Part 1: WWE - Wrestling With Morality, by Joe Turner
While most shows should be commended for at least trying to tackle serious subject matters, some TV writers need to stay the hell away. And there’s one major culprit out there: WWE.
WWE Tackles... Disability
Enter Zach Gowen, a one legged wrestler who, in order to win his WWE contract, had to beat the largest athlete in the world in what Vince McMahon shamelessly referred to as the first ‘real’ handicap match.
And to top it all off, as if being disabled wasn’t enough, both wrestlers ended up fighting in Juggalo Championship Wrestling.
WWE Tackles... Coping with Death
Aside from the aforementioned dog-eating incident, Boss Man was involved in possibly the most surreal incident in WWE history, and I mean actual WWE history, not the kind of WWE history which Michael Cole claims about every match every week.
With the deepest regrets, and tears that are soaked
I'm sorry to hear your dad finally croaked
He lived a full life, on his own terms
Soon he'll be buried, and eaten by worms
But if I could have a son as stupid as you
I'd have wished for cancer, so I could die, too
- Big Boss Man
While Big Boss Man’s career has been hilarious, some might say that he took his interest in death too far, when he died.
WWE Tackles... Addiction
So this is a character telling the WWE audience (made largely up of impressionable children and teenagers) that drinking, drugs and reckless lifestyles are a bad thing, and life can be enjoyed without the need for any of these things. The WWE then pitted the straight-edged CM Punk in a feud with Jeff Hardy, a notorious pisshead known for regularly being off his tits. Pretty open and shut case of good guy versus bad guy. Order versus recklessness. A life of decency and honor versus being high as balls. Easy, right?
The message that kids can take away from this? Don’t live a reckless lifestyle like Jeff Hardy did, or you might end up in a living hell.
Part 2: WCWhat The Fuck is Going On, By The Cunt
I didn't follow WWF as a teenager like Joe did, my Dad cancelled Sky Sports when he realised Wolves would never be in the Premiership long enough to justify the cost, so I had to make do with watching Monday Nitro, on TNT, on er... Friday night. Hence, my sketchy social storylines come from WCW, starting with...
WCW Tackles... Racism
In the early 90's, WCW had a manager in their company called Colonel Parker. He was modelled on the legendary manager of Elvis, Colonel Tom Parker. In case you didn't know, he was an old school Southern gentleman. A plantation owner if you will. WCW in its infinite wisdom decided that he should be the manager of the debuting Harlem Heat.
Fuck me, bearing in mind the WWF allowed Roddy Piper to do whatever the fuck he wanted, which included bashing a Polynesian man on the head with a coconut, making jokes about straight up slavery and doing an interview in half black face. Even that has still have nothing on the straight up batshit mental levels of racism here.
It wasn't just racism that WCW went utterly crazy with though...
WCW Tackles... Addiction
He left WWF in 1996 and moved to WCW where he went by his real name and reinvented wrestling with Kevin Nash.
To 'Last Call' Scott Hall. A rambling drunk. Who vomited on his boss.
If you thought it was bad when WWF made the addict beat the clean living man, how about the company taking advantage of someones real life demons.
WCW Tackles... Disability
Going off on a tangent, there is a legendary announcer in the wrestling world. Jim Ross. Jim Ross is from Oklahoma, and he suffers from Bell's Palsy. It means that half of Jim's face becomes pretty much paralysed and it affects his speech.
In 1999, Ed Ferrara debuted his on screen persona, Oklahoma. Oklahoma was a Southern man, whose face was scrunched up on one side. Affecting his speech. This was different to the last two exploitation devices utilised by WCW, this one was during its death knell. Maybe even, the final nail in the coffin.
I like to think that television has evolved to the point where complex social issues can be conveyed in a sensitive and intelligent way. I have seen some fantastically powerful television, from Pembleton wearing his dress blues to salute a colleague who had taken his own life in Homicide, to Walter White dealing with his cancer diagnosis in Breaking Bad. Unfortunately, Wrestling has been unable to fully integrate with the real world. It continues to stay inside its bubble and continues to be incredibly offensive about how it handles serious social issues. It's great isn't it?
Joe is one of the many writers we have at Foul Entertainment, known for Plenty Of Catfish. He is a main stay on the voice cast for Disagreevances. He's also responsible for the artistic design in our games.
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A hidden face of the crew, The Cunt is main coder for Foul Entertainment games. He is currently documenting the progress of our game, Foul Fantasy, in his dev blogs.