AS I SEE IT
One wonders about the priorities of some people...
Of ALL the issues I've written about in this column, such as the widespread drug use in wrestling; the questionable personal and professional conduct by Paul Heyman, Tod Gordon, and others currently and formerly around ECW; people fighting for their life like Brian Hildebrand; REAL-LIFE human stories.....of ALL the things I've written about...what gets the biggest e-mail response to me? Attacking WCW for the Ric Flair "heart attack angle" on Monday Nitro this week.
In case you missed it, here's this editorial (which appeared on the newsboard earlier this week:)
"It's sad to see that World Championship Wrestling is as desperate as other companies to garner ratings and attention, after claiming that they are 'family entertainment'.
We can now rank Eric Bischoff and anyone else responsible for this angle with Fritz Von Erich and Blackjack Mulligan, for using one of the more disgusting angles in wrestling...the 'fake heart attack'.
One wonders HOW desperate Eric Bischoff and anyone else responsible has to be to pull a stunt like this. The other two men only resorted to this disgusting angle when their promotions were going down the tubes. No one reasonably believes this is happening with WCW.
If you want to dismiss this as someone who thinks the wrestling product ought to be politically correct...wrong.
I've watched and enjoyed wrestling with the perspective of an adult, being well aware that wrestling is a mixture of skilled performers in athletics and drama. I also enjoy adult-oriented storylines.
But to do this kind of angle, and not very well at that...Let's see... How about these points mentioned by another fan on a message board:
1. Ric Flair talked about how he would rip out Eric's heart. Then suddenly Ric clutches his heart and falls down.
2. A trainer just happened to be at ringside as Ric fell down.
3. It happened JUST as Raw came on the air.
4. Arn Anderson is seen talking to Mean Gene and asking "is this enough time".
5. The ambulance they load Ric into has Alabama license plates... not Florida plates.
6. Bam Bam Bigelow sneaks into the ring.
7. Even though Ric is clutching his chest, the announcers speculate that it may be his leg or arm. The announcers talk about everything BUT his heart, which is the most obvious.
Not to mention the fact that in the event of a suspected heart attack, oxygen would have been administered, the victim would have been helped to sit up to lessen pain, and aspirin would have been administered to prevent clotting.
Add to this that Tampa General Healthcare Hospital is reporting that Flair was 'treated and released' on Monday night.
Further add to this the fact that Thunder on Thursday is from...where else? Charlotte. Hmmmm...how coincidental....
The last I looked, heart attack victims aren't treated and released from hospitals, even in an era of managed care. This comes across as a desperate angle by desperate men to me...It also sounds like an irresponsible angle by an irresponsible men, as well.
If Ric Flair were actually ill, wrestling fans all over the world would have nothing but good wishes for him. Instead, we have to wonder why he allowed himself to be used in such an angle...and why we feel used for watching it."
I got e-mails suggesting that I get a life, rather ironic in light of the death of WCW referee Brady Boone this past Tuesday in a car accident, (which WCW couldn't be bothered to give 30 seconds of airtime of mention to on the actual broadcast), and that I should criticize the WWF (guess they haven't been reading AS I SEE IT regularly).
It's sad that people follow a promotion so fervently that they can't even pay attention to what is done by it. Those of us who write for PWBTS are used to that behavior by ECW lemmings (NOT fans, but lemmings, there is a difference)....just ask Fritz Capp...especially this past week.
Readers, think about some of the REAL topics we've covered over the last year. Think about REALITY...an issue like drug and alcohol use, and the refusal of WCW, WWF or ECW to address it; or angles that are inappropriate because they could be taken the wrong way by children; or are offensive to a great number of people. Think about why THEY haven't gotten that degree of response from some of your fellow readers. It's something to consider....
Until next time...a happy holidays to you and all you love...
If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org