The WWE fires a lot of people, and only the thin line between Sports and Sports Entertainment keeps me from discussing it in here. There are probably other wrestling blogs out there- Amanda's Wrestling Report is a good one- and you wouldn't have to look too far to find one who actually knows the real names of wrestlers as opposed to just making up something like David Spinaldi and knowing I'm close. One of those could probably satisfy your wrestling fix better than I, sadly.
As I said, the WWE has a high turnover rate. A lot of these are for drugs(coughRoadDogcough), which patriarch Vince McMahon doesn't tolerate...unless they make you have really huge arms. Others are for acting like an idiot. Scott Hall lost his job for being uncontrollably drunk on a plane. Some are even funnier. The Godfather lost his job when parents started protesting his character- a 300 pound pot-smoking black pimp who came to the ring with a Ho Train (his term) of girls who would then incessantly dry hump him. "Roll a fatty for this pimp pimp daddy" was his battle cry. The Matt/Lita/Edge thing was even sillier.
Matt Hardy was a mildly popular wrestler with a pretty wife- former women's champion Amy Dumas, aka Lita. Then Lita met Adam Copeland, who goes by the nomme de guerre of "Edge," and has the funniest chin of anyone on the planet not named Bill Cowher or Leno. Edge is much more popular than Matt Hardy. Once the affair went public, the WWE had two defensive end-sized men on the same flights for the rest of the decade who want to kill each other.
Something had to give. In a perfect world, Lita would be fired...but that would still leave the 2 angry men and the endless fights in locker rooms and bus stations. Lita is also one of the few women on the roster who can actually wrestle a bit, and gives them a Latino. Edge helped break up a marriage of a co-worker, but he's popular....and it's better to be popular than good, kids. Matt Hardy was sent packing. We Hard(l)y Knew Ye, Matt.
There's probably a lawsuit in there somewhere. Matt didn't really do anything wrong. It's just the way the cookie crumbles sometimes. Matt probably has no other job skills, and he's a good bet to just shut up, wrestle in a few high school gym/town fair leagues for a few years, and come back when Lita and Edge are fired for whatever they do next. So, aside from the "Slut" chants aimed at Lita during live WWE events by Matt Hardy fans, the story is hibernating.
David Spinaldi isn't hibernating. I was reading the USA TODAY at breakfast when I saw that David had been let go. The reason? His character offended Arabs. David had a unique gig, snatched right out of the headlines and colored with a unique angle. David was "Mohammed Hassan," an Arab-American wrestler. He grew up in Detroit (I'm breaking into what fans call "kayfabe," talking about wrestling like it's real....the best analogy I could draw would be like how you talk about Santa Claus when your toddlers are around), a "normal" American up until 9/11, when people started calling him names and chasing him through the streets like a giant rat.
Try as he might- Hassan's entrance video is an All-American montage of Mount Rushmore, Iwo Jima, Washington DC, Patton- people kept looking at him as an Arab first, and an American second. He loves America, but America doesn't love him. That kind of thing fills a man with the rage that makes him strip down to bikini briefs, oil his body up, and beat another man with a steel chair. Happens all the time...
He wasn't the first Asiatic superstar- the legendary Iron Sheik debuted around the time of the Iranian Hostage Crisis and was loathed by generations of Americans. A legitimate Iranian, he dressed like Yassir Arafat and violently denounced our American ways. He was a hoot, and his role was so simple it could have been portrayed by anyone smart enough to remember "Iran #1, USA Bah" .....even a drunken Persian,which he essentially was.
"Pali Al-Azzar, the Syrian Terrorist" from GLOW was another good one. Pali was sent to GLOW to demonstrate the superiority of Muslim women over the decadent American shopping mall Barbie dolls. Pali was actually a Puerto Rican girl from NYC instead of an enraged Syrian, but that doesn't really matter in the great wrestling scheme of things.
Both Pali and the Iron Sheik forced submissions from their prostrate rivals via the inescapable Camel Clutch(see below), which can only be properly applied by Muslims..."All that praying towards Mecca strengthens certain muscle groups," said Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, who may have just made it up.
Hassan was the next in a line of great Muslim superstars. Then, the politcal people became involved. Seeing 15,000 fans hating on some poor Arab is intimidating, and those people might descend upon a 7-11 if Hassan wins...which he always does. Protests, boycotts....and Hassan was let go. They didn't care that Hassan was protesting how Arabs are treated in America- they cared that he was exploiting it.
Not being fans of the WWE, these protesters had no way of knowing that even the Angry Arab American gig can only run so long, at which point Hassan would have to make a "Face Turn" which would then make everybody love him. While some wrestlers (Triple H, The Undertaker) can only effectively play villains, most grapplers alternate between good and evil almost seasonally.Hassan had actually lined up his gimmick so that when he turned good, everyone would start loving Arabs, the Israelis would convert, and we'd have a peaceful new Mediterranean resort. But the tree-huggers and apologists have now taken that from us.
The fun part? When a guy has to go in the WWE, they usually do something terrible to him. No disappointment here- at Hassan's last match, the Undertaker held him over his head and threw him through a hole in the stage floor.....a powerbomb with about a 15 foot drop. Hassan landed poorly, and the Undertaker- who has "crippled more men than polio, and retired more men than Social Security"- could make another notch on his Chump Belt.
Hassan will pop up in a few months with a new gimmick, and he'll get on with his career. He played his role well, and made no waves when the papers came calling. Vince- who operates his business sort of along the lines of a mob family- rewards such discretion. Still, it saddens me to see World Peace so close to our grasp, only to be taken away from us by yellow liberals.
This seems to be a popular topic, so I'll save you the bother of emailing me the following:
- I don't know where Sabu is from, but my people tell me Afghanistan or Pakistan.
- Kamala was from Uganda, which was, contrary to what my emailer told me, not in the Middle East. Uganda was African, although exiled leader Idi Amin did seek asylum in Yemen.
- Abdullah the Butcher(real name "Larry Shreeve, from Ontario") was "from" Sudan.
"Kids call me Abdullah, cause I'm the Butcher."