Truth B Told 10.23.08: Cheaters Sometimes Prosper
I told my girlfriend early on when we were dating that I had a simple rule when it came to cheating, “there is no excuse for cheating, I’d rather you just dump me than cheat first”. Then again I also told her, “look, break ups are hard, there is a lot of resentment, harsh feelings and fighting over custody of mutual friends, so if we break up…I’mma just have to kill you. It’ll be easier that way”. However, there were also those other rules about “being single when I’m in a different state”, “it’s not cheating if she doesn’t finish”, and of course “it’s not technically cheating if you pay for it right?”. So maybe there were some mixed signals. Still for the most part in society we do not tolerate, nor embrace cheating and cheaters. We don’t like them in our financial institution, we don’t like them in our government, we don’t like them on our sports teams, and we especially don’t like them in our bedrooms. Unless you’re the one they’re cheating with…then it’s probably okay…you know…if she’s super hot…or at least decent looking with low enough self esteem to let you do that thing with the leather bands, baby oil, and the Twix Bar. But for the most part we don’t like cheaters…unless of course they do it in the ring.
It used to be so simple back in the time of the WWF where the bad guys cheated and the good guys played fair. That was the easy way of figuring out who was a “heel” and who was a “face”. It was unheard of for a “face” to resort to cheating, trickery, or taking a shortcut no matter how much the “heel” did. “Fair play” used to be the main principle of being a beloved “babyface” instead of now being a douchebag ex-reality show contestant trying to hang on to his last 15 seconds of fame. In every day life we were taught that “when you cheat, you are only cheating yourself”. Now I’m not so sure. In sports, in business, and especially in wrestling it seems like all those supposed “good guys” are cheating just as much as the baddies. While Barry Bonds had always been vilified as a selfish, aloof jerk to the media and fans we weren’t too surprised to learn of his dealings with steroids, but when we found out that Mark “20 inch forearms” McGwire was doping it was like the world had ended. We see HBK fake an injury to beat Batista and we love him for it, but yet when Jericho tries to call him out on it we boo him. It’s amazing how sports and “cheating” has become so synonymous these days.
Recently on RAW we saw Batista insert himself into Chris Jericho’s match against CM Punk and cost Jericho a match by blatantly bending the rules, but the crowd seemed to love it. Sure it was “payback” for what Jericho did earlier to the “Metrosexual Animal” but it doesn’t take away from the fact that the man was a cheater. Back in the day a true “face” would never have resorted to this. Samoa Joe and AJ had also won matches just a few short weeks ago with the help of a mysterious guitar and gained some measure of retribution after previously losing matches due to the equally “mysterious” black bat their opponents used. Once again this was “payback” in a manner which otherwise would probably not have been resorted to back in the days of “Rock ‘n Roll wrestling”. maybe we’ve just gotten to the point where fans just won’t fall for the “fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, and you can only fool me a few more times before I ultimately go over you in the blow off match”. Maybe the “faces” are finally smartening up and not allowing themselves to simply look like do-gooder chumps any more.
We’ve all gotten to the point in a feud where our favorite wrestler is getting cheated time and time again and screwed to the point where you just get frustrated at him for looking like such a moron. You wished that he would retaliate and fight fire with fire, but in most cases he chooses to take the “high road” and ends up winning on his own. Then all of a sudden the “Attitude Era” happened and now the “good guys” didn’t mean having to be the “dumb guys”. It was now this “shade of grey” where you really would see an “eye for an eye” and the every popular, “by any ns necessary”. We didn’t really consider our favorite wrestlers to be “cheating” but rather “retaliating” so it seemed to be okay. Then came along a man who not only took “cheating” to another level but was more beloved every time he did it: Eddie Guerrero.
