Monday, December 19, 2005

How To Clean Up Pro Wrestling

"In the end, we decided on elevating the match itself—into a battle of wits. Two wrestlers, two folding chairs, two pens, one table, and one medium-level Sudoku puzzle. Sharpened pencils count as freedom objects."

How To Clean Up Pro Wrestling - Random drug testing is just the beginning. By Randy and Jason Sklar
Before we turn our attention to steroids, there are a few problem areas that professional wrestling must address.

Nicknames: Drugs might give some wrestlers an unfair advantage in the ring. But the 'roid disparity can't compare to the nickname gap. If one competitor is named Kamala the Ugandan Headhunter and his opponent is Dave Smith, the match is over before the bell rings.
Folding chairs: If you're going to leave portable metal chairs close to the action, you can expect that the wrestlers will use them, and not for sitting. We recommend bench seating in the first four rows. If a wrestler is strong enough to lift a 14-foot bench and savvy enough to find pugilistic uses for it, then that is worth watching.

The foreign object: There's enough xenophobia in this country as it is, especially in pro wrestling circles. We don't need to bump the terror alert up to Orange every time someone pulls a screwdriver or a piece of scrap metal out of his tights. That's why we recommend calling them "freedom objects."

Outfits: All outerwear must be equal. Not the same, just equal. If a wrestler struts into the ring wearing a boa constrictor around his neck, his opponent cannot be left with a simple zip-up jacket. He must be provided, by the league, with at the very least an angry tropical bird. Any unusually violent macaw or toucan will do.
Instant replay: How many times have you yelled in frustration at a distracted referee who failed to notice a guy getting double-teamed in the corner? Imagine how much more fair the sport would be if each wrestler's valet could throw two challenge flags per match. We have the technology. It's time to deploy it.

Hulk Hogan's Heroes - Why pro wrestlers should be in the Olympics. By Dave McKenna
The Olympics sure have grown up since Jim Thorpe forfeited a medal for having played bush league baseball for pay. By now, the amateur façade has, as Ric "Nature Boy" Flair would say, been dropped like third-period French. The United States has generally taken advantage of the move toward an all-pro Olympics. When the just-for-the-love-of-the-sport boys stopped bringing home gold in, for example, hockey and basketball, America called in the professionals.

It's about time we did the same in wrestling.
Forget amateur moves like escapes and takedowns. How many points would a ref award the piledrivers and sleeper holds our wrestlers will slap on the competition? How would they score the Rock's pet headbanger, "The People's Elbow"?
There's just one pesky question that Games organizers will have to work out: What's the national anthem of Parts Unknown?

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