Reality From Ringside #11
April 27, 2009
By: Doug Lackey of

20cc’s of Harsh Reality

For the past few weeks I?ve been noticing that this column has gotten a little? well? bland. I love doing my little retro/introspective but sometimes it’s just gets old. I mean, how often do I really need to look back at the same federations, relive the changes, and rehash the storylines of yesteryear? I shouldn?t have to do it every week, right? Good, at least one person is on my side? me.

When you go through the same routine everyday (Wake, coffee, cigarette, commute, work, cigarette, work, lunch, wash, rinse, repeat etc.), tension just builds and builds inside. It begins to overflow and the only pathway to release can vary. Some choose a bottle. Some choose physical pleasure mixed with emotional pain. Many retreat to technology. Few decide to enter a building full of humanity ranging in sizes and opt to sweat out their frustrations. What is my variation of tension relief? I rant it off.

Unfortunate for many, it tends to be an innocent co-worker or an unwilling drinking buddy. All who know me understand my frustrations when it comes to life in general, but I occasionally throw spurts of social commentary into my ritualistic bitch sessions. With this said, I felt it was about time I went motherf$%king crazy about a lot of things that get my 2-day old boxers in knots in the wrestling world. Imagine Larry King’s column but about professional wrestling, a lot angrier but a lot less written like a 10-year-old who hasn?t taken his Ritalin for a week.

I present, for your consideration, ?Harsh Reality?.

For all of you who read my columns and constantly complain that I don?t talk about Ring of Honor and that I?m not giving TNA a chance, something needs to be conveyed immediately about my tastes in professional wrestling. When I leave my work Monday nights from a long 12-hour day of doing so little for so far less money, the last thing that is on my mind is how I can witness the most perfectly executed arm bar.

?Man, what a long day. I?m in the mood for seeing the intricacies of the Indian Death Lock put into place. I need to see a half-hour dissertation on the finer points of running back and forth in a wrestling ring. Oh, did I mention I wouldn?t mind seeing three-quarter naked men in the process??

I watch professional wrestling to be entertained. I want characters. I want story lines. I want engrossing plot twists that keep me coming back for more. TNA’s story lines and plot formulations are the product of the previously mentioned 10-year-old with ADHD. They can?t stay with one storyline for longer than one month. Performers are going through psychiatric evaluations with all of the character flip-flopping they do in the ring and on camera. Altering personalities on a whim is insulting and downright patronizing?

I?m sure Ring of Honor is a great federation, and I have no right to deny the amount of talent that is on display there. My local cable provider does not carry RoH’s pay-per-view events and the only method I have of viewing the organization is online through the typical means: YouTube or RoH’s website. What is insulting to me are fans and enthusiasts telling me that I am a lesser follow of professional wrestling because I have not seen this organization at work.

There is nothing more detrimental to the progress and increase of recognition of any kind of product than isolationism. The most common form of this is telling someone that they are not a ?true fan? of something because they have not listened to or heard any other forms of said product. Some people choose not to view other federations because they are more accustomed to what they enjoy right now. Some do not have the means to view them. For whatever reason, demeaning them because they are not ?true fans? does not promote the product, being professional wrestling. Ridiculing and insulting the fan causes dissention and pushes them away from the industry that would hope to increase in popularity and become ?mainstream?. If you are a ?true fan? or ?loyal enthusiast? of professional wrestling, you should be doing everything within your power to do so, not the opposite.

Doug’s top three reasons why God looks down and shakes his head at humanity:
#1 ? VH1’s ?I Love Money 2?
#2 ? Any human being ordering a diet coke with their super-sized, 7,000-calorie, extra value meal
#3 ? People fighting at professional wrestling events

I had always thought Samoa Joe was this menacing by-product of RoH who was to bring wrestling in its purist form to the mainstream media. Now it looks like he’s been injected with the DNA of bologna and his face is made of silly putty because he has the imprint of a ?Lanes Merging? road sign on it.

I thought Mick Foley was TNA management? no wait, he’s against Main Event Mafia? no, now he’s on the other side? wait, when did he become a champion? Moreover, why?! Who did he defeat to get the opportunity? When was he number one contender? Dear God, my head hurts?

