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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Muhammad Hassan Fan Jam
Short Columns about Muhammad Hassan


READ THIS FIRST

The recent events surrounding Muhammad Hassan have been by far the most controversial news items in recent memory. We here at OWW can easily gauge what wrestling storylines pull the emotional strings of the wrestling community simply by the number of emails and guest columns we get on any particular subject. The immense volume of emails concerning the Hassan character has grown so large that we have decided to open a Fan Jam dedicated to this issue by itself. If you are thinking of writing a column about it, then we are now encouraging you to do so. However, we ask that you keep it short. There are several full-length emails on the main page about Hassan and there will likely be one or two more but we would appreciate it if you keep your thoughts to a minimum so that we can fit as many perspectives onto the page without creating an endless novel. As you will see as you read this page, there are many different perspectives on this issue and we're happy to share them all. Good luck and don't forget that the 10 Commandments for Columnists still apply!


Online Petition -- by Kain Traynor

There is the link to an online petition to UPN, stating that they should allow Hassan back onto the network and for the character to continue. If they wish, they can even put their own personal message to UPN concerning Hassan!

http://www.petitiononline.com/Hassan1/petition.html


Muhammad Hassan -- by Devin 'Chronic X' Skaggs

When I first started frequenting OWW, I never envisioned my first article being about Muhammad Hassan. Regardless, I am writing this not so much as because I am a huge Hassan fan but more so because the controversial issue that revealed some underlying truths that surround not only wrestling, but society today. Everybody knows the controversial incident by now, I am sure, but just in case this article is sealed and preserved for future use I will run down the incident in a nutshell. Marc Copani and Shawn Daivari were brought in to portray characters of 'middle-eastern' origins. Copani played the part of Muhammad Hassan, his previous gimmick being Mark Magnus in OVW and Copani really hadn't dealt with the downside of playing an 'ethnic heel'. The Italian, Copani's, complexion was obvious and Vince McMahon, being a true 'hot button' genius packaged him with a character that would obviously fit right in with Daivari's gimmick of Sheik Daivari. Fast forward to Hassan, generating some serious heat and finally culminating in an angle with The Undertaker. In one of the most ill-timed, not ill-written, stunts of all time, Smackdown was taped on a Tuesday and featured The Undertaker being brutalized by a small army of Hassan's henchmen. After delivering a to The Undertaker, the henchmen carried a fallen Daivari from ringside, hoisted above their heads insinuating a fallen warriors procession. The problem was that the incident, while taped on Tuesday, aired on Thursday, which just happened to coincide with the now infamous London Bombings. Here is where things get a little twisted. An outcry sprang from media outlets everywhere that the WWE had done it again! The WWE had pushed a tasteless, vulgar and insensitive angle into the faces of wrestling fans and the world. Or did they? Do you think the creative team kept their ears to the ground hoping a fresh terrorist attack would increase buyrates? Do you think that Vince McMahon knew that this tragedy would happen and intended to profit from it? Of course not on all counts. The issue was not so much of 'wrestling' issue, it was MEDIA issue. If you look back to the days when the Iron Sheik ran down America on a nightly basis, you didn't see anybody trying to rip him off TV, did you? Even when , SGT. Slaughter aligned himself with The Iron Sheik, you didn't see any pitchforks or torches, did you? Ther problem is that wrestling (especially WWE) has always been a 'hot button' product. During certain eras, you saw WWE/WWF produce characters like a bad cop with a love for beating down people he considered bad, there was an ambiguosly gay character, there were a slew of 'music' personas (the rockers, the rappers, the punks and even the piano players!). So when did wrestling become SO controversial? In my opinion, it didn't. In my opinion (yes, I said it twice), the issue is with the sensitivity of media watchdogs is at an alarming high. It's funny, have you ever noticed that when movies, TV shows, music and other 'entertainment products' can have content that is just flat out over the top, yet when 'sports entertainemt' tries it all of a sudden, they are the initiators of the fall of western civilization? If you walk up to somebody who isn't a wrestling fan, most of the time they say "Oh, that crap is fake.". Yet when a situation, like Hassan's occurs, then wrestling is REAL. It's the great American double standard at it's finest. Granted, some content has been tasteless in the past....Katie Vick, Dustin Runnel's portrayal of the Seven character, personally I wasn't a big fan of the Dudleyz era of putting women through tables. Many, many angles have been seen and while some may have been watched through squinted eyes, they have taken responsibility for them. In ECW and WWE, there were 'crucifixion' angles (Sandman/Raven and Austin/Undertaker) that FANS and WRESTLERS alike took offense too. But not so much the media. At that time, though, they were trying to keep their finger on the controversy pulse. The Hassan Incident was never intended to be a controversy, it was a mistake, not so much by WWE but when is UPN going to take some responsibility? UPN doesn't watch what they air? In the end, this controversy was only controversial because a liberal media watchdog caught a few seconds of a scene and hit his typewriter before figuring all the little 'what ifs'. I don't blame WWE for this, I blame the media. How much longer is the wrestling industry going to have to deal with a set of standards that other modern media outlets don't. Movies about pedophile priests, killers, satanic cults, racism, murder, adultery and many other 'themes' have won praise and awards from Hollywood, yet wrestling will always be considered fake and tasteless. Much like every situation the liberal media cries about, they cry themselves to sleep and wake up the next time something offends them because in their ignorance, they fail to provide TRUTH. That is the underlying message of the Hassan Controversy. As for Marc Copani, Vince McMahon stated recently that the problem was actually with the person who portrayed Hassan. I am not sure why McMahon didn't point out that 'The Network' should have take responsibility. I do know that Marc Copani had stated several times that wrestling was only a stepping stone into the acting world. This obviously, angered McMahon, who invested time for Copani, just to have not only networks pull the rug out from under him, but Copani as well. One person who I am actually excited to see come back from this debaucle is Shawn Daivari. If you have never seen Daivari in his OVW days, you have missed a talented and entertaining performer. The only thing that we can hope is that, while tragedy has occurred, that we as people can get over this new age sensitivity and just remember that wrestling should be held to the same standards as other 'situational stroylines' depicted in movies, and whatnot. While Vince has never been the media darling, he shouldn't be the next crucifixion that we see onscreen.


