do you smell what the rock is cooking?

This is an awesome New York Times piece on Linda McMahon, soon to be the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in Connecticut.

It’s awesome because of NYTime’s style. They insist on putting periods (or, full stops, as they’re called in Hong Kong) between initials…even if no one else–not even the company with the initials–does it. So the NBA becomes N.B.A. and in this story, the WWF becomes the W.W.F. (n.W.o. just doesn’t flow as well as nWo though).

Another times style trademark is the use of honorifics (everyone is a Mr, Ms or Mrs), which again works for this story because Vince McMahon’s evil owner character in the wrestling world likes to be called MISTER McMahon…so the times are doing his character a favor.

Alright, I’m kidding. On a serious note, this is a good piece because it touches on the world of professional wrestling, one of the most misunderstood professions in the world. Everyone knows its fake, but performing “staged” matches actually take a bigger toll on these wrestler’s bodies than most real athletes. That’s why wrestling has a ridiculous high rate of premature deaths, and that’s why Brock Lesnar, who is now a mixed martial arts–a real combat sport–champion and former NFL player, told Bill Simmons that the three years of professional wrestling took more years away from his body than any other sport he’s done.

Pro wrestlers work (put on staged matches) anywhere from 200-300 nights a year. There is no off-season, their treatments/salaries are puny compared to real professional athletes, and yet everyone calls what they do fake.

Pro wrestling probably should have never made it into the mainstream in America. It looks and feels like a southern redneck sport, like Nascar and Monster Truck racing and shit like that…but Vince McMahon, and perhaps his wife Linda, had a vision and kept pushing and pulling strings–even resorting to dirty tricks–to put professional wrestling on the national map. In the golden era in the 80s, Hulk Hogan was a semi-household name, during the second boom in the late 90s, Steve Austin and The Rock took the fame to a new level and pro wrestling drew over 10 million viewers every Monday night. And now, thanks to Lebron’s decision, the nWo is a popular topic again. All this was possible, because Vince McMahon kept pushing this redneck sport and sold it in a way that appealed to every American male.

And now, Mrs McMahon is running for US Senate.

Only in America.

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