Monday, May 26, 2008

Random thoughts

So I will be writing about Raw tonight, tomorrow - wanted to comment on some other happenings in the world of professional wrestling, however.

Item #1: Brooke Hogan in Car Accident
This sounds basically like a non-news story, now that all the information has been laid out. Obviously, due to her brother Nick's charge earlier this month with reckless driving, after an accident which left his close friend John Graziano in a coma from which he has yet to emerge, this started out sounding like a major news story - especially given the rumour was that her father, Hulk Hogan, was the driver. But it sounds like Brooke was swiped by another driver who was speeding while trying to change lanes, while she herself was following the rules of the road. A non-story, but I'm sure another unpleasant ... ahem ... bump in the road for the imploding Hogan family, already rocked this weekend by ...

Item #2: Recordings of Nick Hogan's Conversations with Family Members released
And boy, folks, do they make the Hogans sound like slime! Within 2 hours of entering prison, and only a few more hours since Nick's father claimed he was going to man up and face his punishment for his poor choices, the 17 year old tough guy was on the phone blubbering to 'Mommy' and 'Brookey'. While a very codependant relationship plays out there, a more sinister one seems to be revealed with his father, with whom Nick bashes John Graziano, the injured friend in his car accident, as well as his mother. Both talk about secret hearings and discussions with judges to get Nick taken to a minimum security prison, or, better yet, house arrest. Linda Hogan, Nick's mom, meanwhile, badmouths Graziano's parents, talking about how she mourns what happened to John more than them, who hadn't the time of day for their own son til now. All of which might be well and true and good but ... really people, have some class. Please. It's just not the time, or the situation. That said, I have to question law enforcement and the media for publicizing private conversations between a minor inmate and his parents. I understand recording said conversations, but I do hope some policies change, or heads roll, over their release to the public.

And lastly, in non-Hogan news ...

Item #3: WWE Superstar William Regal Suspended for 60 Days - Second Wellness Violation
OK - let me make something very clear here. I am a huge William Regal fan. I think he is incredibly funny, and that while his style in the ring is underappreciated here in North America, he is a very good European-style brawler. Conversely, I was also - am also - a big Jeff Hardy fan. I have loved the Hardy Boyz since they came onto the WWE scene. However, both Jeff and now William have done something incredibly stupid - blowing 'long-time-coming' main event pushes by making poor decisions about what they put into their bodies. This is a trust issue folks. And perhaps on different scales - the speculation in Regal's case seems to be that he used health supplements which are legal, unknowingly containing barred substances. But that type of homework is to be expected when you are at that place on the card, and on your last strike. Both Regal and Jeff Hardy - and for that matter, Ken Kennedy a few months before them both, and Chris Benoit a year ago - blew real strong pushes, due to very poor and misguided and frankly sad personal choices. This goes beyond damaging yourself, or even your family - beyond damaging Vince McMahon's bottom line (boohoo), it does also damage the trust of every wrestler you work with, and create a ton of difficulty for creative to make plans, when they already seem to lack long-term vision.

What should be done? Well first it pains me to say this but, I don't think Jeff Hardy nor William Regal should be returned to their spots automatically upon return. WWE isn't plagued by injuries at the current time, both SD and Raw rosters are deep, and while I enjoy their work, an example must be made that trust is important, between management and talent and the talent themselves, especially at the top of the card. You can't afford to have people on their last strike at the top of the card, which Jeff Hardy and William Regal both are per the terms of the Wellness Policy (3rd violation=dismissal). If Matt Hardy had to struggle and toil to get back to so much as the upper-midcard simply for discussing a bad breakup online, these two have much to prove as well. I'm all for that.

Meanwhile though, WWE needs to realize now, having had three (or 4 if you count Benoit) major world title-level storylines derailed in the past 12 months due to drug issues and 'personal demons', that the drug issue in wrestling goes well beyond the lower- and midcard, and that they can't claim the people who most indulge in such vices are not under WWE's contract and purview. A real investigation into the wrestling lifestyle, and dare I say some preventative measures (psychological assessments, perhaps healthcare benefits, etc.) needs to be undertaken along with displaying Regal and Hardy's proverbial heads on proverbial strikes as posterboys for the functionality and efficacy of Wellness.

And that's it from me ...

Till tomorrow. Enjoy Raw, even without their GM! Hey at least we know - they won't turn the lights out this week! ;) XO - Sar


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