Sean O’Mac: Pullin’ No Punches – Candice Michelle Backlash


Well fans, I’ve been with Wrestle Zone nearly a month now and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s honestly fun to help cover a topic I enjoy, that being the world of the WWE. It’s also rather enjoyable walking a thin grey line, so to speak.

That line is one that actual journalists, such as myself, usually don’t cross. We report facts and, in the newspaper world, keep our opinions to ourselves no matter how passionate we might be about a topic. Fortunately, that’s not what I was brought to this site to do.

With my Takes on Raw, Smackdown! and pay-per-view events you get the best of both worlds: Factual reporting of what happened during that evening’s show as well as an opinionated review of the storylines and performances. Then, here in PnP, I get to wax editorially about various topics.

Thus far, I’ve had the pleasure of getting a large quantity of e-mails telling me how much you enjoy my musings. They are greatly appreciated, but write opinions long enough and you’re bound to stir the pot eventually. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way – if everyone thinks you’re great all the time and never disagrees with you, where’s the fun in that?

Well, consider the pot stirred.

I wrote quite a bit on the injury to Candice Michelle in my Take on Raw on Monday and it’s definitely brought some reaction from you the fans. A couple of fans wrote to point out what they felt were errors in my opinion, writing intelligently and with some research to back it up. Civil. I can respect that.

Another – well, not so civil. I like that too.

Because of the depth of this topic, I have chosen to dedicate my weekly PnP column solely to The Punching Bag. But don’t worry, you’ll get another dose of Pullin’ no Punches soon.

That being said, let’s dive in! *Sean licks his chops*


before you go calling something stupid etcetc.get your info correct, beth phoenix pulled candice michelle out into the middle of the ring because she was told to do so by ref mike chiota…..the audio was very clear, and it was extremely easy to hear him doing so……the words “easy, easy ” can also be heard very clearly. so before you go calling a move or a situation one of the truly stupidest of the night, get your facts straight. she was doing what she was told to do, as a rookie, by the head ref in wwe. the only thing that looks stupid right now is your comment and take on a situation you clearly arent fully informed about.

– steve r.

p.s. she didn’t pull her out to the middle of the ring by her hair……she pulled her out by her arms………….now you’ve approached idiot status….you “columnists ” crack me up….you think you know everything, and for the most part turn out to be wrong and only end up making stupid, uninformed statements like the ones you made…………

Hi, Steve. Nice to meet you too. Nice punctuation and sentence structure.

You’re right on one thing. Phoenix was told “Pull her out and cover her” by Chiota. He did also say, “Easy, easy,” – as Candice’s head was being dropped to the mat. Watch it again, Steve. Phoenix, while she did have a hold on one of Michelle’s arms, also had a hand full of her hair – so I guess I’m not quite up to idiot status after all. Do I get a consolation prize?

First of all, I don’t think, nor have I ever claimed, to know everything. But, as it pertains to injuries, unless you are a doctor, chiropractor or have been in emergency services for at least a decade – I can pretty much guarantee I know more than you.

Michelle had fallen in a way and was showing symptoms that most certainly pointed toward a concussion, and what could also have been a very serious neck injury. I have treated more trauma victims, whether it be from falls, car wrecks, etc., than I can count as a volunteer firefighter so the one thing I can speak with authority on is how to treat a patient who may have these injuries.

I will admit, I wasn’t recording this episode and wasn’t able to review the whole scene until just before writing this. But the only thing that has changed in my opinion on the matter is shifting the blame from Beth Phoenix to Mike Chiota. Candice should not have been moved at all, yet alone in the manner in which she was moved. The pin could have been made where she laid.

While I can admit that I was perhaps wrong in where I cast blame for what I still maintain was the stupidest move of the night, I feel safe that I’m probably more informed than you are in regards to the most important point of the matter: How to react to a victim of a possible neck or spinal injury.

Unless, of course, you can spout off the five regions of the spine from top down off the top of your head?

And now for a more intelligent e-mail:

Hey, I read your review of last night’s Raw, and as usual, it was right on – for the record, however I have to point out a detail that you didn’t catch when Beth pulled Candice’s “hair” after her spill.

Immediately after the botch, Beth looked a little confused- maybe feeling out how hurt Candice was- if you notice she grabbed Candice’s hair, but for a second or two doesn’t do anything- this was a cue to Candice to reach up and grab Beth’s wrist or hand at the point of the hair pull- it’s an old trick- you hold their hair, while your victim holds you- your victim has a good grip, and you can literally swing them around, really yank on them, without actually pulling their hair- Candice didn’t seem to be responding for the stunt- at which point you see Beth reach down and get a good grip on Candice’s wrist, which she uses to put all of the pull on while still appearing to be dragging her by her hair.

