Thursday, August 31, 2006

Yr Old Skool Tag Team Photo of the Week

The Nightmares: Danny Davis and Ken Wayne

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Quick-n-Dirty Recap: ECW on Sci-Fi, 8/29

The Good
  • CM Punk and Stevie Richards had a well paced, nice little back and forth six minute match. In fact, I think that was the best undercard match in the history of ECW . . . on Sci Fi.
  • There were no images of Test or Mike Knox on my tv screen.
The Bad
  • "Angry Amish Chicken Plucker" Roadkill has left ECW to pursue a career as a Deputy Officer with the Atlantic City Police Department. His position as "House Show Jobber to the Extremists" will be covered on an interim basis by Danny Doring and Justin Credible. In an ironic twist, one of Roakill's first assignments on the force was to protect Shane McMahon as he confronted Degeneration X this past Monday night on RAW. While we lament the loss, we here at Arabian Facebuster wish Roadkill the best in his future endeavors.
  • Shannon Moore is never going to actually wrestle -- execuse me, offer the fans his own inimitable style of sports entertainment -- in ECW. Instead, he is going to permanently cut 3 second promos propagating platitudes and disingenuous advice (i.e. "Fight the Power") from an undisclosed backstage location each and every Tuesday night. Now that's fucking punk.

The Ugly
  • Did I actually just watch another segment promoting John Cena's new critically acclaimed box office blockbuster The Marine? This movie won't even be in theatres until mid-October. Prediction: the WWEs hype and promotion of The Marine will make me long for the days of the John Karr media blitzkrieg. Or for a sequel to See No Evil.
  • The Big Show should never again be allowed to deliver a crotch-cop in public, yet alone a series of crotch-chops. Never. Again.

Monday, August 28, 2006

More Quotent Quotables: Sports Review Wrestling, March 1987

Time for some more 1980s wrestling history disseminated via quotations. Yesterday, instead of reading my usual periodicals -- The Journal of Comparative Politics, American Prospect, Tricycle, and Tiger Beat -- I decided to thumb through some older Apter magazines. As most of the loyal readers of Arabian Facebuster know, Apter rags (Pro Wrestling Illustrated, The Wrestler, Inside Wrestling, Sports Review Wrestling, etc.) are legendary for their made up interviews with wrestlers (always in character) and fake letters to the editor and fan/rube/mark correspondence. Yes, kayfabe was alive in well in professional wrestling magazine publishing in the 1980s. This particular issue of Sports Review Wrestling covers the matches, angles, feuds, and all around silliness in pro wrestling, circa November 1986 . . . with none other than the Ugandan Giant Kamala on the cover. Onto the quotes.

--"I loved your special section on the Top 50 [wrestlers] in the WWF . . . [however] Adrian Adonis should have been number 40 at best. Number 19 is ridiculous because this fat homo has no wrestling ability whatsoever." Letter to the Editor from Russell Welch, Philadelphia PA. Welch currently serves as the Communications Director for Sen. Rick Santorum's reelection campaign.

--"I'm a very enthusiastic and zealous black teenage fan of the WWF, UWF, and NWA . . . Speaking of all of the fiery wrestling fury in the NWA, why not do more cover stories on The Kansas Jayhawks? Bobby Jaggers and Dutch Mantell are loaded with dynamite wrestling maneuvers and scientific knowledge, combined with cunning, brawling skills, stamina, brute strength, and great courage." Letter to the Editor from Kenneth Williams, Chicago IL. Seconds after this letter was mailed: (1) The Kansas Jayhawks, after countless failed attempts to defeated Ivan Koloff and Krusher Kruschev for the US Tag Titles, vanished from the NWA; (2) Williams was arrested by Chicago's finest for the possession and usage of crack cocaine.