I just looked at their roster; I think the average age of a TNA performer is 46.

Here’s something you need to know about me and where my perceptions of professional wrestling are coming from. I?m not from New England. I?m not from Pennsylvania. I?m in Charlotte, North Carolina? what many consider the birthplace of professional wrestling. I watch wrestling to be entertained by the same types of characters today as I did in the past. I need colorful interviews. I need hilarious rebuttals and overdramatic aggression from all angles.

I don?t give a damn what anyone says, I love the Santina storyline! For those of you saying it disrespects women’s wrestling, you really need to get over yourselves. What were all those performers vying for at Wrestlemania 25? ?Miss Wrestlemania?? Do you really think that this is some coveted title that we should have seen some actual, technical wrestling in? I mean, this was a battle royal for crying out loud. He won a tiara and a sash, not a belt. Will Santina/o be defending this newfound title anytime soon? Of course not! It’s called entertainment! So get off your soapbox and ingest that reality.

Bobby Lashley is in TNA now but also fighting in MMA. Which one do you think will take priority? I have a feeling we are going to see a lot of losses for him in MMA and a lot more finger pointing from the top of a TNA ramp. Gee, I cannot wait.

?If Tommy Dreamer is a legend, then so is the Brooklyn Brawler,? Todd Grisham said during the 3-hour broadcast of Raw a couple of weeks ago. He is now my favorite commentator of all time! WWE must compensate this young man for everything that he has done for the company. Imagine this voice going from straight-man and butt of jokes with WWE performers to a true opinion underneath a headset at ringside. He’s not a face, nor a heel, just someone with an opinion that can ruffle some feathers and get people talking.

What I would give to hear a live pay-per-view event with Ross and Grisham underneath the headsets and the two of them voicing their opinions on the state of wrestling now. The historian’s view of Ross? clashing with the modern sensibilities of Grisham would make for epic audio!

Seems that WWE is slowly bringing back the name of Chris Benoit to their record books, which is a good thing. They need to tread this very carefully though. I have spoken with many people who are no longer wrestling fans because of unfortunate events like his. Coupled with the passing of Eddie Guerrero, many people have not returned to the fold not because of some stance with banned substances but because they become attached to them as performers and feel they have lost someone close to them. They feel the industry caused them to use the substances, ending their lives tragically too soon, and in the end feeling betrayed by the form of entertainment that brought them so much joy in the past. Time does heal all wounds, but the scabbing does not happen instantaneously.

?Wrestling fans are so docile and imbecilic they won?t be able to tell he’s from the sticks. We need to give him a name so that fans can realize the stereotype and conceptualize.? Jethro Holiday? Seriously? You couldn?t think of a better name for Trevor? I mean, I know he’s supposed to have this great country bumpkin look about him, but a better name is definitely in order. How about just giving him a normal name like everyone else and letting his method acting do all the work? But yet again, TNA’s methodology comes into play.

I sincerely hope that after Backlash we will see the rosters in their respective camps and stay there. It’s been two weeks of ?farewell matches? and it’s seriously starting to get on my last nerve. The ongoing saga with the McMahon’s and Legacy has nothing to do with Smackdown at all, so why am I watching it?

I have a confession to make and I feel it’s my obligation having this column to convey as much of the truth as possible. Ready? Ok. I?m Anti-Christian. I?m glad that he’s back with WWE and that’s he’s with a brand that can slowly bring him back to a higher status of some kind, but I don?t know how anyone can see him holding a major title. I can only see him going as high as the ECW Title and maybe a secondary title like Intercontinental or United States. I don?t want to say I?m as vehemently anti-Christian as Vince is, but I?m sitting on his side of the table when it comes as a talent. His microphone skills are nowhere near the level of his former tag partner and his physique definitely needs some work. I?m not saying he needs to bulk up and get ?Lesnar-ized?, he just needs some definition. Seeing him in action in the ring is like seeing that really creepy, nerdy kid who was way too into ?Magic: The Gathering? in high school. He looks like the kid who always got picked last for touch football during recess. Eat a sandwich, Christian! Do fifty more crunches! Try to look like you could kick my ass in the ring instead of looking like you could kick my ass as a dungeon master.

