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That's A Wrap #30 - Wrestleview.com

That's A Wrap #30

That's a Wrap
By: David Stephens of WrestleView.com

Ousta! Welcome back to the only WrestleView column covering topics both nowhere yet everywhere at once. If you are new to the column you are probably going to hate us for the first couple weeks, but then you are going to hit a point where you say ?oh wait a minute, I think he gets it?. Don?t worry, that's exactly how it is designed to be. This column is all about gut reactions and traveling thoughts. As the great Andy Kaufman once said: ?I just want real reactions. I want people to laugh from the gut, be sad from the gut, or get angry from the gut?.

David: In order to provide proper perspective for the main feature of this column, I am bringing Jared in to co-write with me. You will recognize him from the feature ?Jared's Kayfabe Reality? which runs about every other week in my column. We wrote this together so I?ll signify who is speaking by prefacing with our names in bold.

This week's column could be consider a heavy issue which is why a lot of thought went into how to present the subject. We are going to take a look at and dissect the portrayal and real life stories of gays in professional wrestling. This is the first edition in a series on the topic.

Jared: I?ll jump right to the point and let you know that the reason David is having me co-write this week is because I am in fact gay. I?ve never brought it up in any of my features thus far, because it hasn?t been relevant. I?m willing to share because I think it will help make my points more effective on the subject. I?ll also be dropping the ?Kayfabe Reality? gimmick this week in order to be as honest as possible. Don?t worry it?ll return soon enough.

David: Gay characters in wrestling have been around for quite some time. Gorgeous George was perhaps the most successful and high profile gay ?character? to take the wrestling world by storm.

Jared: He had the gimmick down to perfection. His head was topped with luscious golden locks, he was accompanied by a male valet, and perfume was sprayed into the ring while entering. This elicited jeers and boos from audiences that didn?t really know how to react.

David: Certainly that is the standard reaction to gay characters. Online World of Wrestling has a list of gay characters that we have seen in wrestling. Keep in mind that these are characters that have been gay or presumed gay and NOT a reflection of the wrestler's personal sexuality. The list includes: Adrian Adonis, Adrian Street, Antonio Thomas, Billy Gunn, Buff E., Chris Kanyon, Chuck Palumbo, Dizzy Davis, Faron Fox, Goldust, Gorgeous George, Hardcore Homo, Japanese Pool Boy, Kwee Wee/Bruce, Lazz, Lenny Lane, Lodi, Mace Mendoza, Michelle Starr, Pink Assassin, Phil Latio, Rico, Ricki Starr, Romeo Roselli, Simon Sermon & Shane Storm. We have seen ?gay? Tag Teams with Billy & Chuck, Christopher St. Connection, The Heartthrobs, and Lenny & Lodi. For the most part gay characters have either been used as heels or for comedic effect.

Jared: In that respect I?ve always found it amusing to see the audiences react to a gay character in comparison to straight, but disturbingly flamboyant characters (HBK, Ric Flair & Jericho come to mind). As a gay man I?ve never personally been insulted by the portrayal of the bulk of these characters. It's quite understandable that the typical Pro-Wrestling fan would have heat with such a wrestler. The bottom-line is that the characters ARE getting screen time and thus I can?t really complain.

David: But don?t? you take the side of GLAAD? The Lenny & Lodi angle and subsequent removal of the angle when GLAAD threatened to go after advertisers was a pretty big deal at the time.

Jared: That brings up a couple of good points. First of all, people are simply too sensitive. I?d be willing to bet that GLAAD wasn?t watching the product week in and out. Thus, they had no understanding of why the angle was working. Kevin Nash sat down for an interview with OutSports.com in which he provided great perspective on the matter. He says that the eventual storyline would reveal that Lenny & Lodi were actually brothers. He wanted to throw the stereotype on its head. Almost to trap the audience in a place where they assumed things that weren?t true. Plus he notes that there were certainly gay members of creative at the time. I definitely think that situation was a case of over-sensitivity.

David: That's a good point. When such complaints are made they seem to forget that there are members of creative, perhaps most famously Pat Patterson, who are openly gay. Now with that being said, there are wrestlers who stated that sexuality cost them their job. Chris Kanyon comes to mind.

Jared: His case is a tricky one because there are two parts. Kanyon has in fact stated that he felt his sexuality played a part in his release. Now I obviously was not there at the time, but I?m not convinced. Kevin Nash and Ric Flair have said that Kanyon's release was more a factor of likeability and talent. I?m inclined to believe their stance. Ignoring the supposed cause of his release brings to light a bright side of his tale. Kanyon said in an interview that being gay never caused any sort of rift between him and his fellow wrestlers. I find such stories both comforting and encouraging.

