So much going on, so little room in one weekly column.
This week in PnP I have decided to hit on a couple of topics in the WWE world, just because I canâ<80><99>t keep my big mouth shut long enough to cover one and wait until next week.
Lately weâ<80><99>ve been seeing several updates indicating that wrestlers, past and present, are getting letters putting them on notice that they may be called to appear before a Congressional hearing (or something along those lines), most likely in regards to steroid use.
We all know what this stems from. Calls for action rose up in the wake of the tragic loss of one of my personal favorites, Chris Benoit, and his family. God knows we were all shocked by what happened, and our memories of a great Superstar – no matter how much we try to â<80><9c>remember the good times,â<80> – have been forever tainted.
But we also know now that itâ<80><99>s more likely that his actions were the result of brain damage caused by repeated concussions, not â<80><9c>roid rageâ<80> as many were shouting in the wake of the tragedy.
Congress still appears to be on course to look into the sports entertainment business, however, and Iâ<80><99>m sure the wisdom and intelligence of our elected officials will provide much-needed corrective guidance, making the sports entertainment world a better, safer and happier place for all involved.
And as Wayne would say: â<80><9c>Shya, and monkeys might fly outta my butt.â<80> (If you need more explanation on that one, forget it!)
This world and our country have plenty of serious issues that need attention from our legislators. War, hunger, poverty, health care – you know, the mainstays that have been around for generations and are never solved? Yet they seem to have the time to stick their noses into the goings-on of private businesses, as well as do other important things like harm relations with an important NATO ally by bringing up near-century-old history.
Itâ<80><99>s against the law to abuse any prescription meds, including steroids. The wrestlers know this. The WWE and other companies know this, and it appears that â<80><9c>wellness policiesâ<80> are taking a more serious role (from the outside looking in, of course). This is a matter best left to the companies to deal with and, if they fail, for the authorities and the courts.
Itâ<80><99>s time for Congress to quit sticking its nose where it doesnâ<80><99>t belong and get back to the more serious business involved in running our country.
Break the Walls Down
Iâ<80><99>d be lying if I said I wasnâ<80><99>t amongst the fans excited by the possibility of Chris Jericho returning to the ring. The thought of his charismatic character, face or heel, being back on television really gets the blood pumping at a time when good characters are scarce.
I opined last week that WWE needed men like Ric Flair, who I still hope will work things out with the company and get another good push before retiring. Men like these are not only blessed with good ring skills, but can entertain you with their promos and actions as well. Jericho is just such a character.
When it comes to mic skills, Flair is the man against who I measure all others. No one could play the crowd or cut promos like the â<80><9c>dirtiest player in the game.â<80> But Y2J definitely has the gift, and seeing him back would be a blessing.
If the Matrix-style promos are indeed for him, then the last one indicated that we wonâ<80><99>t have much longer to wait. The most recent promo, labeled SAVE_US.229, concluded with the words UPON_US.
Did someone reset the Millennium Clock?
THE PUNCHING BAG
Itâ<80><99>s your turn again! This is where, each week, youâ<80><99>ll find e-mails and feedback from wrestling fans on my Takes and opinions. You’re welcome to send yours, good or bad, to email@example.com. But be warned – the WWE isn’t the only ones I won’t pull punches for!
What did you mean by â<80><9c>No matter what you feel about him (unless you’re from Canada, most love him)â<80> about shawn michaels returning? did u mean that Canadian people don’t like him cause I do and all of my friends do and we’re Canadian so if you can tell me what you meant by that comment I would appreciate that.
It appears as though youâ<80><99>ve taken a light-hearted joke a bit personal, Andrew. Iâ<80><99>m not sure how old you are, but if you recall for many years after the infamous â<80><9c>Montreal Screw Jobâ<80> Shawn Michaels was not well received in Canadian venues and was even booed on many occasions. Michaels did his part to play up the rivalry of U.S. vs. Canada as well. If I recall correctly, before the match that is now history, Michaels wiped his crotch with the Canadian flag, wiped his brow with it, acted like he was humping it and even picked his nose with it. The comment was in reference to that, but I do acknowledge that most Canadians have been forgiving in recent years.
