I don’t want to minimize the effect that things like this have on children, but I just had to laugh as I was watching the video of the fight described above. The cameramen kept showing clips of embarrassed or perplexed parents throughout the arena that were holding their crying children in their arms. PLEASE! This looked like something that was out of a cheap movie or a bad TV show…oh wait it was! I couldn’t help but draw huge comparisons to this event and other events that have happened like this to things that happen in the so called “fantasy world” that we call Sports Entertainment…formerly known as Wrestling.
More and more it seems that the world of “legitimate sports” in America has began to melt and mold into Sports Entertainment…or at least a hybrid form of Sports at the very least. I have heard it said that Sports Entertainment imitates Real Life. However, in the world that we live in today it seems that more often than not, Real Life is imitating Sports Entertainment.
A few weeks back we saw SmackDown’s Heidenreich go out into the crowd and attack several crowd members. He is now being forced by Theodore Long, the SmackDown General Manager to wear a straight jacket when he is not in a match in order to protect other wrestlers and fans.
More recently we have seen the Simon Dean character on Raw. He has been having in-ring “commercials” that turn into him verbally abusing several crowd members and usually physically abusing at least one of them each appearance.
Is any of this a coincidence? You might think that it is. I do not. I think that WWE has gotten so good at imitating Real Life, that there is almost no way to draw the line between the two anymore. That is another topic for another day though.
Please do me a favor. Go to the following web site when you get done reading this column and look at something for me:
Once you get to the site I want you to click on the link “Nielsen Top 10 TV Ratings” than click on “Cable TV Programs”. As you look at the list you will notice something that is pretty amazing. Of all the top Ten rated shows in the last week only three of them were not cartoons. Two of them were WWE Raw. Check this every week…it pretty much stays the same throughout the year. Talk about how WWE is falling apart and how bad they have gotten all you want…it doesn’t change the fact that more people are watching their programming than most other cable TV shows.
Don’t think for a second that ESPN, Fox Sports Net and other networks haven’t notice. They have and they are doing something about it.
It doesn’t matter how unimportant a game actually is, there is a background story. Perhaps it is the fact that the star player for the home team was has been in rumored trade talks so you have to see how he will handle the situation or maybe it’s as simple as two huge stars going head to head. It is never Team A vs Team B with nothing on the line anymore. I have to attribute this partially to the effect that Sports Entertainment has had on our society. Every Game Has A Story. After all, without a storyline there is no point in watching…right?!
The incident with the basketball player attacking a member of the crowd was nothing short of a present to the American Sports Media. It is kind of like when a real life situation happens and it actually benefits a WWE the storyline. Just look at how the WWE writing team capitalized on the Kidman/Chavo Guerrero accident.
I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing. I will leave it up to you to decide. It is ironic that the very people who have made a mockery of the WWE over the last 10-15 years are the people that are copying the WWE’s practices today. What do you think about it…send me some feedback and let me know!
Not Just Another Trivia Question: I thought I would keep doing the “Old School” questions, since they seem to get the best response. If you know the answer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will include your name in my next column if you are correct.
Who was the Special Enforcer in the Classic Undertaker/Yokozuna Casket rematch at the 1994 Survivor Series?
I had 41 people correctly answer my last Trivia Question correctly. They were:
Mikey Jones, Anthony Mangafas, Shane Barry, Matt Koivu, Gavin Langdon, Michael Bishop, David Ridenour, MR Delaney, Luke Golos, Matt O’Brien, Jose Garcia, Henry Chen, Mike Mowat, Tommy Hall, Blair Farthing, Luke Golos, Brenden Walsh, Ron Sneller, Daniel Lawson, Cole Hosak, Jose Capetillo, Michael Cook, Justin Tamblin
The Question was: “Can you name Survivors from the Ultimate Survivor Series Match in 1990?”
The Answer was: Hulk Hogan and The Ultimate Warrior
Bi-Weekly Top 10 – My Rankings list has gone through yet another overhaul. I am now going to include separate rankings for all 3 Major programs: RAW, SmackDown and TNA. I base my rankings on Championships, current storylines, pushes and in-ring action.
Honorable Mention (6-10): Chris Jericho, Shelton Benjamin, Christian, Trish Stratus and Regal & Eugene
Honorable Mention (6-10): The Undertaker, Booker T, Carlito Cool, Heidenreich and Spike Dudley
Honorable Mention (6-10): Monty Brown, Americas Most Wanted, The Amazing Red, Abyss and Chris Sabin
This week has been a great week to be a fan. TNA is making some waves and WWE is on track in my opinion. I hope you enjoyed my column. I will be back next week…like it or not! Have a Happy Thanksgiving!