--"If what everybody is saying to me is correct, I'll be wrestling -- even dominating the sport -- for the next 20 years. I appreciate the complements, but have to follow my own conscience." Babyface Lex Luger responding to the question of the month "Do you yourself still wrestling 10 years from now?" Sadly, for millions of Lex Luger fans across the county, the prognostications of his collegues and contemporaries proved false.

--"One Man Gang is considered one of the worst technical wrestlers in the sport, but he has two things going for him: 468 pounds and a killer instinct nurtured while growing up on the streets of Chicago." Sports Review Wrestling futilely tries to explain why the One Man Gang has somehow retained the UWF Heavyweight Championship despite the relentless challenge from Dr. Death Steve Williams.

--Bill Apter: "Tony, you're incredible. All of these years in the sport and you're in better shape than ever. How do you do it?" Tony Atlas: "Thanks Bill. You have to remember, my man, that I'm a former Mr. USA and I have a certain responsibility to that title. It wouldn't look too good now if Mr. USA was walking around with a beer belly and flabby arms, would it?" Tony Atlas argues persuasively that the most effective way to maintain one's strapping physique is to capture the title of Mr. USA and use its psychologically imposing sense of prestige and obligation to fend off the flab. Take note, Jeff Hardy.

--"The two grapplers then locked up in a fight that, if unchecked, promised to go on to the death." Non-hyperbolic recap of the Starrcade 1986 main event for the NWA World Title, Ric Flair vs. Niktia Koloff. Both men were disqualified for shoving referees. Thankfully, wrestlers from the back separated the two grapplers before any in-ring fatalities could occur.

--"The Hulk Hogan-Kamala war is sure to go down in history as being distinguished by uncommon levels of sadism, brutality, and viciousness. Wrestling skills don't count here. It's survival of the fittest. If Charles Darwin were alive, the WWF's front office celebrity-hunters might enlist him as a special referee -- that is if he wasn't completely astounded by the very fact of the Ugandan giant's existence. Indeed, Kamala's existence is a riddle. He is a pure savage, a throwback to the time when jungle instincts ruled the world." Sports Review Wrestling envisaging the unprecedented level of violence that would occur once the cowardly Hulkster finally climbed into the ring with the barbaric Kamala. Fortunately, we now know that streaming bland, home-recorded music across the internet is the only known distraction capable of taming Kamala's cannibalistic instinct and primordial thirst to bludgeon and disfigure any stranger that dares cross his path.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

He's Sorry He Got So Fat

Dearest readers.
My sainted mother has observed that, based on my humble scribblings, the casual reader could be forgiven for assuming that all modern wrestlers are out-of-shape doughballs. I accept that this criticism is more than accurate, and I have resolved to steer my postings into more physically fit waters. Perhaps I'll do a piece on that nice Ron Killings fellow. Unfortunately for my new dedication to muscle mass, Jeff Nero Hardy made his triumphant return to the WWE on last night's RAW.

Holy crap on a Christmas cracker, that fucking mallrat looked bloated.

It's worth noting that the above picture is NOT from last night. Why this inexcusable lapse from YOUR Arabian Facebuster, a website renowned for its dedication to the bleeding edge of modern grappling? Because you can't find a current picture of this fat load ANYWHERE. I suspect that Vince McMahon's jackbooted thugs are entering the homes of all the photographers who attended last night's RAW taping, under orders to destroy the negatives. Yes, even the Japanese photo corps.

So, on to the fatness. Hardy raced out to confront Edge over some foofaraw or other. Doesn't matter. All that matters is that Jeff's once-taut tummy ballooned far beyond the confines of his spandex shirt, forcing itself outward, ever outward into the harsh glare of the arena lights. It was a grim and pasty thing. It's particularly unfortunate that Jeff's shtick consists almost entirely of raising his arms dramatically. Jeff greets the crowd with a raised fist. Tummy. Jeff thrusts his arm out before performing a "twist of fate." Tummy. Jeff does his extreme "my fingers look like guns" pose before executing the Swanton Bomb (kudos to the Pencil Neck Geek for pointing out that it should be rechristened "The Swanson Bomb"). TUMMY TUM TUM!