We went back and watched this closely last night, and it looks like Candice’s arm is actually getting the pull. I know it looks brutal, but it’s supposed to. Beth has been doing this for a while, and my own experience in stage combat and stunt work for low budget productions leads me to believe that she was using this age old technique to keep face and put an evil finish on the match. Go back and check it out yourself.

Now considering how Candice fell, being moved at all might have been a bad idea, but I would be suprised if she didn’t give some kind of cue to Beth to close out the match…. maybe to save face or keep the show going…. I mean, usually they end the match and get the EMT’s out skipping a pinfall- and Beth was clearly taken aback for a brief moment.

As far as do’s and don’ts in wrestling- DO STAY in character, and DO MAKE SURE to cover up as much as you can with a well executed illusion if circumstances permit. Beth looks evil as ever- but the performer didn’t (I think) really do anything wrong…… If my theory is correct- I beleive it is to Beth’s credit as a performer…. what an evil bitch of a villain!

At least, that’s our opinion.

Keep the good stuff coming – we’re reading.

P E A C E,

– Austin

First, I appreciate the kudos. Glad you’re reading. I also appreciate the input, even when presenting a counterpoint to my own Takes and opinions, especially when done intelligently.

You offer some great points and, as you recommended (actually before you recommended) I did review the scene several times before diving into my responses today. As I stated in my response to Steve, the only thing that has fully shifted in my opinion is where to lay blame for a stupid move.

Phoenix did grab a hand full of hair and, after a moment, also grabbed Michelle by the wrist to move her to the middle of the ring and make the pin. She was told to move her by referee Mike Chiota. He should have told her to make the pin right there if he wasn’t going to stop the match immediately. (Which, by the way, you also smartly point out.)

As an emergency responder, it makes me wince to see a possible neck-injury victim have her head picked up by the hair, watch her being moved, and then having her head simply dropped to the mat. If Michelle had been unfortunate enough to injure her neck, that injury would have been magnified immensely by what happened.

My gut reaction after seeing what happened was to blame the performer and, if by some small chance Phoenix reads this, I can be man enough to offer an apology there. She did what she was supposed to do. Chiota, however, should have known better.

For the record: Although I don’t care too much for her promos at this point, I am a fan of Phoenix. I’m glad to see a true power performer in the women’s ranks and, in my opinion, she is also unbelievably hot.

hi mate,

I’ve just finished reading your take on Raw and I feel compelled to send you a quick note.

In your take it is worded in a fashion that almost blames Beth Phoenix for dragging Candice by her hair after the fall – however you can quite clearly hear the ref instruct Phoenix to ” Pull her out and cover her ” twice, after doing the usual check of squeezing her hand for a response. It was as Phoenix went for the pin the ref said “This is it” to obviously make sure she went through with the 3 count.

I’m guessing that in wrestling school the first rule of an injured comrade is to follow what the ref tells you at all times – and Phoenix did just that. If anyone made a “stupid moment” it was the ref.

I aren’t trying to jump all over your opinion, or pick fault with anything – your take on the show was very informative. I know you put the caveat of (Forgive me if I’m off with the exact wording.) however my guess is that if Phoenix was to read your opinion, she wouldn’t be too happy with how far from to truth it could potentially have been ( and she looks like a scary woman to miss with! )

An old and wise columnist once gave me some valuable advice; if your going to make a strong opinion make sure you have strong factual basis to back it up with.

Sorry to sound like a moaning / hair-splitting fan ! My intentions aren’t to wind you up or provoke a reaction, I just felt the need to contest on behalf of the Glamazon !


– Paul

Got it covered, Paul. Apologies made to the Glamazon, and blame shifted to Chiota.

I’m sorry buddy, but after reading your “take”, if you weren’t happy with the Raw main event this past week, then you are seriously one greedy wrestling fan. The match went fine, and the crowd was way into it, and I thought the wrestling was great. Also, for a Raw before a pay per view, I’m sure these guys weren’t looking to tear each other apart and possibly create another injury in today’s WWE. Just give these guys a little more credit, that’s all I ask.

– Powerhouse45

I give these guys a lot of credit. Shawn Michaels, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, Mr. Kennedy – these are some of the top stars in the business. They have, in my opinion, established a high bar of excellence in the ring as performers and I am a fan of each one.

