Thursday, September 28, 2006

Quote of the Day 28.9.2006: The 100th Post

"Homophobia is Gay" - Swansea Student Liberal Democrats

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Kurt Angle & TNA Wrestling: When Insanity & Corporate Manslaughter Collide

Douglas Nunnally's article at about TNA Wrestling's acquisition of the great Kurt Angle sums up exactly how I feel about this (and other) situation(s).
I am disgusted. Yes, I am completely and utterly disgusted and for the first time in months, it is not because of WWE shockingly. It is not because of a lovely widow being paraded around as a heel to try and get heat on a storyline. It is not because of a man who can barely wrestle being given a dress and a push simply because it's getting cheap laughs out of the boss. Above all else, it is not milking the name of a beloved wrestler in an attempt to get people to care about another wrestler or an angle. No, it's none of that.
Looking back, it's unfathomable something can get my blood boiling far past the heel turn of Vickie Guerrero which caused my fiancée to sit in on some pretty big rants from my big mouth. It's unfathomable that someone could show lower morals than WWE. But it happened. As much as I'd like to go to bed and pretend it didn't, it did. And that's what scares me.
If you don't know, TNA announced earlier this week an announcement that would change the course of pro wrestling history would be made at their PPV on Sunday. Last night at their No Surrender PPV, they revealed one part of their announcement to be the arrival of Kurt Angle, one of the greatest wrestlers of this age if not, perhaps, of all time. And seconds following the PPV's conclusion, I literally felt a part of me die.
Now, let's back up and look at Kurt Angle. We all know Kurt Angle is someone who pushes himself beyond any limit. He won the Gold Medal with a broken neck, he wrestled WrestleMania XIX with one, he took the easy way out with surgery to come back as soon as possible forcing him to miss more of 2004, and recently he injured himself three times in one match, by his own admission, & refused to enter rehab. Does that sound like a sane man to you? Does that sound like a man who is in his right mind whatsoever? Even more, if you look at the interview he did with WWE, he claims that he needed time to "reheal and rehab [his] body." Now, that was less than a month ago and I'm all for quick recoveries, but no way in hell did Kurt Angle repair all the damage done to his mind and body in less than a month. Yes, there is such a thing as passion in this business and it's quite obvious that Kurt Angle once had it, but this goes past passion and obsession into pure insanity. Refusing to enter rehab and wanting to continue to wrestle after suffering three concurrent injures (two of which came about because he didn't know when to stop) is complete insanity that we finally see truthfully and there is no way to look around that.
Do not get me wrong. I am a big Kurt Angle fan and I am not trying to insult him. Just the other day I was re-watching WrestleMania X-Seven and I couldn't wait to get to his classic with Chris Benoit that blew my mind when I first saw it. Hell, I'll probably watch it again after this column. Last year saw him cement his legacy along with Shawn Michaels and when he first entered ECW this year, I was ecstatic to see a completely different Kurt Angle within the ring. This transcends being a Kurt Angle fan though. This transcends being a Kurt Angle hater as well. This is about caring about a man's personal health, if not life, and while that may sound horrendously extreme, it is definitely warranted no matter how you look at it.
Last year, Eddie Guerrero tragically passed away and WWE instituted a drug testing policy. Interestingly enough, when the video of Vince McMahon announcing the drug testing went up on, it was Kurt Angle who had the majority of the questions. Fast-forward to January and WWE fans were treated to Kurt Angle sans at least twenty pounds looking freakishly scary while holding the World Heavyweight Championship. Reports poured in from fans who witnessed Angle leaning on others for support while backstage or exiting the arena. "Breaking News" posts were made every other day about a possible new Angle injury. Interviews popped up from Angle himself saying he would just not stop. Rumors emerged of wrestlers scared of the well-being of one of the top stars in the promotion. Angle next disappeared shortly after joining ECW due to a suspension for not keeping the prescriptions for the little drugs he had left (compared to the humongous number we know he had before the drug testing went into effect) updated and came back in the same sorry state he left. Then, after being in no state to wrestle for anyone, he was told to enter rehab by WWE. Mind you, WWE pays those who enter rehab so Kurt Angle could have been making money by doing nothing except finally giving his body some practically mandatory rest. I just mentioned Eddie Guerrero and it's well known the company paid for Eddie to enter rehab. Why would Angle not go? Why would he shove aside all that money and not recover? Again, I ask: do these sound like the actions of a sane man to you?
