AS I SEE IT 6/18: Death, real and imagined...

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Leave it to Vince McMahon to think he's going to top a popular TV show...he pulls off a finish to the June 11 RAW that thumbed his nose at HBO and The Sopranos by giving fans the ending they didn't get with the Sopranos finale. He was "left" dead as the result of a car bombing.

Well, in storyline, anyway.

Since "Mister McMahon" lost his ECW title to Bobby Lashley, he's been exhibiting paranoid behavior. Even before that, he made a remark to son Shane that "something bad was going to happen to him", leading to the storyline that he was "overwhelmed by fear". At the end of the McMahon Appreciation Night, McMahon came out doing his paranoid shtick, looked around, and said "thank you" to the crowd in a weird sort of voice. He then slowly walked out through the back...looking at his locker if he thought it might be for the last time...and went to his limousine.

At which point...a earth-shattering explosion, with lots of fire (just how much DID Zenith Pyrotechnology, the company used for the stunt, prime that car anyway?). then turned into an electronic version of the 1970s era Apter mags with such headlines as:


"A morning of mourning for Mr. McMahon...WWE flag at half-staff"

"Federal officials search McMahon office"

"Lead Federal investigator to address media Thursday"."

OK...OK, we all enjoy some corny Apter-esque stuff. WWE thumbing its nose at the fiasco Sopranos non-ending was cool, too.

There was even a little self-parody going on, as in one of the more hilarious moments, a statement from WWE's Executive Vice President and General Counsel Ed Kaufman was sponsired by Ghost Rider (now all WWE tech experts need to do is to figure out how to make Vince's head to explode in flames at night...THAT would be something).

But, as happens all too often, WWE couldn't leave well enough alone.

In a "what the $#@k were they thinking moment", and in what has to be an lock as nominee for the most tasteless moment of the year in every Year-End vote this year, WWE actually did a ten bell salute for "the late Mister McMahon" complete with a memorial graphic (the same one as showed on WWECW last Tuesday night) on this week's Smackdown from Philadelphia.

To continue the disgraceful garbage, they did the ten-bell salute with the whole Smackdown roster coming out to "honor Mister McMahon" in the same way they did Owen Hart and Eddie Guerrero. If that wasn't enough, the televised version of Smackdown featured "remembrances" from WWE talent about the "late Mister McMahon". No wonder they didn't have the guts to show it to the live Philadelphia crowd.

Philadelphia proved its well-earned reputation as a no-bullshit wrestling city by booing the entire proceedings....LOUDLY. Live, they gave up on the actual ten-bell as when WWECW aired live (taped, of course, after Smackdown) the crowd was booing even louder than the first time.

The only thing that could top this for Most Tasteless Angle of 2007 was if WWE pulled something relating to a terrorism storyline to indetify the "culprits" of the "murder"; or continued to all but ignore the real death of Sherri Martel. has already buried her very real death under multiple mentions of the soap opera including supposed "fan memorials to Mister McMahon" and "Federal investigators".

I know WWE can't edit 30 minutes out of a live to tape TV show 5 hours before it airs...but they could easily have cooled it for a day or two with all the "late Mister McMahon" crap on, then started it up again after RAW and Smackdown next week. Even better, if they HAD to do the ten-bell "tribute", do it with an empty arena, and the ten bells sounding. If you're going to play up an old-style angle...go cheesy all the way, lay off the exploitive crap of bringing out the workers to "do a tribute", and accomplish precisely the same thing.

For WWE to ever have the respect of any thinking person or any fan...they had DAMNED well have a decent memorial tribute for Sherri Martel on tonight's RAW. If McMahon has any decency whatever, he goes on in a real taped segment, mentioning that while "Mister Mcmahon" was blown up in a car last week...and that storyline will resume in a minute, but right now the real Vince McMahon wants to talk about one of his valued superstars. He can then go back to his fairytale.

I'm not holding my breath waiting for it to happen, though.