Muhammad Hassan -- by Jay Ingram

I think the WWE missed an opportunity when Steve Austin made his appearance on RAW and confronted Hassan. What SHOULD have transpired was this: Austin could have made the statement that no one hated Hassan because of where he was from, he (Hassan) was hated for the verbal diarrhea that spered from his mouth every week. Austin could have told Hassan to quit using his ethnicity as a crutch, and just come out every week and "open a can of whup ass" till he proved to everyone that he was a competitive wrestler.

I realize there probably was not enough time to re-edit the edition of Smackdown that aired the same day as the London Underground bombings. But what could have been done is WWE could have had Mark Copani (the man who portrays Hassan) and VKM appear in a brief segment before the show, OUT OF CHARACTER, and explain that what they were going to see was 1. Filmed before the bombing, and 2. remind everyone that WWE is ENTERTAINMENT, and 3. have a heart-felt expression of sorrow to the families who lost loved ones in the London bombing, and all the other terrorist activities around the would.

Also, remember this, the Monday night Raw of 09/17/2001, just six days after the WTC attacks, was the first large scale gathering of Americans after 09/11/2001.

I sincerely hope that the WWE can come up with something for Copani within the company, since he is a very talented wrestler.


The Muhammad Hassan Paradox. -- by Kade

One remembers how often WWE published small statements on their website about the issue of equality, and how they encourage a positive opinion of productive Arab American's, and so on. There were even claims looming around the internet that WWE's intended for the Hassan character to come off as slightly controversial in terms of political correctness, but to also exude portrayal of a sensitive but still subtly correct individual. One would completely digress with this statement, because there was always a clear-cut dichotomy between the so-called 'intention' behind that character and how the character translated on the show.

I myself have met quite a few individuals who feel that the character is bitter and just plain hate worthy. A significant lot saw him as a terrorist-like character, whose words and actions in the ring made his intentions pretty clear. It really doesn't matter how WWE slices it, because proof is in the eating of the pudding. It was obvious from his television appearances that most of the subtle 'righteous honour' would be fuddled by the extremely brash, maliciously corrupted demeanour: completely blocking the so-called righteous honour, and projecting it out as 'filthy arrogance'.

"Sorry, WWE, it just didn't work. Not in the way that YOU had intended for it to."

However, I must hand it to them, they got a strong reaction from the character, perhaps a bit too strong to handle or even contain. The Hassan character came off as a fundamentalist Muslim, even though one who'd usually restrict his 'resistance' to strong words, much like many of the strong fundamentalists who seem to be getting quite vocal as of late in England. Not only did this character incite a strong reaction from the western and casual audiences, but it also brought out a great deal of heat from the moderate Muslim audience. It would be a rather daunting task to imagine what else this little character could've incited and instilled within the "other" sects of the viewer base. Intentions maybe pure, but with how the character came across, and then the sudden defeat of taking it down: the WWE created the Muhammad Hassan paradox.


Timing is the key -- by Jon

It wasn't Hassan's character or the fact he was the best heel to lace up the boots in at least five years, it was simply a case of timing. Of course, nobody could predict the London bombings. Still, the WWE should have quickly replaced the segment with something else or ran a disclaimer before the segment aired where the Undertaker was attacked by five masked men. (Note, it's nice to see The Mulkey Brothers, Rocky King and PG-13 all finding work again as "terrorists." Good work, WWE)


Muhammad Hassan -- by Mike

I first thought the Muhammad Hassan Character sucked..Even though it has been used I just think its a new Generation Of the Great Sheik, The Iron Sheik..WWE needs a big heel someone who will get negative feedback..Seriously look what they have coming up one of their future "talents" in "The Boogeyman" (40 year old from tough enough who got kicked off for lieing about his age Marty Wright). Seriously this guy has bad news written all over it just like that Mordecai failure..WWE has been going down hill and its not stopping..The gimmicks they have suck I personally think they should listen more to the fans.. Just like NWA TNA is doing even though some of their talent is still kinda bad but atleast they always give it a shot and always come out with amazing matches..Some can be worked on but still great young talent (besides Raven Sabu Nash Jarrett ect ect.) talking about the young talent as in Petey Williams AJ STYLES! Christopher Daniels Even Matt Bentley (who I just started getting into) I always thought Amazing Red has been awesome..WWE needs to give young talent actually a good gimmick and they should just keep Muhammad Hassan..They wanted someone to get negative feedback they needed a big heel and what happens? They get a even bigger heel than they were expecting and get soo much feedback now WWE is now scared of it..WWE is just shitting because they dont want to lose a tv deal which their losing soon anyway..All I think they should worry about is gimmicks and actually getting over with new fans, and keeping the ones they have, I have been watching wrestling for years and its gotten really boring..WWE is just using same story lines like CONWAY the CON-WAY! Seriously all he is is a Buff Bagwell meets Bad Ass Billy Gunn character..Either way its ripping off what was decent and making it garbage..


Muhammed Hassan -- by Patrice

Althought I was there on 9/11 in NY and my brother being in the Navy fighting for our freedom. I found the character of Mohammad Hassan to be enjoyable. The WWE and creative writing team knew that we the fans knew that is was all a gimmick and that "Mohammad Hassan" Mark Magnus wasn't really arab and that it was all a gimmick. They ( the WWE) should've have kept his character to see how far it would go, he was and is a great in ring competitor. He deserved the chance. And in defense to him, he wasn't the one solely responsible for what his charactor was about, it was the WWE, in my eyes if he got kicked out because of his character the people who created him should've have gotten kicked out too. I hope one day we the fans of the wwe will get to see the ability of Mark Magnus again either as Mohammad or someone else. He had something special about him....And as I think about it...what about La Ressitance their characters weren't too sqeaky clean they should've have gotten booted too, if you think about it. Well that is my opinion I could be wrong.....