First off, love the column. Good job. I totally agree with you about the Hardy/Kennedy match. One thing you left out about RAW: your take on Lillian? Yes, she’s nice to look at, but was her performance really necessary? I’d rather have seen more Hornswoggle if they needed filler material. I don’t know, I just wish they would have used that space for another match. What’s your take?
Well Gary, I know your letter was after the 10/8 episode of Raw. If you watched this weekâ<80><99>s episode Iâ<80><99>m sure your opinion on filling Lillianâ<80><99>s concert time with more Hornswoggle may have changed. (If you missed it, check out Sean Oâ<80><99>Macâ<80><99>s Take on Raw in the headlines section.)
Hey Sean, Great column buddy…question…what is the status of Ricky Steamboat? From what I understand, he lost the rights to his stage name to his wife for a while, and in the past year regained use of it. I would give my left toe for Flair to end his career w/ a last tangle w/ “The Dragon!” The last time I saw him, Steamer was lookin’ kinda heavy, but as long as his back’s good, I’ll bet these two would still be able to show the young roster how to work a crowd. Man, I could just imagine it…Wrestlemania…Flair on the mic talkin’ smack about how no one can compare to his legacy (which is true) and how he’s owned everyone, blah blah blah and we get Alan Parson’s “Eye in the Sky” extended intro….EEEEEEEK! I’d be screamin’ like a woman!
Thanks for the props, Mark. I, too, am a big fan of Steamboat’s work and still remember just about every moment of his legendary match against Randy Savage. In regards to your questions, however, I say this. My grandfather used to have a saying: “Dazzle them with brilliance and baffle them with bulls**t.” While that works great for job interviews, I won’t do that here and must admit I don’t have the answers you’re looking for. Being the journalist that I am, however, I have decided to seek answers straight from the horse’s mouth rather than fill the space here with research based on second-hand information. Rick is currently with the WWE touring in Europe, but I’m hoping to have an audience with him upon his return. Check back here next week and I’ll let you know if I’ve had any luck!
Hey is it just me or is the current WWE Championship belt spinning or not the most ugliest belt in WWE/F history? Don’t get me wrong it suited John Cena as much as the Smoking Skulls belt suited The Rattlesnake but they should have a new belt since Cena isn’t champ, or at least use the old one like they did when he lost that god awful spinning U.S. Championship belt.
The current WWE Championship belt was definitely suited to Cena’s style, but it appears that the design may be here to stay at least for the foreseeable future. I would imagine that if the contrary were true, we would have seen a different belt when VKM uncovered it to present it to Randy Orton at No Mercy. My opinion? Well, I’m not much of a fan of the old belt myself and think that the World Heavyweight Championship belt just oozes more importance when you look at it. There’s a lot of history behind that belt and, to be honest, I just like it better. Sue me.
Hey Sean, let me say keep up the good work on the Punching Bag and re-cap columns (they are both great reads).
Bill, there are always possibilities – it just depends on the writers putting together a successful storyline to bring them up. Otherwise, the fans just won’t buy it. There are many examples of success in doing so, however. As for the current “mid-card mainstays,” there are a few of them I can see as having main-event potential.
Just wanted to throw my two cents in on the saveus_222 promos:
Jim, it’s anyone’s guess at this point what all that jibberish means. We all make observations, build theories, but we will know the truth soon enough as indicated by the most recent SAVE_US.229 promo – it’s UPON_US.
I agree with the Rhodes and Holly match i thought it was the most exciting match of the night.
Yep, it was a good one. Rhodes is improving, and I think Holly is the right match for him right now when it comes to having a veteran bring him along.
That was a real good take props for that one and what happened to HHH?? Did he appear or what?
No sign of HHH at the last Raw. They played up his injuries pretty big on the previous episode, so perhaps he had something else to do other than go to England. To be honest, I haven’t even checked to see if he traveled with the group or not. Thanks for the props!
Until next week fans, remember: Superplexing your best friend off the roof onto a table is not a recommended way to spend your weekend.
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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