“Cheat to Win” became not only a mantra, but an extremely popular t-shirt. So you know that had to be a kick ass mantra. I’m still waiting for that retro “It’s not my fault” t-shirt to come out. Eddie Guerrero not only made it cool to “cheat” but he eventually turned himself into a “face” by doing so. His creative and comical means of “justifying the ends” made him a fan favorite because in reality he was exposing all the foibles and faults that had made wrestling what it was. Or more importantly showing just how stupid the refs and his opponents could be, time and time again. “Cheating” had become now an ingrained and acceptable way for a “face” to act…so long as he did it with comedic flair. Just like racism, “It ain’t funny if it’s racist”…remember that kids. You buncha crack ass crackas. Years later we now see that same trend happening again as main event stalwarts and uber-faces like Batista, HBK, AJ, and Samoa Joe are beginning to popularize the old “if you can’t beat ‘em, cheat ‘em” game.
So what does this say about us as fans? Have our morals and principled eroded? Have our sense of “good and evil” changed and evolved over time? Or have we just accepted the fact that there will always be cheating in wrestling and really it’s just part of the cosmic play that takes place within the confines of the squared (or 6 sided) circle? Have we accepted the “subtle shades of gray” as a bigger part of our realities? I believe we have. But that would be oversimplifying things really because we aren’t kids anymore, well most of us aren’t and if you are…you really shouldn’t be reading this column…go read something more TV-Y, like Meehan or JP. But if you are an adult then you probably got over the blind allegiance to the “face” and the blind hatred towards the “heel”. The proclivity to “bend the rules” or to live by “an eye for an eye” is a part of what adds real depth to your garden variety “face”. We crave a more complex and intellectual wrestler now. Look at how the once rabid fans of RoH-CM Punk have jumped off the bandwagon now that WWE-CM Punk has failed to give us the same edgy warrior that stayed one step ahead of his opponent. The same could be said once Samoa Joe went from cutthroat “tweener” to full on “face” and now back into…well, something more akin to the naïve “face” but definitely not an 80’s Hulk Hogan like good guy. Joe was stupid enough not to realize Nash was going to screw him and to just pin Sting when he had the chance, yet he still managed to put a good beating on Stinger before he did get screwed. We love Joe when he’s ruthless and systematically taking apart an opponent by any means possible, not when he’s trying to play by the rules and relying on his “friends” to back him up.
Let’s face it; wrestlers cheat just about every single day if you want to take the rules in the strictest sense. The “open hand strikes”, the “5 seconds in the corner or the top rope”, the illegal rope breaks that never seem to really be 5 seconds. I think we’ve come to not only get used to the “cheating”, but we’ve come to embrace it and almost expect it. It used to be that every Triple Threat would have two “heels” and one “face”, it used to be that only the bad guy would “pull the tights”, it used to be that smacking a guy with a big piece of petrified wood would signal a very strong “heel” reaction instead of a cheer from the crowd…and his leprechaun son. But apparently we don’t care how an Irishman wins his match so long as he does. We’ve changed the way we’ve viewed “cheating” over the years because it’s not simply “good vs evil” but merely, “wrestler vs wrestler” and one of those wrestlers just happens to hate us fans more than the other. It’s funny how in Indy wrestling we’ve come to almost embrace the “cheater” be they “heel” or “face” much sooner than the televised crowd has. We’ve learned to love the rebel and the “thinker”, the guy who is willing to do whatever it takes to come out on top and to be honest, I don’t see that trend really changing anytime soon. Although everywhere else in society we don’t appreciate the “doper”, the “ballot box stuffer”, and the girl who Joey Greco has to track down while having dinner with her other boyfriend at Chili’s (why are people always caught on “Cheaters” at Chili’s? Is there some kind of “Unhappy in your current relationship hour special” on boneless buffalo wings and southwestern eggrolls?), but in wrestling we give them a pass. Not only a pass, but sometimes…a standing ovation.
Cheat on your girlfriend, get your shit set on fire outside of your apartment. Cheat on your taxes, go to jail. Cheat on your drug test, and probably get away with it for a few months, but eventually show up stoned out of your mind at a Christmas party and get put on probation. Then you’ll be cool a few months. Um…damn, I thought I had a point here. Anyways if you cheat in a match we’re just as likely to wag our fingers as we are to clap our hands. I guess it all depends on the panache in which you exhibit while doing it. Hey, we all cheat in life, I guess we’ve just learned to accept it in the ring too. Btw, anyone know how much Cranberry Juice I should drink before my next test?
