News & Politics

Inside The Wheelhouse: Politics & pro wrestling don’t mix

Linda McMahonPolitics and wrestling do not mix well. Not let me preface this blog in saying that I am not talking about the backstage politics of the wrestling world. I’m talking about the recent senate run for Linda McMahon in the state of Connecticut.

I have made it very clear in many of the podcasting show I am part of that I do not like politics at all. So let me say that this is not some sort of Democratic or Republican bashing of a blog. This is simply my thoughts on how Linda McMahon’s political run has ruined my enjoyment of the WWE in the last year or so.

I don’t care what Linda McMahon’s platform is and whether I agree or disagree with her views. For all that I know I could agree with most of her views, I don’t know and frankly I don’t care. But what I don’t agree with is how her senate run in the state of Connecticut has changed the WWE landscape from enjoyment to PG13 again.

I’m 24 years old and have spent the last 20 years of my life watching wrestling so I have seen it all. I grew up when Doink the Clown was running around with Dink the Clown throwing pies in Jerry Lawler’s face at ringside. As I got older I was reminded of “puppies” and wear “suck it” t-shirts to school. I even have sadly witnessed a wrestler dry humping a manikin in a casket.

Wrestling had progressed from a family entertainment of a show to something more inline with people over the age of 18 and I was fine with that. While I’m usually fine with “family fun entertainment” it’s just not interesting to watch. Shows on HBO aren’t successful because it’s something you want to sit down with your family and watch. It’s successful because it’s for mature audiences and has great storylines; similar to the attitude era.

Not only did television progress in the last 10 – 15 years and get away from “family fun entertainment” but so did society. HBO shows wouldn’t have been successful in the early 90s because they were too cutting edge for it’s time. They fit perfectly nowadays due to the way society enjoys certain forms of entertainment.

It was an evolution of now only entertainment but also an entire society. While parental groups continue to fight against certain television shows because they feel it isn’t safe for kids, television companies kept pumping out more mature audience themed shows. Channels like FX have taken that approach and found success in it.

When WWE changed its storylines and format to more of a “family fun entertainment” of a show and switched their rating to PG-13 I was saddened to hear that instead of continuing to progress in the stages of entertainment. It opened the door to various wrestling outlets like TNA & ROH to step in and welcome the 18-34 year old groups to their shows. The foundation of this strange movement in this direction was the senate run of Linda McMahon.

The WWE knew it was going to be more important for it to change its landscape of television to support Linda McMahon’s senate run then give storylines the edge in needed to show that they were part of the times. Smart move for Linda McMahon’s senate run, bad move for the WWE and horrible for fans like I that enjoyed the attitude era type of television. Pushing the envelope is always going to be more interesting then hugging and call people “buttheads.”

It was easier for Linda McMahon’s political advisors to tell Vince McMahon to change their programming because come election season it was going to be hard to explain to voters why someone should vote for Linda McMahon when her television programming supports “puppies,” “bra and panties” matches and “live sex” in the middle of the ring. Believe me I get that understanding but why run for senate in the first place when you’re a CEO of a Wrestling company! I’m not going to dive into the political background of Linda McMahon because there is very little to go over, but why does she want to run in the first place?

I don’t live in the State of Connecticut so I don’t have a say in the Senate run of Linda McMahon. But I hope as a Wrestling fan that she doesn’t win on Election Day; not because of political affiliation or her stance on a particular “hot topic” but because I’m a selfish wrestling fan that wants good entertainment on my television screen on Monday, Friday and some Sunday nights. Is that so much to ask?

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Politics and wrestling never have mixed in the past. Whether it is the stories you hear in the backstage area and who’s backstabbing who or in the actual political form. I get that Jesse Ventura has served as a Governor in the past but he wasn’t in charge of a wrestling company, Linda McMahon is and because of that her entertainment forum has taken a hit.

One has to wonder, should Linda McMahon lose in November whether or not the WWE will slowly climb back into the Attitude era type of programming by pushing the envelope or will they continue to want to hug families as they enter the gate of the arena? Time sure will tell with the future of the WWE really riding on it.

What are your thoughts on Linda McMahon’s senate run? Tell us your thoughts on “The Still Real to Us Show” by e-mailing us over at [email protected] and give us your thoughts on whether you agree with more or not! Then go ahead and download the show this Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.wheelhouseradio.com or www.wrestlechat.net to find out if your pick made it to the air!

Jeff Peck is the producer for the “Wheelhouse Radio” program that airs every Sunday – Thursday @ 8pm ET/5pm PT at www.blogtalkradio.com/thewheelhouse and at www.errorfm.com @ 2am ET/11pm PT

Jeff also co-hosts “The Still Real to us show” with Eric Gargiulo which can be available at www.wheelhouseradio.com and can be downloaded in the “Real Guy Radio” section of the site..”

If you would like to subscribe to “The Wheelhouse” on iTunes simply subscribe for free at iTunes by typing in “Wheelhouse Radio!”

You can follow “The Champ Jeff Peck” on Twitter at www.twitter.com/therealjeffpeck you can also follow Wheelhouse Radio on twitter at www.twitter.com/thewheelhouse and you can e-mail them @ [email protected].

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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