AS I SEE IT
by: Bob Magee
A hello to Corey Hickman and the folks at Piledriver Press, who are adding the AS I SEE IT column to their site this week... not to mention wishes for a happy Thanksgiving holiday to all of you.
OK....let's see if I get this right:
Because Jim Ross has had personal differences with Tony Schiavone... because the WWF has made admittedly distasteful comments about Ted Turner's father in the "Billionaire Ted" series of skits...because the WWF is the competition... this then justifies ridiculing Ross's handicap in the WCW "Oklahoma" parody of Jim Ross?
This is parody? This is satire?
No. For the most part, it's mean-spirited garbage authored by Vince Russo, who apparently had a personal and professional rivalry with Jim Ross while in the WWF...using creative partner Ed Ferrera to play the Jim Ross character. This isn't the first time Russo has done this kind of thing.
Anyone remember the skits at the expense of Bret Hart? The midget Bret Hart? Bret Hart takes himself too seriously. Bret Hart has done things since Montreal in 1997 that I've criticized, deservedly. But he didn't deserve that. While the Montreal Survivor Series screw-job wasn't Russo's idea...what happened afterwards certainly was his idea.
So was Russo's unprintable tirade on WWF online media that was directed toward Internet columnist Georgianne Makropoulos when she ripped the WWF for what happened after Montreal.
Now his mean-spirited streak has shown itself again.
Don't forget, also, that the "Oklahoma" skits are an opportunity for Tony Schiavone.... a man who can't professionally carry Jim Ross's jockstrap.... to take every personal shot he's wanted for years to take at Ross. Schiavone.... the same man who told wrestling fans that Mick Foley "will sure put some asses in the seats" after Foley got the WWF Title....and who ran like hell, blaming Eric Bischoff after the firestorm of comments from wrestling fans in defense of Mick Foley.
Before the usual suspects weigh in and scream I'm bashing WCW again (guess they missed those columns on the WWF recently)....read what others have had to say this week about the Ross parody, and those WCW fans that have a rather flexible moral standard:
Mike Samuda, WrestleLine/WrestleManiacs (11/18/99)
"The Jim Ross parody (done by Ed Ferrara) was classless, tasteless, and mostly unfunny, but Ross probably deserves a lot of it because he's taken his fair share of jabs at WCW and Tony Schiavone.
The thing is though, Jim Ross IS the best play-by-play man in the business, and (in my best Rock impersonation) Tony Schiavone ABSOLUTELY SUCKS! He's not a good announcer (whether Bischoff is feeding him lines or not) and when he joined in taking shots at Ross, it was like a Yugo dissing a Ferrari.
On Meltzer's hotline today, he said that about 6 months ago, Vince Russo (while still in the WWF) suggested to Vince McMahon that they should release Steve Williams because he wasn't marketable. Someone "high up" in the WWF told Dave at that time that Vince Russo and Jim Ross were always at odds with each other, and that particular suggestion by Russo was a way to get back at Jim Ross, because Steve Williams was Ross' boy."
Rod Ruff, SLAMWrestling, 11/17/99
"...Our own Canadian hero Bret Hart, the most outspoken man against the WWF's attitude, doesn't seem to mind the new WCW product so long as he is getting his world title push. Bret, do you let your kids watch Nitro anymore?
WCW's internet man, Bob Ryder, criticizes the WWF all the time for its product, but he is by far less critical of the new Nitro. It's alright Bob, it's hard to be more critical of your preferred product.
All the WCW fans out there that criticized the WWF for so long, do you now criticize the WCW? Or do you just turn a blind eye towards your favorite promotion because you just want them to be number one again; so bad so you can say you stuck with them all the way?"
SamJerry, Insane Wrestling.Net, 11/16
"The new WCW Creative/Talent Committee (read: Vince Russo and friends) hit the bottom of the barrel with Russo's portrayal of Jim Ross. No matter what you may have thought of the cancer angle, it was kept 'in-house' (within the WWF) and wasn't directed at a living person, or someone's physical handicap. Russo's poking 'fun' of Ross's facial/ vocal problems brought on by Bell's Palsy was not only over-the-line, it was in the next county.
There is no way it can by justified as being a parody or 'all in good nature fun.' It was aimed directly at and had to hurt Ross. That's not the nature of parody. What's next for Russo? Maybe he should have someone wheeled in on a gurney and parody Darren Drozdov's condition. Heck, it's not much of a stretch from what he did last night."
Rick Scaia, Online Onslaught, 11/18/99:
"I did see the Jim Ross knock-off, and I gotta say that I do get a kick out of parody like this when it's funny (for instance, I did get a chuckle out of 'Patrick' and 'Gerald'). But the JR thing wasn't really funny. Poking fun at JR's use of 'slobberknocker' or his propensity to have the football histories of everybody on the roster is all well and good, but count me among those who don't think that Bell's Palsy is particularly funny.
And I don't think the JR parody is particularly necessary, either. It certainly isn't going to be the thing that catapults Dr. Death to stardom."
So it isn't just me, folks.
And that was just a few of the comments delivered toward last week's "parody". There are plenty of others, if you look for awhile.
I suppose honest people can disagree about the content of some of the content of the parody, like picking on Ross's catch phrases and the like. Some will argue those are fair game, and they could be right. Even if you feel that way, the bottom line is this: it spent time getting over a readily identifiable figure in the rival World Wrestling Federation at the expense of taking TV time to get over their own product...days before a PPV.
But for those who think ridiculing Bell's Palsy is acceptable under any circumstances, or even "hilarious", I truly feel sorry for them. May the Lord help them, even if they probably don't deserve it. If, God forbid, the shoe were ever on the same foot, I'm sure they'd appreciate more consideration that what they've given over the last week.
Until next time.....
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If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org