given me enough on screen enjoyment to over look any and all things off screen. And that’s all I got to say about that.


RAWr’s ratings are UP Smackdown’s are down, proving that Benoit is a poison and should be shipped to Japan immediately (just kidding all you misguided Wolverine worshippers!). Actually it proves nothing, but both were decent shows this week. The focal point of RAW was HBK and the three way match for a shot at his title. Right away everyone is on HBK’s ass about ducking title defense. Jesus Christ, the guy’s back is broken and he’s still working harder than 90% of the roster so cut him some slack, especially the night after bumping like a madman on steel. Everyone has pretty much formed the opinion that Shawn will keep on “losing his smile” and not drop the belt, unless it’s in a rematch with his buddy HHH. It’s times like this I can’t believe what I read. We are about to get a series of “dream matches” out of HBK, starting with watching him runs circles performance wise against RVD, who hopefully has the common decency to not kill Shawn in his first “real” match against someone who he does not trust with his life. Also in the mix on Monday’s is Big Bad Booty Daddy Poppa Pump Scott Stenier, who is being played as a “free agent” when in actuality he has a great little built in feud with either Some Other Guy or Booker, depending on which side of the face/heel fence he ends up on. This “shades of grey” thing sounds good on paper, but once you have seen pros like Austin and Nash do it, everyone else pales in comparison. Having Poppa Booty run around like a maniac is a great start, but eventually he is going to have to get involved in a serious program with someone – I think I like the Some Other Guy idear better – we have seen Book / Daddy Booty enough for right now. I’m still not really understanding the overwhelming HILARITY of comparing the all the “HHH mentions” to a Simpsons episode (which is happening by more sources that just the obvious) but I never claimed to understand how a wrestler who guts out a match with a crushed throat can continue to be demonized, so it all equals out, I guess. Ross and Lawler have gotten over their funk of being shitty announcers and shrill pimps – all it took was going back to the basics and “calling the match”. The three way was fun as hell to watch, with the rub being given to RVD while Poppa Daddy sideswiped Some Other Guy. This all means that Flea is going to be marking out on the edge of his seat for the main event next week, which I WISH would be given about 20 minutes, f*ck the PPV blow-off that will never come and f*ck anyone who says “how the hell can they give a match like this away on free TV?” Asshole, have you looked at the rosters of these shows? What match amongst the top guys on each show COULD NOT headline a PPV? So, enough of “ah, they are shooting their wads with this” and just enjoy it for what it is – HBK, hardly someone who I would classify as “a shell of his former self” against “God’s Gift to Wrestling” Rob Van Damn. Who woulda thunk? So tune in Monday for the show of shows and see something that will hopefully be memorable. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Vince and the Gang do not f*ck me on this – no bait and switch, no hocus pocus the match-up was bogus, just let them go out and try to tear the house down. I have faith in Shawn’s ego shining through and will just have to put up with RVD’s bullshit and chalk it up as a fair price to mark out for The HeartBreak Kid.

As of this writing, I have not had a chance to watch Smackdown in it’s entirety but from what I have seen / read, it sounds like the normal good show with solid matches and plenty of Paul Heyman to go around. I sawr his opening interview and it was classic “Here is why I did what I did and Ain’t I just the Cat’s Meow”, which not too many people in the business do better than Paul E. I said it last week but I think it bears repeating – Heyman should have had control of Big Show from day one. All those rumors you heard about kool-aid were true as Heyman is one of those types that can steal your eyeballs then convince you that you can see better without them. One more thing about Heyman and then I’ll move along

Can you believe in this day and age that someone would create a sign that says, “Paul Heyman is a backstabber”?

– More Rhetorical Retardedness, 11.22.02 (Hey Hyatte, I thought you made it perfectly clear to him that adding “or what” does not a rhetorical question make? Nevermind )

Yes, I can believe that someone would be into the product enough to “believe” some of the things portrayed, as not everyone has access to the pearls of wisdom available on the Internet Wrestling Community. Or it might have been Joey Styles or Mike Sanders holding that sign, or maybe anyone who Paul E STIFFED FOR DOUGH? Bob Ryder could be included on that list as well. So a sign like that is highly feasible, I think.