So Hardy retreated to the back to gear up for his match with Edge. When he came back out, some sage production assistant had slipped a t-shirt under the goddamn spandex. Anonymous production assistant: Arabian Facebuster salutes your wisdom. Sure, it bunched up around Jeff's flabby middle like a Sumo Diaper, but at least we were spared further glimpses of the Tum.

Listen, I'm no Adonis. Summerslam was on this weekend, so I've been sticking to a strict regimen of chicken parts and cheap beer. BUT, if I were to suddenly find myself booked in my first televised match in SEVEN MONTHS, I'd do some damn crunches. Maybe I'd jog around the block a few times.

Now, I am not knocking Jeff's in-ring ability. He seems perfectly capable of remaining upright, and The Swanson Bomb was capably executed, even though he seemed to be sucking on a Chiclet the whole time (I guess he's gotta keep that blood sugar up). I'm just saying that if Jeff's going to keep making his own outfits (true!) he should either get a personal trainer or a more realistic self-image. And spit out that Chiclet. He's gonna choke on that thing.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


"The Ragin' Bull" Manny Fernandez vs. Randy & Bill Mulkey. The Great American Bash, July 31, 1987; Orange Bowl, Miami FL.

Sweet sweet rare hand-held footage of Fernandez (managed by Paul Jones) vs. The Mulkey Brothers, possibly the greatest jobber twin brothers in the history of our sport (nod to Tony Schavonie). You'll be happy you wasted 2:30 of your life watching this!

The backstory: Rick Rude had fled Jim Crockett Promotions for the greener pastures of Vince McMahon's sports entertainment juggernaut several weeks prior. Rude and Fernandez were tag team champs at the time of the Ravishing One's departure, thereby forcing a hasty NWA World Tag Team Title change (I believe a phantom one at that to the Rock and Roll Express) and leaving Fernandez with nothing better to do as the month long Great American Bash tour rolled around than kick the crap out of jobbers (like the Mulkeys) and join forces with Ivan Koloff and the Barbarian in six man tag team action against the Fabulous Freebirds.

This clipped handicap match is a total squash with the Mulkeys' getting in no offense, eventually succumbing to the merciless physical onslaught of solidly and fairly stiffly delivered punches, chops, headbutts, and elbow smashes. I sincerely hope that Fernandez took whichever Mulkey brother was on the receiving end of that back body drop out for a steak and a lap dance (or twelve) afterwards, because he made Bull look like a million bucks . . . although I'm sure the other brother would find a way to tag along and mooch an order of prime rib and a trip to the salad bar off of the lumpy yet gregarious veteran.

While Fernandez's blue collar gut, B-cup man boobs, dumpy ass, partially bleached mullet, and "violent offender recently released from prison" ethos would never permit him the opportunity to follow Rude "up north" and have an oversized rubber action figure produced in his image, I am certain that the Ragin' Bull slept soundly at night knowing that his competently executed offensive moveset put food on the table for his family and a heroic quantity of cocaine, painkillers, and Wild Turkey shots into his system.

More on the Mulkey's later . . .

Yr Old Skool Black-n-White Photo of the Week

"Captain Redneck" Dick Murdoch

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

So You Don't Have To...

Ahem. It has come to my attention that some in the Arabian Facebuster community are not watching WWE’s Friday Night SmackDown. Given that Facebuster caters to only the most cultured and intellectually distinguished wrestling fan (hence the huge crossover with, it is well understood that many amongst us have nary a second to spare on anything but the finest in Sports Entertainment ™. Faced with the abundant cornucopia of spandex-clad athleticism available throughout the week, sacrifices must be made.