David: I can?t help but remember the scene in ?Kayfabe: The Movie? in which a reporter asks the locker room about the homo-erotic themes in the sport. The guys sheepishly look around and then adamantly deny any such possibility. Stemming from that thought, it is kind of amazing when you realize the miracle of what pro-wrestling has accomplished. Straight fans like myself tend to gloss over the overt details, but they are clearly there.

Jared: Ha, I know exactly what you mean. Let me clue in your heterosexual mind. In a standard match you have two guys squaring off against each other in an enclosed ring. They are wearing very little clothing, most in tights that make Speedos look modest. Their bodies are shaved, waxed, and coated in baby oil. The objective of a standard match is to pin your opponent to the mat for three seconds or force him to submit. It doesn?t get much more blatant than that!

David: Next week we?ll be returning to continue this discussion. We?ll be taking a look at specific characters and what they did right and wrong in their portrayals. If you have any specific items you would like Jared's insight on regarding the subject e-mail either of us and I?ll try to fit it in for next week. Both of our e-mails can be found at the end of the column.

Eternal Detention

With all due respect to my friend Anthony (From the Desk of Mr. V), I am putting someone, and a group of people, in eternal detention. I am a fan of the site ?Declaration of Independents?. They cover Indy news and reach into areas that the big sites such as dear old WrestleView do not. Our own Jose Marrero used to write for the site, which I point out so that you understand there is a lot of good content available.

That being said, their forum is an entirely different matter. I?m placing everyone who posts on their board in ?eternal detention?. They should be ashamed of the way they carry themselves. I browsed through the forums and a disturbing amount was filled with slanderous attacks on a friend of mine. Their attacks and obvious obsession with him are revolting.

In addition, the man who runs the site on a daily basis, Sean ?The MiC? McCaffrey, has facilitated the harassment with an article of pure libel on the main page. I?ve had a run in with Mr. McCaffrey once in the past which is long story. In essence he lied to my face at one of his WSU shows regarding times and talent. Some of my colleagues have spoken kindly of him to me, so I let it go and did my best to separate my opinion of him from my opinion of the forum. His recent poorly written and lie filled article about a friend of mine has pushed me over the edge.

I actually debated even giving them even the time of day by addressing the situation, but someone needs to call them out. If I have any regret it is that I?m giving their miniscule board a moment of observation by my vast audience. The juvenile behavior they emit should cause them shame. Eternal damnation and detention to the despicable scum firing those attacks.

What's in the News?
All news is gathered from WrestleView.com unless otherwise noted

Slam Wrestling has an interview up with WWE Unified Tag Team Champion Chris Jericho. If he feels the WWE brand extension is still a good idea:
- "I think it was a better idea then than it is now. There was a lot more talent when they did the brand extension. You could actually split the rosters in two; create some competition for ourselves, especially after WCW went under. Sometimes I wonder if we should still do that with talent roster the way that it is with a lot of younger guys. It's a good idea to give them a chance to shine, but for me the way right now, especially working Raw and Smackdown, it shows that some guys should do both shows because we need the diversity on both. But still, week in and week out, they still make it entertaining, build up a lot of Smackdown and they do it more on Raw as well, there's room for everyone on the show, some just have to kind of grab the brass ring and run with it. I'm happy to be on both shows, I like contributing to both."

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that Vince Russo and Matt Conway are remaining the official creative team in TNA, but others have input in the process. While it was reported on by Mike Johnson that Jeremy Borash is back on the creative team, Borash has always had input (like Mike Tenay) and is on the road too much to be a full-time member of the team. Others who give input include Taz since his arrival and Brother Ray (Bubba Ray Dudley). Ed Ferrera is being described as more of a backstage producer, but does provide input to the creative team.
-All things considered, I don?t think they have a terrible writing team at the moment unlike the opinion of most of my peers. Though on the other hand I enjoy it mostly because it messes with my mind

MMA Fanhouse has an interview up with TNA's Tara (Lisa Marie Varon/former WWE star Victoria) where she talks about wanting to take an MMA fight before the end of this year. Varon, who has been training in MMA since she left WWE in January added:
- "I feel more than ready now. I mean, if someone said tomorrow, You have to fight tomorrow, I feel I can fight tomorrow. I really got sucked in by seeing how they lived (on watching The Ultimate Fighter), how they trained and everything like that. You know, for wrestling, that's our lifestyle, too: we eat, breathe and sleep wrestling. So it kind of paralleled the same lifestyle I led, but I've always been a fan of it."