Coming Up Short
Adamle must have originally forgotten to tell us what the hell the rules for his gauntlet match were. That was just horrible and basically buried Regal, did nothing for Mark Henry, and made Kane and Jericho look like bitches for getting pinned by a simple spear and big boot out of nowhere. I’m all for hyping a PPV, but this was the worst “Go home” show I’ve seen since…probably an episode of Impact I don’t remember well. The problem with this show was that they tried to fit too many wrestlers in to too few segments and the whole thing was rushed and sloppy. I felt like RAW came up short of any kind of flow or excitement as a stand alone show and next time they want to hype this PPV they may want to consider cutting out the fluff that isn’t even a part of the show. When the promos outnumber the matches 3 minutes to 1 minute it’s time to start shuffling the card a bit people.
6 Degrees of…
According to the booking we’re supposed to believe that Kelly Kelly is a kick ass chick…I don’t know about you but I’m not buying it. Sure she’s cute in a very generic California girl kind of way but I just find it hard to take this chick seriously. Now…
Summer Glau on the other hand. She only plays women that could snap your neck with her pink and fore finger. Still, it wouldn’t be a bad way to go.
Whatchu talkin’ bout readers?
Just to address my comments on Sarah Palin from two weeks ago I have the following to summarize my response:
a) Sarah Palin is an idiot…she’s not trying to sound like an idiot or act like an idiot, she is actually doing so. While she might be a perfectly intelligent person otherwise, for some reason when the cameras are rolling she sounds like a waitress at Applebee’s trying to explain Buddhism to you. I can’t say for certain that Obama is going to be the transformational figure that turns this country around and McCain is not…but that simpleton is a 72 year old’s heart beat away from being in a position to fund the building of a giant wall around Alaska to keep the Russians out. That is all.
6 Degrees Results
Okay, a week short and a week late. No wait…um…well figured I better at least acknowledge the only entry from two weeks ago prior to my little hiatus.
Matt Bently was beaten in a squash match earlier this year by Vladimir Kozlov aka Oleg Prudius
Vladimir Kozlov beat Paul Burchill for the OVW Heavyweight Championship on July 28th 2007
Paul Burchill’s storyline sister is Katarina Waters aka Katie Lee Burchill
Katie Lee Burchill had an oppertunity for the Women’s Title at Night of Champions against Mickie James
Mickie James went to the 2008 Republican National Convention with MISTEEEEER KENNEDY…………..KENNEDY
Mr Kennedy is a republican which means he will be voting for John Mccain
I was actually hoping that last link was going to be “Mr. Kennedy was recently screwed out of the push of a lifetime due to a very stupid decision that showed a woeful lack of good judgment…just like John McCain will be in a few weeks. Dog gone it.”
The Great Booty Debate 2008
Missed this didn’t ya? This week we’ll send in two personal favorites of mine I’ve been saving for a rainy day. Or…a day which called for chronic masturbation. Either/or.
La Toiye: Apparently she’s half Thai and Half Black…I wonder which half is which?
Claudia Verela: Are you down with the brown…skinned?
Pimpin’ In High Places
So I took a week off…it wasn’t the end of the world was it? Just the fun I guess…just the fun:
So for the first time in like…what is it? 3 years? I took a week off from TBT, had to do it too since I was on a business trip for an entire weekly in sunny San Diego for a convention. You never realize just how exhausting a convention can be until you end up doing meetings and glad handing all day, then receptions and dinners all night. then again the Hilton in Gaslamp was swank and all my meals were expenses, and the booze was free. Next week I’m going to make it all up to you by giving you the best damn “Battle of Los Angeles ‘09″ preview available on the internet. Yeah, that’s right kids, I’m throwing down the gauntlet…of course that gauntlet still smells like Crown Royal, but what are you going to do when you run out of high ball glasses?
Till then, the Truth will set you free.