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Bladejob

Back So Soon?

Back So Soon?

Newsier News Flash: HLA?? HLA? Hot Lesbian Action?? Two hapless indie valets playing at the most stereotypical girl-on-girl roles ever (“We’re the lesbians!”), and then being beaten up just for the leering masses? What the fuck was that out there? Where’s the wrestling? Where’s the athleticism? Does fucking Vince McMahon think I am a hormone-crazed monkey? Will I jerk off over his fucking stupid vision of misogynist WW”Entertainment” until I die? Will I cheer? Will I buy tickets? You’d better fucking watch out, you stupid bag of shit, I’m about done with your personal playground of degradation, and so are a WHOLE lot of other people. You’ll hit the bottom and I’ll be there to laugh. FUCK YOU.

News Flash: A gay wedding? On Smackdown? Thursday? Billy and Chuck? What about the ultra cool Rico? Will WWF’s Cro-Magnon handling of this cause me to stop watching Smackdown? Hope not! Will it suck? Certainly will if the ham-handed proposal is anything to go by! More later!

So, um, the guy who wrote a wrestling column for the local paper, some really crap affair called “Laying The Smack Down,” or some shit like that, he just got canned. Oh man I sure am gonna miss his insightful pieces on how successful the WCW Invasion is/was, or how a month ago he put his foot down and heartily protested all of the anti-woman violence in the WWF (this was, mind you, over a year after 70-something Mae Young was put through a table by the Dudley Boyz) — he had an eagle eye for the business, that kid. Maybe he’s a booker now. Plus his “insider” news was always like five weeks out of date. Sayonara, sucker. Now that he’s gone, I feel like I can go back to writing a wrestling column in peace without being menaced by my own daily goddamn paper.

Yes, I was waiting for him to go away all this time. Oh, and I was in England for awhile, where the only wrestling show at the time was WWF Jakked. Ha! Hack! There weren’t even any WWA shows running. I missed seeing Triple H swell up like a musclebound toad! Which brings me to my next point…

Nothing can make an ordinary Sunday errands excursion extraordinary like going to a thrift shop, no, no, wait that’s for a different identity… Here now, nothing can make an ordinary Sunday errands excursion extraordinary like, at the end of it all, gathering all your leftover sheckels and assorted change from buying shampoo, dryer sheets, and nectarines, pocket change in other words, and heading over to the clearance section of the local Toys R’ Us and splurging $2.00 on a bargain basement Triple H figure. How sweet it is! Most of them are from about a year or two ago, back when he still looked pretty cool. Wasn’t he sporting that rocking (no sarcasm) combination leather jacket with sleeveless denim jacket and HHH sigil just a few weeks ago? That was pretty fucking ace. I always wanted to write about that jacket, but I never got around to it. Or maybe it was just the figure that looked cool. I surely know that the salmon polo shirt that he was wearing last week wasn’t cool AT ALL. What an odd change. Which brings me to back to the point I was trying to make a paragraph ago…

Justin Credible sure has fucking sucked since they took his denim shorts (which he layered over his tights back then) away, hasn’t he? It took away any bit of a visual edge he had, all the white trash glory was unceremoniously stripped, leaving us, the fans, with only a skinny bald guy in long black tights. I swear to God, he lost like half of his musculature the day he came out in only tights. The wind just went out of his sails. Sad. I read somewhere that he hasn’t won a single match since returning. Harsh. Strange too, a simple pair of shorts can be the key to a man’s character. I never wear shorts.

Oh my god, I got sidetracked again.

As I was trying to say several paragraphs ago, Triple H sure has changed since the last time I wrote about him hereabouts in Bladejob. Remember that one about his weird Nine Inch Nailsy entrance video for that one pay per view? It was around the second iteration of his “big heel run,” right after he was revealed as the driver who ran over Steve Austin. Holy shit, that was the ppv where he was in the car that got smashed by a forklift! Oh my god, so silly. So, so silly. I have it on tape somewhere… No, I won’t watch it again.