After all of this, rumors arose of Angle joining MMA while every other promotion (wrestling and MMA) under the sun marveled at the chance of getting Kurt Angle in their ring. Angle's manager, Dave Hawk, even claimed that Angle was retired from pro wrestling and would fight in MMA in 2007 and to be honest, that's probably the safest thing for him. I don't even follow MMA and I know that for a fact. Everyone is required to take drug test to fight so that right there narrows it down to a fifty-fifty chance that Angle would even step into the ring, because God knows Angle probably needs a full bottle of assorted pain killers and other pills before being able to walk let alone train let alone fight. From there, you just need to look at the rules of any MMA promotion out there from UFC to PRIDE and you can put your mind at ease. First off, you know the ref is going to already be overly concerned for the well-being of someone that has a tentative appointment with the Grim Reaper down the line according to scuttlebutt. Second off, do you really expect Kurt Angle to spend eternity locked in a neck crank and the ref not call for the bell? This is just common sense here, folks, and after that, you just have to ask yourself which is more damaging to the body: taking a few high left kicks from someone like Mirko Cro Crop in a five minute round or going thirty minutes with someone like Samoa Joe who will dish out stiff blow after stiff blow that Angle can't even attempt to counter or block in most cases. That's not even factoring in the insane bumps that Angle would be taking or would probably even demand to take in the matches. God forbid you get him in an Ultimate X match which you know either Vince Russo or Angle himself will be lobbying for.
But did Angle enter MMA? No, Kurt Angle decided to forfeit the money he has left on his WWE contract (voiding the non-compete clause) and shack up with TNA as I already mentioned. In one fell swoop, the roles of the major players in American professional wrestling instantly changed. WWE was once, and probably still is, regarded as the evil, callous promotion devoid of a heart and a soul. After all, they milked Eddie's death for all it was worth and let people like Jackie Gayda and Dawn Marie go after getting married and getting pregnant respectively. TNA was believed to be the alternative. TNA was supposed to be the promotion with the heart of the sport, giving the fans what they wanted and giving the talented workers shunned by WWE a place to go. Now? Now, TNA has signed the wrestler WWE deemed too crippled to wrestle for them. They let go someone who could be a major coup for any promotion and I guarantee you they didn't do it because Angle looked at Vince the wrong way in the hallway. Do you think for one second that Vince McMahon would let Kurt Angle go unless he literally feared for his life? For those who still want to play the "blame WWE" game, do you think for one second that Vince McMahon would let Kurt Angle go unless he literally anticipated Angle's death and the subsequent lawsuits, hateful editorials, & bad press that would follow?
Now, you can say how this is a business all you want and you're right: it is a business, but isn't that what WWE has been saying for years to people, only to get criticized more. That aside, even the shrewdest businessman would tell you that this is a humongous mistake. On one hand, you're losing the appeal you attracted fans with. You grabbed wrestling fans burnt out from the Invasion mess with the promise of no bullshit WWE practices, a promotion with a heart; and now you're hiring someone even McMahon, the one notorious for milking those for all their worth, deemed nowhere near stable enough (physically and mentally it seems) to go near his ring. And what for? Ratings and a profit; those are great things to risk someone's well-being for. On the other hand, what is going to happen if (and according to many, when) Kurt Angle becomes paralyzed or even dies in the ring? What kind of public image is that going to give to the product? What kind of message is that going to send to your fans? Right now, TNA can claim ignorance or the fact that they are handing out a "second chance," but what happens when something like that happens (and I guarantee you that one of those two things will happen)? Looking at it even more, what if it turns out to be like the "Hail Mary" save Sting made for TNA earlier this year in that it spiked buyrates and ratings at first, only for things to slowly dwindle down to the current state TNA is in now necessitating such an acquisition? Where would the rationale be then? "Hey, kids; Kurt Angle is in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but he helped us get some extra cash for a bit that we then spent on another WCW star who did nothing for the product."