Also of note on Smackdown was the Noble / Nidia segment where “Cousin Nunzio” is on his way in, who, according to everyone, will be played by Little Guido Maritato, formerly of ECW fame. I loved the Full Blooded Italian gimmick and think Guido will make a great addition to the comedy scene of the cruiserweights. But he is a great seller, so maybe some of his work style will rub off on a division completely devoid of the art of acting hurt.

Once again, two good shows this week and back on track after an enjoyable, albeit oddly booked Survivor Series. Armageddon ain’t too far way, so the shows are presumably about to get on the road with things with the idear that it would be better to go into the New Year maybe only limping as opposed to staggering around like a two-bit drunk.


In lieu of Jim Ross this week I think I will take about the WWE’s financial woes as another quarterly loss was posted this week. Yes, times are tough for a lot of companies as well as a lot of people in this country at the moment but having a solid product and a good corporate foundation will keep you from going broke. Vince knows what he is doing he just needs to wait for the next economic boom, which will give people plenty of f*ck around money to blow on things like escapism at it’s finest. Nothing to worry about and Vince will just wait for America to get back on it’s collective feet

I took my parents out to dinner last night as part of their “Son, we are proud of you and don’t forget to put us in the nicest rest home possible” stage of the pinnacle of what will, in eight days, be the end of one stage of my life and the beginning of what is probably, the end. Hey, the end has to start somewhere, why not 12.1.02. Sitting around the table were my wife and the aforementioned Mother and Father, who each regaled themselves in the fact that yes the f*ck up at the table ain’t so much of a f*ck up and for that reason they are not ashamed to wear the proud badge of parenthood, much like I am when my 7 year old daughter regales her piano teacher with “Under My Thumb” after many hours of dear ole Dad explaining “yes, your fingers can reach those keys and if they ask you about misogyny, just play the chorus part in C# and make her ears bleed. Also disturbing was me explaining that the extra $5 on a Grey Goose Martini would make my Father wake up like a normal human being instead of a wasted piece of human flesh, which is normally what happens when you ask for any Martini that has the words “well” and “vermouth” mentioned in the same sentence. As the women turned to talk of Christmas, my Father asked me point blank: ” When the f*ck did you turn into a Communist?”. Thankfully, his question coincided with the after dinner drink and me having a captive audience and a five Martini / 2 Glass Champagne / good stash / Prime Rib buzz led me to be very verbose (and least one of you reading know what I mean) and very verbally confrontational – the kind of shit that would get me jap-smacked 10 years ago, but now is treated as an “opposing point of view” from a Man who is my idol and hero, albeit still entrenched in a time when you could have faith in a government, even to the point of killing at their demand while the country was being overrun by fascists on one side and hippies on the other – neither of whom has any inkling of respect for “right or wrong” but both of whom spent a majority of their lives engaging in their own power trip while the freest of free societies became a bastardization of what both sides “believed” in.

For those of you that are new, I wrote a little bit about my Father here (and if the link does not appear – it was the 8.10.02 Saturday Matinee) and if you read that, you will know he is a patriot in the truest sense of the word; three tours of duty, bullshit on the anti-war “hippie” home front, not to mention having to come home to a wife who complained about “no soaps cause of this Watergate bullshit” and a 3 year old son who (according to incriminating pictures) learned the Nixon “victory salute” not soon after learning how to shit on a real toilet. He’s much more mellow now – 8 years of Clinton not knowing what the f*ck he was doing but staying out of things enough to make money for everyone will do that to someone. So, with me being thisclose to getting on with life and seeing the realities of what this country is becoming has made me a bit jittery – especially since the only thing I have been talking about lately, to the point of beating it into the ground is my growing desire for Fidel Castro to FINALLY get around to kicking the bucket so that I can get the f*ck out of this place and sit cabana side in the paradise known as “free market Cuba” or as I like to call it “getting the f*ck out of this place so that I can sit cabana side in free market Cuba”. Sounds simple enough to me and is a goal that I have had since I found out .we will just bypass the “why” and concentrate on the “what?”. As in “what?’ is the first word I heard the first time my parents realized that this was not a pipe dream, but something that is only about five years (if not sooner) from happening and there ain’t a damn thing anyone can do about it.