Anyhowz, I turn on Raw this Monday and HHH is all over my television, whatever, nothing new. Shall I cry? You either get used to it or turn off the television. Like I was telling hischeapmoves the other day, I think I watch wrestling more out of reflex instinct than anything else these days — I couldn’t turn it off if I wanted to. I’m a junkie… but not a STEROID junkie. Oh, these sidetrack(mark)s are just insidious. But back to HGH, see — I like him a lot of the time — that entrance pose is pretty metal and epic, very rock. I have a huge soft spot for him. Against all odds. So what I’m trying to get at is that… damn it’s rough watching Triple H just kinda fall apart right in front of my screen. The freak injuries — bone chips in his elbows, all manner of sprains and who can fucking forget the quadriceps muscle that rolled up like fucking window blinds in the middle of a damn match? Or the every present tape, elbow pads and knee braces, part of the outfit? Maybe. I doubt it. The acne on the back is always jarring. The worst of all, I think, is that in about two years he went from this mane of thick blond hair (that I was sooooo jealous of), awesome rokker hair, to, on Monday, this scraggly mop of washed-out hair that was the same color as his too-tanned skin, and the scalp was just totally shining through. So I thought, well, it’s probably just because it was wet. Here’s the thing though, throughout the whole night, IT NEVER DRIED! Not even during the matches. Scraglly and limp. Then there’s the weirdness of watching his musculature wildly fluctuate between the too-pumped-to-move-the-shoulders look when he returned from the quad injury at the beginning of the year, to a relatively leaner physique now — it makes his skin look otherworldly and plastic. Almost… like… an… action… figure. I’m scared. Hold me.

Next time: Sometimes Change Can Be A Good Thing. But The WWF’s Version Of A Gay Wedding Can Never Be Anything But Soul-Crushing.

Categories
Bladejob

Maybe Rocky Doesn’t Suck (After All)

Maybe Rocky Doesn’t Suck (After All)

(Hey! I don’t care for the Rock at all, but with the wrestling business in a downward cycle and a kaboodle of negative press coming the WWF’s way, I figure I have to look at the big picture of the public image of wrestling, beyond y’know when Rhyno is gonna get that main event push. With that disclaimer out of the way, we continue.)

It’s tough being an “outed” wrestling fan, especially if you’re of the type where people say, “Hey, you don’t LOOK like a wrestling fan, hey I bet you like… um… Stone Cold and THE ROCK, ha ha People’s Elbow! People’s Elbow! Candy Ass! That shit cracks me up, yo!” Yeah, wrestling is a subtle and dramatic synthesis of performance and sport, but it sure does get an undeserved drubbing in the popular consciousness. From the sneered “rasslin'” often tossed my way by would-be hipsters who probably fetishize the A-Team, to Vince McMahon going all heavy on Bob Costas, to weirdly-researched university studies, to the cinematic oeuvre of Hulk Hogan (Santa With Muscles, anybody?), the overriding cultural icons that one associates with American professional wrestling are just downright embarrassing. It enough to make you wanna go underground.

Until now.

Okay, look, lemme make it clear that I just don’t like the guy as a wrestler. I’ve never been a fan of the unstoppable hero type. For that matter, I don’t usually like the babyfaces in wrestling at all, my fave raves have been the heels, from Piper to Raven to Muta to Dibiase to Douglas to Regal, you get my drift. I’m not a big fan of his promo style, his character, or his risible third-person book. But let me tell ya right now, the Rock is probably, no fuck that, definitely the BEST recognizable public “face” that professional wrestling has had in years and years.

And I got over my petty problems and issues real fucking quick. Pragmatism rules.

Let’s put this in perspective. Does anyone remember when Hulk Hogan was THE fucking man in pro wrestling? Sadly, I do too. Now remember when he’d go on chat shows, or Saturday Night Live, or that fucking cartoon, or Thunder In Paradise? He was the face of professional wrestling. When people thought wrestling they thought the Hulkster. When people thought Hulk Hogan they thought wrestling AND a series of downright craptacular movies and tv shows. And when people SAW Hulk Hogan they saw this grotesque, steroided, orange-skinned, mostly bald, overacting buffoon. But hey, America thinks, this fucking moron is the face of wrestling, so be it.

