COMMON STORY, SAD ENDING

WrestleZone

The death of independent "star" Steve Bradley after a history of drug abuse made me sad, especially for his family and friends. But the idea that he was a hidden gem that slipped through the cracks and wrongfully didn’t get his much-deserved break is a bit silly.

My favorite sports truism is, "What could have happened, did." Bradley got seen. He was under the WWE umbrella. It’s far-fetched to conclude that every mover and shaker that saw him was wrong, a bit more reasonable to think he just wasn’t good enough.

The saddest part of Bradley’s saga is that he just couldn’t move on from wrestling. He kept working and hoping, living a life of frustration while waiting for a break he had to know would never come.

Every independent fed has a guy like Bradley. In the Pittsburgh area, it used to be Lou Marconi, "Beef Stew Lou." Marconi was a very solid worker, cruiserweight-sized, good promos, average look.

Within the context of your typical indie show, a guy like that seems like Buddy Rogers. Everyone overrates him, so he overrates himself. His expectations rise, which means his hopes eventually plummet.

If memory serves, Marconi did some TV jobs for WWE and some house shows for ECW, but that was about as good as it got. I don’t know what Marconi is doing now, but I know it’s not wrestling and I know he’s not dead, so he did better than Bradley.

Sometimes you have to accept that you won’t live the dream. You have to settle. It sucks, definitely, but it beats dying.

You have no God-given right to live the dream. It certainly isn’t mentioned in the Constitution. Not everybody makes it, not in wrestling, not in movies, not on Broadway, not in music, not in any competitive profession. Most don’t, in fact. Suck it up and get a job. Steve Bradley failed in the business. The business did not fail him.

SOME ADVICE FOR KELLY KELLY

Kelly Kelly is way beyond hot. She can certainly do better than Kane. Well, maybe not. She once dated a chipmunk on steroids. Would it kill her if Kane nailed her? Come to think of it, it might.

Anyway, the next time she’s cornered in a small room by a hulking psychopath and rape seems inevitable (which is definitely what the viewer was supposed to think), she should consider one of the following:

*Ask the cameraman for help.

*Ask the director for help.

*Do a three-way with Kane and the director, with the cameraman filming it for release on DVD. It would sure beat that Mr. Kennedy flick, if not Candice Michelle’s chloroform and bondage videos.

*Scream. You’re in a packed arena. Thousands are within earshot.

*Look into the camera and yell for help. You’re on live TV.

Suspension of disbelief has always been necessary in wrestling, but the idea that the camera is everywhere can go too far.

When a brawl starts at the coffeepot (which is how almost every match was made during the final year of WCW), the camera doesn’t intrude, so its presence is believable. But when a woman is being sexually menaced and a felony seems imminent, the camera’s presence is compromised by lack of logical intervention.

How do you get around this? I don’t know. Maybe have a short snippet of what we saw on a "security camera," short enough that Kane could leave or Kelly could escape before the cops came. Maybe have Kelly run out of a room screaming, with Kane following, and she tearfully tells her story a bit later.

There’s just a better way. To not look for that better way is lazy, and your often illogical product deserves to be in a slump.

One alternative: Take the angle out of the arena. If Steve Austin had come to RAW looking for Brian Pillman and Pillman had pulled a gun, police would/should have been swarming. But having Pillman pull a gun on Austin when Austin invaded Pillman’s home was more believable, especially when Pillman had invited the camera crew. (Then again, why wasn’t anyone arrested later? It was on TV, after all. Maybe no cops or law-abiding citizens were watching.)

The Pillman-Austin gun angle wasn’t reality TV — or even good — but it was better than the drama between Kane and Kelly Kelly. Have a "security camera" witness Kane stalking Kelly Kelly at a mall. Security recognizes Kane and gives the tape to WWE. Kelly Kelly, at her wit’s end, tells her story. It’s like when DDMe stalked Undertaker’s wife, except this would have a chance of getting over because it wouldn’t involve DDMe.

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