For a company that recently stopped holding its developmental shows in bars because they didn't want to present "that" image as a family company, the current slate of WWE storylines seem less than family-friendly.
I write this piece in a less than happy mood, so be forewarned if my tone seems a bit down or angry.
I ranted on this topic for a good eight minutes on my radio show and evoked stunned silence from my partner. I am sick and tired of the hypocrisy from World Wrestling Entertainment.
For a company that recently stopped holding its developmental shows in bars because they didn't want to present "that" image as a family company and for a company that markets a magazine and Web site exclusively to children, the current slate of WWE storylines seem less than family-friendly.
Alcohol and bars are bad, according to WWE. But the company seems to have no issues with human slavery. At least that is the message one can infer from the prominent JBL/Shawn Michaels storyline.
For those of you not paying attention to Raw these days, Michaels is the "employee" of JBL and is basically forced to do the Longhorn Loudmouth's bidding at his beck and call.
WWE also markets some wrestlers almost exclusively to children. Among these talents are John Cena, Rey Mysterio and the subject of a controversial angle, Jeff Hardy.
At the November pay-per-view, Survivor Series, WWE played off a storyline where Hardy was found unconscious in his hotel room the day of the event. This plays off of real-life past drug issues, as well as the deaths of Eddy Guerrero and Chris Benoit.
I was upset, as I saw through it, but my 7-year-old didn't. This concerned me, as Hardy is primarily marketed to children. Now, WWE is playing up a hit-and-run in Cameron, N.C., involving Hardy and his real-life girlfriend. I have kept this from my kids, as I don't want them concerned. With a group of workers geared toward children, the WWE has to be careful with the storylines in which they are involved.
The payoff of this angle with Hardy will be the return of Christian Cage as the person who attacked Hardy in both circumstances. I just wish WWE had used their billion-dollar resources to find a better way to tell a story instead of taking real-life tragedies and playing them up for a cheap pop.
Dustin Watson is a professional-wrestling blogger for the Linn County Leader in Missouri and can be reached at email@example.com. You can also catch the Wrestling Genius on the “Two Old Pros Radio Show.” The show is live and rated for a mature (17 and older) audience, and can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/two-old-pros.