WWE creative is not happy with the upcoming Hell in a Cell PPV on October 4 reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. The issues they have are over three cell matches taking place on the same show, which is something you would think they could forsee being a problem before they decided to go with the format in the first place. Lots of the veterans are also hating the concept of the show since the plan as of right now is to have all three of the cell matches in a row with no blood being allowed. There is talk of also having the United States Championship triple threat changed to a Ladder match. It may not have a strong chance of happening though since they have a TLC themed PPV in December and just had a TLC match in November.
-Well it is a good thing that they thought of this before renaming the PPV and setting up matches ? oh wait?

No big surprise here as The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that relations between TNA and Bubba the Love Sponge are on bad terms as TNA President Dixie Carter ordered no more TNA guests will be allowed on his show. This is more than likely in response to a recent show featuring Kurt Angle where Bubba called Vince Russo and Jeff Jarrett a "cancer" to TNA. Angle was forced to go on the defensive when speaking about Russo and Jarrett. This is the second time relations between TNA and Bubba have been bad this year after news leaked on his show that Jeff Jarrett and Karen Angle were in a relationship.
-I don?t at all blame Carter for making this decision. It is in the best interests of the company to keep talent away from the show.

Although he has been called this in the past, it appears "The Viper" will be Randy Orton's official nickname from this point on according to a recent e-mail release by WWE.
-This is a perfect example of repetition determining policy. Way to go Mr. Cole!

Rey Mysterio's 30 day WWE suspension is up on October 3 and he will be working the October 4 Hell in a Cell PPV in Newark, NJ after all. Mysterio will be tagging with Batista to take on Chris Jericho and Big Show for the WWE Unified Tag Team Championships. We reported earlier that the expectation was that Mysterio would instead return at the Smackdown tapings on October 6 in Trenton, NJ, but that plan was changed and he is now working the PPV. In the past, WWE wouldn't put talent on PPV events without them appearing on TV to build it up. One positive for Mysterio is that the originally estimated losses he would be seeing with the suspension won't be as high since he is working the PPV.
-I didn?t expect them to throw him right back into the fire with no build, but I am pleasantly surprised. This speaks volumes about his draw potential and power

The Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online is reporting that Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson will be appearing in a taped segment on the Smackdown 10th anniversary show next week. A WWE crew filmed a promo this past week at his home for the show.
-Nice of him to contribute seeing as how the NAME of the show comes from one of his catchphrases

Jim Cornette announced at Saturday night's Ring of Honor event in New York that he is now the company's new executive producer. Cornette also added in front of the live crowd, "Sarah Palin will give Barack Obama a lap dance on the steps of the capital before I get behind Vince Russo."
-That goes down as one of my favorite wrestling lines of all time

Lauren Williams (Angelina Love) is still living in the Tampa area and is waiting for her visa paperwork to be sorted out reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. We reported earlier this week that she was visiting at the TNA Impact TV tapings this week in orlando. It should be noted that TNA signing Lacey Von Erich to be used in The Beautiful People seems to indicate they don't see her situation being resolved anytime soon.
-I was going to question how she is still in the United States if her visa was expired, then I remembered that we don?t exactly do a great job enforcing our borders

Jeff Hardy's legal issues may not be doing any favors to his brother Matt Hardy reports The Wrestling Observer Newsletter. On 9/16, there was reportedly a discussion within WWE about what they wanted to do with Matt going forward. He was at the Smackdown taping on 9/15 in Hamilton, but wasn't used and didn't even work a dark match. Hardy did end up working house show events later that week headling against CM Punk at Smackdown/ECW events. While he wasn't used on Smackdown this past week, Hardy did work the Superstars taping against Kane. As for Jeff, we reported earlier that he pulled his personal Twitter and MySpace accounts and nobody is being allowed to say anything else on advice from legal.
-I?ll be surprised if this is actually 100% accurate. I don?t think that Jeff's situation SHOULD impact Matt if he wasn?t involved. If Matt gets ?held back? as they say, it should be because of talent and ability. I?m not saying he doesn?t have them, his charisma and draw is just nowhere near the level of his brother's