I put the blame fully and 100% on Total Non-Stop Action truthfully (and the argument would be the same if another promotion like NOAH or ROH had beat them to it). I've said it above and I'll say it again: all this does not sound like the actions of a sane man and Kurt Angle is nowhere near sane by the look of things. A sane man does not get three injuries in the span of five minutes, continue wrestling, and then object to being taken off the road. A sane man does not leave a humongous paycheck behind for refusing to go to rehab that will make it so he can walk his daughter Kyra in a beautiful gown down the isle one day. Kurt Angle is not sane. In America, you can get acquitted for murdering someone with a plea of "insanity," but what if someone sane put the knife into the hand of a man nowhere near his right mind and pointed him in the direction of eternal damnation? Whose fault is it then? In my opinion, it's that sane person's fault and this is exactly the position TNA is in right now. They know full well everything going on with Kurt Angle. Even if they have not read his own statements, the statements of others, the backstage rumors, the press releases, et cetera; all you have to do is look at the poor man and realize that he should be nowhere near a professional wrestling ring for the remainder of his life. TNA has shown in one announcement what is most important. Instead of valuing the health of their wrestlers and the very life in this case, TNA is just looking for a quick fix and this time, they are committing assisted suicide for the sake of a five hundred thousand more viewers.
Go ahead and bust out the demanding schedule of WWE and compare it to TNA's breezy work schedule. What you're forgetting is that Kurt Angle has been told by many doctors that he risks paralysis and even death every time he steps into the ring. Every time, people. Every time Angle comes out and does his spin in the middle of the ring, he is playing Russian Roulette with his life. Let me tell you something: it doesn't matter if you're working one day a week or five. If you're gambling with your life, it's eventually going to catch up to you. You don't expect a drug addict coming off a five year binge to just shoot heroin once a week or once every two weeks and be all right. May seem a little extreme, but they do call it "the drug of choice" and looking at the match where Angle pulled his groin, tore the abdominal muscle off his pelvis, and blew out his hamstring, one match is all it takes. It's a risk no matter how many times you're working and to point out something TNA fans loves to boast, TNA is a completely different style than WWE. It is way more physical and while Angle did wrestle many a match with Chris Benoit, that was in 2003 and I guarantee you that Angle has not gotten younger or let his body rest much in those three and a half years. Meanwhile, there are wrestlers in TNA like Samoa Joe and AJ Styles who are building their reputations based on insanely stiff matches (for American standards). One match with Samoa Joe may be the equivalent of twenty with someone the likes of John Cena nowadays. Try telling yourself again that the lighter TNA schedule will do Angle some good.
This goes further beyond TNA and Kurt Angle as well. What is going to happen in the eventual dream match between Kurt Angle and AJ Styles if Angle goes to give Styles an Angle Slam, blows out his hamstring (again), and spikes AJ Styles straight on his head, injuring the young star immensely and damaging his future? Again, I ask: where is the justification? TNA has brought in some questionable stars like Jeff Hardy and Scott Hall (and I've been very vocal about those two) in the past, but none have ever posed such a risk to themselves and to their partners in the ring by just getting into the ring as Kurt Angle. We didn't watch Jeff Hardy square off against AJ Styles on the Second Anniversary show and pray Jeff Hardy would make it out alive & be able to walk and not drag down AJ Styles with him. We didn't watch Scott Hall get into the ring with Styles at Turning Point 2004 and cringe every time he lifted up Styles or took a bump. At least the biggest risk with Hardy & Hall was that they'd pass out, miss their flight, and TNA would be out a match on the PPV. If I was AJ Styles, I'd be begging Kurt Angle to no-show a PPV no matter how great a match the two could have.
I started out this column disgusted and I still am, but more and more, I am scared down to my very being. What scares me right now is that it seems WWE is the promotion with some set of morals for a change. What scares me right now is that we aren't even over the tragedy of Eddie Guerrero and we are already preparing ourselves for another one. What scares me right now is that in a year, people might look at the plight of Kurt Angle & Dynamite Kid and lament how Dynamite Kid got off easy in comparison. Overall, what scares me the most is the justification everyone right now is giving to a promotion for hiring a crippled man who casually admits he has little to no feeling in his left arm, can not compete without a myriad of pills, and was turned away by an infamous company finally doing the right thing, just so the fans can get a dream match they want.
Right now as I type, thousands of TNA fans are going to bed dreaming about their Olympic Hero going one-on-one with their favorite TNA wrestler: AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Christopher Daniels, et cetera. Right now, thousands of Angle fans are dreaming about seeing their favorite wrestler ever return to primetime. Me? I'm trying my hardest to stay awake because I know the nightmares that awake me when I drift away. We already lived through these nightmares last November. We shouldn't have to again, TNA, and that disgusts me.
TNA, it's bigwigs such as President Dixie Carter and the Jarretts (Jerry and son Jeff) its financial backers Panda Energy and it's television network Spike TV should all be ashamed of themselves. Carter, the Jarretts and company should be jailed for taking liberties with Mr. Angle's life just to compete with Vince McMahon's organisation.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Quote of the Day 22.9.2006