“All you need to do is look down at my boots. My pro wrestling boots that I’ve worn for the past year have the Triforce symbol from “Legend of Zelda” on them. Some kids like books, some kids like movies, but for me, every year I still go back and play “Legend of Zelda.” So to me, when I got up to the big time, I thought that Zelda was my thing. CM Punk has a Pepsi tattoo, so why can’t I have the Triforce? Gaming is huge to me, it’s all I do.”
– Cody Rhodes,, 4/15/09

?is this the future of professional wrestling? Voluntary branding?

?Who’s my favorite wrestler? The guy with the tattoo of the Chiquita banana lady on his right calf! He kicks ass!?

Is this really worthy of news in the wrestling world? I mean, I understand that we want all forms and facets of any professional wrestling organization to be promoted in any shape possible. Now that the public knows that Cody Rhodes really likes ?The Legend of Zelda?, how many new fans do you think will join the fold? More to the point, do you think he would have garnered more attention if he had Mario on the ass of tights?

There’s a statistic that I do not mind touting right now. I have not gotten any replies to any of my columns for the past three weeks! This tells me one of two things:

1: No one reads my columns and it is just skipped over to get to the story about how Batista enjoys watching strongman competitions while eating a couple cans of Spaghetti-O’s. But I think it’s this reason?

2: Everyone agrees with everything I write and there is no point in flooding my mailbox with letters of value and acceptance! I definitely believe this reason.

I should not need to tell you to reply to me for any reason whatsoever. I have never liked brown-nosing for anything, professionally or socially. I don?t crave attention like a really insecure girlfriend. I don?t need to know you have been reading this column or not. On the other hand, if you have been and you just can?t stand my views for some reason and think I?m just jaded as all hell; for God’s sake email me! Put me down! Did I get a statistic or a date wrong? Let me know! Here’s a great example from my ?Reality in Real Time? column on Wrestlemania 25:

Hey I was reading your article on’style=dark?

Nice read.? I wanted however as a Kane fan to?comment on a comment?you made in your article.? You stated:

?7:07 “?…? I can definitely tell you Kane and Henry won?t win? do you honestly think they could climb that ladder??

I want to say yes.? Well moreover?I want to say yes I honestly think that Kane can indeed climb that ladder.? I don’t want to mention Mark Henry because?I don’t follow him and remember his matches.? I guess?I want to point out evidence that Kane has climbed a ladder before to retain belts in the past.? I couldn’t remember the date so I looked up the date but it was on a raw for the tag team titles in a 4-way TLC match:

?October 7, 2002 – RAW Roulette: Kane (without Hurricane) defeats Christian/Y2J & RVD/JHardy & Bubba/Spike in a crazy TLC match!?

During the match and I quote from that same website:
??- Kane returns and climbs up the other side and choke slams Jericho from the top of the ladder!
– Kane sits up and climbs the ladder and retrieves both TAG TITLE BELTS to retain the titles by himself! “
?Anyway, I’m not someone who got pissed off, I just want to send you the info that it has happened before, albeit many years ago.? He still does high fly on occasion though with his Top Rope Clothesline, but that is?I know no height of a ladder.? So I’m just answering your question that yes I honestly think?at least Kane?could climb that ladder.? And I was of course as a Kane fan rooting for?him to win.
Richard M

First off, thanks for the compliment about the column! I really appreciate any and all feedback when it comes to them, especially when any errors may occur in the writing of it.
In regards to Kane and his ascension abilities, you’re absolutely right that he won that tremendous ladder match back in ’02. The only comment I can give is this… that was 6 and a half years ago. It would have been nice to see Kane win MITB but I just had to make an off-hand comment that would verify my prediction for the match.
I am surprised no one has written to me refuting my quip about Mark Henry not climbing the ladder. Only problem with that is WWE doesn’t have the budget for stainless steel-reinforced ladders.
Thanks for the reply again bud!

that feels better. Glad I was able to get that all off my chest. Hopefully I won?t need to do that again for a while. Unfortunately, if the tension from everyday living gets too much for me and it’s combined with the random idiocy that emerges from anything involving professional wrestling (from creative to performers to marks), you?ll unfortunately be the ones to get another heaping helping of Harsh Reality.

Until next time, mouth-breathers!