The Trick's In How You Play the Cards You Hold. -- by Freddy Sturguess

It baffles me that many people overlook the fact that the entire Muhammad Hassan character--his build-up promos, his entire gimmick--was merely WWE's attempt at rallying fans together and creating a persona that everyone could hate; the guy who despises Americans. And yes, that was his whole angle, admit it: Every promo Hassan ever did included the words "Americans are..." followed by negative commentary. He even managed to insult Canadians in the same way. I never saw any of Hassan's opponents saying "All Arabs are..." etc. Unless you count Stone Cold Steve Austin saying "I...see...sand people!" But the fact is that the Hassan character came from the same mold that produced the Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and Sgt. Slaughter's anti-American turn during the Gulf War. And the purpose of that mold is to gain ratings by creating a character that viewers will love to hate, generated by social conflicts, and have fans erupting when they are defeated.

The thought that Hassan's character was a "terrorist" is absurd; the character was merely a biggot. But it was a horrible idea for Hassan to attack the Undertaker on Smackdown with a group of men in black masks, then carrying the beaten body of sidekick Khosrow Daivari away, implying he was a martyr or sacrifice. Didn't the WWE remember the reason Wrestlemania VII had to be held indoors as opposed to an intended outdoor show? Because of numerous threats and security concerns that Sgt. Slaughter, who was WWF champion and "Iraqi sympathizer," would be a target for physical harm by certain fans who did not realize that Slaughter was playing a character, not his real life persona. It baffles me, because I never heard of anyone threatening to kill Ted Levine for his portrayal of the disgusting serial killer Buffalo Bill in the movie "Silence of the Lambs." These particular athletes are portaying characters, not their real selves.

But WWE should have known better to bring about an anti-American when the country is at war with anti-American terrorists. It was downright foolish, and they should have stuck to safer "social gimmicks," making fun of countries we're at odds with but not at war with, such as France and Canada (even though I don't think those angles are going to win over any new fans in those countries...downright foolish). Did WWE not even stop to phathom that maybe, just maybe, another terrorist attack could take place in the world?

My opinion on the future of Muhammad Hassan is this; the WWE should go back to all the other times they've screwed up outside of the storylines and turned it around. Remember the Bret Hart "Montreal Screwjob?" It portrayed Vince McMahon as a crooked S.O.B., and McMahon used that heat to turn himself into one of the most original characters ever, "Mr. McMahon." And he did it all based on repercussions from real life events that had to do with things going on outside the storylines. Same way with the current Matt Hardy versus Edge ordeal. Granted, in these events, they did not relate to people being killed in real life. So, Hassan should return (on Raw obviously, he has no choice) using his real name Mark Copani, but with a different gimmick; the disgruntled wrestler. Perhaps cutting promos on how he was "left to take the heat alone" and was maybe abandoned by "higher powers". This way, Copani could still establish himself as a great athlete in the ring (which he is) and could create a fresh angle and storyline

--but leave the disgruntled Arab gimmick on the shelves.


Hassan Character -- by Tim Fountain

I think it's funny how Hassan with a terrorist angle upset everybody, but killing him was a great way to solve it. Very nice guys. Wrestling isn't supposed to be politically correct, and I am tired of the whole soap oprea angle of it... I want more action! Maybe if we all e-mail WWE and send hate mail, they'll add more matches and less talking. Anyway, he was a talented guy and I hope they bring Mark Magnus (Muhammed Hassan) back in some other character. He was a good character to hate, and seeing him get beat was fun. I was overjoyed when I heard he was killed.. but then I realized the WWE had just lost its greatest modern antagonist. I hope they can come up with someone that fans will love to hate as much as Hassan. Though, I did think the whole terrorist idea could have been scratched, I liked him better as the guy that always thought he was being the victim of racism more. Farewell to a good character, and good luck to Mark Magnus.


Hassan Character -- by Brandon M.

Once I saw the video promos for the Muhammad Hassan character on RAW weeks ago, I immediately knew a firestorm of media backlash would follow. World Wrestling Entertainment, Vince McMahon, and the entire creative/booking team of the WWE has a responsibility to professional wrestling fans to develop interesting characters and storylines for those characters to participate in; however, under the circumstances of the current conditions in the world as it relates to terrorism the WWE went a little far. There was a fine line that the WWE was walking by solely introducing the character, and they managed to stay the course by building him as a typical heel type character, but once he and his manager were moved to Smackdown and he began a program with the Undertaker, culminating in the "masked men" attack angle, and Davari being carried out as a martyr, the line was crossed.

While I am not surprised to see the events that followed, and do believe it was in poor taste, as I said the WWE has an obligation to us, the fans, to entertain us, but they should also be a little more conscious of what the do with these characters once they debut.

On a side note, this is the same idea that launched the Iron Sheik character years ago in the 1980's, just to a very higher extreme.


Muhammad Hassan -- by James1398Star@aol.com

Ahhhh... I'm dissappointed. For once, the WWE had something going for them, and it looked good. Hassan was a great character, well worthy of the microphone time he used and the ring time he got. Yet, WWE takes the initiative to throw him out due to an 'incident'? Come on now... we know why he really is being cut, the WWE Writers.

WWE has turned into a soap opera. The era of wrestling has been lost, and now it's all about storylines. Yes, it can be entertaining, but theirs a lot of pure wrestling fans who miss the good ole' days. Hassan was one of the few wrestlers who took those fans back to the past, but in a new relevant-way of the present. WWE is losing a lot of true wrestling fans due to their poor choices of cuts/firings. If they fire Hassan, I'm sure their will be more to leave in time.

