Wrestling and Corporate America

Rarely to I talk about my fondness of pro wrestling these days. The reason is simple: nothing gets me too fired up to write about anymore. I still watch RoH on HDNet every week, hands down the best show for wrestling, but I dont attend live events like I use to. I DVR WWE RAW and Smackdown to watch later that night and usually delete NXT and Superstars. Dont even get me started on TNA and their waste of a great roster with absurd stories and two minute matches. Rarely to I even spend the time to watch.

With all that being said, Monday night on RAW was truly one of those rare moments in wrestling that catches you shock and awe. The unprovoked attack by the NXT "rookies" on the company's top star John Cena and complete dismantling of the ringside area was nothing short of brilliant. In wrestling circles, the WWE made people talk about what happened.

Here's the unedited clip

One of the shocking things about this angle is the WWE portrays itself currently as family friendly and rated PG. Yet supposedly the want more realism in their characters, interviews, and stories. A very fine line to walk, in my opinion.

I bring this up for a reason. On Friday, wrestler Bryan Danielson was fired. He is one of the NXT rookies and goes by Daniel Bryan. He's a tremendous worker that I've had the privilege of watching on the small stage for years. I've conversed with the man a couple of times at fan gatherings in the past. He's a good guy with great talent. I also cheer for wrestlers I've watched for years on the indie scene to make it with the big boys (WWE and to a lesser extent TNA). They're kind of like that obscure band you love and get excited for when the fan base grows and they get national attention or the cult movie you've loved for the first time you watched and gathers momentum to become this icon thing. But now I'm off the subject.

Rumors are flying around in the wrestling community. Is this real or a work? No one knows for sure, but it seems to be legit. The apparent reason is one of the WWE main sponsors did not approve of the action. The very action which made this segment so brutal and memorable. Danielson has apparently become the fall go for doing exactly what was asked of him.

On a side note, the WWE supposedly has a "no choking code" amongst the workers that has been in effect since the Chris Benoit murder-suicide. But from everything I have read, the creative team and bosses where very pleased at the segment and the workers. Plus if there is a choking ban, then why in the hell didn't the director cut away from the shot. In all the official WWE clips, the choke is no longer shown.

So it looks like, once again, a good guy gets the shaft. This is what happens when you are a publicly traded company, as the WWE, and have to answer to shareholders, network TV, and sponsors. Welcome to merger of wrestling and corporate America.

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