As for Sherri herself, she was one fun, feisty lady who lived every day of her life to the fullest. God's got one helluva woman to handle right now, and I imagine the Marriott in Heaven is a pretty wild place as we speak. Lord knows she's buying a round for the boys right now.

From Rocky Dominguez :

"This was the best Raw I have seen in a while. the draft was done well in deciding how picks were going to be made. Raw in my opinion had the best draft out of the three brands ECW came in second with Smackdown bringing up the rear. the selection of Chris Benoit gave ECW some much needed credibility with the departure of RVD. The additions of King Booker and Mr. Kennedy to RAW really just give the brand more dominence than they already had. I also agree with Hunter's assessment that Smackdown's picks really gave it some much needed depth.

The only thing I didn't agree with was at the very end and the 'death' of Vince McMahon. After such a great Raw Why would you run such a stupid angle. Why not just continue with Vince being nuts that was bringing in ratings.

Wat the f*** was the purpose of that. I wonder how they will 'mourn' Vince's death, will they acknolwedge this angle on television next week even go so far as to run one of those 'In Memory Of' black background openings. The question now is how low will the WWE go with this angle? will they try to run it as a 'murder'. I just wonder how far and/or how low will the WWE go. "

This was sent to me before the fiasco last Tuesday night and the sad coincidence of Sherri Martel's passing. As it turned out, WWE did exactly what this fan feared they would.

From California's Mark Deregla with thoughts on TNA, WWE, and PWG:

"I'd just like to write to say I respect your opinion and thoughts. I'm not writing to flame on you because I see everyone else does it. I read your article on and I get a kick out of reading how you see things going on in the world of wrestling, like ROH, PWG, and CZW, and the world of sports entertainment.

I'm from Los Angeles, California, and I know you frequent a lot of the Philadelphia shows like CZW and ROH when they run in Philly. Hopefully I run into you at the IWA-Mid South ECW Arena show on the 30th.

If I can add my 2 cents, tna is just horrible right now. I tune in when I get the chance, but its atrocious. Good for jay lethal and getting his character over, but come on, the man IS talented on his own, given he may need a manager because he isn't the greatest talker. There is no rhyme and/or reason to what is going on in tna. I do like the fact Jeff Jarrett is taking a 2nd fiddle type role to elevate the talent, but other than that, they have themselves stuck in quicksand.

WWE is good for what it is, but I just wish some of the talent would be prominently used more. This is nothing you haven't heard because I think you've said the same thing on prior articles. The one and only thing the wwe shouldn't be doing is the diva search. I mean I don't mind t-n-a, but there are many other women wrestlers that can do the exact same thing. Best example, shimmer wrestling. Some hot girls that can kick serious ass. Lacey, Rain, Sara Del Rey, mschif, and my personal fave, Cheerleader Melissa, but they're all awesome.

I'm fortunate to live in Los Angeles because of PWG. I think we were hit hard by mcmg not being able to perform in the tag tourny, but that night was still amazing. I wish WWE could take a page from this tourney to see how tag team wrestling should work instead of showing the Hardyz v. Cade/murdoch for the x time. Let them watch the Pac/Strong v. Dragon/Davey first round match, or the finals of the Briscoes v. Pac/Strong. Hell, even the Final Battle 2006 tag match between Kings of Wrestling /Briscoes was amazing live, and my friend and I were there for Homicide!

There was a PWG show last night, and it was amazing. Very light on the outside talent and very socal heavy. Danielson, Steen, Generico, and Richards in the 4 way for Generico's title was pretty sweet, given it was their final day of 3 straight days of wrestling! And Danielson was pretty much balls to the walls and held nothing back, except that he didn't get cattle mutilation or the mma elbows, but I'm not complaining. If they get the chance, the young bucks will be the deal in the future. How is it that a indy promotion has more common sense, to a certain degree, than the bigger national sport promotions? Just some food for thought.

Thanks for taking the time read this, if you get the chance. "

I'll be there on June 30....and will be over as usual on the concession stand side of the building. Hope to see you.

