AS I SEE IT June 3: Pride Month and positive stories in wrestling

Posted on 6/03/124 by Bob Magee

Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling Between the Sheets

A happy Pride Month to LGBTQ+ folks and their allies. For
those who would respond with "stop pushing 'politics' and
just talk wrestling," ask yourself these simple
questions....yes or no answers ONLY:

Would you be willing to live as a LGBTQ+ person in the state
of Florida (or any one of an increasing number of states) in
2024? If not, why? If your child said that they were LGBTQ+,
would you still love and accept them? If not, why?

The reality is that Pride Month is important because there
are still people who think they're better off dead than
being themselves because of the hate they suffer. Well, you
might want to be careful who you hate, it might be someone
you love. Remember, in the words of Peter Capaldi's twelfth
Doctor: "hate is always foolish and love is always wise"

So again, happy Pride Month to LGBTQ+ folks and their
allies. To all of you, be happy, and be safe. Know that you
are important.

Now... the happiest of endings to the Tony Khan neck collar
donation story.

For the one or two of you that somehow missed it, in April,
Tony Khan took the step he wouldn't take for five
years...and actually took a bump from The Young Bucks to get
over Jack Perry as the Scapegoat. The grifter and Stamford
Syndrome types went nuts....conveniently forgetting, of
course, about Austin and McMahon, Nash and Bischoff,
hell...going back to Jerry Jarrett getting jumped by heels
in Memphis (all of which self-admitted wrestling nerd Tony
Khan no doubt studied).

But Khan had the last laugh. The show ending angle was
reported all NFL Draft weekend on NFL Network, Sports
Illustrated, and numerous mainstream sites...which because
of the NFL Draft had tens (if not hundreds) of millions of
impressions throughout that weekend. Sporting
wanted him to come into the Draft War Room wearing a
collar...which he did.

NFL Network and Rich Eisen were all over it on draft Friday,
with Eisen explaining how he was "concerned" for Khan's
welfare while having to make draft picks wearing the collar.
"Have we checked in on Tony? We just saw him, I just hope he
didn't hurt himself when he was applauding." When asked
about it with "You've been concerned both nights!", Eisen
replied "I'm concerned about anybody that gets piledriven!"

Khan continued to wear the collar through Draft day 3, and
Rich Eisen was still plugging him on draft coverage.
"Suddenly" Rich Eisen asked Khan to donate this neck brace
autographed for auction to his annual Eisen's Run Rich Run
charity, a 40-yard dash on the third day of the NFL Draft
that benefits St. Jude's Hospital and other charities. Khan
has appeared on Eisen's show when he and/or AEW are in LA.
The two presumably cooked this whole deal up together. The
idea was that Khan would autograph the brace, and then have
it put up for auction by Eisen, with the proceeds to go to
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital via Eisen's
charity..."when he no longer need[s] to wear it".
Conveniently, he no longer needed it the next time they were
in LA.

Now...being wrestling and Khan being an obsessive student of
the game, Khan couldn't avoid one delightful swerve on
Eisen, as he appeared as a guest on The Rich Eisen Show
earlier in the day before Dynamite and Rampage. Along with
shilling AEW, Khan said that instead of auctioning off the
neck brace, he was making a pre-emptive bid of $100,000 to
St. Jude’s, with the proviso the neck brace can remain on
the set of Eisen’s show. Looking at the video, Eisen clearly
was NOT expecting that, with a major look of shock, then
delight on his face.

BTW, anyone who'd like to contribute to Run Rich Run) go to

Finally... Sami Zayn's story.

Ahead of Night of Champions in May 2023, Sami Zayn was
finally able as an observant Muslim to make his pilgrimage
to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. He shared the experience with the
public via social media; an in an unprecedented moment even
had share some of the experience.

Back then, Zayn wrote: "Being a pro wrestler and being with
WWE has taken me to places I never dreamed I’d get to see
and do things I never thought I’d get to do. It has provided
me a life filled with incredible experiences that I will
cherish forever. This one is at the top of the list."

Most recently, in an interview that appeared on his social
media last week, taped right before he went out for his
match at King and Queen of The Ring, Sami Zayn had an
incredibly heartfelt sincere moment talking about appearing
in Saudi Arabia: and how much the trips to Saudi Arabia have
meant to him: “You know, with your culture, your language,
your people, the food, the smells, the sounds, I don’t know,
there’s something about it,” he said. “It just feels like
home, even though it’s not home, you know?" Finally, he
wound up with "....I’ve had a brilliant [in-ring] career.
And while it won’t show up on a list of titles I’ve won,
great matches I’ve had, or dramatic stories I’ve told, one
of my proudest achievements is representing, at the highest
level, my Arab brothers and sisters in the Middle East and
Muslims worldwide."

Until next time...

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