However, imagine for a moment a world devoid of digital grappling delights streaming into your home at the effortless touch of a button. Picture a strange parallel dimension, where one must endlessly position a pair of long metal rods over their television, looking to appease the spirits of the airwaves long enough to transmit a grainy approximation of the Boogeyman into their living room. A technology deficient hell on earth that Ted Turner fought so hard to liberate us from. Barring yet another viewing of my ‘87 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup tape, this is what I must endure each time I sit down to enjoy the pleasures of professional wrestling in the comfort of my home.

Join me, if you will, as I step forward to celebrate a quaint and rapidly disappearing way of life. Free TV kicks, courtesy of Vince McMahon and UPN. Of course, SmackDown airs on Friday night and I have a busy social schedule (read: drinking problem) to maintain. No problem. Another relic quickly fading from our collective consciousness, the Video Cassette Recorder, will ensure hours of hung over wrestling delights come Saturday morn. Some thoughts:

The Good...
Actual wrestling. Ring entrances that last 1 minute and matches that last 10 minutes (as compared to the other way around on Raw). An interesting mix of ambitious newcomers and seasoned journeymen getting their shot at national exposure, thanks in no small part to abnormal liver function amongst many SmackDown Superstars. Finlay and Regal wrestling main event matches!? Certainly not anyone’s dream card, but totally solid and certainly better than anything featuring Umaga. All that, plus the good King Bookah doing some mind-boggling work at the announcer’s table. Somehow, Booker managed to deliver lighting speed play-by-play commentary while never once dropping his Red Foxx lost in Camelot shtick. What more do you want? Oh yeah, there’s a REAL LIVE LEPRECHAUN living under the ring!

The Bad…
Undertaker vs. the Great Khali. Allow me to recap. Undertaker: Punch, punch, punch, punch, punch, punch. Khali: Choke slam attempt. Undertaker: Choke slam attempt blocked, choke slam. End. A match so riveting, Commissioner Teddy Long wasted no time in booking a re-match next week.

The Ugly…
Vickie Guerrero. Ugh. Not as soul-crushingly brutal as Melanie Pillman‘s appearance on RAW the night after her husbands death, but every bit as creepy and repellent. Although I generally encourage as much bad taste as possible from Vinnie Mac and Co., this makes me feel like a grade-A shit heel for even watching. Could the WWE possibly sink lower in capitalizing on Eddie’s death? Look out little Dominic, a Chavo kidnapping angle is inevitable. Fans should also be on the lookout for Kane vs. the Ghost of Eddie in the spring of 2007.

To conclude, SmackDown was, um, not as terrible as you may think. Come Friday night, you know you can find parked in front of the fuzzy glow SmackDown. That, or unconscious in a puddle of my own filth.

If Sabu Doesn't Win, We Riot.

Typical evening. Second Hour RAW Torpor. A muscle in my jaw starts twitching unconsciously. Sports "Entertainment" in full effect, and my eye creeps toward the remote control. The "Channel Up" button beckons. With just the tiniest effort, I could be watching Yetis devour someone on the SciFi network, if only... damn this journalistic integrity.

And. Then. "Tomorrow Night, on ECW! Kurt Angle! Rob Van Dam! And Sabu! In! A! Number! One! Contender! LADDER MATCH!!!!!" A chill runs through my tired frame, and I surge back to life. Like a complete sucker, I start Marking Out With Tremendous Force.

Look, kids, I know there's no way this debacle can possibly live up to my expectations. It's a new-school ECW main event on basic cable, a tease for Big Shew's Summerslam title defense, and as such sure to end in some form of unsatisfying Shew antics (are there any other kind?). I debased myself by getting all worked up for last week's Angle/Sabu shrug, and I probably shouldn't go down that road again, but this match MATTERS. Because if Sabu doesn't win, we riot.

Look, I've already committed to Summerslam. The Iron City is in the fridge, the wings are in the sauce, the cable company's obscenely large check is in the mail (you'd think that using Comcast's internet provider to cover their PPV product would entitle me to a discount, but no such luck). I'm watching this turd, and you can't stop me. Other than Flair/Foley and (to a much lesser extent) Mysterio/Guerrero, the ONLY match that registers on the give-a-shit-o-meter is Shew versus whoever. And I assure you, if "whoever" ain't Sabu, I'm tossing bricks.

