Who Screwed Ara Abrahamian? Ara Abrahamian Screwed Ara Abrahamian

Scott Hudson

…and so it continues.

Swede Ara Abrahamian stormed from the Beijing podium Thursday night leaving his bronze medal in the 84kg Greco category in the center of the mat. He had to be restrained by teammates from physically attacking (and, probably, opening a number ten size can of whip ass on) the official who had ruled against him awarding his match to eventual gold-medalist Andrea Menguzzi of Italy. Through his rage, Abrahamian announced he was â<80><9c>done with wrestling.â<80>

Are you kidding me?! Is this all a build to â<80><9c>Summer Slam?â<80> I thought the Olympics were about fair play, international competition and â<80><9c>war without weapons.â<80> I had no idea Vince Russo booked Greco.

But that story (along with a fifth of Elijah Craig) got me to thinking – how much more popular would Olympic wrestling be if Russo or McMahon (or Watts or Gilbert or Graham or anybody) had booked it? This lunatic Abahamian has garnered the sport more publicity in the last two days than it has gotten in the last ten years. So, lets get booking, boys!

1. Alexander â<80><9c>The Experimentâ<80> Karelin – Good lord, this just books itself. A man…..or an animal? The emotionless, expressionless Russian who never lost, never was scored upon steamrolling over the hapless competition year after year – the absolute ultimate heel. The booking would have to be creative. He beat the best – repeatedly. Was he, as his named implied, an example of better grappling through chemistry? Was he the once in a lifetime talent that generations will look back on in awe? Was he just a Russian heel? Or was he all three? As Terry Taylor reminded me constantly – â<80><9c>ask the question. Let the viewer answer it.â<80> Karelin posed hundreds of questions. The person who dethroned the Lyinâ<80><99> King would have to be an unknown, unexpected, likeable, everyman but believable. Who could it be?

2. Rulon Gardner – Long after the stench of The Mighty Wilbur had worn from the sport, Gardner, a 29 year-old graduate of Brigham Young University of Idaho (seriously), won the gold medal in 130kg Greco at the 2000 Sidney games. Granted, defeating â<80><9c>the experimentâ<80> cemented his deserved place in wrestling history, but, frankly, the guy was about as interesting as either Brad or Bart Batten. Gardnerâ<80><99>s gimmick should have been as the lovable stumble-bum that is strong and tough but just a couple of pepperoniâ<80><99>s short of a Pâ<80><99>Zone. Think, â<80><9c>Modern Day Ding Dongâ<80> or The Shockmasterâ<80><99>s devolution into â<80><9c>Uncle Fred.â<80> The build-up to the match with the evil Russian â<80><9c>Experimentâ<80> would have drawn money (especially if we knew {wink wink} that Gardner was going to win beforehand.) Gardner, while still a respected Olympian of yore, has had the perfect pro wrestler retirement life: three divorces and a lost toe from exposure following a snowmobiling accident while managing a snack shop in Afton, Wyoming, and working as a â<80><9c>motivational speakerâ<80> (no doubt living in a van down by the river).

3. Jeff Blatnick – The literal illustration of the proverbial cliche â<80><9c>he qualified for the 1980 Olympic team but stayed home due to the boycott.â<80> And then – Hodgkinâ<80><99>s Lymphoma. Wow. The quintessential American babyface story. But then – redemption! The 1984 Los Angeles Games and a gold medal followed by a teary podium ceremony with the national anthem playing and thousands cheering this great hero. But wait – the Russians boycotted the 1984 games (Damn them!) So, was Blatnick really the best or does his gold medal performance come with an asterisk? When he fought â<80><9c>The Experimentâ<80> in 1987 he was rag dolled by the Russian but it was after Blatnickâ<80><99>s second bout with cancer. Its over 20 years later. Blatnick, 51, is a motivational speaker (living in a….ah forget it) and a high school wrestling assistant coach in New York. â<80><9c>The Experiment,â<80> now Dr. Karelin, is a 40 year-old member of the Russian equivalent to the House of Representatives. Dare we build up to masters level, fully-healthy rematch?

4. Chris Taylor – As an afficionado of both amateur and professional wrestling, I have long been of the opinion that this athlete was as much of a nothing ever to garner a milliliter of ink in this sport. Trust me, winning the NCAAâ<80><99>s at Iowa State and taking the bronze in Munich in 1972 are about as good as it gets but the man was 412 pounds. 412 pounds! He would not be allowed on the mat now unless he lost, oh, at least 120 pounds. So Taylor, who turned pro along with Ric Flair, should have been used in an Adorable Adrian Adonis role. Make him embrace his lack of conditioning – flaunt it. (Maybe without the flowers and pink rouge.) Then, Verne Gagne (or somebody), brings him into a training regimen. Lots of coaching, running, throwing around tree trunks and the like. Eventually, Taylor shrinks to about 280 pounds and becomes a monster in the ring. Would have worked, too, if he hadnâ<80><99>t died of fattness in 1979.

5. Kurt Angle – Donâ<80><99>t even try. He was booked perfectly. Still is.

So Ara Abrahamianâ<80><99>s promo this week in China is just the next step. Amateur wrestling has been building to something like this for a while. The storylines (cancer, chemistry, obesity, aloofness) have made the casual Olympic viewers take notice of this, the greatest sport. But this weekâ<80><99>s events pushed past the tipping point of no return.

Will amateur fans worldwide side with Abrahamian in thinking that the fix was in (by the way, where was Earl Hebner Thursday night? Iâ<80><99>m just sayinâ<80><99>) or will the embarrassing press this incident caused force viewers to forever associate the graceful athleticism of Greco-Roman wrestling with the lunacy of the Montreal screwjob? Thereâ<80><99>s only one way to find out – call your cable company or satellite provider!

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