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Monday, January 03, 2005

monday night blah!

No - rest assured folks that this is not bashing of the all-american institution that is abc's monday night football broadcast... Even though this week's game wasn't even an NFL game... Even though I get lost with the myriad college football teams and couldn't care less how they wind up ranked for all those silly bowls that run the gamut of rainbow colors... hey - I grew up where there are a very finite number of so-called professional teams (within the ranks of the CFL - all-too briefly known as the Continental Football League, when they included franchises located in minor American markets such as Shreveport... officiously known as the Canadian Football League for the better part of its fairly long history... and referred to as the Comedy Football League by the better part of American football fans... HA.)... So, even though it would be tempting to bash that Eagles guy and his skit shot in a mock locker room with aging nymphette/has-been starlet Nicolette for a recent broadcast teaser for the monday night mainstay... nah. Won't do it. Too easy. Not worthy of the... luminous blog !!! ;)

I would rather bash... rasslin! The OTHER monday night tradition... for quite a number of years now (if I am not mistaken... thirteen! Wow - don't you just love it when old superstitions are proven true? Wrestlers and promoters feared the day they'd reach the unlucky number 13... for that would be the day they would get trashed on... the luminous blog !!! Bwah-ha-ha... Okay - enough of that...)

As a young man (thirteen years ago...? My - I am so young, that a mere decade ago, I was still a CHILD...! Sure...) circa 1992 thus, I was a faithful wrestling viewer. Monday nights would become increasingly THE night for that - by 1996, the infamous "Monday night wars" were on - and I was rooting for the southern-based WCW to come out the victor (again - the underdog... but also the classier and more tasteful product - by far!). The Nature Boy, Ric Flair, headlined the WCW show - and, no matter what he says now about it, WCW was a more viewer-friendly product than his current employer is... It was wholesome comedic drama that the whole family could enjoy - nothing like the often sleazy and offensive WWF (still, at the time - until they were forced to change their name to WWE when the REAL WWF kicked their butts in court... The day the PANDA pinned VINCE McMAHON for the three count -likely with Judge Judy as the special referee- is fondly remembered by "thinking man type of fans" - like ME! But I digress...). Thus, on Monday nights, one could watch the football... or choose between the two other sporty choices (though "sports-entertainment" is not sports per say... but tell that to the wrestlers whose bodies ache all over 320 days a year... minimum!) - and those were Monday Night Raw... or WCW Monday Nitro on TNT! Already, judging by the titles alone, you can tell what THIS thinking man was choosing on a regular basis... hmm?

Nitro's cast of characters appealed to me particularly for its clear Biblical undertones and abundant references... the New World Order run roughshod over the good guys... but were met with stiff resistance coming from the Four Horsemen! As also a certain loner called Sting (no - not even remotely inspired by the singer - rather, around that time, he was mimicking the Crow for some reason...!?!)... Sting happens to be one of the few openly CHRISTIAN wrestlers out there too... Still, his goody-two-shoes stigma remained, no matter how grim and untalkative he acted... My clear-cut favorites remained the Horsemen, who had alternated between "heel" status (villains) and "faces" status (good guys) - in wrestling jargon, obviously... Hence, they were more believable whatever role they played! And to this day I will remember that moment when recently retired, due to injury to his vertebra, Horseman veteran Arn Anderson was actually back in the ring, pummeling the enemy (who was forbidden to retaliate - Arn being in no condition to take any bumps!)... all of this side-by-side with his "cousin" and longtime ally, Ric Flair! They each took a corner of the ring where they each beat down on the hapless villainous competition - the camera panned backwards for an ensemble shot of the, truly, historical as also quite moving moment - for everyone knew it was a one-time event. But things were, for that fleeting moment, once again as they simply should be in the "wrestling universe" as Flair would say... Alas, Arn would never wrestle again - and Ric was already in the twilight of his stellar career. THAT was GRAND... especially since the staged scene displayed quite unequivocally good triumphing over -not to mention beating the tar out of- evil...! Always nice to see... but rarely made clear on the WWE product at the same time...

The WWE is the sole product of its genre now, on Monday nights... And though they have toned down a bit, for lack of competition makes it unnecessary to push the envelope, they are still quite tasteless at times... Hard to break a habit - after all, they have had it all already, pretty much... From matches pitting sons and daughters against their own father to "HLA" to even what appears to have been an octogenarian woman going topless on pay-per-view... in a New York arena that, even if it is in New York, still gasped in shock when THAT happened...! Sports entertainment it is... sure...

As if they had not enough flaws, they made another one apparent all over again ON THIS VERY NIGHT - they are quite repetitious! Back in 1994 and 1995, they had Canadian Bret the so-called Hitman Hart play the part of an Anti-American foreigner who would, with his trademark monotonous tone of voice, bash all the traits of American culture he disliked... concluding even once that the whole country was shaped like a toilet on the map...!!! (And if Italy is the boot... which country would be the kitchen sink I wonder...? Where dirty dishes are washed... if not dirty laundry... ;). Alas for him, his acting talent was poor - and Canadians, overall, are a boring lot... not much storyline potential there, so... he was let go, came to WCW and promptly ruined it. Nice trojan horse work, Vince...!