Allow me to run it down: Angle versus Shew equals pure agony. Shew no-sells everything Angle does, Angle grits his teeth, rolls around on the mat, and looks faintly embarassed at having to carry yet another underworking joke through a main event.

RVD versus Shew is marginally better, but Van Dam hasn't been back from his suspension long enough to build any heat. Look for RVD to pinball uselessly around the ring while Shew does his tiresome "mighty oak in a gale" routine. Maybe a few awkwardly executed high spots, but that's it.

Sabu, however, stands a very real chance of finally getting all that beautiful blood out of the Big Shew. I'm not naive enough to think Our Man Sabu can actually get the strap off the Isle of Wight, but he could inject some badly-needed heat into the equation. ECWWWE's been building the feud between these two for WEEKS, and the few remaining old-school ECW fans are chomping at the bit to see Sabu hurt Shew. There's the beauty of this combo, frankly. Sabu doesn't have to win at Summerslam to keep the diehards happy (thank god, 'cos it's not going to happen). He just has to hurt the Big Shew really, really, bad. Hopefully he can reestablish ECW as a risk-taking promotion in the process, perhaps by shattering his own spine halfway through the match, fixing himself up with a bit of twine and a paperclip, and then dropping th' facebuster on Shew through a flaming barbed wire exploding glass tack table. That ought to do the trick rather nicely.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Report: Brooke and Hulk Hogan on RAW Tonight!

The Tacoma News Tribune's Black Jack Brown is reporting that Brooke Hogan's $25,000+ diamond grills were a gift from none other than that habitual gym bag crapper Randy Orton, who purchased the precious stones from a warlord in Sierra Leone, and then had them custom molded by multi-platinum recording artist Lil' Flip's dentist! While Hulk Hogan was initially thrilled that his daughter's newly iced teeth would instantaneously grant "Everything to Me" a coveted heavy rotation slot on America's intellectually insipid, garishly materialistic, morally bankrupt hip hop radio stations, once he learned the source of the bling, according to a written statement issued by mischievous son Nick Hogan, he was livid, brother. The Hulkster has vowed to show up tonight in Charlottesville, VA (with peculiarly sexy daughter and oversized red and yellow gym bag in his sight at all times) to confront the dastardly defecator face-to-face in the middle of the ring, along with his 24" pythons and thousands of Hulkamaniacs, dude! Whacchya gonna do Randy Orton, when the Hulkster runs wild on you . . . TONIGHT . . . on RAW . . . LIVE!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Quotent Quotables

NWA Clash of the Champions VIII: Fall Brawl '89 Columbia SC, 9/12/89

As many of the Arabian Facebuster contributors know, I love the National Wrestling Alliance (circa 1986-1989) for its realism, quality wrestling matches, rabidly loyal and passionate fans, distinctively southern feel, and compelling alternative vision to the professional wrestling experience from the WWF. And in 1989, despite Ted Turner's acquisition of the promotion from Jim Crockett and subsequent purge of long-time stars like Tully Blanchard, Arn Anderson, Barry Windham, and Dusty Rhodes, the NWA continued to churn out a great product, in large thanks to Ric Flair's feuds with Ricky Steamboat and Terry Funk, along with a motivated "Total Package" Lex Luger, spunky Sting, and competitive tag team division with the Road Warriors, Steiner Brothers, Midnight Express, and Fabulous Freebirds. After Flair defeated Funk at the Great American Bash in July, he was brutally attacked by Terry Funk and the Great Muta. Sting came in to save the champion, setting up the red-hot main event tag match of Flair/Sting vs. Funk (actually, it turned out to be Dick Slater)/Muta for Clash VIII.