I'v e never took the Arab-American personality/character as a terrorist. If anything I could tell he wasn't, but knew he was to fight a fight that could not be won in the WWE. Never could an Arab-American climb the charts of success without grief from the fans and the general stereotyping from the WWE Writers. It's shame... it truely is, because the past is being replicated within the WWE now as it was in the 80's and earl 90's. I just wish WWE would take a different route in presenting their material and realize petty baby/pregnancy angles aren't the need, and that more men like Hassan are needed to bring the WWE into the general eye of the public. As soon as thats done, WWE will establish top status in the wrestling business again, but right now I see that status shaking with the ROH, TNA, and other companies knocking on the door of theirs.


Muhammad must come back -- by Tim Cakebread

I am absolutely furious that Muhammad Hassan was taken off of Smack Down. I have not watched UPN since they did that. He seriously was my favorite wrestler. I realize that what happened was controversial, but the way UPN handled it was just unacceptable to me. I hate UPN for what they did with Muhammad Hassan. I seriously think what they did was totally wrong. I am still very angry that such a promising heel character was just taken away from us by a bunch of stupid tv executives that think they know everything. WWE needs Muhammad Hassan desperately because people want to see him lose. I think Muhammad should come back on RAW, maybe that will make UPN feel really stupid about what they did.


Muhammad Hassan WHAT! -- by cnelson@hamiltontechcollege.com

Hassan is the best and most talented heel to come into the WWE for along time. Probably the best heat, while still getting that rare respect and appreciation from the true wrestling fans. Not since the Rock and his Corporate turn has there been a character with a unique point of view, that was not only believable. but enjoyable. The WWE should know the difference between love to hate like with Hassan and the really hate wasting our time hate like JBL gets ( in an XPac way). Hassan's Arab American angle is upsetting to the proud American spirit and yet understandable as a real motivation for a character to have anger. Hassan was very solid with the mic especially for the short amount of time he has been featured and he is fluid and athletic in the ring. It isn't his fault the writers took it to far or made stupid decisions. He could be backed out of the terrorist stuff by just going away to heal his injuries and then sparking a new fued. The only first new wrestler I have actually looked forward to watching in years and then squash it. The is a perfect example of how sad the WWE and its stranglehold on wrestling is. The buy out everybody else and then don't even respect the fans enough to give us the stuff we want and continually choke the precious four hours of TV wrestling we do get with the same old guys and their long boring monologues. Hassan should be the main heel being pushed, at least the stuff he does is worthy heat for a exciting young wrestler. JBL and his blatant, cheap, stupid rants against the working man and all the racial slurs are way worse. I didn't see HHH get sent to OVW to get reinvented when the did the completely classless and stupid coffin violating scit. I am just tired of being so starved for wrestling to be entertaining again!!!


Muhammad Hassan: The first step toward politically correct professional wrestling. -- by Kenny Casanova

Since the very start, professional wrestling has pulled the strings of its fans by feeding into stereotypes. However, its archtypical storyline has always had "The Happy Ending"; the American takes a beating, but fights for his country's good name and comes out on top in the end. Looking at a small piece of Muhammad Hassan's short lived legacy and cutting him off before The Happy Ending is weak.

WWE cannot let people make it politically correct. WWE fans want edgy storylines, not washed out Hollywood crap. WWE has gone after an older demographic for sometime now, and if it starts to pander to a different audience of insane emailers that probably DO NOT EVEN WATCH WRESTLING... WWE will loose its older viewers who do. And being as they do not shoot for a younger viewership as they did in the Hogan era, this Muhammad Hassan could be the beginning of a downward spiral for wrestling.

I DO NOT WANT MY WRESTLING TO BE POLITICALLY CORRECT.


The Ending Of A Talented Superstar -- by haleem13

I do believe Hassan's character is one of the best ever, probably the best introduced this year. It is a real shame on WWE not to stand behind Hassan after all the negative press he has received only because he did what he was told to do. A stupid decision to air a (terrorist Angle ) on the very same day terrorists attacked London resulting in a storm of critics and negative press to Hassan, WWE & UPN. We all know that Smackdown is taped on Tuesday. So basically UPN had the decision not to air that segment if they wanted. However, WWE & UPN used Hassan himself as a sacrifice and let him face the negative press alone. Well if you ask me, I would say Hassan is a talented superstar and could be a world champion, but because he's an Arab American, he didn't get the push from the company. In the end, WWE ruined another talent that could have been a future legend.


The Happenings of Muhammad Hassan: A Military Point of View -- by R. Johnson

I've been a wrestling fan for as long as I can remember. I've seen the Iron Sheik, I've seen the heel Sgt. Slaughter, I've seen team Canada Jim Duggan. And in all my years nothing disgusted me more than seeing men in ski masks and dessert cammies choke out Undertaker. It pissed me off mostly because I've been to Iraq twice, and I've seen what terrorists look like. And those guys on Smackdown looked a lot like terrorists. And in my mind I was like F@*K Muhammad Hassan.

I've cooled off a lot sense and I'm rethinking the whole thing now. I've realized that Hassan was just doing what he does best; piss off the fans. Grant it, the timing was very, very, VERY bad, but it wasn't like he was doing something that hasn't been done a millions times over. That very same night JBL and Jordan tried to jump Batista. Those two pieces aren't getting kicked off Smackdown, and JBL is an out right Racist.

It's really a shame that this is happening to him and Daivari because I think that they were the perfect heel duo. Hassan's mic work is great, his abilities in the ring are great. He is the total heel package. And now he's gone cause his did his job. It's messed up and even though I'm not very partial to the whole "Anti-American" gimmick being in the Marines, I still understand why he did what he did. The thing the people don't understand is that he is doing what he is told to do. Just because he plays the role does not mean that those are his real feelings. The man is from Detroit for crying out loud. He's a American, Arab or not, and I'm sure that he loves this country. It's ridiculous that this man is getting pulled off the show, and I'm totally against it. Hassan has the potential to be a better heel than, dare I say it, Triple H and defiantly a better heel champion than JBL.