"I’d say Boris Johnson, regardless of what he’s said now, is a perfect reason to not vote Labour!" - Jo Salmon on Jo's Journal
I can imagine the late great Nicholas Ridley having a huge laugh in Heaven at young Miss. Salmon's expense.

Barmy 'Do-gooders' Dance On James Bulger's Grave

The age at which children who commit crimes can be held accountable for their actions should be raised from 10 to 14, a youth justice expert is proposing.
In a report published by the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies at King's College, London, Rob Allen calls for major changes in the way youth offending is tackled.
He says that Government policies are demonising young people rather than addressing the reasons for their behaviour.
In From Punishment To Problem Solving: A New Approach To Children In Trouble, Mr Allen sets out a package of measures aimed at moving from the world of 'cops, courts and corrections' towards an emphasis on addressing health, educational and family difficulties which he says lie behind offending.
As well as raising the age of criminal responsibility by four years, the proposals include introducing specialist prosecutors, introducing a new sentencing framework, moving responsibility for youth justice from the Home Office to the Department for Education and Skills and greater investment in services to support children in trouble.
Mr Allen, who is director of the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College and has just completed a maximum of two four-year terms as a member of the Youth Justice Board, said: "We have seen an increasing preoccupation with protecting the public from young people and a growing intolerance of teenage misbehaviour of all kinds.
"A genuine shift from punishment to problem solving as the guiding principle for tackling youth crime would help to produce a society that is both safer and fairer."
In the report, Mr Allen points to the fact that the age of criminal responsibility is higher in many other countries, such as France, where it is 13; Japan, where it is 14; and Italy, where it is 15.
He suggests that if the age was raised to 14 in England and Wales, child care proceedings should be used for younger children who commit serious offences.
I have two words for these recommendations, JAMES BULGER!
Master Bulger was just two-years-old when he was brutally murdered by two ten-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson. I will not go into details about the actually murder and trial as these are already covered by Wikipedia, but the point I would to make is that although I empathise (note the word 'empathise', not 'sympathise') with the problems that both killers were subjected to at home, that can never excuse what these two did to their victim and his family. For Mr. Allen and the Centre for Crime and Justice Studies to publicly call for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised in line with other nations is a disgrace, an insensitive insult and kick in the teeth to the memory of Master Bulger and his heartbroken, long-suffering parents. These calls also tacitly excuse Bulger's killers of their crimes. Venables and Thompson not only killed James Bulger, they also caused the marriage of his parents to collapse through their evil deed.

Britain Supports Privatisation

The public wanted the pace of reforms in areas such as the health service to be quickened, according to a new survey for the CBI.
The poll of 2,500 adults showed that almost two out of three believed private sector firms should be allowed to provide public services as long as they were of high quality.
The research was published as hundreds of NHS workers staged the first of two 24-hour strikes in protest at their jobs being privatised.
The CBI said its study showed that unions who argued against public service reform were "out of touch" with the public mood.
More than half of those questioned said they supported the Government's decision to invite companies to provide GP services in areas where there was a shortage of doctors, with 30% against.
CBI director general Richard Lambert said: "This new poll proves that attempts to derail public services reform are not only misguided, they also misjudge the public mood.
"People want more reform, not less, to bring services up to the levels they rightly expect."
Eat that lefties!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quote of the Day 21.9.2006

"We need to rejuvinate Thatcher and have her back. She'd sort it all out, and take no **** from anyone." - DanShields on GameFAQs

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Quote of the Day 19.9.2006

"Don't try to be a great man, just be a man and let history make its own judgements" - Jonathan Frakes

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Is Don Paskini on crack?

