Ticking Time Bomb

By Rob Harvey
Column #32 - March 11, 2001

I just knew this was coming. I was wondering how long it would take for Vince McMahon to make his "toned down" product that bit more raunchy, more controversial and more offensive and my question was answered this past Monday on Raw.

Since Vince McMahon took the WWF into a more adult orientated show, I have always looked at shows with a more careful eye. When the show took the more controversial route, I was of an old enough age to decide for myself what is and what isn't offensive for me. Now to be honest with you, I can only honestly recall one incident over the last three years (with the exception of violence on women) that came close to upsetting me in any way shape or form and that was the sex content. Personally, it didn't really bother me but what did was that young children are in attendance when The Kat, Jackie and Sable when topless on shows and when a bunch of sluts in the crowd take their shirts off just for a pop. I have always said that it is a parent's duty to monitor what their kids watch and I still believe it to this day but I also think Vince McMahon should do more to make sure kids aren't watching. Sorry, but I don't believe that putting up a 14 rating before a show is enough. At the Capital Carnage UK only PPV, I had a suspicion that some like that happened with Jackie would happen so I decided not to take anyone younger than myself to that show and once I saw what happened, I was glad I made that choice. However, I had no idea what would happen at Insurrextion 2000 and even though I made it clear to my uncle that it's his responsibility for what his son sees at the show, I couldn't help feeling wrong for bringing my 11 year old cousin to a show where a woman pulled her knockers out and freely strutted around the ring like nothing was wrong.

After months of arguing, moaning and bitching, I gave in to my younger sister and allowed her to watch WWF programming. Even though it's my parents responsibility to monitor what she watches, knowing my depth of knowledge of wrestling, my Dad made it clear that he would go with whatever I thought was best on this decision. Well after this past Monday, my sister won't be watching another WWF show for the foreseeable future.

I decided to watch Nitro instead of Raw in the head to head programming this week so it wasn't until I checked out the repeat a few hours later that I noticed that Raw was about 10 minutes short. Then I realised that they had cut out the Vince McMahon/Trish Stratus angle, which most people had been talking about all week. So on Saturday morning, I downloaded the angle from the Internet to check it out myself. I knew it was controversial but I honestly didn't expect to see what I did. I am still lost for words to describe it now! It seems that I was raised like a minority of other wrestling fans. I was raised with morals. I don't like seeing men attack women in wrestling rings. Wrestling might be a work but it still is closer to reality than a lot of Hollywood movies. When you know a woman who gets treated like shit by a man with verbal and physical abuse then maybe you will understand more. I don't care how often it happens on WWF TV, when a man, especially a man the size of a wrestler, hits a woman it is wrong in my eyes. Whether it's or work or not doesn't bother me because it's still wrong. In fact, it being a work might even be more offensive since it is usually done to get the crowd to roar with approval. Vince McMahon has brain washed the fans so much that even when he did the angle with Trish on Monday night, instead of getting the fans to cheer on Trish for a babyface turn, they cheered along with Vince. Personally, I think those fans that cheered have no morals. Quite honestly, had the angle happened at a show I was at, I would have walked out the door there and then and demanded a refund.

I remember Jim Ross claiming that only angles that degraded women were offensive. So how does he explain what happened on Monday? I'm starting to wonder if the WWF considers rape offensive. This angle came straight out the Vince Russo book of lame ass angles. What makes the angle that bit worse was the finish to the segment. Trish went off crying in shame and Vince made out he was the king of the world. And then, he and Trish are French kissing on Smackdown! And to me, this makes no sense for the angle. Vince McMahon said he cheated on Linda for years but hasn't once in the last 6 years. Well it seemed to me like he was enjoying Smackdown that bit more than he should! Vince isn't that good of an actor. Maybe the angle would have been less offensive had Trish hit Vince in the nuts when she was on her knees since that would have made a bit of sense, but the angle is going nowhere and I don't see how Trish can turn babyface with enough impact to explain why she was the McMahon's personal slave. Hell, even Stephanie is acting like she agrees with it. Think about this though, if it's so innocent and just an angle then why doesn't Stephanie do anything like it? Why was Stephanie the only woman not to go through a table courtesy of the Dudley Boyz? Why doesn't Stephanie do the Diva shoots? And while I am asking questions, do you think Steve Austin would have given Vince his approval to do the same angle with Debra? Oh Hell No! I am half expecting an incest angle between Vince and Stephanie. Why not? He was going to do it with Ken Shamrock and Alicia Webb so what is his excuse for him and Stephanie not doing it? After all, it's only acting, right Vince?!

At the end of the day, I have seen too many women get treated like shit from men and this angle is exactly like it. I am offended by it. I am only pissed because TSN and Sky Sports edited the angle out because I wish more people could have seen it and saw Vince McMahon for the piece of shit that he is. I truly believe that he is letting of this 'creative genius' talk go to his head. Everybody seems to take pops at guys like Phil Mushick and Jim Rome when they take pops at Vince McMahon but does that mean that they are wrong? Maybe calling Vince McMahon "the worse man in the world" is miles over the top but I can see why they have problems with him and after Monday night, so should more people.

I am a wrestling fan. I always will be a wrestling fan. I like the having angles in wrestling but you can bet your arse that I'll be checking every Raw and Smackdown report before I watch the show now. I won't be going out of my way to watch WWF TV like I once did. Call WCW what you like but I'd rather watch The Cat making out he is giving Chris Kanyon an electric shock than watch another woman being abused on Monday Night Raw.

Peace out marks!