WWE | Pro Wrestling

The WWE is Making the Corporate Angle Work Despite its Message

One of the things I love most about writing is the interaction with readers and fans, especially professional wrestling. But when a comment comes out of the blue that catches my eye, well I have to write about it.

This is column written at 12:35 in the morning, so you know it had to be good.

My good friend, Melissa, has a 14-year old son, Alex, who is a huge wrestling fan. In a conversation with his mom, he pointed out a few things that made me go “hmm.”

Here’s the email I received a few hours ago.

You cover wrestling so I’m going to ask you this. (I think all this is fake, btw, but my kid watches it so I’m forced to watch it.) I haven’t yet seen this addressed in a story, or maybe it has been and has been missed, I know, I don’t follow THAT closely. But OK, the WWE has this whole big anti-bullying campaign, and while I’ve long thought that was kind of a joke given the nature of wrestling in general, what kind of message is this new “storyline” in which they beat the crap out of Daniel Bryan every week teach people. And then Triple H bullies Big Show and everyone else who doesn’t agree with him. Tell me, is the message do as I say and not as I do because what I see is a whole lot of bullying in that “company” right now. My own kid pointed this out to me, about the hypocritical nature of the show.

Wow! A 14-year old kid knocked it out of the park (Alex is no ordinary kid, mind you). I have been complaining about the issues associated with the story from an issue of it becoming stale and overused and too much like the nWo spots from almost 20 years ago.

Alex gets the point in one email sent between friends.

The WWE is not just a wrestling outfit, it’s a business. A major business that is publically traded on the NYSE and is entertaining to the point it is huge news on E! Entertainment with “Total Divas” and The Rock’s movie success after leaving the company. Characters like John Cena, Sheamus, Randy Orton and Big Show are hugely popular outside the ring.

The company also takes great joy in its work with Susan G. Komen, Make-A-Wish, The American Cancer Society and the Be A Star campaign.

I take exception with a company that promotes anti-bullying and then does its best backyard bullying impression with the current “Corporation” angle. While it works and it is something that may help usher in a new “Attitude Era” with the company.

I also realize I have not seen a “Be a Star” add on WWE programing in some time, but if a 14-year-old is talking about it, isn’t that doing some good for the schools and children of this country?

And if that 14-year-old can differentiate between what is fake and what is real in the world, then the WWE does not have a problem with it’s “Do not try this at home” warnings it gives on WWE packaging of videos, DVDs and pay-per-view events.

While there is a fine line this company must travel each day to ensure the fans and the media accept this kind of “reality” television, the company should not sacrifice the preaching of the care of students and its mission to rid communities of bullying just so it can make a few bucks on the current angle it is working with.

Thanks, Alex, for opening my eyes a bit and allowing me to see the bigger picture here.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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