He must be after reading his post "Let's hear it for the Nanny State". The ignorant and offensive drivel that he wrote in that piece makes Jo Salmon sound like John Major. Here are some examples:
"Reading Iain Dale's Diary, though, I get the feeling that what Tories mean isn't, in fact, about which sector is best placed to deliver early intervention programmes, but that trying to help parents who have problems looking after their children is a bad idea full stop. As Iain puts it, "it probably involves sending parents of the yet to be born little hoodie on a taxpayer funded trip to Barbados to let them discover their inner selves," and if that isn't an ignorant piece of prejudice then I don't know what is."
That's right, you have no idea what prejudice is, junior.
"This is in fact the level at which the political debate is currently conducted - is it better to get tough on people living in poverty with tough new tough policies, or are these policies a bad idea because spending any money on the state intervening is wrong in principle because it all gets wasted as I know because I read something about how these social workers waste it on politically correct outings for chavs."
"One of the many good things about political correctness is that it is impossible for mainstream politicians to speak with spite and venom about people who face certain kinds of discrimination and prejudice. Unfortunately, hatred and contempt for people who have drug and alcohol problems or who are teenage mums isn't just seen as acceptable, but is taken for granted when discussing new policies which will affect their lives."
Does Master Paskini have any clue about what political correctness actually is? I doubt it! If Master Paskini reads this (and very much hope he does), I have the following advice; stop blogging as no good will come of it. Leaving blogging to the adults!

Mugged Conservative MP upset by crime comments (and rightly so)

A Tory MP mugged for more than £5,000 worth of watches has slammed Italian authorities for their handling of street crime, saying comments by the mayor of Naples were "pathetic".
Lawyer David Jones, 54, and his nurse wife Sara, 49, had two Rolex timepieces ripped from their wrists as they walked along a busy street while on holiday.
Neither Mr Jones, Conservative MP for Clwyd West in Wales, or his wife were injured, although both were left shocked.
The couple were targeted as they walkedalong Via Toledo - the equivalent of London's Oxford Street - in the centre of the southern port of Naples. They were visiting the port during a week-long break on the Amalfi Coast.
As he recovered at his hotel on the island of Capri, Mr Jones heard Naples mayor Rosa Russo Iervolino say: "I've been mugged abroad twice in Brussels and Strasbourg. It can happen anywhere."
Mr Jones stormed: "That's a pathetic thing to say. I can't believe the mayor of Naples would say such a thing. We were victims of a third world crime in a first world city.
"I know Naples and I know its reputation. You just don't expect this sort of thing to happen in a European city in the 21st Century and I wholeheartedly disagree with her attitude.
"What she said and what happened to us are a sad commentary of the state of safety in Naples - it's such a shame that the mayor of Naples has no control over her city.
"It's a shame that a city such as Naples is spoilt by uncontrollable crime - the mayor wants to take a look at the fact that a visitor cannot walk safely down a street wearing a decent watch."
Socialist mayor Iervolino was in Rome on official business and a spokeswoman said: "The mayor stands by what she said - she was mugged abroad twice with her daughter."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Quote of the Day 7.9.2006

"Blair should have resigned over Iraq WMD - and Brown should have refused to stay in govt with him - as Robin Cook did. Lets hope they both wind up in court one day to answer for all this.
Neither of them has the leardship skills or integrity to be prime minister. They are both kept in power by a party that appears organised for the government goodies its members, supports and fellow travelers can get their grubby hands on." - Man in a Shed
I would enjoy nothing more than David Cameron's equivalent of the Nuremberg trials.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Quote of the Day 1.9.2006

"This shows all the symptoms of the 'Messiah Complex' from which I genuinely believe Blair suffers.
His unshakable belief in the rightness of everything he thinks, says and does is the clearest example.
Now he believes that, by his actions, he can have positive influenence on the unborn.
Just how long will it be before the party elders realise that it's time for a visit from the 'men in white coats'?" - vervet about Adolf Blair's latest scheme to tackle anti social behaviour by allowing social workers to "intervene" in problem families before the children are even born.

A Point of Clarification

Contrary to the claim made on the front page of today's edition of the Daily Racist, I have not, nor do I intend to assassinate George W. Bush.