If Hassan doesn't come back then it will be one of the dumbest moves Vince has and will make as the Head of the WWE Corp. And I'm sure he'll make that move cause that's Vince McMahon for ya.


Hassan controversy -- by Nick W.

There are two simple points I want to make:
1) I saw the match/segment on the WWE website. When Hassan told his sidekick to be a 'sacrifice' does anyone seriously think this wasn't a hint at a terrorist angle? Vince McMahon should be utterly ashamed, although I doubt he is, for potraying any wrestler in this light at any time.

2) I really don't understand why the segment was not pulled, by 11am UK time, so 6am East Coast? it was clear a major terror attack was taking place. UPN & WWE should have acted then to pull the segment and the match. For crying out loud there are bigger issues in the world than WWE storylines. The suggestion there wasn't time is simply rubbish, no doubt Londoners' plans were changed too.


Hassan vs. WWE -- by Jacob Gittens [stylesclash@hotmail.co.uk]

Most of the controversy surronding Hassan as of late is based around the London Bombings as we all know, now being from England and not getting to see this story line aired on british television but to hear about it over the internet was very disgraceful to all of us british fans. This left me and im sure many british fans enraged at Hassan, but looking back over it and watching the Great American Bash, i came to realise that it wasn't Hassan's fault and that there is no reason to fire him or despose of his charater. With all the press hunting for hassan's character and fans treating him like an animal because of a situation the WWE story board put him in.

When he started the WWE it was obvious that the Hassan, arab-american charater was going to get across but myself and im sure a few others could agree we knew it was going to end badly for hassan, with him possiably loosing his job. here is my theory, did Hassan tell the terroroists to come to the ring, was it Hassan who came up with the arab-american charater when entering the WWE, and was it Hassan who decided to do all the things he has done over recent months!

No it is based around the WWE storyboard and Vince Mcmahon, im sure he would have been perfectly fine as a member of the hurricane/ rosey faction or im sure he would look good as heart throb or watever. The fans im sure would have looked passed his colour of his skin.

Vince Mcmahon and the WWE have picked up heat but not as much as what Hassan is going to loose, possiably his job and all respect of the wrestling fans. Hassan is fine by me a true british wrestling fan but these story writers of WWE have to be fired since bringing in hollywood to help out with storys WWE has lost alot of my respect and many people i know! WWE storyboard sort your Bloody job out because your being paid for a job your your not doing right!!!


Hassan Was Screwed -- by Rhey Higgins [dameilleur@msn.com]

Wow...before this, I never thought a single, five-minute long vignette could ruin a wrestlers' career. Now I know better. UPN are being total hypocrites about this angle, for quite a few reasons. 1) How many other shows on UPN feature terrorist-related plotlines? A hell of a lot, yet somehow, the actors don't get fired...strange. 2) The episode was PRE-TAPED!!! Despite what they claim, UPN had enough time to edit that out of the tape. I mean, look at it this way. SmackDown! gets pre-empted all the time, in all different cities, when there's a home-team baseball game on, etc...what's the harm in pre-empting it for a short while to edit out the "offensive material"? 3) Above all else, UPN decided to air the show. Are you telling me that they don't have enough power to decide not to run an episode, yet they have enough to tell WWE what characters they can and can't have? Bullshit. I guess this is what happens when you get a station tying to make wrestling a "family-oriented, friendly" environment.

UPN needs to realise that wrestling fans (well, most of them at least) aren't stupid...they know wrestling is a pre-determined form of entertainment, they know Hassan isn't a terrorist, and they know Hassan isn't dead after the Great American Bash incident. Hassan was right...discrimination runs rampant.


Muhammad Hassan -- by Hannah (gravebornmuse83@msn.com)

Look, I am really angry at UPN and the WWE for the release of Muhammad Hassan, and Davari. They They both are great wrestlers, and an effective heel team. Hopefully they will change the characters and bring them back as something else (done many times with other wrestlers like Kane) I love them both, and Mark (Muhammad) is great at what he does. I've grown up on wrestling, yes when I was 5 I had my moments, like running out of the room when Kamala came out. ( I have a phobia of masks or face paint). Ok this may not get put on the sight but I want to know how to go about petitioning UPN and the WWE. Only problem is who would sign it?


Muhammad Hassan - True American -- by William Gossett [wcgossett@yahoo.com]

With the apparent "killing" of the character at the Great American Bash, there has been a large outcry from the Internet Wrestling Community. Whether your stance on the subject be Pro- or Anti-Hassan, please hear me out.

Since his promo debut back in December, when he was very much a neutral character, he was booed by audiences simple because he was of Arab descent. Daivari himself stated that it wasn't known whether he and Hassan were going to be face or heel, and that it depended on the reaction of the crowd during the vignettes. This alone shows the prejudices of the majority of America.

When Hassan and Daivari had the debate against J.R. and King, J.R. said that, in reference to America, "Love it or leave it.". Of course, the crowd cheered this, even though it was a very Dictator-ish statement, and even though Hassan brought up valid and true points about why he had been denouncing America, he was booed.

Fast forward to about a month ago, during the Smackdown taping where the masked men attacked the Undertaker. At the time, there was a very small disturbance in the IWC by people who were worried about the angle. Unfortunetly, the morning this Smackdown was to air, there was an attack on London. Understandably, people were upset that there was something that was somewhat representing a terrorist attack on Smackdown. This is when things got out of hand.

It would be one thing if WWE springed this on the nation with no warning, but all throughout the night, there were warnings running across the screen saying, in effect, that due to the day's bombings in London, those who were sensitive about the issue should be weary of the night's episode. They showed the segment with the masked men attacking Undertaker and carrying out Daivari, and the next day, the media coverage was enormous.

An article by a certain Don Kaplan was used during an online promo Hassan did the week after the attack. In this article, Mr. Kaplan accused Hassan himself of being a terrorist, which Hassan had always been strictly against. Also, he called the masked men Arabs, even though they had ski masks on. Several others, in the media or not, also made this connection, again showing the prejudice of America. Amusingly enough, the men who played the masked men were WWE star Val Venis and four other muscular caucasians.