To get Mother out of the way, her only questions was about my daughter, which I reiterated the long term plans of her wanting to be involved in an “exchange student program”, which starts at age eleven and is something she has been fascinated with since she first met a cousin of my wife’s – my only objection is that she would NEVER go to France, but England was just fine. Hell, with my luck, she might catch the eye of that incest pit known as “royalty” and despite all objections, I could live with the legit title of “Sir Flea” without having to cuss the Pope and be “knighted” with a scepter of Crown Royal and a candle made of hemp. So England is fine, but nothing doing with the French – after I explained this to Mother, she agreed and pretty much turned me over to the wolves – namely, my Father.

As mentioned above, the question was ” When the f*ck did you turn into a Communist?”. I explained that I am no Communist and had no idea what the f*ck he was talking about. He said “All I have heard out of you for the past three months is “Fuck this America bullshit, I’m outta here the first chance I get”. I can’t deny those statements and that is pretty much how I feel at this point. Blind patriotism aside, I have lost my love for this country. I have seen total disregard for what is proper and decent put aside for new mutation known as “honesty”, which is nothing more than a sick perversion of “Hey, this is the truth as I see it and you are lying if you don’t take my point of view”. Turn on any radio, TV or read a newspaper – the best topical example is what is currently happening to Michael Jackson. He does nothing wrong but show a group of fans his baby and quicker than you can say “Whacko Jacko” you have a group of bastards in California filing suit to proclaim him an “unfit father”. Shit likes this always starts in New York or California, depending on which contingency gets hold of the issue first. But my Father asked a legitimate question, a question I was more than happy to answer

“You think I want to hang around a place where, come March, I will have an authorized Gestapo come in and attempt to classify me in the same perverted gene pool of a child molester and rapists?” My only defense is the lack of a paper trail and the fact that I have a Redneck Jew for a lawyer, which trumps anything Harvard, much less the Federal Government, can dig out of that endless supply of “f*ck with someone who ain’t done a damn thing wrong” lawyers pit, but oddly enough, the cost of defending myself can NOT be written off as a “frivolous expense”, unless I want to go through the same thing next year. That was point number one, to a man who sat spell bound why his only son that matters attempts to explain why he has had enough of “status quo” and lawyers in general, that he would be willing to give up his right to vote for the right to not have to keep every f*cking receipt while wondering why I have to keep records, when the Federal Government knows how / when and it what position I f*ck my wife and why I’m such a bastard for keeping letting my kid stay up until 1am playing video games, when I could have easily got a prescription to keep her comfortably numb and asleep to the world. That has been the only answer to child rearing these sick pricks have come up with, after years of discussion and no doubt, years of personal abuse / experiment. Prozac and a litany of medically prescribed drugs is ok, but goddamn, if I ever smoked a joint with her I would be sent up the river faster that you can say “HyuckleBerry Finn” and wouldn’t even be given the chance to say goodbye. That was point one

Point Two dealt with the hell that is going to be “Homeland Security”, which is nothing but code word for “guilty until presumed innocent”. Right now, in Florida, is a businessman who is being held to the flame for “money laundering” “donating to terrorism” and “putting a hit out on a drug dealer” for “saying he was implicated in a drug cartel”. Well, sticks and stones may break your bones, but words cause permanent damage. All of this is unfounded and the fact that the Government can slander someone without proof just because he gave money to “Arab causes” should make everyone tremble with fear. Are any of you out their Catholic? What if tomorrow, the Federal Government made it a crime to molest little children instead of sweeping all the various charges being swept under the rug? That means any contributions you made (have made) would be an indictable offense and therefore, you are GUILTY before proven innocent and are subject to having your property seized and being put in a cell where people are not as friendly as they normally would be at the annual Church Carnival.

