Is there no decency, even in pro wrestling and WWE, anymore?
When I saw Mr. McMahon’s “accident” following the last of his million-dollar giveaway on Raw last Monday night, my fears and suspicions of the past three weeks were unfortunately confirmed. Almost a month ago, my stomach churned when I saw Mr. McManiac rear his ugly mug back on TV and announce that he was going to give away millions of “his own” money to the public. McMahon had mostly stayed away from TV for a little, especially before WrestleMania XXIV, and I had hoped he would stay away.
But when he re-emerged and announced “McMahon’s Millions”, I smelled a stunt. For some reason in recent years, VKM has seemed hell-bent on pulling off stunts that he really believes will give WWE a mainstream jolt in a good way. Last year was the limo explosion and “death” of Mr. McMahon – and we all know where that went. That angle just had bad karma from the very beginning and had to be shelved when the murder-suicide involving Chris Benoit and his family shook the entire industry to its core. I had hoped that McMahon would never stoop to another life-death-murder angle again. Right now, WWE is portraying the story as an “accident that befell Mr. McMahon.” But anyone who has watched wrestling closely and for a long time can tell you this angle won’t stop at that. It will turn into a “Who tried to kill Mr. McMahon” storyline.
Last week, as the stage set fell on Mr. McMahon in an amateurish-looking stunt (on live TV, you could tell that he wasn’t actually hit by anything), I was reminded yet again to never say never about the wrestling business, especially where WWE is concerned. Hell, incredibly, KHOU-TV in Houston actually reported the incident as a legit, straight-up news story. (Dumbasses. Note to KHOU-TV: Professional wrestling is choreographed. It consists of storylines where the outcomes are predetermined. Read the memo next time.)
You see, I might be taking this form of “entertainment” a little too seriously, but I don’t find death/murder/attempted entertaining in wrestling. I can’t believe McMahon decided to launch a “Who Tried to Kill Mr. McMahon” storyline practically a year to the day that Chris Benoit killed his wife Nancy and son Daniel before he hung himself in their Atlanta suburban home.
Honestly, is there no shame? Is there no consideration for the family and friends of Nancy, Daniel and yes, Chris? Is there no compassion for these poor people who will never find true closure in their loss and will never really know why Chris Benoit killed his wife, child and then himself? Where’s the humanity in any of this? No, instead these poor people, whose hearts are particularly heavy around this time, will probably have to endure having someone asking them whether they are aware McMahon’s outrageous little storyline.
Death is not a game. Life is too random, too fragile and must be cherished. We shouldn’t play games with bad karma. Vince McMahon must really want to die a tragic death – that’s really the only reason he must have for his penchant for putting himself in “wrestling death/attempted murder” storylines. Either that or he’s a true egomaniac. VKM has repeatedly said in recent years that he doesn’t want to be in front of the camera. However, time and again, we find him soaking up the airtime, like a some kind of parasite or crack fiend. Imagine the Superstars who could have been elevated if VKM had stayed behind the scenes for any real length of time? He must REALLY think he’s a ratings magnet, the star of the show.
One of the real problems with the assassination attempt angle is that VKM just legitimizes the criticism lobbed by people like Phil Mushnick, Brent Bozell and anybody in the media (and that includes CNN, MSNBC and FOX) – people who don’t know the industry. He erases any good will WWE generates with all the charity work it does for places like Make-A-Wish and the support it gives our troops.
Instead, WWE comes off as a heartless, money-grubbing, lowlife company.
No one is saying that Chris Benoit himself should be mourned and held in high regard. After all, he did the unforgivable. But the memories of Nancy and Daniel should be respected, and WWE spat on their graves last Monday night.
Just remember this: WWE did everything it could to separate itself from the Benoit murder-suicide last year, including attempting to hitch itself onto a one-source, largely unsubstantiated claim that Daniel suffered from Fragile X syndrome. WWE suggested that that may have fueled friction between Chris and Nancy. If anything, WWE owes a bit of gratitude to Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens and their late summer/early fall steroid dramas last year. It’s a good thing the mainstream media and government in general care more about the national pastime than professional wrestling because VKM would not have come off very well testifying in a Congressional hearing.
Last Monday night was a sad say – not just because of the Benoit tragedy, but for the WWE I once found fun, free of stunts. A WWE that didn’t take itself too seriously and didn’t feel like it had to rip off a “Who Shot J.R.” storyline. I miss the WWE that had heart and compassion – which the families of Nancy, Daniel and Chris Benoit all need at this time.
And that, my friends, is The Dirty Truth. Thanks for reading.