Nowadays though, the McMahons' writing staff is capitalizing on the war on the most abstract of all concepts - terror - to stir up the fans' emotions... and rake in the dough. So in came an Arab-American wrestler, Muhammad Assan, to bash Americana and speak up for the Arab-Americans who have suffered backlash of any kind for the tragic events of 9/11... When stuff like "rasslin" reaches out into REALITY... there must be something wrong out there somewhere...! Of course what they can do with it is very limited - basically no more than a rehash of what the Hitman did back in the day when the hitless, witless wrestling wonder was top dog in some people's eyes... Still, even though this "Assan" is no great thespian (it should have been "Hassan" by the way - but they couldn't resist and influence, subliminally, the fans by removing the "H"... As if the fans couldn't tell who the "heel" was anymore... well, the lines having been so blurred over the years, maybe they cannot anymore indeed...!!! But I'm digressing again here...) - the mere fact that this storyline reaches out and touches reality makes it very compelling television indeed... Every bit as good -well, almost- as the scaled-down (waaaaaay scaled-down) armageddon that beset WCW when the NWO was "taking over"... And way better than old gimmicks such as the "bad russian" (not a commie - just a russian!) of which there were so many in the past (Nikolai Volkoff... Nikita Koloff... both of whom are devout CHRISTIANS in reality... what a coincidence...!!!) and other "evil foreigners" such as the Iron Sheik... of course! They were all comical in comparison with Muhammad Assan - who acts his part very well - walking that fine line and never crossing it - being a controversial loudmouth but not being terrorist material one bit... Quite a feat!

Still... the former fan in me misses the wrestling of old... :(

Comments:
Not everyone is as tactful as luminous me in their criticism of good ol' Vinnie Mac... Take for instance what one self-proclaimed "World Champion" message board poster dared put up, in no uncertain terms (though censored here by yours truly...)

The champ denunciator's name is Tap2Squidward, by the way... A nom-de-plume, you think...? Lest it is called nowadays... a nom-de-clavier...!!! (LOL)...



F*** Vince McMahon!!! (read on for explanation)
#5021013 - 12/23/04 02:18 AM

So after a long time trying to find it, i tracked down the controversial HBO real sports piece that got Roddy Piper fired about pro wrestling deaths. Piper's comments were real and true, they were sagelike advice from someone who's been involved in the grimiest aspects of the business, one of the dirtiest careers of all time, and he didn't pull punches but he didn't exempt himself. Listen to what Vince McMahon has to say...


Vince: It was more of a wild west show back in the 80s...no doubt about that...and i think that in terms of illegal drug usage, in terms of cocaine, there was quite a bit of that..that went on, again, i dont throw any stones, i was part of that whole scene myself

Interviewer: In retrospect, how much of that do you attribute that lifestyle in the 80s to the deaths were seeing today and have seen since 97

Vince: *stuttering and stammering* I...I...think that that life style...uh...back in the 80s, could be partially attributed to how people are acting today....again, most of us, the smart ones obviously...grew up, and grew out of those habits. But certainly in all the entertainment business...it was the wild west...a lot of individuals unfortunately passed away because of that.

Interviewer: Do you have a reason why these people would be dying under the age of 45?

Vince: *with disdain, scornful look* Why dont you ask yourself that question? Are you indicating that's my responsibility? That these people are dead?

Interviewer *matter of factly and with much tact for the question*: I'm asking you if it in any way, shape, or form, falls on your shoulders.

Vince: I would accept no responsibility whatsoever for their untimely deaths, none, whatsoever And you've got that look on your face, like, geeez...Vince...

Interviewer *interrupting the stream of bullshit*: None, whatsoever? They wrestled for you! They were part of your organization, they worked a couple hundred nights a year for you.

*Vince starts doing this trash talk face, reaches across and slaps the notes out of the interviewers hands throwing an infantile tantrum at the perfectly reasonable question*

You can't believe? Can you see that look, how can you possibly say that Vince...blah blah blah

And then he goes on pawning it off on other organizations

....

Vince: I'm not responsible for the way the business WAS then, i'm not responsible for the way they grew up in the business, and whatever personal bad habits they developed..

Interviewer: You ran the organization.

Vince: I didn't run the only organization

Interviewer: You ran the biggest organization

Vince: I don't think we were the biggest at that time quite frankly....


What an awful, sick, sad, disgusting human being he is. This sick piece of s*** is headed straight to hell when he dies, and I hope he goes as early as all the men he doesn't care about or feel for from all the steroids and coke and painkillers he's pumped into his worthless body. I can't believe I've shelled out money for this awful piece of s***'s product for all these years. He means to tell me he has no blame whatsoever for a long time loyal company man beloved by the fans falling 80 feet from the rafters to his death on national pay per view? He has no responsibility for when an employee he fires chokes to death on his own vomit after overdosing on booze and painkillers at the home of a current employee while that employee is out on the road and then not even mentioning it on TV? He has no responsibility for being tantamount to a drug dealer in the 1980s and fostering the lifestyle that killed The British Bulldog, Mr. Perfect, and Rick Rude?

How does this awful human being sleep at night? These people were his friends, they were his loyal employees, he feels no responsibility, no weight, nothing for ALL this death, something like 80 in the last 8 years most of which worked for his organization? There's a line between protecting your company's stock and being a sick, sad, twisted, awful person.

I tell you one thing, if Vince McMahon dropped dead tomorrow I'd feel about as much remorse as he does over Brian Pillman, Louie Spiccoli, Rick Rude, Owen Hart, Gorilla Monsoon, Yokozuna, Terry Gordy, Rhonda Singh, Russ Haas, British Bulldog, Rocco Rock, Curt Hennig, Elizabeth Heulette, Road Warrior Hawk, Moondog Spot, The Wall, Hercules Hernandez, and The Big Bossman. Just awful awful stuff that I wish I had never heard.

--------------------
HAPPY OPPOSITE DAY!



God - I love to shed the light on things...!!! :)
 
Beyond the tragedy of their untimely passing, it is quite deplorable that once living, breathing human beings are only remembered now in most people's minds by names such as "British Bulldog" or "The Wall" or "Road Warrior Hawk" or "Moondog Spot" or "The Big Bossman" or "Yokozuna" or "Gorilla Monsoon"...

The price to pay to be famous is a hefty, dehumanizing one...
 
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