In the online promo, Daivari said something which was much more impactful than what Hassan said, although he said it in Farsi. Daivari said,"For everyone who watched last week on the TV you saw me get picked up from the ground and go to the back. But you thought the hands on me were Arab hands. You don't even know, but when you hear that the masked men were Arabs, you believe it. We are Arab (points to himself and Hassan) so therefore you think we are bad people. But please, for only one time, one minute, ONE SECOND just listen to the words of me and Muhammad and you will understand we are American and we are from America. And then you will then understand what they wrote on the New York Times was wrong."

In the end, the pressure from UPN caused WWE to try and find a way to remove Hassan from Smackdown. That way was the incident at the Great American Bash. For those who don't know, Hassan was given the Last Ride (literally and figuratively) through the Great American Bash stage.

The ban UPN has placed on the character "Muhammad Hassan" only further proves his point. Had JBL or Kurt Angle called on five masked men to attack somebody, there wouldn't be a peep in the media, but because simply because Hassan is of Arab descent, it's wrong. Though, if looked at from a truely logical perspective, it is not Hassan and the WWE who were in the wrong, but America.


Hassan's Inevitability - -- by Brian Bertrand [dameilleur@msn.com]

Mohammad Hassan, aka Mark Copani, was bound to piss many people off when it came to this character. It's not surprising to me that this would happen and WWE figured that out (for once, WWE read my mind) and now that he's going OVW I can only hope that they give him a new character to work with and not give him a gimmick where it explodes with racial exploits that WWE has been known for with many of their international wrestlers. I'm sure Hassan had his doubts about the storyline that he adding on to but that's his gimmick and that's how WWE wanted to portray a heel such as he.

On the UPN side of things, they really have no room to talk. They had a good two days to edit it out and put some filler space on there, maybe have WWE put the RAW recap during that segment or something like that. But if you are going at it in a video editing perspective, which is how I'm going to say it here, they had more than enough time to fix the problem. Hell, put a long clip from The Andy Milonakis Show on there if you want, it would have worked. The point I'm making is that UPN had more than enough time to make the change to the US video feed since it was pre-taped. Hassan had enough time to go to whoever was in charge of releasing the feed and have them fix it because I'm sure he had some uncomfortable moments portraying something such as that.


Muhammad Hassan -- by Bob Smale, Bristol (UK)

There was no need to destroy the character of Hassan. He and Daivari were two excellent heels and I enjoyed watching them. Forget any implications of terrorism - the WWE have pulled far worse stunts in the past. Everyone who watches Wrestling knows its history and how it all works. All they needed to do was to turn him face and that would have satisfied everyone. There has been a huge over-recation to this situation. Bring him back and turn him !


Why get rid of Muhammad?-- by Daniel Mallett

The answer of this question is very simple..... dont. WWE maybe went a bit to far having these terrorists carry hassan to the ring at the GAB but take away the terrorists and you have a brilliant heel. Hassan was a great wrestler and quickly rose to the top of the WWE, he was great on the mic and with davairi in his corner he could have been a great world heavyweight champion. BRING BACK HASSANANIEL


Muhammed Hassan - The REAL Victim of Terrorism -- by Bobby Bristow (From the UK)

This is my first column so this might be a little rough but my view needs to get across. The character Muhammed Hassan is an Arab-American wrestler who after the 9/11 attacks feels he has been racially targetted for what some of his fellow people have done. He claims he stands aginst bigotry and tyrany.

I did not see the SmackDown! on which the sacrifice happened but I watched the Great American Bash and although that PPV sucked, that match sucked the most. I saw what happened and I thought to myself "Whats wrong with that, I mean everyone knows wrestling is fake so must probably be an angle." Yet I heard at the Bash my favourite superstar could be wrestling his final match. I was shocked that this could happen to the brightest talent on the WWE roster. When 'Taker delivered the Last Ride through the stage I thought "How ironic that Hassan has been killed off through his own words Bigotry and Tyrany."

Ever since day one on RAW J.R and King have treated him like a terrorist and he keeps saying "I am here to fight that statement." Yet they keep treating him like a 2nd class citizen.

I knew before those events Hassan would have beaten the Undertaker but it was not to be. Taker looks lack-lustre in all his matches now so it is injustice that he beat Hassan.

If you think about George W. said "Your either with us or a terrorist." That is one of George W. most stupid phrases yet! Like most of the U.K I didn't want my nation to go to war does that make me a terrorist for gods sake I'm 12 years old! The U.S media don't understand Muhammed Hassan is a character played by Mark Capoldi an Italian-American. It is a shame if he loses his job for portraying something he isn't really. I really hope the WWE and UPN sort this out so I can see "The Great Muhammed Hassan" back on SmackDown!


Hassan -- by Sean Spears [perfectsean420@yahoo.com]

I feel that Vince truely ruined Mark Magnus {don't know his real name} and Shawn Davari. While "Hassan" spoke only the truth, he was booed. Much like JBL when he spoke against lying, cheating, stealing Eddie. Don't get me wrong, I love Eddie. Always have. Always will. But JBL made good points. We boo him, a college All-American who made his $$$ that old fashion way, yet cheer a man that tells us he's a crook! Now we boo Eddie for being himself with Rey-Rey. My point is this: Hassan spoke truth. America did turn on all Arab Americans. He never condoned 9/11. He actually spoke against it. He called them cowards. If they never work again, it's on Vince. I mean, Cena can be a "thug" and it's ok. Big Vis can hump a man and it's all gravy. But Hassan can't tell the truth? What's wrong with this picture?