Oh, but times do change, thank fucking god. Y’see Hogan pretty much engineered his own downfall alongside that of new playpen WCW. The WWF rose to prominence and the public, plus the media, needed a new face of wrestling, more current, someone the kids wouldn’t grimace at. That lot fell to the Rock. I admit, when the WWF started pushing him as the new crossover star, I didn’t care for the decision at all. I just prayed it would be better than Bret Hart appearing on Mad TV in character and calling out cast member Will Sasso. Fucking hell, that sucked!

When you’re a wrestling fan, it’s the little things that make you happy, like the fact that Jerry Lynn now holds the WWF Light Heavyweight Title, like when I saw the Rock on Saturday Night Live, I didn’t see a fucking amped-up gargoyle a la Hogan. I tuned in, kinda half afraid of what I would see, and what I got was pretty fucking funny guy (that Superman skit ruled the school), who looked refreshingly normal, wore his own clothes (not a permanent yellow shirt that shouted “The Rockster” or something dumb like that), and was not afraid of having fun with his character. To put it straight, that show was a relief to me, and a revelation to the popular media. “This kid can be a star,’ y’know, he’s not a dribbling freak, he’s a pretty versatile handsome fella who doesn’t have to shout “Dude” and “Brother” to get his point across (though that third-person shit has got to go).

After Saturday Night Live there was the Republican Convention (absurdist theatre that Artaud couldn’t have matched), and after the Convention there came the movie offers and the Jay Leno (hate that cunt) appearances. Yeah, yeah, yeah. The kid’s alright. Now let’s talk about Dateline NBC. What with wrestling kinda taking a beating in the press again, this Dateline appearance was pretty important. Would the Rock box Stone Phillips’ ears in a replay of the Costas dealie? No way, what we got was a tastefully furnished house, a career on the rise, a happily pregnant wife, and a fucking winning smile. Good fucking lord, that fucking smile. That smile is gonna really help out the ol’ WWF when some folks get bent outta shape about the upturn in sexist and just plain dumb content on Monday Night RAW (classic pattern — when the ratings go down the tasteless T&A goes up). That smile will melt ya. You could get lost in that goddamn sincere-ass smile.

Oh man and when that baby is born, damn what a PR coup! Finally, after fucking Hulk Hogan, scary deluded Bret Hart, and drunk ol’ redneck Stone Cold, wrestling has a figurehead (ring skills be damned) who comes off kinda domesticated and pretty well-adusted and y’know normal. Now we just gotta keep Triple H from butting in and scaring all the kiddies who’ve never seen bacne close up…

Categories
Bladejob

What We Talk About (When We Don’t Talk About Wrestling)

What We Talk About (When We Don’t Talk About Wrestling)

I’ve been told it goes a little something like this…

Someone: (cue slight smirk, perhaps a faintly arched eyebrow) So you, uh, like “wrestling”? You don’t look like someone who would like wrestling.

Me: (immediate defensive posture, eye you warily, as I would an accuser or a particularly pushy uncle.) Um, yeah?

Someone: (sort of aggressive, nearly but not quite mocking tone) Oh, so you like (twang) “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and the Rock. People’s Eyebrow? I see it flipping through the channels on a Monday night. The Rock is soooo funny. (softly) I always think of you when I see it.

Me: (too much defense mode) No, I fucking hate the fucking Rock. And Stone Cold and all of that Pavlovian crowd-response shit. People’s elbow, too retarded… Monday Night Wrestling makes me want to smoke crack… (which is probably why I keep tuning in week after week after week after week after week)

Someone: (very confused, cuz this IS Vince McMahon’s world and we’re all just happy to be here) Well WHAT do you LIKE about it then? From, the way you dress, I bet you like the Undertaker, right?

