Alternate Reality by Vin Tastic

I’m 35 years old. As a professional wrestling fan over 20 years, I’ve witnessed a wide variety of outrageous activity on camera from the stars of my favorite hobby, and heard ten times worse about their off-camera endeavors. After innumerable storyline disappointments, ill-advised talent management, aborted pushes, the wrong people going over, gassed muscle-heads dominating far more skilled but smaller performers, egomania, self aggrandizement, and nepotism of the powers that be in multiple promotions, horror stories about drugs and alcohol, far too many tragic deaths of relatively young men and women directly related to the business, vicious hazing of new talent by so-called veterans, tales about sexual abuse of young boys and wrestlers trying to make it in the business, “made men” shitting in people’s handbags and embarrassing the company in public (and then being rewarded), and all other manner of immature, obscene, testosterone-fueled anarchy for which nobody takes responsibility or accountability, I’m exhausted.

TODAY’S ISSUE: Hornswoggle McMahon

The bottom line is that I’m tired. I’m way too tired to work up any outrage over the revelation of a non-funny comedy character in the biggest storyline of the past 5 weeks, in the largest wrestling promotion on the planet. Many of us have complained about what a waste it was to name the “leprechaun” Hornswoggle as Vince McMahon’s illegitimate child last Monday night. We’ve commented extensively on how any number of actual wrestlers could have benefited from that role, and helped WWE do some good business to boot, so I’m not treading any new ground there.

It’s bad enough that the main angle of the company has been this “who shot J.R.” melodrama crap to begin with. As one IWC member commented, it might not have been too terrible in the background, but since this was THE dominant storyline of the late summer, McMahon should have felt compelled to actually do something with the payoff and have it lead into the fall plans for one of his three brands. Instead, we got the Gobbledegooker ’07 – a complete waste of advertisers’ money and fans’ time.

I watch professional wrestling to see two opponents square off in the ring with a reasonable, logical motive to want to defeat each other. I recognize the need for storyline activity and drama, but not McMahon’s theater of the absurd. Crystal and Teddy Long getting married won’t sell one ticket, pay-per-view, or t-shirt. Nobody cares if Kelly Kelly hearts Balls Mahoney, and they certainly won’t tune in to SciFi just to see if she breaks away from Extreme Expose in order to spend her life with Captain Caveman. There’s no good business reason to humiliate Jamie Noble over and over again because he’s obsessed with a leprechaun who may or may not live under the ring, and there’s certainly nothing to be gained by aligning that character with Mr. Ego himself, Vincent Kennedy McMahon.

McMahon has officially announced his lunacy to the world via this storyline. He’s clearly far less interested in delivering a wrestling show worth a damn than he is in entertaining himself and the dolts in his inner circle of yes-men who nod and laugh when Vince finds something funny. Something stupid, I might add.

Ironically, McMahon has everything any up-and-coming promoter could ever need or want: a national television outlet, an extremely high budget, a phenomenal talent roster, a successful road schedule, and respectable merchandise sales. But he refuses to put his hard work of yesteryear and good fortune to work as he could, creating compelling, engaging pro wrestling shows for pro wrestling fans. Instead, the WWE is his personal playground, and will never be anything more.

Dedicated, hard-working veterans are constantly improperly utilized, under appreciated, and “released” (fired) while disrespectful jackasses get push after push. The loyal fans that keep WWE afloat are constantly subjected to crass, immature, unfunny balderdash, oversexed garbage, and 3-minute matches, even while the company has five hours of original television time at their disposal each week. Couldn’t at least ONE of those hours feature long matches that entertain the pro wrestling fans in the crowd? That IS why fans watch wrestling, after all. It’s not lame comedy, would-be sexuality, or what could laughingly be called drama that we fans look for in professional wrestling programs. I can’t remember the last time I tuned into a baseball game on ESPN and saw a re-run of I Love Lucy instead.

I want to see rivalries develop between people that have a logical beef with each other. I want interesting characters, not overly simplistic, paint-by-numbers gimmicks. I want athletes “competing” for championships, and the focus to be on those athletes rather than the 62 year-old Chairman of the Board, his stiff of a wife, his pompous daughter, and his mildly entertaining son. I certainly didn’t need another character added to the Clan McMahon, especially a character who’s a joke with no punch line. I’ll just bet Vince and crew laughed their asses off about how hilarious it was to see Hornswoggle hug his leg at the end of RAW last week. How ridiculous.

It’s no wonder Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has publicly claimed he’ll never come back to wrestling; I don’t blame him a bit. The business has never been truly respectable, but clearly things have degenerated to an all-time low, and I for one am exhausted. I don’t think I’ll ever regain the excited interest I had during the legendary Monday Night War, nor the optimism I held for so long after the InVasion that Vince would find the motivation to right the ship. It would seem McMahon thinks the ship is more than fine just the way it is. So I’ve finally been forced to admit to myself that I’m tired of hoping against hope. I’m tired of waiting for another big company to scare Vince into getting his head back into the game, as WCW and the nWo once did about ten years ago. TNA was once almost close to being that company, but we all realize that ship has likely sailed.

I hope RoH gets a national television deal at some point, or that the TNA creative team get their collective heads out of their asses and start doing the things that once made them special. Perhaps their two-hour timeslot will allow them to slow down and start doing things right, but I doubt it. And I’m tired of wishing for it. I’m tired of it all. I need to watch some good wrestling to find my second wind. It’s a good thing I have a fairly extensive library. I think I’ll check out some Flair/Steamboat tonight, or maybe a little Bret the Hitman Hart.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled reality.

p.s. – “If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples, then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” – George Bernard Shaw

Before you go, check out our roundtable for WWE’s Unforgiven, compare our picks to PK’s live coverage, and look below to see how we fared.

IP Staff Roundtable Results for Unforgiven

Iain Burnside


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