Hassan was just a Bad Character. End of story -- by BGPMP5499@aol.com

I got to believe anybody who could even watch Hassan and not be angered just isn't smart enough to tie they're own shoes. I wasn't mad at Hassan for being Arab, I myself was born in the middle east. Even his comments about America were just annoying, not hateful. I didn't like him, why? Because he sucked. I mean if you must be able to tell that the whole character is a modern day Iron Sheik. I also can't believe a Muslim-American who has large bright tattoo's and sounds like a Jersey boy from the shore. His whole gimmick was meant to infuriate the fans, if you can think for one second Vince thought this guy could be a babyface, I got bridge to sell you in Brooklyn. And Vince didn't kill the character for no good reason. Hassan and Davari were going to cost him money. So he did the best thing he could for his company. Crush him, give the fans a reason for him leaving. You can look into the whole situation. Blame the stopping of the character and subsequent release to OVW on the fact that he sucked. And the writers went to far to quick and pushed the envelope. Hassan never got real heat, people didn't care. JBL might be annoying but you pay to see him get his ass kicked. I wouldn't pay to see Hassan due anything.


Muhammad Hassan-An Arab-American -- by Danyah Alsemeiry [inuyasha1show@hotmail.com]

Controversy has been following one of my favorite wrestlers ever, Muhammad Hassan (and Daivari) because he was involved in a "terrorist" promo on WWE Smackdown! a couple weeks ago. Well actually, it because of the promo, and because it was on the day of a tragic London bombing...

Ever since Hassan and Daivari came, they have been talking about how badly they are treated by the prejudice Americans, and now that UPN wants Hassan and Daivari dropped off of WWE Smackdown! that proves that everything they have said is completely correct. Heck, even the fans chant "U.S.A!" when their out, even more proof right there! UPN and perhaps even the WWE are being racist by wiping away their characters, just because of something that happened at the wrong time. If that bombing never happened, no one would of cared as much. The fans probably would of been mad, but the news wouldn't of cared, nor would anyone else. But people, IT WAS TAPED ON TUESDAY! Everyone knows Smackdown! is taped on Tuesday, so they didn't know this would happen! They can't tell the future, and yet you act as if you expect them to! You still want to erase these wonderful characters! Why? Because their (UPN...maybe the WWE) racist. That's why.

Although there have been plenty of racist angles throughout the WWE, none of them have been played quite as well as Muhammad Hassan and his manager, Daivari. Hassan is quickly rising to the Main event level, if not already there, and Daivari could become a great Cruiserweight with a bit more training, for he already can wrestle pretty well. I would say these 2 deserve another chance, but the thing is, this shouldn't even be happening. I hope UPN reconsiders, 'cause they certainly are going to get harrased a lot by Hassan and Daivari fans until they do. I will, that's for sure.


The Injustice Of Muhammad Hassan -- by Paris C. [b_geezay@yahoo.com]

For months, the character known as Muhammad Hassan has claimed that he has been the victim of injustice in the WWE. Well, surprisingly, in real life he has fallen victim to prejudice. Because of the unfortunate and tragic events that happened in London a few weeks ago, and the unfortunate timing of the Undertaker "terrorist" promo, WWE has been put under fire for the use of the character Muhammad Hassan, which puts the future of this young athlete into question. I am not Arab-American or a sympathizer of any kind, but I believe that putting a persons' future into jeopardy because of something he had no power over can be deemed as unfair and somewhat discriminatory. The so-called "terrorist" sketch was filmed 2 days before the attacks, but since SmackDown! is aired on Thursday, it just happened to be the same day actual terrorist attacks occurred. Naturally this puts the WWE in an awkward position, but at the same time, I think it is unfair to take it out on someone who can be, in this situation, considered a scapegoat. What if WWE did the same thing to Sgt. Slaughter back when his character became a sympathizer during the war? Think of how this would have changed wrestling. Yet because Muhammad Hassan is actually Arab-American, he could lose his job? I think this is highly unfair of UPN to do this to the WWE and I don't think it should be tolerated. Honestly, I don't like the character Muhammad Hassan. But that's why I think he is a great heel and was a great move for the WWE to have. The way I see it, had this situation turned out differently, I think the WWE would have had Hassan defeat Undertaker and go on to defeat Batista at Summerslam, becoming the first Arab-American World Heavyweight Champion.

The pure hatred fans have for him is what will bring them to spend their money to see him get destroyed every Pay-Per-View, even more so than JBL. This coward's way out for UPN I feel will in the end hurt the WWE and possibly destroy a man's career. Looks like Hassan character was right after all...


I Just Don't Understand -- by Adam Sprague [effigyofanimosity@yahoo.com]

This article isn't that long, and it isn't anything that any of you probably have not heard a million times already. But wow, poor Muhammad Hassan.

Hassan quickly rose up the rankings, had a huge push, and was given much mic time. And could that guy work a mic. Sure, the people dressed in black were a bit much, but would anyone care if it happened in a videogame? Or better yet, in a movie? Of course not!

Now what? He is going to be repackaged? Come on, that's just not going to work. Every time Hassan comes down the ring under any new gimmick, under any new name, WWE fans will be very quick to point out the fact. "Hey there is Hassan doing something else," and he will have zero chance of being taken seriously in his new role. The man is in his prime right now, it isn't like WWE can wait years and years before introducing him to a new role.

Honestly, I have to question Vince's testosterone, or his ability to stand behind his product when UPN spoke up about the issue. The original plan as many know, was for Hassan to DEFEAT the Undertaker and probably go on to become World Heavyweight Champion at Summerslam. Now what? Undertaker vs. Batista? In a WWE where feuds and gimmicks become more real life like, Hassan should have been something embraced, but for whatever reason many people could not separate real life from sports entertainment.

I also feel bad for myself, and other wrestling fans. The combo of great entrance music, a great gimmick, a super annoying manager, great mic work, and a great knockout finisher, not to mention a great submission hold, Hassan had it all...one of the few superstars whose mic work made sense, and just wasn't screaming, and obsession with the world title. The Great American Bash marks a sad day for me, and a sad day for wrestling. Smackdown has also lost its top heel, now where do they go to generate publicity and interest in their show? I just don't understand, and I never will.


