AS I SEE IT 7/24: Rants, kisses and suspensions

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

There are very few times when I shake my head at the sheer dumbness of something a reader sends me in response to what I write.

Then, there's this time.

I received this one last Wednesday morning...and had to share it with all of you. The person selling used the address of an "Ali Sal" and sent the following:

"Man, you as wrong as a man could be."-Oscar speaking to Willis on Different Strokes

#1--Van Dam should have been given all THREE top titles after being busted! The only story or character development the WWE writers could give the guy for the last 4 years was that of a pothead! AND HE LIVED THE GIMMICK!

Look at The Undertaker, he walks around acting like he's a dead guy with super powers and gets off a $#!t load of time off because of it. He even gets his spot when he comes back "from the dead" every spring/fall. They have Vito running around towns with a dress on, and they let John Cena break the dress code because he pretends he's a black guy! Live the gimmick is not a wrestling exception, it's the rule!

Nice 80's reference there.

Cena breaking the dress code...which is only something imposed by WWE...doesn't break any laws.

Vito dressing in drag doesn't break any laws...that I know of.

Undertaker staying in character doesn't break any laws.

But claiming that all Van Dam did was to stay in just plain stupid.

WWE is a publicly held company. They have to deal with stockholders, advertisers, and the media...and they are reported on by mainstream media. They have to answer to all these people. When a drug-related issue becomes public, they have no choice but to deal with it...even if to save face and make the media go away.

"Look, I'm no fan of drug use, it usually makes people stupid. But this is the WWE travel schedule, and people do naughty things on the road. That is not always right, but it's common. It's so hypocritical that if Van Dam gets caught, he gets in trouble. Like Konnan said in a recent interview, "everybody knows what everybody does", and he talks about how Batista could come back and look all jacked up, and Vinnie has him right back on top. "

No one suggested that they ought to test for pot. I also indicated that I thought it ought to be legalized.

Oh, and I guess you forgot how I made mention on the seeming ignorance of violations of use of growth-enhancing substances in the WWE. Try going back and reading what I actually wrote, not the carefully selected portions that you picked out.

In a surprising change to that policy, Bobby Lashley and Great Khali were pulled from this past weekend's Great American Bash PPV for "elevated enzymes of the liver" and a "diseased liver" respectfully on Friday. For those who don't get the potentially coded reference, go to this link. Give WWE credit for totally re-arranging their PPV if in fact it turns out these changes are due to Wellness Policy violations.

To be fair, there are various other causes of elevated liver enzymes, which can be caused by heavy drinking, hepatitis or mononucleosis, autoimmune disorders, and excessive use of vitamin supplements or certain herbal supplements. It should also be stated there are reports that Khali has not been suspended, but pulled due to "a medical issue".

"On the other hand, Van Dam doesn't play 'The Game' (I made up the pun, Iím so smart--Konnan said RVD doesn't "kiss @$$"), and is more likely to be punished. Some of the drugs Sabu was found with treat a condition that could be caused by steroids/drug use---but errrr, they were prescribed, so that's ok. Pleeeze. "Calling Dr. Zaharian, Calling Dr. Zaharian please come to the back and bring your tacklebox with you!" So come on Bob, stop with this holier than thou nonsense."

Holier than thou, my ass.

What I said was that with a publicly held company, McMahon couldn't afford to look the other way when two of his stars were arrested...with Van Dam holding two of WWE's belts, and being one of their public faces. McMahon trusted him with a major push. Van Dam and Sabu should have known better than to put themselves in a position than to get themselves arrested in a speed trap in a rural Ohio town that is apparently KNOWN for being a speed trap. Sabu having a drug that help with gynecomastia (a side effect of steroid use) also wasn't the brightest thing.

If you're Rob Van Dam and you want to smoke your mother nature...fine by me. But wait until you get to the f%$@ing hotel.

The CM Punk angle would not have worked because no one other than "us" know who he is. Sandman, or even Richards would have been more effective.

The reason Punk got mentioned was simply the "straight edge" gimmick. Under the circumstances, it would have been something totally off the wall...and GASP...would have introduced a new star.

Remember the REAL ECW? It did things like introduce new talent....making new stars in one night.

Introducing new talent was a hallmark of ECW, a promotion which introduced the following to a larger American audience: Chris Benoit, Chris Candido, Steve Corino, Justin Credible, Simon Diamond, Julio Dinero, Danny Doring, Spike Dudley, Johnny Grunge and Ted "Rocco Rock" Petty, Juventud Guerrera, Eddie Guerrero, Chris Jericho, Kid Kash, Little Guido, Jerry Lynn, Balls Mahoney, Dean Malenko, Tony Mamaluke, Taka Michinoku, Rey Mysterio, Jr., Psicosis, Rhino, Roadkill, Axl Rotten, Ian Rotten, Sabu, The Sandman, Perry Saturn, Al Snow, Lance Storm, Super Crazy, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Taz (to name a few)...and even Rob Van Dam and Sabu to a larger American audience.

