Sunday, April 3, 2011

When wrestling is a dirty word

Humor me for a moment while I blur the line between sports and entertainment:

Admittedly at 31, I'm still somewhat of a pro wrestling fan. I'll still check out the occasional pay per views and keep up with the weekly TV shows through reading results on the internet.

(Yes, I know. It's all scripted and pre-determined. The sport element is only there in theory. I get it. Hey, we all have our vices.)

World Wrestling Entertainment, on the eve of its biggest event, "Wrestlemania," sent an internal memo to its employees, making it clear they did not want anyone to use one particular word. No, not a swear word.

The word is wrestling.

That's right. Wrestling is apparently a bad word in the world of pro wrestling. WWE prefers to be known as more of a multi-media platform, and not just for its wrestling product.

Could you imagine if the National Hockey League suddenly became ashamed of its core identity and suddenly just became the NHL, with none of its players using the word hockey?

Are you kidding me?

In pro wrestling, playing a character is called kayfabe. It's ironic, then, that WWE is playing kayfabe with itself in real life.

Word of this situation initially leaked out when an entertainment website posted a press release about Drew Carey joining the celebrity wing of the Hall of Fame, using a title that included the words "pro wrestling". WWE's publicist called the website and demanded the title be changed. They refused and instead took the story down altogether.

Vince McMahon is a master of a lot of things. Straying away from what got him to the dance, instead of embracing it, deserves a flunking grade.

- Chris Lillstrung


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