Mohammad Hasssan: Super Heel -- by Kevin Roberts

First of all, let me say that I am not a terrorist, nor I condone any form of terrorism. I am simply a wrestling fan and OWW regular who cannot help but to speak on the recent developments surrounding one of the WWE's newest superstars; Mohammad Hassan. Within the last month or so, following the conclusion of the draft, Hassan has very quickly climbed the ladder of success in the WWE on his gimmick alone. Although Mohammad Hassan is a very good technical wrestler, it is clearly his controversial gimmick that has drawn fans, and non-fans ire; which is exactly what he is supposed to do. However, in wake of the recent terrorist attacks across the globe, the WWE has pushed the envelope with Mohommad Hassan and created a world-wide media frenzy; great job Vince. Hassan has extraordinary mic skills and I will even go out on a limb to say his promos are some the best ever. I feel that the WWE should captilize on Hassan's heat and have him challenge Batista, or whoever the U.S. Champ is going to be, for their respective titles sometime in the near future. I also feel that Hassan's in-ring and out-of-the-ring performance has earned him a shot to at least one of those titles. Hassan winning a championship would only create more controversy, thus making him bigger superstar than he is already. I feel that Mohammad Hassan is one the WWE's top 10 superstars, with the headlines he has created, right now he is probably one of the top five. Everybody hates Mohommad Hassan and he hates everybody back, but that is what he is supposed to he does his job well. Mohommad Hassan is a super heel who has a bright future with the WWE as long as he does not get stale, which I do not think he will as long as the war on terror still exists. He is the Iron Sheik of the future and he may one day reach legendary status as his predecessor did before him. I also like the fact that he does the Camel Clutch as a finisher in tribute to the great Iron Sheik, although his version of the Complete Shot is not bad either. When that music hits (Heee-yahh-eeeeeee), expect to see a fine display of technical wrestling and jaw-dropping, crowd-pissing-off antics from the WWE's most hated, Mohammad Hassan.


Muhammad Hassan: The King Of Controversy -- by Lance Crucifix

This article will look at the recent king of controversy, Muhammad Hassan. Now this is my first column, so be cool. I sat at home watching the SmackDown! now that half of my favorite wrestlers are there (Hassan being one of them) and then I see at the bottom of the screen, "Due to certain graphic nature of today's episode, viewer discretion is advised". And I think to myself, what could that mean, and then we see The Undertaker destroy Shawn Daivari. Then the men in black ski masks came out and took care of Taker, and they carried Daivari off, sacrificial style.

Now, let me start off by saying Hassan is a good talent, Hassan also has the ability to draw the fans in, and grab everyone's attention. There is no denying that Hassan's gimmick is one that has been done before, but not a single person has done it as well as him. Yet for doing what the WWE demands of him, he is censored, wrongfully. John Cena, can make gay jokes, with out being censored, yet Hassan can't do an angle with men in Ski Masks, with out being flamed, as a Terrorist. Like it said at the bottom of the screen, "Viewer Discretion is advised." also the fact that Smackdown! was taped before the event occurred in London, is another factor. It's a complete coincidence that Hassan pulls this angle as Terrorist's attack London.

Hassan is just doing what every other wrestler before him has tried to do, play his gimmick to the fullest. Hassan was brought in, with the WWE knowing what could happen, yet he is seen as the problem, and banned from appearing on this week's episode of SmackDown!. Hassan will surely die over on SmackDown!, being UPN is more of a family oriented network, and Hassan being as controversial a gimmick, that he is, the two just won't gel. And Hassan will never get the proper push, which he deserves like so many before him. And as looked down on as it is, I have to say, if I ran WWE, Hassan would be at least United States Champion.


Muhammad Hassan -- by Justin Parker

My friends ask me who Muhammad Hassan reminds me of and I tell them right away, The 1992 Heel Sgt. Slaughter. Many of you fans remember him in 91-92 era when he took the Iran heel gimmick and said "I Will make Saddam happy". He had so much heat back then he really had to be careful walking the streets and really had to look out for the safety of his own family. Knowing that, I am sure you must want to ask yourself "Is Wrestling Really Fake?"

Well for those of you who happened to catch Muhammad Hassan on the July 7th broadcast of WWE SmackDown! may not know that WWE has been in some headlines in the New York Post and on the News. And no, it's not for good things... Apparently some people thought WWE was terrible for allowing Muhammad Hassan to say what he said on television which was really drawing heat on Saddam Hussein and George W. Bush and also the tragic London bombings that happened not too long before the July 7th Broadcast of WWE SmackDown! aired. Now for those of you wrestling news buffs who know UPN has ordered WWE to completely REMOVE Muhammad Hassan and Daivari off WWE SmackDown! Television... Muhammad Hassan and Daivari who were recently drafted from WWE RAW due to the WWE Draft Lottery have really been getting over has of late, every time you turn on RAW or SmackDown! you're always seeing them. Some Wrestling Fans may even question WWE for why they would allow Muhammad Hassan and Daivari on TV on a time like this. If you think about it, what do you think would be happening to the WWE if they went and put Muhammad Hassan and Daivari on WWE Television after the tragic happenings on September 11th, 2001? I wouldn't want to know!

All I can say is that this young talent sure is getting a lot of heat from the newspapers and from TV News. But at the same time, His character keeps getting over and over... How many WWE Superstars 25 or younger have gotten to wrestle in a match against Hulk Hogan himself? I would have to say 2, Brock Lesnar and Muhammad Hassan. What I am really starting to wonder is, when will Muhammad Hassan become World Champion? If you ask me, now would be the time, this superstar has so much heat from the press and continues to get his character over... if he were to win the World Championship, I think it would be great for WWE and Muhammad would probably be the top heel on SmackDown! Hard to think someone could be more hated than JBL but I really think he would be the top heel on SmackDown! Don't you think it's time to see how WWE would go with Muhammad Hassan has the World Champion? I think WWE SmackDown! would be very interesting if he was!


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