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Volume 68, Issue 69, Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Arts & Entertainment

Wrestling's not dead; it's just in state of flux

The Wrestling Report

Ed De La Garza

It's odd that, in the four years this column has run in The Daily Cougar, my love of professional wrestling has waned to the point that missing a show barely registers. It probably has a lot to do with the nature of journalism and how it trains you to question everything, to be a cynic.

But I'll be damned if things I took for granted turn me off from spending two hours glued in front of the TV. I'll still do it, but more out of a wish to go back in time to that period where I didn't care if it was real; back to the time when I could suspend my disbelief.

Like most WWE superstars, Triple H is hardly worth mentioning when talking about issues out of the wrestling ring.
Mauro Alvarez/The Daily Cougar

But I can't go back. Watching the Hulk Still Rules DVD made it even harder. The package contains more than three hours of bonus footage with a second disc dedicated to nothing but some of Hulk Hogan's more memorable moments.

Back in the day, the World Wrestling Federation aired a show called Tuesday Night Titans. Hosted by Vince McMahon, the "talk show" featured various wrestlers being interviewed and sharing recipes for the perfect muscle-builder. You'll find a much younger and smaller McMahon behaving quite amiably. Fast-forward to the present and you get an egotistical, evil genius who treats his wrestlers like cattle.

Then there's Hogan's match with an up-and-coming Undertaker. You see, back then, he was a monster who drew his power from the supernatural an urn to be exact. His "caretaker," aptly named Paul Bearer, had a strange control over him. Never did you question it.

You never stopped to wonder whether Bearer's parents knew naming their child Paul was odd. You never stopped to wonder why, if a man was as powerful as the Undertaker, he would choose the world of professional wrestling to use that power. It just wasn't done.

There was Zeus. He co-starred with Hogan in No Holds Barred and for some reason followed him to the WWF. There was Ted Dibiase. He was a millionaire, living the high life, yet his only dream was to get his hands on the World title. That's probably what'd I'd do if I was loaded too.

There was Isaac Yankem, the maniac dentist. Basically, he was a wrestler who also happened to be a dentist, but you never really knew which one he did on the side. By the way, Yankem grew up to become Kane.

Somehow, the Undertaker's little brother spent years under his big brother's nose wrestling under assumed names (he was also the "Fake Diesel") before he finally revealed himself. And he also had time to engage in necrophilia.

But that's always been the case with wrestling. Writers don't care about continuity or common sense, either.

I didn't used to care about any of those things. Damn this journalism. Damn it to hell.

The business will have another surge in popularity. It's cyclical in nature. Who knows? The next time it's the top show on cable, maybe the Undertaker will have finally explained that whole transition from zombie to bad biker.

It's times like these when I want nothing more than to sit down in front of the TV with a six-pack of Shiner and vegetate for two hours. Beer makes everything better even wrestling.

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