Seeing as how I had yesterday evening free (prior to the Impact Zone on Spike TV, of course), I thought I would pop my tape of Clash VIII in the VCR to relive some fond NWA memories while trying to lobotomize the last 24 months of WWE programming . . . while watching, I couldn't help but smile at some of the comments and commentary from Jim Ross, a then-face James E. Cornette, and Gordon Solie, who was conducting interviews in the back, notwithstanding the wrestlers themselves. So instead of offering the dear readers of Arabian Facebuster a tedious blow-by-blow recap of the action and longwinded explanation as to the context of each match/feud, I thought I would offer a summary of Clash VIII via quotes.

--"Paul E. Dangerously, he has had more trouble keeping these Samoans in line ever since he's had 'em. They're wild beasts . . . the Samoan people naturally are fierce warriors; they are a war-like people and are uncontrollable." Jim Cornette: (a) explaining the Paul E. Dangerously's futility at retrying to regroup the Samoan Swat Team after an offensive flurry by Road Warrior Animal and (b) providing additional evidence to support Apollo Spas' argument that Umaga is racist throwback. The Road Warriors would go onto to defeat the SST.

-- "Ranger Ross is no stranger to adversity . . . he was in the mission on Grenada." Jim Cornette explaining why jobber-to-the-stars Ranger Ross' military experience in a fleeting conflict inside the smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere would help him in his match Sid Vicious, despite Vicious' awesome size and strength advantage. 30 seconds later, Ross was power-bombed, pinned, and never to be seen on television again.

--"The white man came and took his land, but one brave warrior wouldn't give up without the fight of his life. Burt Lancaster -- Apache! 8:05 ET on TBS Thursday night." Commercial for the TBS Thursday night movie. Native American Hero Tatanka would be proud. Native American Turncoat Tatanka would not.

--"It would be poetic justice if Michael Hayes got his head shaved, because the way he treats that hair is a crime." Jim Cornette during the Freebirds match against the Steiner Brothers. Ironically, Michael Hayes/Dox Hendrix's hair loss would become painfully obvious by 1991, even to denialists like tag team partner Jimmy "Jam" Garvin, roadie Little Richard Marley, and tour manager Big Daddy Dink.

--"Lex Luger transcends just being the US Heavyweight Champion, he transcends the sport itself. Lex Luger is bigger than wrestling itself. Lex Luger is the greatest athlete to grace the ring that has ever come along." Lex Luger shows aspiring young wrestlers how to effectively and resolutely communicate in the third-person in a pre-match interview with Gordon Solie.

--"I have a million dollar body. I have a multi-million dollar intellect. And you combine those with the desire and capacity to win at any cost, then the Total Package Lex Luger is unbeatable." More Luger with Solie. Luger's self-assured prediction would be proven correct against Tommy Rich.

--"The Great Muta has got to be figurin' what in the world is going on . . . I'm sitting smack dab in the middle of South Carolina, a long way from Tokyo, it's Ric Flair Day, the people have their faces painted like Sting, their howlin' and wooo-in' -- and he's got to be wonderin' why he ever left Japan." Jim Cornette pondering on the thoughts of the Great Muta as Sting dominates him in the early going of the tag-team main event.

--"Terry Funk is here . . . He's put a plastic bag over Ric Flair! Flair will not be able to breathe! He's tying it off! Funk is deranged; he's tying it off!" Jim Ross showing righteous indignation at the interference and actions of Terry Funk. Flair and Sting would defeat Slater and Muta by disqualification.

--"This is the most horrible thing I have ever seen happen. Flair was down on the ground from that platic bag attack from Terry Funk. Brian Pillman was the first one to his side, I believe he gave him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation." Jim Cornette in the aftermath of the carnage. It is not clear whether Cornette's comments were a reference to Funk trying to murder Ric Flair on prime time cable television or the sight of Flyin' Brian's prolonged kisses of life to the mouth of the unconscious six time world champion.