WWE.com has a section looking at the history of the "Hell in a Cell" match starting with the first match ever on October 5, 1997 between The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels.
-It's interesting to note that this means that Shawn Michaels, at least in terms of the WWE, was the first to have successful Hell in a Cell AND Ladder Matches

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson made a surprise appearance at a WXW indy wrestling show in Mineola, FL on Saturday reports The Wrestling Observer/Figure Four Online. Johnson came out to promote the debut of Sarona Snuka, the daughter of Jimmy Snuka, who has been training at Afa's wrestling school.
-You have to figure that those in attendance lose their hats having him emerge as a surprise

Slam Wrestling has an interview up with WWE Champion John Cena. If there is talk in WWE about the Danielson/McGuinness signings:
- "Certainly, if the locker room remembers that Velocity match a long time ago, they're much more of the historian category than I am. We're always happy to get any sort of talent. I think Bryan will be a wonderful acquisition for the program, as well as any of our developmental superstars."

PWInsider is reporting that Danny Bonaduce was approached about taking part in Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff's "Hulkamania" tour, but turned down an offer as he reportedly wasn't happy with the pay involved.
-The fact that Bonaduce would even be in a position to be paid as a wrestler amuses me

WWE ring announcer Justin Roberts has been moved from Smackdown to Raw and will start announcing at tonight's show in Albany, NY reports PWInsider.
-I?m a fan of this move. I?ve been a Justin Roberts fan for quite some time, he has a great voice

While the last we heard was that Sting had yet to make a final decision in regards to a future with TNA past October, Prowrestling.net is reporting that Sting is expected to continue working past next month's TNA Bound For Glory PPV and that there is talk in the company of having him work a retirement tour that would keep him with the company until the spring of 2010.
-This is pretty much the same nonsense we have been hearing regarding Sting's presence in the WWE for the past couple years. Isn?t it about time we stop speculating and let the events just take their course as he intends them?

The following statement was issued on the official website of Shane Douglas' "November to Remember" event that had been planned for later this year: "Due to numerous circumstances beyond our control, N2R, The Final Chair Shot has been postponed indefinitely. We are all just as disappointed by this as most of you are. We are remaining optimistic however and hope that all of you will do the same. Thank you for your continued support."
-I?ve been covering this event here in the news for awhile now and it comes as no surprise that the event fell through. The last update before the postponement revealed that a date had not even been firmly established

Ratings
RAW ? 3.4
ECW ? 1.2
Superstars ? 0.8
iMpact ? 1.0

WWE Stock Update
Week Ending September 25th 2009
Open ? 14.05
High ? 14.33
Low ? 13.78
Close ? 13.82
Volume ? 478,772

Quick Results

RAW September 21st
-Triple H vs. Cody Rhodes (No contest)
-The Miz def. Evan Bourne
-Beth Phoenix def. Divas Champion Mickie James
-United States Champion Kofi Kingston vs. Jack Swagger (No contest)
-Cedric the Entertainer def. Chavo Guerrero
-Randy Orton & Unified Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Big Show def. WWE Champion John Cena, MVP & Mark Henry

ECW September 22nd
-Yoshi Tatsu def. Paul Burchill
-Ezekiel Jackson & Vladimir Kozlov def. local competitors
-ECW Champion Christian def. Zack Ryder (ECW Title Match)


Superstars September 24th
-Primo def. Chris Masters
-Goldust def. William Regal by Disqualification
-Women's Champion Michelle McCool & Layla def. Melina & Maria
-Matt Hardy def. Kane by Disqualification

TNA Impact September 24th
- Street Fight: Suicide def. D'Angelo Dinero.
- Knockouts Tag Title: Sarita & Taylor Wilde def. ODB & Tara.
- X Title: Samoa Joe def. Daniels and Homicide.
- Matt Morgan & Hernandez def. Kurt Angle & Eric Young.
- Bobby Lashley def. Jethro Holliday.
- TNA Tag Titles: Booker T & Scott Steiner def. Mick Foley & Abyss.

Smackdown September 25th
-Intercontinental Champion John Morrison & Finlay def. Dolph Ziggler & Mike Knox
-Kane def. Slam Master J
-Batista def. Big Show (Disqualification)
-David Hart Smith def. JTG
-World Heavyweight Champion CM Punk def. Undertaker (Count-out)


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So ?that's a wrap??. Love it? Hate it? Disagree with everything I said? Just want to chat wrestling? I?m always up for reading your thoughts so send them ?em on over.

Click to e-mail Jared

- David Stephens

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