From Adam Seguin:

" I've e-mailed you several times on the subject of your columns, and I've read your most recent one, and I had to agree, WWECW is and always was ruined, but there is something I'd like to point out, look at it, WWECW, recongnize something? It's a mix of WWE's 'Sports Entertainment', WWE's slaughtering of ECW, and a hidden view they share on WCW, if you observe the CW at the end of WWECW, you see it's a mesh of WWE's mix of WWE, ECW, and WCW.

WCW for example, consider the war they had with WWE and you can compare it to WWECW over happenings that happened then, and is happening now, like stars appearing on SmackDown and RAW on their show, you have Stable vs. Stable that basicly rule what small programming they have. And though this sounds like a very bad move, to some it may be a good move, what I think one of WWE's intentions is running on a minor station, so rating expectations aren't really that high, so they can ruin their show without giving a crap. Than it makes their shows like RAW and SmackDown seem like an action packed show enjoyable by any Je.

Realistic? No. Stupid? Incredibly. But these are the guys that are promoting Jackass when a fed did it before and wasn't a success.

To me, WWECW will always be the Doghouse, most people there are ones that couldn't be used well, or misbehave, and put in some good people so it doesn't look so obvious.

In fact, I see the only one there with major potentiel aka, CM Punk being drafted to RAW or SmackDown tonight. The only star that hasn't received the big prize in ECW that has the potentiel it seems. Also, I heard on that the draft will make actual, and I mean the REAL ECW fans will be happy, well the only ones that would make them happy, and yet fit in are people in the dog house.

Not to say I hate WWE, I love it, SmackDown is an excellent show, and RAW is back on the rise after an entertainment hiatus, but ECW is the big toy that WWE bought, yet now it's collecting dust in their closet, and whenever they use it they just get it over with so it doesn't end up in a garage sale.

What's the incredible solution that can get rid of this ever growingly cancer? Rename it, WWE Tuesday Night whatever, just don't lie about making it ECW, because in no way does it relate to the real ECW.

On another subject, I see people are misunderstanding John Cena, all he needs to get rid of his rap gimmick (He still has a rap gimmick?) is bringing back old glory, aka the real WWE Championship. It's wierd, I don't see anyone decorating the Stanley Cup with a Spinner, or the Fifa Cup, why bring disgrace to a sport filled with pride? Back onto the subject, Cena simply needs for his gimmick to drift away, and one thing that has been needed 14 months ago, a finisher that looks strong, and not the submission known as the pain created by the screaming he does during the F-U. Bring back the Protoplex, or even a TKO, something that looks like it hurts, but other than that, he rules on the mic, his moveset has improved tremendously, I think we may see the day where people will accept Cena's Merchandise, instead of tossing it back."

From the UK's Danny Campbell:

"I don't know about you, but HUSTLE shows are actually quite refreshing to me. We've had years of 'hardcore' and 'attitude' and now it seems as if we're in the 'bad storyline' era.

I love watching ECW matches. I love watching 'tournament of death' etc from CZW. Even wwe can be entertaining (rarely). I thoroughly enjoy watching Lance Storm pulling off rolling clutch boston crabs. Technical and hardcore styles are still amazing to watch, but i've seen it all now. You can only watch a table being smashed or a glass lighttube being smashed so many times.

That's why someone somewhere in america or britain needs to take HUSTLE and work on it, a really cartoony wrestling show could have lots of entertaining points about it.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see the 'WWF' make a return with Papa Shango and crap like that. I definitely don't want TNA, ROH and CZW and all the rest of them to fold or change their products. I just think that having an alternative product based on cartoony characters and storylines would really be a valuable alternative. Maybe it would do us all good if there was a promotion that just offered fun."

There is such a promotion. It's called CHIKARA and its based in the Allentown-Philadelphia area.

If you can, take a look at their online TV show at their CHIKARA website. Then go to Smart Mark Video and buy their stuff. You'll enjoy it.

Until next time...

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