The Hot Topic: God Inc…or Is WWE Losing The Plot?

Rob Taylor


Welcome back to THT…Where it belongs, on the main site… For those who missed their fix, you can always head over to the Columns Lounge and catch up..

The Greatest…WWE Tag Team Champs was one of my most heavly discussed columns ever, thank you all for your comments, views and disagreements….thats what “The Greatest” series is meant to do!!! However, it is going on a little break for a while, there are more pressing issues to talk about, but first…as always we delve into the perceptions of Robbie T. on recent happenings…

Batista looked damn good on RAW this week, his mic skills have improved and his “laughing” gimmick could really take off…a guy so big, so dominant that he can laugh and joke about wrecking peoples careers… It’s different…

Christian is also in line for big things, I doubt he will move in the Draft, others will to “clear space” for him to move into the main event. The “Captain Charisma” gimmick is improving every week, and his interaction with Flair showed he could match “The Man”… It’s good to be Christian right now methinks!!

On the flipside, Chris Jericho is rumored to be having “issues” ala Rob Van Dam… He’s not sure if he wants to resign for 5 more years of not being used right… WWE won’t want to push him till he did… Does this smell like Jericho is gonna have a major role in the ECW PPV or what?

I was gutted to hear about the untimely death of Chris Candido for many reasons…It shocked me as much as when I first heard of Brian Pillman’s death… First off, he went in for Surgery on an injury, and days later…he is dead…cos of it… As someone with some surgery to have done it’s a bloody scary thought…that he basically paid for his own death… More importantly though, he was a great wrestler and more deserving of “future legend” status than some of Vince’s “picks”… Sure the guy had issues with b Drugs, we all know that…but he pulled out of it…He lost his relationship with Tammy “Sunny” Sytch to drugs, but he regained not only clarity but credibility in his chosen profession. Just a week ago, he was on the TNA PPV, later still causing a major title change on Impact…then dead… it is sensless to the nth degree…

Onto this weeks main topic, and it follows on from a column posted by our newest Wannabe winner and WZ columnist, Joe Pritchett…he wrote about the role of religion in wrestling, and now we have Backlash, headlined by the team I am now, albiet cheekily calling “God Inc”… Hulk Hogan and HBK…

Hogan’s return was arguably decided as a result of the reaction on the night to his Hall of Fame induction and run in at Wrestlemania… Hulk once more got hooked on the cheers…but there was a problem, “The Immortal” Hulk…ain’t quite so immortal anymore… It’s clear he has had hip surgery, he is not using the most famed move he has… the Legdrop…indeed Hulk physically could be described as “drifting onto the shore”… but the reaction to him needed a response but WWE has a tricky dilemma…

Imagine the meeting between Vince and Hogan… Hogan says he’ll do one more match/run/title reign… Vince says ” ok…but it needs to be a tag team…but we can’t put you with anyone who will “show you up” in the ring… we need someone who can still go, but is also slowing down… Ric Flair fits the bill…but he is heel…Undertaker, he’s on Smackdown…I want you on the early RAWS of our new TV deal…and you hate each other…I know…Shawn Michaels… you guys are both religious, so you have a “bond” and it’s not quite a dream team, but it works”

Of course it probably didn’t happen that way… but the result is a team who on the surface have just one thing in common…their love of their maker… there are many who would feel this match is a good idea, and those…like me who would not…

Let’s be real for a moment, I have no problem with either man expressing their religions either in character or not, I choose not to follow any god… I don’t think less of those who do…but there is a level of hypocrisy about this match at Backlash that is hard to stomach for someone like myself…

One one side you have Hogan and HBK…They are facing two opponents who follow a different maker…or at least one with a different name…on that basis, WWE has chosen to market them as “the bad guys”. This is a dangerous ploy to take, but one WWE is fond of, it was proud to make “USA v Iraq” the headline match of a Wrestlemania, why would it shirk for God v Allah?

Sure they are not directly pitching it as a religious war, but the implication is there… that Hassan and Daivari are being called villains, heinous, even before they act.. and Hogan and HBK are treated as saintly… Let’s remember, Hogan is the man who not only lied to his fans over steriods, but crushed them by turning heel for ratings… HBK is a major player in arguably the most dastardly deed to take place in the business… yet he is on video in Wrestling With Shadows saying “My hands are clean on this one, Swear to God”…

But..cos WWE can write it’s own history…and always does…we are meant to cheer them this Sunday…Hassan and Daivari have not used religion in their characters as such yet, more their cultures… They have a lesser blame for the train wreck this could become cos they are new…they probably have no choice whatsoever… While they have not actively promoted this as a “Holy War” the implication is there…

Why is WWE taking this tack for the first PPV of it’s supposed new era? ratings… they have just signed to a new TV deal, they need bums on seats watching PPV’s and RAW and Smackdown, God Inc vs Hassan and Daivari will deliver that, especially if the heels pull out a win… If that occurs, expect this “feud” to become a war, with WWE actively marketing it as such… The match will stir up debate, cos people like me will find it a little distateful…WWE loves distasteful cos people watch…remember Katie Vick? you watched!!!

To me the hypocrisy is more in what WWE hasn’t done with this Hogan return, he came back…to help Eugene… admittedly he is still injured, but at no point did Hogan interact or pose with Eugene, that would arguably have done more good to people, especially those with disabilities, the kind of people Hogan has done so much charity work for.. Why, cos someone in Hogan’s camp likely said it would look bad to be seen with a guy “acting” disabled…but it must be OK to fight Arab Americans…

I really hope Hassan and Daivari win this match, it would be a signal that WWE is not returning the it’s bad old ways of using the lowest common denominator to power it’s shows… It’s too predictable, too jingoistic and too much for Hogan and HBK to just roll over them… The danger if that happens is that WWE loses the credibility the last few years have built, and potentially damages the business beyond repair.

There could be a method to this though, one that many of you will suddenly say…”Rob…shut up…” There is one man who WWE want, and have never been able to have… a man who has refused to be a part of what WWE puts out cos of his beliefs…now WWE has 2 guys openly fighting for smilar beliefs…could we see God Inc become a stable including Sting? Hey…it could happen…

Am I being cynical in my view of this match? Am I right? I must stress I am neither advocating nor dissing any religion or beliefs… I 100% back eveyones right to believe what ever they like and to practice those beliefs, but I don’t need to see it in my wrestling or be told “this guy good…this guy bad” on that kind of basis…even if it is just a guy sinking to his knees, it’s sending a dangerous message… Send me you feedback to robwilltaylor@hotmail.com… please don’t send mails about religion per se, cos I won’t get into the discussion, but your thoughts on it’s role in this match and wrestling in general are more than welcomed…

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