The Mother Brain Files: PG Politics

Not to take away from Mother Brain’s debut, but I just wanted to introduce the Blog’s readers to its newest contributor, they will bring to this blog another opinion about all things entertainment and I for one am happy to have them here:

The Mother Brain Files: PG Politics

By: Mother Brain

I was surprised to hear earlier in the week that WWE Smackdown Diva and Straight Edge Society member Serena was as we like to say “future endeavored” from the company over the weekend. She’s been in WWE for less than a year (a little more time in the FCW developmental territory) and she just recently got some in-ring action last Friday on Smackdown in a tag match with her and Luke Gallows against Kelly Kelly and the Big Show. My initial thought was that management was unimpressed with her work in the ring despite working with someone as hand-fed as Kelly Kelly.

Then word gets out that Serena was fired for “not living the gimmick” of an anti-diva who condones drinking, smoking, and drugs. Apparently there’s more to the story being that she’s only 24 years old and was still getting used to life on the road 300-something dates a year. If she was truly fired for not living her gimmick, then my complaint is less about behavior and more to do with the hypocrisy in WWE.

Since the day he took over from his father, Vince McMahon revolutionized the wrestling business from dimly-lit bingo halls to 60,000 plus arenas around the world. He gave his performers simple gimmicks that turned them into larger than life superheroes and supervillains who would be depicted in toys, video games, comics, t-shirts, etc. As a young kid in the 90s, I believed what I saw on Monday nights.

Then the Monday Night Wars and the Attitude era changed all that. Now the audience became more sophisticated and the curtains were unveiled in the age of the dot com boom. Rather than keeping the curtains closed, Vince chose to embrace it. He tells the whole world that the era of good versus evil was no more, resulting in more realistic characters who were not afraid to bring their personal lives and friendships into the ring (DX, Matt Hardy, etc) and also felt free to stick it to the competition. Then a series of tragic events (Eddie Gurrerro, Chris Benoit, etc) and media scrutiny put the WWE into a spot where the slate had to be wiped clean and target the audience that matters most: Children.

By going the PG route, WWE has turned off the 20 and 30 something audience that grew up with the likes of Hulk Hogan and Stone Cold Steve Austin. We don’t matter because we don’t spend ridiculous money on John Cena merchandise like the kids do.  Now the talents are being told to stay in character in public so the kids of today can believe they’re just as real as they are on tv.

Could you imagine Luke Gallows being told to act like an idiot in public when he was doing his Festus gimmick? What about David Otunga taking part with the evil Nexus group and still walking arm and arm with wife Jennifer Hudson at red carpet parties? Is Kelly Kelly not allowed to look serious in person? Should Shemus be fired for being Triple H’s workout partner when they’re supposed to be mortal enemies on television? Tiffany can take pictures at a Playboy party when her employer is a PG company that no longer associates itself with an adult magazine?

In the old days, the faces and heels traveled separately. Vince used to have the Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase stay in the best hotels and ride limousines to the arenas to make fans believe in his gimmick. Even Bret and Owen Hart couldn’t be seen together when they were feuding. Today, Vince admits it’s all a soap opera. Even his wife as a candidate for U.S. Senator says it’s a soap opera. The wrestlers can do interviews about their current feuds and storylines like they’re promoting a movie. Chris Jericho can act like a big asshole on television and be a reality game show host at the same time. The Undertaker can be in a vegetive state on television and get photographed with Michelle McCool at his wedding for all the world to see. Kane can be the big red monster and also do videos where he talks politics like a CNN contributor. You don’t hear about anyone getting fired over any of that no matter what their standing is in the company. That’s like saying Michael C. Hall should get fired from TV’s Dexter because he doesn’t murder criminals in real life just like his character does on the show.

Vince has to decide for himself whether to treat his audience like people or mindless puppets who go with the flow. I’m not sure if he can have it both ways.

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