I live near Boston, so it’s been a rough week here reading about and seeing photos of the gruesome injuries suffered by victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
As anyone who’s followed wrestling for a while knows, such incidents usually get the minds whirring of Vince McMahon and his cronies.
So here’s hoping the WWE curbs any desire to capitalize on the bombings. We don’t need another anti-American heel or some plot in which McMahon’s limo blows up again.
Unfortunately, history bears witness that the WWE doesn’t always take the classy route. For example:
- In 1990, as tensions increased between the U.S. and Iraq, McMahon brought Sgt. Slaughter back with General Adnan as Iraqi sympathizers, going so far as to Photoshop pictures of Slaughter and Adnan standing next to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein. Then, in early 1991 during an actual war between the countries, McMahon had Slaughter defeat the Ultimate Warrior for the WWF Title.
- A day or two after the September 11 attacks during a SmackDown taping, Stephanie McMahon did a promo that somehow tied in terrorism with the government’s failed prosecution of her father over alleged steroid distribution in 1994.
- Later, during the War on Terror, the WWE introduced new heel Muhammad Hassan, who said he was the victim of American bias because of his Middle Eastern background.
- And though I am nostalgic for the 1980s WWF scene, I can’t forget that the Iron Sheik’s heel heat in 1984 stemmed from the fans’ stinging memories of the Iranian hostage crisis a few years earlier.
So as we recover from the marathon bombings, the WWE needs to cut us some slack. We want wrestling to be fun, not a stark reminder that innocent people have died or been maimed by this attack. For once, Vince, don’t exploit real-life suffering for an angle.