Monday, March 10, 2008

Classic Bite Commentary: March 10th, 2008

(2018 Update: Replaced an older post with an even older Bite commentary.)

So I'm pretty sure somebody's pissed off by the little "gag" I posted when I "opened" the Webstation. Not gonna lie, despite my best efforts to make the date, laziness and an urge to build more MegaMan levels on my PSP grew too strong and so I ended up with nothing ready and a picture of a shadowy John Cena denying access to the site. For those whom I've offended, I'm sorry.

If you're still reading this, it means you want to listen to my rantings. Unfortunately, this one's going to be short and sweet. But yes, let's make it sweet because the message within is anything but sweet. In fact, the underlying theme is so bitter that I've decided to post this commentary earlier than expected (I had planned to upload on the 20th) so that it gets full attention and not just a blurb among topics such as more disgruntled Trek actors trashing their former employers or something else equally stupid.

So the Rock is coming back to induct his father, Rocky Johnson, and his grandfather to WWE's Hall of Fame. I'm sure he appreciates the verbal beatdown John Cena gave him in an interview. For those who don't know, Cena is pissed at the Rock because Rocky says he loves the wrestling business, but doesn't actually do anything to give back to the business that made him a household name. The argument from most is that Rocky doesn't need to give back to the business and I agree. He's done his bit to make wrestling and sports entertainment back into prominence, only to have others come in and fuck it all up. Rocky's done his bit, got insanely over with the fans to the point where he could translate that into a successful career as a Hollywood star... something that many others have tried and failed miserably (although I have to be honest - if Roddy Piper actually stuck to making movies similar to They Live and not movies about Frogland, he would have been the first to truly branch out).

As much as I would love to see The People's Champ come back for another run and Layeth the Smacketh-Down as only he can, I'm pretty happy that Dwayne Johnson is out of wrestling and focusing on being a successful actor instead. He doesn't owe the wrestling business anything; he walked away on his own terms with his health intact. He's moved on - another milestone in the business that few people have tried and failed at. Does anyone really think that Ric Flair is going to "retire" anytime soon and move on? Doubtful, because even if he wrestles his last match, he will most likely be given a producer spot or on-screen role. Flair or anybody else who has retired and returned to wrestling will argue that you can never leave the wrestling business. Anyone who tells you that is full of shit and I can say this because the guy who starred in The Game Plan used to be a wrestler and left on his own terms. He wasn't forced out because of injuries or because of disgrace. He left because he wanted to leave and is successful enough in his new career that he doesn't need to come out.

Another guy who left on his own terms - and I'll try to keep it short and sweet, lest I be the subject of a novel-sized commentary is Warrior, who retired from wrestling and dwelled into public speaking and maintaining novel-length commentaries on his own website. Sure, he teased a return or two, but this is another guy who has made a comfortable living for himself and doesn't really need wrestling anymore. Yes, many of his peers will bash him for some of the things he may or may not have done during his career, but like the former Rocky Maivia, Warrior has moved on. Can't say the same about anybody else, can you? But you know what? Outside of internet buzz or word of mouth regarding his latest controversial opus or commentary, you don't hear much of Warrior in mainstream media. Some bring up Warrior and that brings back fuzzy memories you either cherish or despise, but he isn't doing anything now that you'll pick up on.

So I guess ol' Dwayne is in a class all his own. He left wrestling on his own terms, relatively unscathed by injury and during the peak of his wrestling run, and he's successful enough that his projects get noticed. Some may disagree with this, but that's why it's called an opinion. So let's focus on some other fellows with talents for other things, but doesn't really follow up on it.

I recently picked up Mick Foley's novel, Scooter. Yeah, that's right. Mankind, Dude Love, and Cactus Jack wrote a novel and it's about baseball. Yes, I know you're amazed. Let me amaze you even more by saying that despite the subject matter not being vaguely interesting to me on its own, Foley manages to make me enjoy a story about baseball. Suffice to say, I've enjoyed it more than his autobiographies and I used to consider those his best works. Scooter has a good story, fairly dark tone, and gritty feel to it even though it focuses on a young kid from the Bronx and the changing world around him. Even if you don't like baseball or hairy wrestlers, you should consider this one up. Foley definitely has talent as an author, so why doesn't he focus on that instead of whoring out his wrestling legacy with sporadic returns to the ring just for a cheap pop?

Although he never really retired and referred to his two-year absence as an extended break, I honestly wished that Chris Jericho had stayed away. Don't get me wrong; it's nice to see ol' Y2J do his thing in the ring again, but at the same time, like Rocky, he left the scene relatively unscathed by injury and during a time when he was hot. Since then, he's released a book, had his own radio show, released another album or two with his band. Not a huge deal, but eventually he would have been able to create a niche for himself and build on it to become another guy who used his wrestling success to greater things. Now, I'm not trying to knock Chris. Clearly, he loves the wrestling business enough to have another go at it, but having seen the way he's been booked as of late, it's not hard to wonder if maybe he was better off staying away.

Perhaps the same could be said for Hulk Hogan. One would have to wonder what the world would have been like if he had turned down Eric Bischoff's offer to come to WCW and virtually kill the company with his creative control and archaic thinking. Chances are we would be seeing a 15+ year run of Hogan's show, Thunder In Paradise and a couple sequels to his crappy movies such as Mr. Nanny and Suburban Commando. But let's not completely knock the brutha. After all, he's hosting the new American Gladiators. He had a reality show under his belt (because you're truly a success story when someone wants to give you your own shitty reality show). He whores out his daughter every once in a while. Plenty of side projects for the Hulkster to keep busy, but apparently not enough to keep him away from the ring and stinking up the place. Yes, a Hogan match brings back fuzzy feelings of nolstagia for all those Hulkamaniacs, but eventually the match gets underway and the fuzzy feeling goes away to be replaced with what the rest of us are seeing; a 500+ year old man doing the same match he's done in the eighties and getting wins over younger folks who are truly more deserving (and that are on the company payroll).

And the sad thing is that there are rumors/talks/whatever that Hogan may be starting up his own little wrestling promotion with Uncle Eric. There's even talks of Hogan prepping for another run... oh joy. Just what the world really needs: another shitty Hogan run. Like the last fifty-thousands he's been on since 2002 have amounted to anything whatsoever. Please, Terry. Let it go. Nobody cares.

Enough of this. I told you it would be short and sweet. Expect another commentary within a couple weeks.

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