Yr Old Skool Bloodbath Photo of the Week

"Wildfire" Tommy Rich vs. "Nature Boy" Buddy Landell

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

I'm a Member of the F.V.K.

One week away from the palatial Hammerstein Ballroom, and ECW is right back in the crapper. The vulgar, witty, rabid fans have been replaced with their drunk, yawning, "stuck at a RAW taping for eight hours" doppelgangers. The blood and barbed wire have been swept (mopped?) away, tedium and prudence taking their place. And the pleasantly surprising CM Punk is relegated to Promo Hell, leaving more TV time for THIS chief.

I've been flogging this nag for well over a decade now, but it seems it's time to break out the beatin' stick again. Vampires are LAME. A horror icon that once represented the churning sexual dread of repressed Victorian Society has become an expression of our modern era's stunted emotional development. Isolated teenagers well into their forties slather on makeup and give each other "interesting" haircuts, squeezing their corpulence into corsets and crushed velvet. Vampire culture is a sad pantomime of sexuality, a system of ready-made fetishes designed to help simpering loners express their utter terror at the prospect of actual physical and emotional contact with another human being. It is NOT the new face of ECW. The new face of ECW is the Sandman's new face (seriously, what's wrong with his cheekbones?).

So please, ECW, no more Kevin (!?) Thorn. He's not scary. He's not cool. He wrestles like a less energetic Undertaker, if such a thing can even exist without throwing the universe into heat death. If you want THIS writer's vote, bring back The Zombie.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

To Bling, or Not to Bling...

April 3, 2005.
Los Angeles, California:

Before 20,193 souls, and a million more at home watching on Pay-Per-View, John Felix Anthony Cena defeats John Bradshaw Layfield to win his first ever World Wrestling Entertainment Heavyweight Championship. His first act as title holder: a radically customized re-imagining of the WWE Championship Belt.

Gone from around the new Champ's waist were the metalized image of a gleaming mother earth. Gone; the belt stripped of its illustrious inscribed plates of prestigious title lineages. All gone.

Now hanging above Mr. Cena's sagging trousers and carefully revealed boxers was the new WWE Title Belt, Cena's very own "pimped" out version of WWE Championship Gold. Bedecked with rankly ostentatious "Bling Bling", and improbably fronted by a rotating face plate bejeweled in World Wrestling Entertainment's "...get the 'F' out..." logo, Mr. Cena's new "Spinner Belt" was unleashed on an unsuspecting world.

Say what you will about the apparent insult to a cherished championship image, yet remember that a personalized brush has rarely been spared by other WWE Superstars' title reigns: The Stone Cold "Smoking Skull" Belt, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's "Brahma Bull" WWE Championship Title, even Brock Lesnar's "Undisputed Title", all sported cutomized faces. Yet no redesign could be argued to have undergone as quite an (as to quote an as-of-late-oft-used phrase) "extreme" makeover.

Much can and, of course, cannot be said of John Cena's nearly unheard of year long WWE title reign. And dear reader(s), I believe in the polite and erudite forum of I shall henceforth avoid any further discussion of Mr. Cena's in- ring WWE wrestling acumen and ability to shoulder, wacky or otherwise, the immense burden of his role as its champion.

But that belt. That belt. No, it's not the charming abbreviation loyalizing the champ as part of "Mon-Nite Raw" on one of the rhinestone crusted side plates. Nor do I even blanche at the faux-diamond "CHAMP" outrageously festooning the belt's face. You see, dear friends, it is specifically that jewel encrusted, loopily spinning,"W" where I draw my truck with "The Champ" and his "Bling-Bling-Belt". Yes, much like a wobbly sorority girl stumbling drunk and easy through a Fraternity house post- two a.m. on a Thursday nite, Mr. Cena’s Bling-Belt either entices the viewer with its cheap and sloppy luster or it repels him with its utter triteness and lack of historical substance.