This line of conversation went on for about an hour; the women enjoyed another bottle of wine and the men, after much discussion FINALLY shared three more Grey Goose Martinis amongst themselves. All in all a nice evening, with my Father and I coming to the same conclusion – he has lived through literal bullet fire and I have lived (and am about to go through) mental and financial bullet fire. He thinks mine is worse but I do not have the perspective to compare getting shot at with my problems unless you count going to Baltimore without the horrid fear of not being able to walk six blocks without the fear of dying. By the end of the night he realized that, yes I do have the utmost respect for him but also, yes I will be glad to get out of the swill pit that America has become and if I should be so lucky to make it to his age, be able to sit back with a Frozen drink in my hand and say “See, the lawyers WERE the problem all along, to bad for all of yas.”

Oddly enough, the conversation only led to me waving and talking with my hands, like any good Guiney should I never once presented a Hammer and Sickle and never will I have too much respect for America and what it should have been, instead of the perversity of what it has become

My Father understood and the women were too drunk to care. I think that is just perfect.

Oh yeah .Vince McMahon and WWE will be just fine.


Well, that certainly got off track, Ollie. That runs me out of gas to talk about NWA TNA, which I watched on tape last night. I knew Russo was back the instant all the gay stuff started happening and that was at the beginning of the show. Jerry Jarrett would NEVER write the line (said by Road Dogg, to Lenny Lane) “This ain’t gonna be a gay bashing, I’m just gonna kicks a faggot’s ass”. So for him to come out at the end of the show as the “mystery man” was kinda like “Wow!” instead of “Holy Shit”. Now the question is “will Russo be an on screen character in addition to writing the shows?” I haven’t looked around for rumors on that – the only thing I read is that half the locker room is for him and half is against him. On the “against” side is Scott Hall and X-Pac, neither of them who have been around anyway and two people I could not give a rat’s ass about. Fuck em and f*ck anyone who wants to jump ship when the program is starting to get not only well-financed, but good from an ” fun and entertaining wrestling show” to watch. I’ll save the rest of my thoughts for next week where I will most likely dedicate a substantial portion of my column to my likes / dislikes of the whole NWA-TNA promotion. If you are not interested, I will remember to NOT include a mention is the teaser that appears on the front page – once you have clicked, I get my credit so if you don’t read it I really don’t give a flying f*ck. But I would prefer you do! And if you haven’t seen NWA-TNA, give it a shot.

Another thing I watched was Ken Shamrock get his ass kicked by Tito Ortiz. The last time I sawr Shamrock was on the NWA-TNA program and he was BLOWN UP working a f*cking fake wrestling match, so I was not surprised by the results. Everytime he does this he continues to lose value on the only sport that he should be concerned with at this point in his life. Ken Shamrock, Ultimate Fighting Bass Ass is much better for business than Ken Shamrock, the Washed Up Has Been. Hell, bring him back at the Rumble too, while the people still think he’s a monster. Other than the inevitable result, it was a pretty good fight. Shamrock in the mix with Angle and Lesnar would be much better, in my opinion.


I’m going to start leaving the plug thing to Hyatte on Mondays when he has a better grasp of what’s going on with the site on Monday, than I do on Saturday morning at 2 o’clock in the morning. I’ll throw a plug out here and there but not on a regular basis on Saturdays yes, all plugs on Mondays. Somehow I’m going to end up plugging people but I’m just not gonna say anything else cryptic or something that could be misconstrued a paranoid innuendo at best, gossip, more booze and rawr fingers at worst. Please continue


Quick apology to Mark Coale, who’s name I misspelled with a “C” instead of a “K”. Actually, I was spell check that did that – and after further review changed “Brock” into “Brick” which struck me as funny, but not as hilarious as these

Widro – Weirdo

Ashish – Assissi

Hyatte – Hyatt (just like Missy, you Dog!

Scherer – schemer (who didn’t know THAT?)

