AS I SEE IT 4/4: Reader thoughts on "lunchtime suicide"...and a HOF thought

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Reader's thoughts on last week's column:

From Cory Wiatrek:

"Hey Bob,

Another great article. I totally agree. This Tim White stuff sucks. I've got a sick sense of humor, so the gore doesn't bother me personally.... what does bother me is it isn't funny. I emailed WWE like I'm sure they even care about their fans opinions. But I did email them telling them the skits were really bland and boring. And they are wrong for all the other reasons. Being a guy with a really sick sense of humor I can tell you that these skits are not just unfunny, but are a waste of time. Do you think Tim White would still have Andre the Giant as a friend these days if Andre were alive? I dont think so. Later man."

From Joseph Shay :

"Mr. Magee,

I have been a wrestling fan all my life. I am 20 years old and have been watching everything from Portland Wrestling (I live in Washington State and was able to view Portland Wrestling when it was televised when I was a kid) to WWE, ECW, WCW, TNA, and any independent company I can find circling through the Pacific Northwest. I whole heartedly agree with you that Vince McMahon is running WWE into the ground. The Tim White sketches are appalling to say the least.

I am a wrestling fan who was schooled in the days of quick interview segments and more wrestling time then talking time. I feel that Vince doesn't even want to try anymore to even be a decent promoter (Not that he ever was very good). Vince is simply trying to push whatever envelope he can push to anger people and I hope he pays dearly for it.

I have a 10 year old brother who watches wrestling with me and I insist that we watch TNA more than WWE because I believe that TNA holds many of the moral standings that WCW kept even during the ratings wars in the mid 90's. When Vince was telling the world to "Suck IT" WCW had a New World Order that made a fan favorite face into a fan favorite heal without the toilet humor.

I read your column on a weekly bases and find it refreshing to find someone who looks on the
business side of wrestling and hopes for some common decency and respect from the promoters in the business.

Then, there are people like James Weed who disagree:

"Maybe it's just me, but personally, the "suicide angles" just haven't been that offensive. You get this type of humor in movies or TV etc (Not necesarilly GOOD movies or TV shows etc, though), and it was never really an issue. No one is going to kill themselves just because they saw Tim White do it. Sounds kind of ridiculous, no?

Actually, no I don't think it IS ridiculous. Wait until it happens just once...or even once where a parent driven by ideology or a dead child or greed...or a combination of all of them...goes to FOX News or some other ideology-driven media outlet. I want to hear McMahon put a spin to Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly on why he should be allowed to go ahead and do suicide angles online.

The kid on Youtube more than likely found the Tim White stuff funny, and it's entirely possible Youtibe thought he was impersonating a real life suicide, which would have been extremely offensive.

"... It even got to the point where any use of Eddie Guerrero's name was 'WWE using his death for their benefit.' I did, however, find the whole No Way Out storyline to be tasteless, no argument there. Anyways, I digress, the point I'm trying to make it, just allow WWE to be entertaining without trying to pick little things out that are offensive. It's a lot more enjoyable that way, trust me."

Probably because it WAS offensive, especially when Orton mentioned in storyline that a well-known born-again Christian was going to hell. Guerrero's own older daughter refused to come to the PPV with her mother because of the depiction of the angle.

Maybe Vince McMahon can justify making a little girl upset who just lost her father because he used drugs to heal his physical pain from many wrestling rings, and other drugs to sustain an unnatural body shape because that's what McMahon and wrestling fans expect.

By the way, the stupidity continues.

This week, Tim White hires a hit man to kill him. The promo features Tim White holding up a sign saying "Hitman" with an arrow pointing down to him. Suddenly he has a red light on his forehead as a sniper, dressed in an all-black outfit is shooting at him from an adjoining building.

Real great stuff in an era with real life terrorists shooting at real-life people in our world. We'll leave out the fact that it's known that some people commit real-life suicide by something referred to as "suicide by police" where they do something to bring in armed police officers, who then shoot the person, this allowing him/her to commit "suicide by police".

I have to wonder if it's going to take people contacting WWE sponsors to make this juvenile bullshit stop. Common sense doesn't do it. People with thoughtful comments sent to WWE offices doesn't do it.

Speaking of WWE, the Hall of Fame inductions took place Saturday night. It was nice to watch Bret Hart make at least a little peace with WWE and Vince McMahon, and to see Eddie Guerrero's family there to watch his induction into the WWE Hall of Fame...a decade or more too soon.

But the nicest thing for me was to see Sherri Martel (nice touch remembering your "little sister", by the way, Sherri) put an idiot from the crowd in his place. From most reports, hers was the most entertaining (and occasionally revealing) speech of the evening. one point, an idiot in the crowd yelled at Martel. She responded by saying "I worked 26 years for this and you paid for your ticket, we have your money, so be quiet". He (or another fan) did it again, but this time, the fans silenced him with chants of "Kick him out".

It's about time someone in wrestling in that public a setting (rather than just at indies) came back at one of these idiots who are too smart for their own good, or drunk, or both. People like this are the wrestling equivalent of the village idiot at the zoo in the old Warner Brothers cartoons who teases the animals in the cages, before the animal finally gets his in the end. If only the "village idiots" got theirs often in wrestling...

If you've been to a live wrestling show, you know these "village idiots". You typically hear them when a wrestler blows a spot; or when a wrestler does matwork for more than five seconds, and aren't doing enough high spots or using flamethrowers enough to impress their attention span-deprived self... they then have to shout something that shows their lack of orderly genetic material.

Ask any wrestling fans that know me in the Philly-New York area...this kind of crap sends me ballistic in person. When you've taken your first wrestling lesson and your first bump, then you can start such chants...and not a moment before. I'm not saying you don't notice missed spots...but there's a right way and a wrong way to react.

I saw such a "village idiot" two weeks before at the ROH half of the ROH/CZW doubleheader, during a Roderick Strong match, during a point which Strong was doing matwork...who decided he'd start a "BORRRRING" chant. One fan almost took a pop at him, and the CZW regulars shouted him down, embarassed that an idiot made real wrestling fans (yes, folks, we CZW fans are wrestling fans...the psycho blood marks embarass us too) look like asses.

So it was nice to see Sherri shout down this idiot Saturday night. It'd be nice if wrestlers did it more often. It'd be even better if fans did it, too. If it's a situation where you don't feel comfortable doing it...get security to do it.

People buy the right to say their piece with a ticket...but not the right to be disrespectful.

Until next time...


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