Bank details, telephone calls, computer files, and what happens in the toilet. These things, just to name a few, are extremely personal. Things we would rather keep secret, keep ‘under wraps’, keep safe…keep personal. And rightly so.
Therefore the question of ‘right’ and ‘what is acceptable’ must be at the forefront of our minds when considering breaching such veils of personal identity. Yet in this day and age the ability to ‘hack’, ‘peer’ and ‘pry’ into the lives and specifics of a person’s existence has become a hugely proliferated occurrence. And in 2005 the Internet is the most widely used medium for such activity. And for what reason? To make some money on the sly; to expose someone’s habits; to reveal a liar, a cheater or a thief; or merely to bombard them with junk mail? All of these things you might think, and you would be right.
Yet what’s most disturbing is the (increasing) business of revealing people’s sexual exploits and relationship dynamics.
Step forward Matt Hardy, Amy Dumas (Lita) and Adam Copeland (Edge).
Here we have a love triangle that has somehow not only become the talking point of the IWC of late, and not only has it led to the flooding of ‘sex tapes’ onto file-sharing programmes all over the Internet…but it is now the basis of a wrestling storyline.
Now I no way condone what (seemingly) Edge has done and continued to do while Hardy and Lita were ‘together’, but at the same time I have as much distain for the people who have decided it should be common knowledge. Why should I know? I shouldn’t. Because I happen to be a WWE fan doesn’t suddenly give me an innate right to know everything about the lives and sexual activities of its performers. And being a member of the IWC doesn’t mean that I should be allowed to know such information. Where the IWC excels in providing a place for opinionated and (for the most part) very intelligent wrestling enthusiasts, it should be criticised for its insistence in publishing ‘filth’ about the lives of those characters we should only be judging for their on-screen pursuits. The publishing of spoilers is perfectly understandable, as is the talk about backstage manoeuvring, because they add a useful and constructive element to wrestling discussions. Personal details like: who has slept with who, and who is arguing with who in the bedroom, make for scandalous postings that neither better nor advance our understanding or love of the world of professional wrestling.
When things are that personal I say leave it that way. When feelings are involved let them be felt by those involved in the situation. If discussions are required then let them be had by those requiring them. I feel sorry for all three of these wrestlers as their work on-screen is evidently becoming influenced by the knowledgeable ones amongst us. Whilst the Edge/Lita fiasco has been brought onto RAW it has nothing to do with a certain Matt Hardy (as far as the actual storyline goes). It is solely as a result of Lita turning her back on Kane for another man. It mirrors real life I know. But it doesn’t have anything to do with the Matt Hardy character. Therefore when smarks chant ‘you screwed Matt’ or ‘Edge speared Lita’ they are losing sight of the product and allowing their judgement to become clouded by IWC propaganda.
I argue that revealing this real life love triangle is to the detriment of wrestling, and the WWE specifically. For one, it has influenced the fans in a non product-orientated way. For two, it has wrongfully invaded the lives of 3 people who are essentially our idols in TV land. For thre,e and maybe most importantly, but definitely more worryingly, we have been lumbered with this Edge and Lita couple storyline on RAW. Now don’t get me started on next week’s wedding. Over the years, we as WWE fans, have no doubt been treated to more on-screen wrestling ‘weddings’ than Edge has been treated to locker-room quickies with Lita.
I guess it goes to show that society today is addicted to knowing about others. I think it helps them forget about their lives for a moment and lets them revel in the misfortunes of these chastised stars. How many people are cheated on a year? Probably too many to count, but thankfully they are not posted up on a website along with promises of pictures and nude sex tapes for all to see. And rightfully so. It’s personal information that should stay that way. People fall in and out of love quicker than a hardcore title reign lasted in the 24/7 rule days, because it’s natural. What happened to Lita (by falling out of love with Matt) was natural. Cheating is contemptible and we all have had our say over Edge’s motives, yet the ‘publicness’ of their situation must cause excess strain on the situation. All three will have this follow them for the rest of their careers. Fact. Matt is always going to get sympathy and will never stop hearing the fans act in such a way. Lita and Edge are playing the heel role very well yet have to do so with the added pressure of taking their personal life out into the arena each and every night of the year. However, they are being booed for exploiting Matt, not for overcoming Kane. They are getting jeered wherever they go, whatever their opponent and if you take that as read then you must appreciate that the role of their opponent becomes irrelevant. My worry is that whoever enters into an angle with Edge or Lita may suffer the problem of becoming overlooked by the fans as they continue to cheer for an Edge or Lita defeat (due to their wrong-doings off screen) rather than cheering for the opponent’s victory.
I suppose this scenario also goes to show the increasingly mainstream popularity of the WWE (as also exemplified by the Diva Contest and the acting roles acquired by The Rock and the likes). Simultaneously it highlights the growing interest and participation in the IWC. In 2005 alone we have been enlightened on the sexual adventures of Chyna/X-Pac and Hardy/Lita/Edge, so it begs the question that Goldberg always liked to pose: ‘Who’s next?’ Are we soon going to get Haas and Miss Jackie nude photos or Dawn Marie and Simon Diamond lewd videos? I dread to think to be honest.
The old adage of ‘life imitates art and art imitates life’ seems to be very applicable here, as in such a way we learnt about Paris Hilton’s exploits and we heard about Pamela Anderson’s public displays, it was only a matter of time until the once ‘protected’ form of entertainment joined the ‘real world’. With the IWC in full swing, the world of professional wrestling will never be the way it once was. For better or for worse though it is here to stay and McMahon knows it. We were heard when we requested ECW, we were listened to when we wanted ‘One More Match’ from Hogan, but sometimes we are not heard…and for GOOD reasons. Chanting ‘We Want Matt’ might seem a good idea now, but it’s not helping the WWE, its not helping the on-screen product, and its not helping the wrestlers involved. Even this past Sunday night at ECW’s One Night Stand, Eddie and Benoit had to wrestle through Edge taunts. So lets get back to playing our part of the ‘audience’ not one of ‘judge and jury’.
Getting personal is one thing. Making it public is another.
They say you should never judge a book by its cover, yet wrestling was built on that premise. We are supposed to take what we get for granted and judge the ‘faces’ or ‘heels’ accordingly. Yet today we find a new professional wrestling. One infiltrated by truth and revelation. One that is no longer protected by kayfabe or ‘hush-hush’ backstaging.
Things change. People change. And in interesting ways.
And so evidently we realise that ‘getting personal’ is one major cause of these changes in the world of professional wrestling.
Got any comments or opinions to share on this subject? Just drop me an email to DoubleAReport@yahoo.com or just leave me some feedback where you’re reading this, and I will always get back to you.
Many thanks for taking the time to read this column,
Take care until next time,