Just finishing up on last weeks article on attitude, and my 2 cents on the Eugene character.
Thanks for the emails regarding last week’s column, although we never did solve the column question before – just what does DDT stand for? (Poison isn’t a good enough answer!)
I’m not going to harp on about attitude, but as I pointed out last time, the right attitude will get you far in this business. I alluded to my own attitude, and right now it’s focused on something I’m very excited about in terms of wrestling, but it’s a road I’m yet to complete, more on that in future, Future-Shocks.
Now onto the question I’ve been asked most this week (maybe I should make my columns the subject of question of the week?), that being how I feel about the Eugene character over at WWE. As a wrestler I can see that being asked to portray this character would be a very difficult position to be in. Not because I don’t believe in equality, but because I don’t like the way that the WWE have to make light out of mental disabilities. We’ve had Goldusts’ battle with involuntary outbursts, we’ve had Kane the “Big Red Retard” jokes, and now, we are going to be force fed a special needs athlete in a way that encompasses the ideals of both ‘Rain Man’ and ‘South Park’. Which end of the scale they will eventually go will determine by opinion. I have nothing against Nick Dinsmore’s decision to play the gimmick because quite frankly if he hadn’t taken the contract, and the salary that goes with it, someone else would have, and Nick would be a few dollars less. Why shouldn’t he be earning big time money, with the work and dedication that goes into becoming a successful wrestler?
At this stage I’m undecided. I know, have worked with, and have many friends with special needs, and I think the thought of making fun of a disability is inexcusable. But then I look at the aforementioned ‘South Park’ and other such new age politically incorrect material, and I wonder why it is that its ok for everyone else to portray these characters, but its so wrong for the WWE to do it. And, if they are going to do it, why should Nick Dinsmore be the one getting a foot in the door?
The old ideals of the WWE putting out a product that the whole family can enjoy are certainly long gone. Wrestlers have faced it on and off over the years with increasingly challenging characters to portray. The WWE has consistently degraded its talent in the hopes of ratings. Wrestlers kissing their bosses ass on live TV, women rolling around in jelly, and other such spectacles are old hat at WWE, so maybe its time for them to push the envelope, or sink a little further depending upon your viewpoint.
But don’t kids with special needs have it tough enough in school without their peers comparing them to wrestling characters who make light of their condition. I realise that WWE wrestlers are no longer role models for kids, and haven’t been since Bret Hart was “taken outside and shot” at the Survivor Series in 1997, but I do think that the Eugene character could be used more positively than he has been so far.
That said, there is a ray of light, an inkling of hope, in my mind, that the Eugene character will develop into more than a “Mickey take”. I don’t for one minute think that the WWE has any intention of exploring the Eugene character in the way that Dustin Hoffman’s ‘Rain Man’ character was afforded, but I do think that a win on Raw will be a step in the right direction, so long as the opponent doesn’t look too surprised at being beaten by a, as WWE so eloquently often put it, “Retard”.
If you want to ask me a question concerning the wrestling biz, from a travelled wrestlers perspective, drop me an email at ScottF@Wrestling101.com and your question might be featured here, along with an attempted answer!