GRUT – punk

CRZ – craze

So it pays to have a name like Flea! And sorry about that Mark. I have seen nothing but praise for his column I re-posted last week, which is not surprising. The guy is a damn good writer. He also mentioned that he is over at OnlineOnslaught (The Rick’s site) which I knew, but am forbidden to mention. Oh,wait. It’s NETCOP we can’t mention, not Rick. Actually I can do whatever I want – it’s not as though BOSS or Hashish have to lay the hammer down on me, but then again, they don’t read / worship me the way they do certain other people which is understandable, I think. Let’s get on with another Internet Wrestling Community flashback, Pat IV in a series of things I have read and liked

Netcop named dropped this guy the other day which reminded me of a column he wrote for the legendary site,which was in May 1998, around the time the IWC was first starting to explode and everyone started taking themselves WAY to seriously and began turning on one another like a pack of crazed dogs in heat over a cat wearing Beggin Strip flavored underwear. You think this shit nowadays is ridiculous? Ain’t nothing compared to that glorious Summer of 1998 when everyone who is anyone in the Internet Wrestling Community these days finally started to gain severe cult following and borderline psychotic views on wrestling and the internet itself. So this week, here is John Petrie and a brilliant column that seems passe now, but was very quite original

FROM THE FLEA’S BAG – featuring “The Even Worse Guy” John Petrie

The Mother Of All Shoots

You want a “shoot speech”? I’ll give you a “shoot speech” …

There’s no such thing as a “smart” wrestling fan. Nope. Doesn’t exist. The fact is that we’re all marks and the only thing that separates any of us is how insecure we are about being wrestling fans. You see that’s how the myth of the “smart” wrestling fan came to be.

Pro-wrestling, for more than a hundred years, has been a charade which has appealed to dim witted country folk, the poor and little children. It’s a ballet wrapped up in a morality play draped in a barroom brawl. It’s fat, sweaty men in tights pretending to beat each other up, and if you’ve ever spent a thin dime on wrestling you’re a patsy, a skim, a dope … a “mark”.

When I say “smart” I don’t mean educated. There are planty of wrestling fans who are quite educated, yet manage to buy into the fanatsy of wrestling and be entertained. Don’t get me wrong-there’s absolutely nothing wrong with it. Smart, dumb, man, woman, black, white, young, old, pro-wrestling is no more or less a valid form of entertainment than movies, television or the theater. Pro-wrestling is the opera of the masses: the common man’s ballet. It’s also a dirty, nasty business who’s only aim is to get you to pay money for something which isn’t real. It’s roots lie in shadowy, dusty carnival tents and it’s fame was made in filthy, stinking, cigar smoke-filled arenas. It’s past is checkered with scoundrels and rogues who make Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff look like choir boys organizing a bake sale.

Most fans of wrestling have known for the better part of this century that wrestling is fake. Many say it’s fake, yet deep down really believe. And some think it’s real. To the wrestling promoters there’s no difference in any of these fans because they all pay their ticket to get in the arena. They all boo the bad guy and cheer the good guy and stop to buy a t-shirt on the way out. All forigners are evil and anyone with bleach blonde hair is a sissy. The referee always looks away just as the bad guy pulls something out of his tights, yet manages to turn back in time to count the pin. The fans-all of them-hate this and boo. Loudly. The only ones who don’t are the ones in line to buy a beer … or those who think it’s cool to cheer the bad guys. These fans often call themselves “smart”.

The myth of the “smart” fan came about some years back when fans-tired of defending their love of the “sport”-decided to legitimize it. How many of you have been asked by a friend, relative or co-worker “how can you watch that stuff? You know it’s fake, don’t you?” Raise your hands. How many of you have concealed your love for pro-wrestling, hoping to avoid the above question? Now, how many of you have answered-

“Yes, I know it’s fake. Actually, ‘fake’ isn’t the right term. It’s ‘worked’. And that wrestler … he’s a good ‘worker’. His ‘ring psychology’ is excellent. He draws a lot of ‘heat’ … ” etc, etc, etc.

Sound familiar?