That is also why their match last night ended up in The Downsiders. As I said in my Take, I’m sure none of the four were happy with the match when they left the ring. Obvious mistakes were made, and timing and chemistry seemed to be a problem at times.

That being said, there were definitely some good moments in the match and one off night in no way has an effect on my overall opinion of these Superstars.

But let’s face it, we are all human. We all make mistakes, have bad days. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t called to task when we have those bad days or make those mistakes. If I screw up on the job and typos or other mistakes get into print, you better believe I’ll hear about it from those higher on the food chain.

Perhaps I am being greedy. But if I am, it’s only because these men are excellent performers and have set the standard higher than most.

It is Shawn Michaels, and on WWE programming has always been spelled SHAWN not Sean, as you keep spelling it. If you’re gonna write an article on wrestling, get the spelling right at least. Or hire a fact checker.

– Scott L.

Speaking of being human. This was one of those “I know better” errors on my part, as I’m well aware his name is spelled Shawn, unlike mine, which is spelled Sean. I’ve caught myself in the past typing mine in place of his, but guess I missed it that time. Perhaps I’ll take a turn in The Downsiders as well.

Hey sean, Pulling No Punches is my favorite editorial so good job!! Two quick questions-1)How suprised were you when MVP ducked the senton that usually follows the 619. I don’t think I have ever seen anybody do that. 2) Do you think the WWE will realize that no matter how much talent they put on ECW, we won’t tune in because the have bastardized everything we knew and love.

thank you

– Michael

Thanks for reading, Michael. Glad you enjoy it.

I can’t say I was completely surprised by MVP’s dodging the Senton. I think that although he’s not quite ready yet, MVP is being groomed to eventually be a main-eventer who could get involved in World Heavyweight Championship storylines, so having him react better to some signature moves than most would be a good thing to help slowly build him up even further.

As far as ECW goes, when I first read your e-mail and devised my answer I would have said WWE realizes that this is a sinking ship. However, the news broke today that Sci Fi Channel has agreed to carry the show through 2008. Despite that, I still feel that it’s nowhere near what it used to be – the true spirit of ECW is long gone.

Hi, I live in Connecticut, home of the WWE. Today, 1 week before Cyber Sunday, a commercial aired on the History Channel (out of all Channels) for Cyber Sunday. In the commercial, everything was false advertising. John Cena Vs Randy Orton (you decide that kind of match); and Batista Vs Undertaker Vs Mark Henry Vs Great Khali (you decide the stipulation). This is extremely false advertisement, and why would that air one week before the PPV? I am sure WWE can update their advertisement.

– Joseph R.

Joseph, I do believe I saw that same commercial advertising a fatal four-way match for the World Heavyweight Championship. I can’t claim to be an expert on the advertising practices of the WWE, however, and have no idea why they wouldn’t have pulled those ads in favor of updated ones, especially on a nationally viewed channel.

I love reading your column but I can’t get to grips with the fact that ANYONE cares about the diva search. I always skip right past this as they are a bunch of wannabe’s who usually have no wrestling experience. Considering that this is World WRESTLING Entertainment, I think that just looking good isn’t good enough (this applies to some of the male wrestlers too). The problem right now is that WWE only put titles on those who look good and unfortunately the diva search is an extension of this. The reason I write this to you?

“- The people eliminated Taryn from the Diva Search. What were they smoking? ”

– Tom B.

Tom, to be honest I don’t really care much about the Diva Search. I just thought Taryn was one of the hottest ones on there.

Hey Sean, I just want to say that i love your takes on wrestlezone and you make a very good writer, i never write to editors but you put a lot of time and quality in your articles so i wanted to let you know that your work hasn’t gone unappreciated.

– Christian

Thanks, Christian. The compliments are appreciated.

On a side note, one thing that a journalist tries very hard to maintain is his or her credibility. Still, we get things wrong. If we didn’t, there would be no need for corrections in a newspaper (and we have them quite often.) I hope this edition has served to not only continue to express my opinion on a terrible situation while clearing up any inaccuracies I may have presented earlier.

I wish Beth Phoenix continued success in her career, and she certainly has a fan here. I also wish Candice Michelle a speedy recovery, and hope she’s ready to get right back to nipping at Phoenix’s heels in pursuit of the title belt soon.

Sean “O’Mac” McGuinney’s day job is as a newspaper editor. He has been a journalist for nearly 10 years and has covered everything from government to sports. The wrestling? Well, that’s just been enjoyed since he was a kid. Don’t ask how long ago that was.

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