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Bob Magee
Pro Wrestling: Between the Sheets

Remember when this column campaigned against the Parents Television Council because they wanted to “sanitize wrestling for your protection”?

Well, looks like the Parents Telvision Council won.

It’s been sanitized for your protection…whether you wanted it or not.

Wrestling is no longer for adults…although not because of anything that the PTC did.

Not that it’s news to any of you, but the former CEO of World Wrestling Entertainment, Linda McMahon, is running for the Republican nomination for the United States Senate to run against the incumbent Democratic Senator Chris Dodd. Not so coincidentally since that date, the RAW, Smackdown and WWECW products have become far tamer, and now PPV can’t show blood (even when it’s hardway), as happened at the TLC PPV, when the WWECW title match was actually stopped to superglue shut the hardway cut of Christian who was hit in the head with a ladder. Let that have happened at the ECW Arena and the building would have been torn apart in minutes.

It’s not the first time, though. The same nonsense also happened at WWE Bragging Rights when John Cena had a cut sealed after Randy Orton hit Cena with the corner of a microphone and Cena started bleeding hardway.

The Texas crowd made their displeasure known…and loudly. It was loud enough that WWE announcer Matt Striker made a lame attempt to cover WWE’s corporate tail by claiming that the “Texas State Athletic Commission” required it (news bulletin: there is no Texas State Athletic Commission). Jerry Lawler was smart enough to know that lie would be found out and quick and admitted on air that it was because of WWE…although he never said why.

The public claim by WWE that the no blood policy is due to the PG rating and to attract mainstream advertisers. If WWE doesn’t want to show blood on its over the air TV, that’s one thing. But to tell adults that buy WWE PPVs that their wrestling will be sanitized because the wife of the company owner is running for the United States Senate and that matches will be interrupted in mid-stream if hardway blood occurs is just plain ridiculous.

Still think it’s because of PG ratings and advertisers? It’s not limited to just that. Democrat party officials in Connecticut publicly complained that WWE is so sensitive about any You Tube footage showing past sex or violence that might be used against Linda McMahon… that WWE is engaging in an all-out legal blitz to take down pretty much anything online that features them. WWE legal staff claims they are protecting their “intellectual property”. Funny how this concern just happened to mushroom right after Linda McMahon announced for the United States Senate.

In additional news, The Hartford Courant reported that President Obama has responded to complaints that his taped message,
which appears on Saturday’s WWE Tribute to the Troops show on NBC; is being used by the Linda McMahon Senate campaign to make WWE “mainstream” specifically indicated that the segment was not taped to appear on a wrestling show. The general greeting that will air was made available to many outlets to air and never once mentions WWE by name.

WWE responded in kind with a Friday press release that WWE had, in fact, started asked or Obama to be on the show on two different occasions this year; and supplied background information on a variety of reported production related information regarding this segment. So believe whichever version of this story you wish, Obama’s or WWE.

There’s no question that Tribute to the Troops is the best thing WWE does all year. I don’t heave one problem with it being used for good PR for WWE. But the fact that it’s used for PR in a Republican political campaign is inappropriate, even more so after the partisian political shots taken at the Democrats and at President Obama only days before (in TV time).

Speaking of which…. there was last week’s WWE Monday Night lasting into Tuesday morning (at least that’s what it felt like) RAW featuring Smuggy McDouchebag, er….Dennis Miller as the “guest host”. We got to hear a monologue that sounded like it came out of a Rush Limbaugh-sponsored political roast…not to mention that the supposed comedy just plain sucked and wasn’t funny at all…even to a FOX News Channel brainwashed far-right true believer.

Anyone happen to notice that Al Sharpton and Jesse Ventura weren’t allowed to go into a political rant (not that I especially wanted to hear either one)? Wonder why?

Maybe Dennis Miller should have spoken to his cousins from the other extreme, the Smarky McDouchebags, who were at the ECW Arena this past Thanksgiving weekend. You remember them from last week’s column. These “fans” crapped on CZW staff and its fans, booing the mention that CZW was there selling tickets, with some fans referring to them as “garbage” and worse. Funny how the “garbage” from CZW, whose show seems… from eyeballing… to have outdrawn the show on Thanksgiving weekend, responded to help kids and to recognize US Marines at Cage of Death show when the the Smarky McDouchbags and their promotion wouldn’t and didn’t.

So “Smuggy” thinks he’s above wrestling fans (but doesn’t mind taking a wrestling promoter’s money…not much different than Jesse Ventura, now that I think about it) while “Smarky” thinks they’re better than other wrestling fans…or US Marines.

Folks, we wrestling fans are just people.

We aren’t better than someone else, but we damned sure aren’t worse.

We’re people who work hard at our jobs, if we’re still lucky enough to have them these days.

We don’t need to be talked down to by a condescending comedian who thinks he’s back on Saturday Night Live in 1985, but lacks the scriptwriters from that show that actually made him funny. We don’t need a right-wing (or left-wing) political sermon.

All we want is something entertaining for two or three hours…something with athletics and humor and maybe even a little storyline drama. We don’t want hidden real-life political agendas, whether they’re from the Parents Television Council, the McMahon Senate campaign, or those on the left who are afraid to let their kids see some simulated violence and make our wrestling safe whether we want it that way or not.

At least when Stevie Richards did his Right to Censor shtick some year back, it was satire against the perceived right-wing bias of the PTC. Now in 2009 going into 2010, Vince McMahon and his crew have made Right to Censor their own real-life political agenda…and our Monday night storylines.

Until next time….