Me: Hmmm… That’s funny that you ask about the Undertaker. About two years ago, the last time I went to a WWF show with some friends, this total redneck guy approaches me and says, “Who did you come here to see? I bet I can guess.” And I say, “We like Triple H…” And he says, “Naw man, it’s alright, we (nods at his family) came to see the Undertaker too.” But no, I don’t care for the Undertaker, besides he chews dip on camera all the time now. Too gross.

Someone: (confused, can’t tell if I’m being a dick and making shit up or simply answering the question or both) Didn’t he used to be a zombie?

Me: Don’t worry about it, times change, characters get more… something. (Upon reflection, any time an opportuny arises to actually try and TALK – as in converse- with a non-wrestling fan about wrestling, I become an moody, autistic jerk. I’ll never tell.)

Someone: I guess… Wrestling seems so popular now, that one girl Chyna was in Playboy-

Me: That photo shoot was an abortion. Christ, I was embarrassed to be a wrestling fan. Playboy… It’s all just bastard Hef, skulking around like a skeleton in silk pajamas, ogling anything in high heels. Dirty old man.

Someone: I don’t get it, everyone tells me you like wrestling, I hear you talk about it sometimes, but all you’re saying is how you hate this and you hate that- What’s the deal?

Me: Look, I mean, there’s always a very large part of me that loves to be negative about EVERYTHING. But I gotta tell you, besides about five musicians at the moment, wrestling is the only thing I can derive a pure, geeky fan-worship-joy from anymore. It ain’t mere kitsch or cheap kicks for me, baby. When I see something like Muta spray his green mist in the air (even though all his hair is fallin’ out right in front of me), or Triple H do that weird “demon-unbound” pose, or Steve Corino bleeding heroically, or even Kurt Angle suplexing the Undertaker around like a big redneck rag doll, all objectivity flies right straight out the window for me. It’s Iggy Pop rolling around in broken glass, it’s Atsushi Onita hitting the exact SAME proto-punk-airs when he rolls around in barbed wire. This is the stuff of legends. (look of panic, said too damn much)

Long Goddamn Pause

Me: Um, I dunno, do you want me to bring in a picture of Onita sometime in full-on Brando glory, maybe a visual aid would help?

Pause Pause Pause

Someone: So do you wanna be a wrestler or something?

Me: No way, it would break my skinny ass down into atoms. Plus, its weird, I like to keep my distance from wrestlers, they’re pretty much the new rock and roll stars. There’s some strange sleazy behavior behind dark corners going down. I knew this girl once who wanted to be a manager in WCW, and she’d hang around those TV tapings waiting to give someone in charge her sort of audition tape. And I went with her one day (mostly cuz the tapings were free and I knew I’d get to see Psicosis and La Parka wrestle like six times, good deal), and she gave her tape to the correct parties, I think it was Jimmy Hart, and later this wrestler guy and announcer guy were talking to her about what she needed to do to break into the biz. And they were just secreting sleaze from every pore and they were totally all about how she’d have to do whatever she was told, and how she’d have to lose a few pounds and especially, ESPECIALLY she’d have to suck loads of cock to get anywhere. I don’t think they were dealing in metaphors either. Pretty disturbing.

Someone: That’s a horrible story. And you still like wrestling?

Me: Always, its just….. The best way I can explain it is to relay it back to musicians again, do you want a rock star to be someone who you can sit down and have tea with, or do you want a rock star to be a wall of manic nihilism? Though I’m not defending sleazoids, let’s face it, wrestlers don’t have the patent on sexist behavior.

Someone: Do you even know what you’re talking about?

Or Maybe It Was This—

Someone: Okaaaaaaaaaaaaaay, I’ll let you get back to watching your “Wres-tling”…

Me: Yeah, heaven forbid I be interested in something other than…

Someone: Heaven forbid you be interested in someONE.

Me: It’s not like that… (but I’m probably not sure)