Reality From Ringside #22
July 20, 2009
By: Doug Lackey of

Raw is…Huh?

As of right now, it is 10:55 in the evening on Sunday, July 19th. A couple hours ago I was faced with a tremendous dilemma and I would like to talk you through my thought process and how essentially I will be saving myself at least $50 and a tremendously large headache.

As many of you know, I live in what is considered the birthplace of professional wrestling? Charlotte, North Carolina. For those who disagree with that claim, e-mail me your suggestions for the actual birthplace, make your case, I?ll make a column out of it, and disprove your theories for all the inhabitants of this nerd kingdom to behold. But I digress? a three-hour drive east on interstate 40 takes me to the ?research triangle? and Raleigh, which happens to be the host for this Monday’s taping of ?Monday Night Raw.?

Last month, I had the privilege of watching ?Raw? from Charlotte live and its ?3-for-all?, 3-hour mega-show. I thoroughly enjoyed the show and saw on WWE’s website that another ?Raw? would be coming to Raleigh in one month’s time. ?Cool!? I thought, ?Another live show! I could take a couple vacation days from work, head to Raleigh, get a hotel, take in the show, get annihilated at the bars and rehabilitate my way back home Tuesday morning.?

However, thanks to the magical maneuvers accomplished by Donald Trump, Vince McMahon, and many others? this Monday’s ?Raw? event has turned into nothing more than a stiff-wristed slap in the face of any professional wrestling fan residing in the historically-rich state. I think my disgust and bravado can all be summed up by 5 letters: ZZ Top.

Before I go into the core reason I will not be wasting my time and money for one of my true loves of life (scotch and women are my other two), I am going to quickly go through the reasons that were shadowed.

With this being a ?go-home show? promoting the up-coming pay-per-view ?Night of Champions?, it can be easily predicted that nothing special would be happening at this live show. Sure our favorite talents and performers will be in action, but doing what? Selling the program that will cost more to watch on TV Sunday than the ticket I would have purchased to see their show live on Monday? It really sounds counter-productive, doesn?t it? I have not heard any radio commercials for the event but I can anticipate a tag-team dark main event pitting John Cena and Triple-H against Randy Orton and some other equally-hated athlete, probably Big Show. Big whoop? I think I?ll survive staying home and watching the train wrecks on my 50? plasma.

A 3-hour drive to and from? hotel fare? ticket and processing fees? food and LOTS to drink to make me forget the obliteration of my monthly budget? I think you can see how, economically, going to the show would be a mistake. Sure, I like being entertained, but I like having running water, electricity, and high-speed internet in my apartment so I can see the boobies (Oh stop snickering, that’s the only reason you need the internet most of the time). So while you can sit behind your computer monitor and chastise me for not taking advantage of the opportunity to see WWE live in person, look back on those expenses stated and ask yourselves if this ?go-home? is actually worth it.

Finally, to the real reason for this embarrassingly hilarious column that is soon to turn full of hate and disdain.

I completely understand why Seth Green was chosen to be the special guest host/general manager for last week’s ?Raw?. Triple-H lent his voice and persona to Green’s show ?Robot Chicken? and he is fan of WWE. I get that. Same thing with ZZ Top, they are also big fans of WWE and they once lent their hit song ?Legs? to the company to be used as an entrance theme for then-Diva Stacy Keibler. What I don?t understand is the timing and placement of ZZ Top’s appearance as special guest hosts.

This is North Carolina. Professional wrestling’s history runs deep through the state’s veins, from the Greensboro-Raleigh-Durham triangle to its epicenter in Charlotte. There countless legends that could have been chosen to guest host WWE’s flagship program and received greater admiration. Why ZZ Top? Why now? Could they not have waited until their tour was to make a stop in the band’s home state of Texas, where their reception would be appreciate greater? Sure their music is loved nationwide, but music is not what is going to be on the minds of the many North Carolinians sitting inside the RBC Center.

We could give a damn about ZZ Top? more to the point; we certainly do not want a rock band from Texas dictating what we are going to be watching at the live show. Harley Race, Ricky Steamboat, Dusty Rhodes, Tully Blanchard? any legend from the era of Jim Crockett promotions would foster a crowd pop of epic proportions. Force-feeding us a rock band all in order to promote a forthcoming CD release leaves for a very angry arena full of wrestling enthusiasts.

?It’s no secret that ZZ Top is a big fan of WWE,? admitted an enthusiastic Gibbons in an exclusive interview with ?When it comes time to addressing what one of our favorite things to do is, besides playing loud rock and roll, it’s watching some wild and raucous shenanigans in the ring.? (Courtesy:


?Coming in as a combination is probably not going to be too much different from the way we approach our appearances on the live stage,? said the lead vocalist of his pseudo-tag team with Hill. ?We can?t think of anything we like doing better than playing [music], with one exception: Tagging up with WWE.? (Courtesy:

?Tagging up?

?[ZZ Top is] partial to the Texas boys,? he proudly proclaimed. ??Stone Cold? Steve Austin’s been a dear friend, and he’s one of the great WWE stars along with Undertaker. Then again, you have Triple H, Big Show, Carlito ? the list goes on and on.? (Courtesy:

?Texas boys?

I would like to personally thank Vince McMahon for helping me save the countless hours of travel and the tremendously large chunk of hard-earned cash that I would have spent for this live event. Alas, ?reality? must sink in? none of this is going to make any difference when it comes to the attendance at ?Raw?. People will still show up, thousands of wrestling fans will pour into ?The Bank?, and all of them will still stand and cheer for their favorite performers. It is only the pocketful of wrestling loyalists and purists like me who will sit at home, sulking in front of their televisions, scolding WWE’s cross-promoting machine for staining the plains of our wrestling history with their used car salesman’s approach.

Never before would I have thought that my decision to attend a professional wrestling event would rest in the hands? of a musical act. Nothing is sacred anymore.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!

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