AS I SEE IT 4/18: More on Vince and God
AS I SEE IT
This week...we discuss Vince McMahon and "God".
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets
First letter...I somehow misplaced the name of the author:
"I read your work often and appreciate your brave criticism of Vince McMahon, who is continually decimating the business that his father and grandfather created.
I honestly don't know what it will take for the WWE to be watchable anymore. By throwing religion into the product and making a mockery of it is totally uncalled for and repulsive. The "God" segment on RAW proves to me that the company is to desperate for ratings so they'll push the envelope. Either that or purposely try to lose viewers every week."
Dunno if it's exactly brave. It's just my opinion.
As someone who was brought up a Catholic, I could really have done without watching McMahon scooping up with his hand and drinking what Catholics view as "Holy Water" (used to bless oneself upon entering a church) then spewing it out on the floor like he's doing HHH's ring entrance. I know Meltzer calls HHH "God", but c'mon now....wouldn't HHH get mad at Vince spewing water on the floor of "his church"? Even if you aren't a member of a church/mosque/synagogue, McMahon ought to have at least some respect for the traditions of religious traditions.
Yes, I understand that the church routine this past Monday was designed to get him over yet again as the delusional "Mister McMahon", with even Shane McMahon's character shaking his head at his father "Mister McMahon". But all too many recent WWE angles either on air or website only seem designed to be done simply because they can be...rather than being angles that will draw real crowd heat, the kind that will get people to watch and/or pay money to see it.
From Alex Cotay:
".... Like most people that tune in, I grew up watching wrestling; and well, frankly, it's been hard
to break away from. That was until the WWE became the only name in town about 5 years ago. I have been patient through Katie Vick, Al Wilson, and Billy and Chuck.
But when Vince McMahon decided to put himself in a match against God, he crossed the line. Now I'm not stupid. I know that it's supposed to be a handicap match, but once again Vince is not looking at things long term. What's the real point in putting God in a match? Who else besides the WWE was even thinking that Shawn Michaels must have gotten divine intervention at WM22?
It's utterly ridiculous and I won't be tuning into Raw until after Backlash! I hope others will do the same. If for whatever reason, Vince goes ahead and allows himself to get the win in that match I will NEVER watch WWE programming again!"
I think that the use of "God" (even if "Mister McMahon" is being portrayed as "having lost his mind" in this storyline) is senseless, can be viewed as blasphemous (which is a very important thing to some, as you'll read next); and in what should most importantly to Vince McMahon... won't draw dime one, just like the whole Tim White saga.
I'm far from a born-again Christian. But I respect those who are and who actually live out their beliefs; as opposed to those who claim to be practicing believers but are as judgmental or hateful as they come (and there are plenty of those)...a practice against any of the religious traditions I know of.
McMahon isn't running an angle that may offend them so as to draw heat to get them to buy Backlash. That would be one thing. Drawing money and viewers is the whole idea of running your television program. Instead, McMahon seems to be pissing some fans off with the Tim White suicide angle and this so-called "God" booking to an extent they'll find other things to do on Monday nights...and on Sunday nights, when they could be giving him their money.
Again from Thelma Miles:
"...Iím now having a problem with the 'God angle.' Iím a born-again Christian and I donít take trivializing The Lord in any shape, form or fashion. If I could tell you what he has brought me through (and it has been a lot), everyone would understand why. But I donít have to fight Godís battle for Him. I'm just surprised at Shawn Michaels going along with this angle. I wonder what other wrestlers who are born-again think about it? Sometimes you have to stand up because some things are wrong; this is one of those times.
From Bob Roe of Rancho Cordova, CA:
"Whether it is just a 'skit', or whatever, it is wrong. Mocking God, no matter if it is in tongue-in-cheek or not, is against the 10 Commandments, as well as everything we as God-fearing human beings are taught and believe. McMahon is wrong, wrong, wrong. I can't believe a born-again Christian like HBK is going along with this. McMahon had better be careful, or it is he who is on the road to Hell. Just my two-cents worth.."
For Thelma and Bob, I do wonder why Michaels went along with it. I'll leave judgments about who's going to hell to God. I have even less right to offer opinions on who's going to be judged by God than Vince McMahon does in using God in a storyline.
Nathan Boyer disagrees with all of us...
"I think the whole God thing (booked for Backlash) is a tad funny. I know people who are getting worked up over the thing but I shrug it off. When people get worked up over the Tim White suicide angle I find that a tad funny too.
People need to realize that this is reality and WWE is fake. If their parents explain to them that it's not real, then people shouldn't have to fear it. WWE is very controversial but they aren't doing what other shows are doing. The other night Family Guy poked fun at suicide and cutting. They make fun of more stuff too, that's worse than suicide (rape for example)."
WWE is fake...no, really?
