Much More Offensive Than A Monday Night Recap.
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Presented by The Shooter on June 22, 1999 at 18:16:47
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Hold on a sec....

I'm still trying to compose my thoughts and clarify in my head just what I want to say, and how I want to say it.

Hold on....

Nope. Not gonna work. OK, I'm just going to ramble. Put on your helmets, kids, because this might get a little dicey.

First, a trip into the past. This one's for people who've been watching wrestling since the LAST big boom. You know who you are. Anyway, remember how wrestling was just the hottest thing going, for a while, there? The Hulkster was in full bloom, everyone was selling tons of merchandise, there were cartoons, Prime-Time network specials, blah blah blah, right? Something like it is now, right?

OK. Now, do you remember when it started to go downhill? That moment when you just looked at it and KNEW it was over? That we'd already seen the best they had, and from now on, it was just gonna get worse faster and faster. I'm sure that moment was different for just about everyone. For me, it was the later days of Hulk Hogan's marathon WWF reign, when it was getting painfully obvious, even to a total mark like me, that Hogan SHOULDN'T be on top anymore. You could kinda feel the business start to decline, and you could see the WRESTLERS felt it, too. Sure enough, wrestling went back underground for awhile, and lay dormant to all but hardcore fans until this recent rebirth.

Well, I'm here to tell you that last night, the decline of this great renewal finally began.

Let me preface this by saying that I'm really NOT a racist. Yes, most times when someone says that to ME, I also think, "Uh-oh, here comes a racist statement." So be it. I just wanted to ward off maybe 1% of the hate mail, if possible.

I find the Konnan/Rey vs Hennig/Windham/Duncum "Rap vs Country" feud to be merely annoying. Nothing more. I'm no great fan of either style of music, so I really have nothing invested in the feud. None of the wrestlers IN the feud are of any great importance to me, as their roles in the company stand today. So it's just a matter of an angle that I simply don't care about, and would rather not see. That's all. Nothing more.

But then they brought in.....Master P and the No-Limit Soldiers. And who was the other little kid, Silk the Shocker? Do I have that right? OK.

I will refrain from making any derogatory statements, just to show how serious I really am about this. You know I'm dying to go off on this guy, but I'm trying to make a point. I'm going to say the things that nobody else will say.

The shit last night where Master P had all his guys with him, in back and in the ring, actually made me feel personally offended. If I were a black person, I would be pissed at WCW for portraying black people in a negative light. If I were Booker T, or another black wrestler backstage, I'd have been mortified.

Every single one of you out there know exactly what I'm talking about, too. I'm sure many of you are already formulating condemning responses to this, or letters telling Sickboy to fire me, but if you stop for one second and remember that you DO have testicles, you might even find that you agree.

THE SCENE: Backstage, Curt Hennig approaches Master P and his group, and they do a very obvious little angle, which ends in a pull-apart.

Seems pretty innocent, doesn't it? Pretty common? You'd think, anyway.

Now, I'm not against having a rapper involved in wrestling. I think this guys a bit of a no-name, but then again, I'm not into rap. Although, wouldn't that make me the MAINSTREAM AUDIENCE that they're trying to attract? Trying to attract me with a rapper I've never heard of is not gonna be easy. But hey, maybe he's REALLY famous, and I just live under a rock. Who knows?

I'm not against that rapper coming on TV with an army of groupies. If they feel the need to surround themselves with bodyguards to feel important, that's fine. Besides, it makes it more believable. What would that rapper do against a wrestler by himself, besides get beat up? But doesn't he have a bit too much backup? I mean, a few of those really HUGE guys should be enough, shouldn't they? Why do we need another dozen? There were A LOT of guys with him, and not all of them were even big. What are they, just buddies who wanted to come along? Who are they? What are they on? Are they under contract? I doubt it. What if one of them hurts a wrestler? These are all valid questions if you think about it.

The thing that absolutely turned me off to WCW was the actions of those people during the angles they were involved in.