Perhaps, in his haste to procure the illustrious gleam of championship gold around his self, Mr Cena did not gather into his employ the finest tinkerers, or jewelers, or other assorted craftsmen to ensure the integrity of this golden revolving bauble to the cult of the new Champ. Oh, indeed the jeweled WWE Logo spins ever so delightfully! Round and round it goes, as if twirling with the carefree whims of a Cadillac Escalade's 22's idling through the 'hood on a balmy South Central Friday afternoon.

And yet inevitably, when the spinning slows and eventually ceases, that lovely logo always, and by always I mean ALWAYS [caps added for emphasis] always, lays askance. Never upright. Never to be properly vertical, but always slightly tilted, perhaps to the two o'clock position, or even worse, upside down as if it were an "M".

Perhaps this racous tilt of derision towards an established corporate logo jives nicely with the image of an "unorthodox" anti-establishmentarian like Mr. Cena and his rowdy Chain Gang.

Or perhaps it simply illustrates the nearsighted priorities of an massive entertainment conglomerate that will strip its aesthetically competent double champion of his titles after he is discovered traveling in a vehicle with a suicidal, homicidal, genocidal Arab, and a harmless herb that happens to be illegal in some states. And yet somehow still allows its multi-million dollar, courtroom-battled- over Logo to be subject to such piss poor handiwork and an outright failure to find its literate vertical base.

Perhaps one day there will come a new champion, a true champion, who recognizes the importance of the little details, and sets right this off-kilter bejeweled affront.

Whatever the cause, it is now clear that regardless of who holds Mr. Cena's customized Title, we will be forced to witness this continued witless act of canted corporate logo placement.

Regrettably to fans of shiny things everywhere, as long as little girls’ screams of shrill delight prompt countless-a-fanboy to purchase their very own replicated chunk of Bling-Bling-Belt from either venue merchants or, we will be subject to its shoddy machinations and watch it spin, spin, again, and again.

The Samoa Tourist Authority Would Like A Word...

"Come and explore our islands that are rich in culture, unspoilt environment and home to the friendliest people in the South Pacific." -
The Samoa Tourist Authority

Or, as decades of Wrestling Wisdom would have it, an army of painty-faced savages with no coherent language to speak of and an unending capacity for subhuman violence, scornful of social laws and lacking any faith in the Inherent Goodness Of The White Man's Culture.

I confess, I have never visited the island paradise of Samoa in person. My familiarity with its swarthy inhabitants is extremely limited. That said, as far as I can tell, almost every goddamn one of them has at least some capacity for verbal communication (some of them even speak the Queen's English!) and almost none of them are rampaging Tazmanian Devil-esque Destruction Whirlwinds. The lady who pours drinks in back of my local Indian Restaurant is a particular favorite - she's calm and actually rather loquacious.

Even mainstream wrestling has turned its back on the cartoonish Wild Samoan gimmick. "The Rock," Rikishi, Yokozuna (RIP), and Samoa Joe (back in my good graces after his satisfying, albeit brief, scuffle with good ol' Rhino) all speak "quite well," if I may be allowed a moment of quasi-racist condescension. They also wrestle with focus, intensity, and skill. They do NOT freak out like mental patients when their manager-cum-mouthpiece takes a mild bump of the ring apron.

But now there's Umaga. Talks in grunts. Violently insane. Throws epic fits if Armando Alejandro Estrada so much as drops his cigar ash.

Face facts, people. The dude's a racist throwback. From the loony facial contortions to the stupid grease paint tatoos, "The Samoan Bulldozer" is basically a giant Al Jolson with a taped-up thumb. If I were a wrestling fan (oh, wait, I AM) I'd feel pretty insulted that Vince McMahon even thinks I'm gonna by this ludicrous angle. Yeah, it's mainly just Vince dealing with his bitterness over not signing Samoa Joe, but still... pretty offensive.

We can only hope that Umaga's cousin (at least according to these chiefs) Joe takes him aside and gently persuades him to knock off the House Negro crap. Asalaam Alaikum, people.