Rape HAS been implied on more than one occasion in WWE TV storylines. For one, anyone remember HHH ruining Stephanie McMahon's wedding to Test by drugging her and marrying her in Las Vegas? HHH made very clear (within the storyline) that he planned to consummate the wedding night. Last I looked, sex without consent is rape. Unconscious women can't consent.
As for Family Guy, it's also easier for children to distinguish between reality and fantasy when what they're watching is a cartoon. So I'm not sure the comparison is fair.
From Scott Cassidy of Morganton, NC:
"Bob...you don't think that Foley might wrestle in that match in some fashion do you?...I was just thinking about the whole 'Foley Is God' thing...just kind of wondering....have a great day.".
Funny thing...it occurred to some of us standing in line at April 8's ECWA Super Eight show. I'm not sure if Foley wants to touch that one, though. The folks that wrote the notes above (and some others who were even stronger in religious condemnations that I didn't print) would be seriously pissed off at Foley for ever coming close to it.
From Luke Davey of the UK...who treated this with a different sort of humor:
"Who is Vince to act like he can book God anyway? Does he know that the Almighty will demand 10% of the gate, PPV revenue, merchandizing, concessions, stocks; the whole lot. You need to understand that the good Lord always has to have his 10% in order to keep things proper. Plus, if I know Vince he hasn't been keeping up with this, so he would have to pay him back retroactively before he would even agree to a match. There is so much legwork to this that people can't comprehend. Then there is the match structure. God always is booked as 'the supreme power' of the team. The big man won't be playing Ricky Morton for anyone. And then there is the theme music. Vince would have to get the rights to the 'Halleluiah Chorus' or 'My God is an Awesome God.' If he doesn't, the big man doesn't go through that curtain.
Tonight at church I talked to Big Daddy G, that's what I call him, and as a man of God I have insider information. God isn't going to be at the PPV. First of all, WWE refuses to fly him in first class because he hasn't 'paid his dues' in the WWE. Also, they refuse to let him bring his manager 'The Holy Spirit.' The final straw was that they wouldn't give Jesus a developmental deal without his signing his name over for a WWE trademark. I mean, what happens if they release him and he goes to TNA. I mean, Yahweh or Nazarene doesn't have the same ring as 'Jesus Christ'. So now you know from one of the Lord's right hand men.
As a man of God, I feel that I should be insulted by this whole situation, but I am not. I am sad, sad because this is just further proof of Vince's slide into insanity."
Somehow I imagine God gets the ultimate creative control whether Vince McMahon wants to give it up or not.
Or there's T.G. Corke's humorous suggestion that Vince McMahon might try to turn God heel:
"...Having God in the tag team match almost assures Shawn Michaels a win, unless he takes the pinfall himself which would be career damaging. Personally, I just can't imagine God doing the JOB to
a 60 year old and a non-wrestler. That doesn't make sense unless they're going for a swerve angle where God gets himself pinned deliberately just so that he can seek redemption on the McMahons. Or maybe they intend on turning God heel, and having him side with the McMahons, thus assuring Raw becomes even more dominating over Smackdown and TNA..."
So who makes the babyface save against God? HHH? Speaking of which...
From "The Sean":
"...As far as The McMahons vs. Shawn Michaels and God, would you really be shocked if Meltzer was right and God ended up being Triple H? We all know Triple H and the writers always seem to want Trips as the top guy, and you can't get any further on top than God. And since JBL is already a wrestling God, Trips would have to be the god of gods...After seeing some of the crap they keep booking, I wouldn't be shocked at all. Heck, maybe Tim White will have a near death experience where he talks 'God' into teaming with Michaels."
What the hell...you could be right.
After all, HHH is already calling [H]imself "King of Kings". It's oddly ironic that a new version of the DeMille classic movie Ten Commandments ran against RAW last Monday night's RAW in the States; both during the beginning of the Christian Holy Week this past week.
Oh, by the way...Vince McMahon ended the interminable and demented Tim White online angle, by having a "Celebration of Life" at Tim White's real-life bar, The Friendly Tap. In proof that this was little more than Vince McMahon proving he could put anything on the air just because he wanted to...the mini-storyline ended with White getting Josh Matthews drunk, they relive the various moments of the so-called storyline...then Tim White shoots Josh Matthews with a rifle.
That was it. No storyline explanation. No reason. Not one dime drawn. No rationale for upsetting people who saw the depictions of Tim White's "suicide attempts" as lacking in any humor, full of bad taste (even by WWE standards), and possibly contributing to kids imitating what they were seeing, (which happened once in a mock attempt quickly removed from YouTube.com).
Vince McMahon is really, really lucky that no kid ever actually imitated it, or more likely, that a greedy or grief-stricken parent didn't blame him for their child's problems that caused a real-life suicide. It would have created a PR disaster even Vince Mcmahon couldn't have handled. Imagine Vince McMahon having to explain to Bill O'Reilly why he had the inherent right to air a suicide storyline.
Until next time...
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