The Moss Covered, Three Handled Family Gredunza

The moss covered, three-handled family gredunza is the third of Chris Jericho’s 1004 moves, preceeded by an armdrag and armbar, and to be followed by an armbar and the Saskatchewan spinning nerve hold. It is a reference to the Cat in the Hat’s TV special.

Links

This week we’re celebrating the 5th anniversary of NWA:TNA, so everyone’s talking about that.

Flea reruns his NWA column from five years ago.

Andy Mac goes against the grain and talks about the last 5 years of ROH instead.

Ian Burnside covers the NWA tag title lineage for the last five years.

Grut gives us another one act play involving wrestlers in real life. It’s not quite as genius as the Bret/Shawn two-act, but it’s an amazing piece of wrestling fiction.

And finally, Keith reposts his rant of the first NWA:TNA ppv. Summation — it stunk. But better things were to come.

The conservative hero

Through doing research for this article, I came across a political blog called www.conservativemindblog.blogspot.com, a fairly extreme opinion blog about British and American politics. The blogger’s interests list include this: “my ultimate ambitions are to be a great and influential international statesman and Cabinet minister. I am a libertarian Conservative because Thatcherism works! My role models are the 1996 Olympic Games 100kgs freestyle wrestling gold medalist Kurt Angle, the late Nicholas Ridley, the former professional wrestler Warrior and of course the Blessed Margaret Thatcher.” Upon initial inspection of this interest list, I thought “Well, 3 out of 4 fits, but Kurt Angle?” But then it dawned on me. Kurt Angle is probably a conservative. Moreso, he’s probably a republican. He’s even maybe a Bush-supporter. And then I thought, “Am I okay with that?” It was not a simple question.

My first inclination is to follow The Unites State’s first amendment (I’m not terribly familiar with anything past the first 5 or so. The stereotype that Canadians know everything about America isn’t completely true) and let him have his right to free speech. But Kurt Angle has never come out and supported Bush. Oh, he’s supported America, and in fact he’s surpassed Hulk Hogan in that regard. Hogan only occasionally dressed in the American flag; Angle would unravel like careless cross-stitching without it. And he’s probably been the most vocal troop supporter (other than JBL, but since he plays an exaggerated version of a republican senator from Texas, he’s a given and therefore beside the point) of all wrestling personalities. And, if we’re going to take his recent character development as any indication, he in every way embodies republican values of being a successful, athletic alpha male that only emotes only when he’s being really intense. Which is all the time.

I recently went to a Jon Stewart stand-up show, and he explained the differences between Canadian conservatives and American ones. He said “You know what they call Canadian conservatives down there? Gay communists.” Along those lines, it probably wouldn’t matter how conservative I was; there’s no way I’m anywhere close to the average American professional wrestler. This is not a recent revelation. When I was a kid who loved Bret Hart and thought Hulk Hogan and the Ultimate Warrior were kind of slimy, I didn’t know it was because of Canadian-American political differences. But it sort of was. Bret (after he turned into a good guy) represented good things like trying your hardest, respecting your opponent, and generally being a stand up character. Hogan and Warrior represented domination, control, and ambition. These are fairly simple characteristics, but quite frankly, pro wrestling and sports entertainment republican coalition. Now, to be fair, not all of pro wrestling seems conservative. Sure, Kurt Angle might be, but Angle is a complicated enough character to be considered cheer-able by a liberal audience due to his incredible charisma, sense of humour, and ability. But most pro wrestling characters probably aren’t conservative. I can’t really see Edge being one, or Mick Foley, or HHH, or Shawn Michaels. And this might sound convenient, but you know who I could see as very conservative? John Cena. And Bobby Lashley. And The Rock. And Stone Cold Steve Austin. And Hulk Hogan.

WWE has always had a number one hero. That hero is what shapes the company, either by selling the most merchandise, being the most relatable to the kids, or whatever. And there are very good reasons aside from conservative beliefs that all of those names became the top heroes. But the characters themselves all represent conservative ideals, and they all promote conservative beliefs, and they all ultimately fight with those who hold dearly to opposing political systems.

Hulk Hogan’s WWE run is an easy example; he embodied Reagenomics, and probably helped that whole system more than anyone is willing to say. Because of that, his enemies were largely foreign, or at least foreign-seeming (Randy Savage being the one great exception to all of this, but you’ll find he’s an exception to a lot of arguments about wrestling). John Cena, however, doesn’t seem to portray the same archetype. Except that he’s a pretty boy with three wrestling moves, a slew of catchphrases, and a new t-shirt every month to shill to the idiots who don’t know any better. More importantly than that, though, Cena’s reasoning for being where he is—the kind of question we really should be asking more—is the exact same as Hogan’s. He’s there to ward off villainy for the fans.

So maybe it’s the fans. If the general hero of WWE seems to want to represent “The people” (and there’s your Rock reasoning, if you were confused as to where he fit into this) then perhaps these fans, by WWE’s logic, are all conservative. And if this is the case, is it true? Is the majority of WWE’s fans conservative? I just can’t see it, especially not outside of the mid-west and the south. But maybe. Maybe it’s not that the audience is latently conservative, but that wrestling brings out the parts of us that appreciate conservative values. Maybe for some of us, wrestling is a place where the ideal but unrealistic and completely destructive practices of conservative thinking can be lived out in a fantastical realm of the alpha male.

And just like the fact that Kurt Angle is on a really conservatist guys’ favorite people, this is something to seriously consider. Now might be a good time to revisit Professor Sut Jhally’s documentary about pro wrestling and this question: “Are children learning that taunting, ridiculing, and bullying define masculinity?”