Wrestling fans, tired of the stinging criticism of their fellow citizens unwilling to share their devotion for wrestling, have created a hip subculture and language which they use when speaking about the “sport”. It’s a strange mix of terms borrowed from the business itself, mixed with common language slang and a few words along the way which seem to have been made up. These fans, in an effort to distance themselves from the sleazier aspects of the business (i.e. the promoters), have chosen the side of the wrestlers themselves. They speak of them in terms of “workrate” and “drawing potential”. They give the individual matches “star ratings” and talk of how much “heat” each wrestler generated. They duck the embarrasing subject of self-mutilation by openly speaking of “blading”. Goose stepping Nazi’s and mad hypnotists and cavemen who fall asleep when you stroke their beard-these are all explained away as “gimmicks” which are very “over” with the crowd. The sumo wrestler with the mysterious nerve hold from the Orient got a good “pop” when he came to the ring. And so on …

Some of these fans even managed to earn a living from this attempt to legitimize the business. They published newsletters-“sheets”, which followed the exploits of these “workers” as they moved from territory to territory. They chronicled the events in other countries like Japan and Mexico-where the fans are evey bit as gullible as here in the good old USA. Their favorable treatment of the wrestlers-pleading with the general public to recognize them as true athletes, earned them close ties to the business. They used this to peer behind the veils of secrecy and learn all they could about “booking” and the “angles” yet to come. They exposed the business. They broke “kayfabe”. They earned the dislike of the promoters, who labeled their efforts “dirt sheets”. And when Vince McMahon came along and made pro-wrestling bigger than it’d ever been, it was these dirt sheet writers who were on the front line of smearing McMahon and spreading the story that he “ruined wrestling”. They considered themselves journalists in the process, since the real media also decided to take McMahon down a peg or two. It was easy. The WWF was a big, fat, slow-moving, high profile target at the time.

These “smart” fans turned to the world and said “see … it’s okay to be a fan because I don’t believe it’s real. All wrestling is is a business involving hard working guys trying to make ends meet and feed their families. It’s better now than it used to be, and the bad aspects of the sport can be overlooked because we admit them and don’t condone them. The wrestlers are good … the promoters are the bad ones.” There’s only one problem with all this:

They’re generally full of crap.

They don’t care about the wrestlers (who frankly do deserve our support and respect for the hard work they do). Do the “smarts” care? No, they just want to see them wrestle 200 times a year, occasionally losing blood and breaking bones-usually their own-along the way. This year’s “superstar” is “washed up” and “past his prime” the moment he loses a step or two. These “smart” fans attend the cards, thinking themselves separate from the teeming masses, cheering and clapping and pumping their fists just as hard as everyone else in the arena-knowing full well that in a year or five years they’ll no longer cheer the star they’ve come to see that night because he’ll be hurt or old … or boring. They stop on the way out-rolling their eyes at a “mark” who bought an “Austin 3:16” t-shirt because Steve Austin is “cool!” They then buy their own “Austin 3:16” t-shirt because Austin is a “hard worker” and “really over” and …

Meanwhile the promoter peeks out from the curtain and watches. He’s laughing. They’ve put one over on everyone again. He knows that dozens of those in the crowd are going to go home and call the hotline or dial up the Internet and chat about how good or bad the card was and how they’ll never go again or can’t wait until the next time they come to town.

Steve Austin, meanwhile, has a bad neck and an icepack on his knee and his ass hurts from driving 300 miles earlier in the day from the last show they did the night before. He knows that before he can get back to his car to drive to the hotel that he’ll have to wade through a gauntlet of the “smart” fans who all know which entrance to stake out. They all want his autograph, you see, and they’d really love it if he signed their “Whoop-Ass!” sign they made up themselves and held up all night.

Ask Vince McMahon. Ask Eric Bischoff. Ask the wrestlers themselves … they’ll all tell you the same thing:

There’s no such thing as a “smart” fan.

In a business which only wants your money and the wrestlers only want your respect, being a “smart” fan means nothing. Why? Because there is no such animal. All fans are “marks”. You .. I … Dave Meltzer … the fat guy in the hawaiian shirt at the ECW Arena … the guy who always dresses like Hulk Hogan … we’re all “marks”.

Is that a bad thing? Only if you take yourself-and wrestling-too seriously. Don’t tell those who ask that it’s not real …

… tell yourself.

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Great, great stuff

This has been The Saturday Matinee and I’m Flea.

FLEA is an Inside Pulse Original in every sense of the word, from his unique style and viewpoint. You can send any feedback to, or just type it the comment box below. also but follow FLEA on Twitter @ryderfakin.