Archive for June 15th, 2009

Great Moments in Email, Part 2

An anonymous correspondent sent me a string  of messages, each one more intelligent than the last:

* “knowe who the diva was who was fooling around with benoit. it was your piece of shit mother.”

* “fuck you and benoit”

* “YOU HATE MCMAHON BECAUSE HE IS RICH AND ALSO FOR THE FACT THAT HE PUT YOUR STUPID UNCLE OUT OF BUSINESS.” (Uh … Sam Muchnick’s last show, before retiring at age 76, was on January 1, 1982, months before Vincent K. McMahon took over WWF from Vincent J. McMahon and his partners.)


Well, I’m definitely bald.

Irv Muchnick

Cruel Irony: Misawa’s Real Cause of Death Is ‘Better’ Storyline

According to Japanese news reports, Mitsuharu Misawa died of a spinal injury in the ring Saturday in Hiroshima, Japan. The initial report was that it was a heart attack.

Observers say that the back suplex that Misawa took before lying motionless was unremarkable, not a “botched spot.” It’s not known whether he suffered the fatal injury from that particular move or from an accumulation of suplexes for which he “sold” over many years, ranging from textbook-perfect “worked” “bumps,” in which his weight was properly distributed over the traumatized body part, to moves that were awkwardly executed or botched. Of the thousands of suplexes Misawa took, no matter how skilled he and his opponents were in the art of pro wrestling, some inevitably were botched.

Now here’s the cruelly ironic and painful truth about this industry: The explanation that Misawa died from punishment inside the ring is actually a better one, for business purposes, than the idea that he suffered a coronary. That makes the suplexes “real,” not “fake.” If Misawa’s company, Pro Wrestling NOAH, wished to push the envelope of bad taste, it could hang a “legend killer” tag on the wrestler who delivered his final back suplex. (When Chris Benoit inadvertently broke Sabu’s neck in a match, the incident was subtly exploited for Benoit’s credibility as a “crippler.”)

It makes one wonder why NOAH even helped circulate the incorrect and even less convenient story about Misawa’s heart. Perhaps no one actively fomented that rumor, which took on a life of its own. Perhaps people understandably weren’t thinking clearly in the ringside chaos of this horrible incident. Or perhaps wrestling people just reflexively tell even inconvenient untruths, because they can’t stop themselves.

Irv Muchnick

‘Steroid Cloud Hovers Over Baseball’s Feel-Good Stories’ … today in Beyond Chron

“Anyone who cares about good government must scour the Washington coverage critically. Similarly, if the public-health implications of sports’ steroid scandals matter, you need to read the sports pages with equal skepticism. The feel-good comeback narratives of two baseball players – Rick Ankiel of the St. Louis Cardinals and Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers – illustrate the latter point.”

Irv Muchnick

Wrestling Observer: Misawa Death WAS An Industrial Accident

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter website has this important new information:

“Although Pro Wrestling NOAH and the family of Mitsuharu Misawa attempted to keep the cause of death quiet, it has been reported in Japan from police reports from talking with hospital workers that the death was caused by a spinal cord injury from the back suplex and not heart problems.”

Irv Muchnick

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June 2009