Curt Hennig confronts Master P. Master P hides behind a gigantic bodyguard and talks shit. THAT'S ALL FINE. The 15 other black guys in camoflauge BEHIND Master P start hooting like a band of fucking apes. That's NOT fine. What the fuck is that? I'm sorry, but normal people just don't act that way. I don't just mean normal BLACK people, either. I'm talking people. Period.

For those people to go on TV and conduct themselves like absolute wild beasts is unexusable. It also begs some interesting and controversial questions.

What exactly WAS that? I'll tell you what it looked like to ME. It looked like a pack of baboons on one of those nature shows, when a leopard shows up. They all get in a big group behind the leader, and start jumping up and down and hooting. It's what's known in nature as a "Threat Display". Why a group of supposedly civilized human beings would want to devolve to that level is beyond me.

Is that what we're into today? Not rap music. I don't like it, but I can see that other people do. It's a valid form of music. That's not the problem, even though from what I heard last night on stage, Master P sucks.

What I mean is, I think we can all be honest and say that, for the purposes of this discussion anyway, pro-wrestling is a white sport. I'm not saying it's NOT for black people. I'm stating the FACT that the wrestling audience is predominantly white. It's also predominantly MALE. That doesn't mean women are excluded, either. It's just fact. Also, wrestling supposedly rules the coveted 14-30 yr-old(or something like that) market.

So what we've got here is a product primarily enjoyed by young, white, men, am I correct? OK.

And that product features, as a main attraction of the night, people who act out the worst of the negative black stereotypes? Ohhhhhhh....OK.

Before I place the blame on Eric Bischoff and WCW, let me be fair and ask: IS THIS WHAT WE'RE INTO NOWADAYS??

Black people, as well as most other races, are rightly allowed to express concern for themselves as a race, and I reserve the SAME right to do the SAME thing. What's wrong with white people today? Not all of us, of course. But have so many of us forgotten ourselves enough to actually be entertained by people who act like that? I'm sure I'll get ALL KINDS of feedback for this, but fuck it. Anyone of any other ethnicity would be praised for their loyalty to their own. I'm simply making an observation. And I haven't forgotten this is supposed to be about wrestling, either.

I'm only going into this area at all because I have to be honest and say I was mostly offended as a white person. I don't care what you think that says about me. I only know that what I saw last night pissed me off. I can't excuse my feelings. I can only feel them.

On a more wrestling-related note, did you notice the severe LACK of a pop for any of it? There was a point where Master P was begging the crowd to cheer, and you could hear the crickets chirping. Talk about misjudging your audience. And I can't provide any evidence, but I got the impression that some of those pro-Master P signs were handed out. Just call it a feeling.

I think the Country Vs Rap angle was just fine when it contained only WRESTLERS. Even though the whole thing sucks....I'm just talking relatively.

Konnan & Rey were able to represent Rap all by themselves, and they'd even done their own video. The Cowboys sure can't sing, but they can all work, and they didn't need to be portrayed as racist rednecks all of a sudden, which is exactly what happened.

To tie this all together, my impression as I watched was that I was watching Nero fiddle while Rome burned. I predict that when the fall of wrestling inevitably comes AGAIN, last night will be looked back on as the beginning of the end. I'd have to imagine that the very WHITE, up-tight, stuffed-shirts at Turner were VERY impressed with that spectacle. I'm sure Eric Bischoff has been very busy explaining that move for the last 24 hours. If I'm on the Turner Board of Grand Poobahs, I'd be thinking we better take a serious look at where this wrestling show's headed.

It's funny. The critics must be right. This must be the board for WWF marks. I've seen crucufixions, castrations, S&M, racial divisions, and a wrestler DIE...and I've never really been offended by anything on wrestling until now.

If THAT'S not a sign of the impending apocalypse....nothing is.

It's just a matter of time, now. The ride's almost over. Enjoy it while you can.

The Shooter