What do we have now as new stars in ECW? Mike Knox. He's about as edgy as a bowling ball. Don't forget a vampire (the repackaged Kevin Fertig) who basically scowls at the screen...and a fortune teller. So much for being like ECW.

"I get annoyed anytime I ever hear anybody mention how 'offended' Kurt Angle got that night in ECW. That was a bunch of bullshit. WWF ripped off the 'crucifixion' angle months later, except they used The Lame-o-taker, and years later Angle still knocks on ECW, but yet says he wants to wrestle Lame-o at Wrestlemania! Angle's 'offense' seems to have a price, and his price is a WWF/E contract and making nice with his fellow backstage power buddy! What? Did Angle leave just recently because of so offended by Vince booking God? I doubt it. Injuries or being on the 'C' show seems to be more probable.

Get annoyed all you want. But I was there at the ECW Arena that night. Kurt Angle's reaction was clearly visible to the crowd. It wasn't backstage, or something I heard about second hand. It was out in public for at least 3/4 of the crowd to see. It wasn't storyline. So quit talking crap about something you didn't see.

Did McMahon rip off the crucifixion angle? Of course he did. But he went through the charade of calling it an "icon". For reasons known only to God and McMahon, he escaped the public's heat on that one when he did it.

"And I really do not need to talk about Joey Styles fake offense by the Raven-Sandman angle that had not been said in Raven's response to the Styles interview on his website's June 6, 2005 blog--recommended reading to sort the situation. I mean really, Angle's signing may or may not have happened, but that was depending on money, not on the "Passion of the Sandman".

Now I know you won't print this, because you never print anything I right you. But that's ok. Hopefully you will learn from my genius, and think things out before you climb on that high pedestal"

So...because Scott Levy says Joey Styles was faking it means he was faking it as a fact?

Considering that its the first e-mail I've received from you...enjoy your moment in the sun, for whatever reason you wanted it.

From Dustin Fletcher :

"I think its a bunch of BS for RVD to be suspended, or for RVD/Sabu to even be punished. Pot is completely harmless, should be legalized, and not even considered in the wellness policy. All it does is help you relax. Being on the road constantly you need to be able to relax, and I could definitely understand why RVD and Sabu would need painkillers with all the stuff they put their bodies through in the ring... more than most of the other wrestlers. Plus it was for their personal use they weren't selling them to kids or anything if they were doing that it would understandable for them to be punished.

I'm willing to bet that most every single wrestler on the roster, if not all, take painkillers. They have to be able to do what they do; and if they actually find out a wrestler is doing a more serious drug they should focus more on trying to get them help, instead of how much to punish them.

It sounds like to me Vince is just using this wellness policy to cover his own ass."

Like the person writing above, you've missed the point altogether. They wouldn't have been punished had they not been driving while toking. I've made clear my feelings about marijuana, and think McMahon's policy not to test without cause (translated: showing up for work high) is an intelligent one.

I agree that wrestlers are better off doing marijuana than doing somas...but not while they are driving. I'm all for wrestlers getting a six pack or two as well...just not behind the wheel.

Now for an opinion on a different subject...from reader Jerry White. He makes reference to the Paul Heyman kiss of the lips of Tommy Dreamer on last week's WWECW TV that seems to have caused a lot of consternation for no good reason.

"The Heyman kiss was pretty interesting. It's actually been done in several movies, the most famous being Al Pacino as Michael Corleone kissing his brother Fredo in The Godfather Part Two. The way Heyman did it, with his hands outstretched and then grabbing Dreamer by the face was done exactly like Pacino in Godfather Two. I thought it was pretty dramatic.

It's also seen in True Romance, which Heyman said at a Cyberslam convention was one of his favorite movies ever. It's the seen where Christopher Walken kisses Dennis Hopper before killing him. That was a Tony Scott movie.

The Kiss of Death was also played for laughs in The Freshman, with Marlon Brando (parodying his Godfather role) and Matthew Broderick.

The Kiss of Death is actually a Biblical reference from Jesus and Judas, as Luke 22:48 tells the story of Jesus asking Judas if he betrays the Son of Man with a kiss. Very dramatic moment, one that I am sure Heyman wanted people wondering about.

The Godfather parallel was pretty obvious. Let's hope Dreamer doesn't wind up like poor Fredo.

On the other hand, it seems just as likely that if Heyman's going for his Tommy Dreamer's Christ. That analogy makes me nervous...because I remember what happened the last time. Let's just stay FAR away from any sort of crucifixion angle. OK, Vince?

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