AS I SEE IT 5/23: More thoughts on the blame game
AS I SEE IT
This week, some thoughts on the blame game being played by WWE toward Matt Hardy, firing him for not keeping quiet about one of the hottest stories of 2005, that of the affair of newly married wrestler Adam Copeland and Hardy's girlfriend Amy "Lita" Dumas; claiming in essence that Hardy shouldn't have made their personal lives public.
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
As usual, the online media is also being blamed for reporting the story. At least we aren't being accused of "falsely reporting something" that later turned out to be the truth...although THAT wouldn't be a first, either.
In my opinion and that of many others, the Hardy-Copeland-Dumas situation became so public that Hardy had little choice but to discuss it, particularly with such a rabid fan base as exists on his website's message board and elsewhere. The fact of the matter was, that with so public a personality, when his girlfriend has her pictures removed from the website... it's rather hard to avoid the subject.
WWE seems quite content to have rather flexible standards about relationships being made public; as the company had no such concerns about Hardy and Dumas's relationship being discussed when it benefited the company...such as the WWE Unscripted book released back in November 2003 which showed steamy hot tub pictures of the couple, along with pictures of the two being cozy at home with a meal from Subway (not so coincidentally, a WWE advertiser).
Even more ironic, the very same issue had Adam Copeland with Alannah Morely, looking like quite the lovebirds, with cute pictures of Copeland playing with puppies. Mind you, this is TWO wives ago...with Copeland divorcing Alannah Morely; then marrying Lisa Ortiz Copeland, and then becoming involved with Amy Dumas only months after he and Ortiz were married.
Given the fact that WWE felt it to be fair game to use their relationship to make a buck, I think Hardy had more than a little right to pissed off, AND to be pissed as publicly as he chose. Hardy also has a right to be be pissed at the way that WWE handled the real life situation and storyline elements of the situation; which IMO, has been arrogant beyond words.
When the brackets came out for the "Gold Rush" tournament, and Christian lost on the first round; it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure where WWE was going with the tournament...namely to use it as a vehicle to put Copeland and Dumas together in a storyline.
If that storyline in and of itself wasn't bad enough, to have then pulled the stunt with the two all but making out on the ramp after the Lita turn on Kane (even though most people saw it coming) is pretty much along the line of rubbing a puppy's nose...or a Hardy's nose... in shit.
Now...as I've said before, fans who don't like what has happened need to react creatively in letting WWE know what you think at the upcoming PPVs and house shows.
Since the sign police (either WWE staff or "Arena Security", the favorite dodge of WWE/WWF, and WCW when they don't want complaints that they're not "respecting freedom of expression", a line WWE loves to use on air) is grabbing anything they can get their hands on with the words "Matt" or "Hardy"; even extending itself to an incident reported online where the sign of a child who wasn't old enough to know what in the hell the Internet was, what affairs were, or who was zooming who...where the sign was grabbed by the thought police.
If you want to be creative, go in with "mark signs" (by which I mean signs that are so bland and inoffensive as to pass the sign monitors, e.g. "Bring Back HHH", "Chain Gang", or whatever your favorite alternative is) and a nice dark marker and do your thing on the opposite side of the sign AFTER the PPV or televised event goes hot.
Note: do NOT hold your signs like nice little trained seals when the WWE ring announcer tells you before the show goes live to "hold your signs up so we can see them" (why in the name of heaven do you think they're doing it, folks?) unless you felt like wasting your time and not getting to have a chance to make your point.
Several people on Hardy's own message board suggested this one, since they've felt that McMahon will just drop in whatever sound fill he feels like for TV (if they don't respond the "right way")... if fans can make themselves do it at a future RAW show and have a box seat or seat down low, one idea that's made its way around is to turn your backs on Dumas and Copeland when they come out for the match. I'm pretty sure that there's no way of WWE censoring THAT.
Other ways to express yourself, if you're so inclined, is to let WWE hear it at the JAPW show on June 4 in Rahway, NJ; right across the river from New York, and just down I-95 from Stamford, CT. Trust me, in Rahway, JAPW promoter Frank Iadevia won't mind a bit, and he has no sign Nazis to grab your signs (just don't stick them up in the faces of other fans like me, please).
The same thing for Cary Silkin and Gabe Sapolsky at Ring of Honor when Hardy debuts there. Forget the garbage you've heard about their fans being too smart for their own good, and that some of them might think you're just a bunch of marks...guess what...we ALL are, and so are they. Let your feelings be known at upcoming ROH shows at which Hardy appears...they'll be reported online and despite what you may think, they WILL be read and heard by those within WWE.
Until next time...
If you have comments/questions, or if you'd like to add the AS I SEE IT
column to your website, I can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com)