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Stephen Rivera's 4th Fall

Session Twelve: Damage Control

June 23, 2011

My dear readers; I regret to inform you that The Wrestling Fan Institute of Science & Technology is no more. After several months of hard work and dedication to the betterment of the professional wrestling industry, I am afraid that the efforts of my fellow scientists and I was all for naught. We were this close to perfecting the Reverse Inferno Match (both competitors start the match doused in flames from head to toe, then must scramble around the arena to find a way to extinguish themselves). I guess we will have settle for the regular Inferno Match. Yes, I know. Gross. I can still taste the bitterness in my mouth from the last one. That was a Minor Campfire Accident Match, not an Inferno Match.

Despite the claims of several firemen, police officers, and arson investigators, I couldn't tell you how the institute burned down. I am not even sure that it actually succumbed to a fire. Perhaps my architect wanted to modernize the building by transforming it into a haphazard, cutting-edge mound of charred metal. Regardless, I am just saddened that my loyal test subjects must look for a new place of employ. Those poor, foreign exchange students from China. Who will help them through preschool now? I only have eight figures left in my bank account. Eight. That is barely enough to put little Jimmy, Johnny, and Jenny Ouyang though the school of hard knocks.

I might have been able to save it. Vincent was on my speed dial, yet when I tried to contact him, he wanted to charge me. Apparently, twenty dollars for a photograph and ten dollars for an autograph is his going rate. We were on the phone, sir. Is that how you treat someone who accompanies you without complaint to sex crime scenes with the nWo B-Team theme playing in the background? I thought we were friends, Vincent. I thought we were friends. I thought I knew, knew, knew you.

Ever so slowly, the people and places that I hold near and dear to my heart are slipping away from me. I shudder to think what may happen to me next. Recently, a shady man on a city street corner opened his overcoat and offered me bootleg DVDs of NXT Redemption with commentary and extras. I am tempted to make a purchase and form an NXT Redemption Discussion Club that meets every Monday, Friday, and Saturday. Uh oh.

- From this past Monday's RAW alone, I am beginning to doubt the power of the people. Paying for a Mason Ryan appearance does not equal power. To "Vote B" is to not vote at all. Witnessing Jerry Lawler make legal, skin-on-skin contact with Kelly Kelly is the opposite of people power. Personally, I would be more inclined to leave the next Monday Night RAW in the hands of the cootie catcher. "R-Truth is going to wrestle John Cena in a Steel Cage Match for the WWE Championship. Also, he picked blue. He will marry Dylan Jeffries from 3rd period Social Studies. Lucky."

- Welcome to the first annual Billion Dollar Mania, presented by my eight-figure fortune and I. Keep your phone lines open and you could be the next billionaire. Hello? Hello? Who's there? Sorry. Thanks for playing. Hello? Hello? Would you like a win a billion dollars? I am so sorry. That is the wrong answer. Okay. Here we go. I have a good feeling about this one. Hello? Hi. Welcome to Billion Dollar Mania. How are you on this fine evening? Great, but your night could be even greater if you know the answer to this question. Can you repeat that, please? Are you locking in that response? I think we have ourselves a participator. Thank you for playing. Better luck next time.

Nobody was home, and I forgot to plug in the phone. Congratulations to the winners of the first annual Billion Dollar Mania, presented by my eight-figure fortune and I.

- As I suspected, Sting will never make it as a cosmetologist for MAC Cosmetics. His skills may not even cut it for the makeup counter at Sears. Stop yelling at me, Stinger. I wasn't aware that earth tones do not work with my complexion. I do not feel pretty. My eyes are so puffy. No, I won't stop crying. You are not the boss of me. I wanted to sit in the rafters with a melancholic expression on my painted face, looking down on your questionable makeup application techniques. You have either ruined or made my entire evening.

- WWE brand general managers should have the same responsibilities as those of other major sports. Every week, Theodore Long's primary task seems to consist of standing in a room with leather furniture and framed photographs. His secondary task is to occasionally talk to angry, frustrated, and sweaty people. When is he going to sign, trade, and release talent like a normal GM? With absolute certainty, I could do a much better job than Mr. Long.

The other day, I was in preliminary discussions with the anonymous RAW General Manager paper on keyboard to paper on keyboard. I offered to give up Christian, Wade Barrett, Ezekiel Jackson, a 1st round draft lottery pick in 2012, a conditional 2nd round draft lottery pick in 2013, cash considerations, and Oscar considerations. In return, I would receive CM Punk, R-Truth, The Miz, Alex Riley, and LeBron James. I am not sure how LeBron became part of the trade. 'Tis the magic of quality general managing.

- Hallelujah. With the Bound for Glory Series, Impact Wrestling is doing exactly what they should have done years ago. Catering to the center of the Wrestling Fan Venn Diagram is crucial in the fight for professional wrestling supremacy. Finally, patient viewers who enjoy wrestling and weekly math calculations need not worry about getting their adrenaline-pumping, numerical fix elsewhere on Thursday nights. Thank goodness. I was worried about them for a second. I will now award Impact Wrestling with seven brownie points. I would have awarded the company with ten brownie points, but they pinned this idea. They did not submit it.

Looks like the challenger is about to become the champion. Your move, WWE. Do not bother planning the Long Division with Remainders for All Tournament. That tournament has been done before.

- I am going a throw the next successful WWE Pay-Per-View theme at you. If you don't like it, throw it back. If you love it, park your steed and carry it around with you in your good idea satchel for the townsfolk to see.

I call this Pay-Per-View, Daylight Savings Time. A taxing, three-hour sports entertainment event turns into a confusing and unpredictable viewing challenge in which all matches are contested under Daylight Savings Time. Get ready for the opening match. Wait, it's Daylight Savings Time? The match already happened. What a great contest that was. However, internet farmers did not appreciate it as much as the crowd did. Mark Henry messed up that wheat-threshing spot at the finish.

Now let's see a recap of that Divas main event. What? Are you certain? Daylight Savings Time is ending? Yes. We get an encore. Three cheers for WWE Daylight Savings Time, or two cheers if it's Daylight Savings Time.

- As a well-off, young man growing up in the Attitude Era (the Mattitude Era if you wore a lot a plaid and had an irresponsible brother who also wore plaid, the Altitude Era if you were watching WWF television from a Colorado mountain range, or the Maltitude Era if you were eating frozen malts with or without wooden spoons), even I enjoyed the lovable antics of Stone Cold Steve Austin. I am no anti-authority redneck, but guess how many instances in which I pointed toy guns at the middle aged to make them urinate. The answer is several. In fact, that was my job in the summer of 1997: Washroom Attendant Motivator.

Today, I tell tales of Austin's exploits to the children of our future, using his most popular shirts as visual aids. Sadly, they are left disappointed when they see him riding around on his Adult Power Wheels, incapable of drinking from an aluminum can. "I thought he was supposed to have rattlesnakes for arms," they say. "Why isn't he screaming in ecstasy with raspberry jam all over his face?" they ask. "The odds of this man being Stone Cold are 3 to 16, correct? We better bet on something else. What are the odds on this other guy being awesome?" Oh, you kids with your active imaginations. I blame the parents.

- How come Alberto Del Rio gets to drive his luxury sports cars in wrestling tights, but when I drive around in my underwear like a newly appointed manager at KFC, I am charged with indecent exposure? Mind you, male police officers charge me with indecent exposure. Females prefer to charge me with "decent exposure," if you catch my Tokyo drift. Up top.

- While I am no video game aficionado, I don't believe WWE All-Stars to be realistic in the least. I am appalled by its virtual inaccuracies. I fail to recall that wrestling contest in which Rey Mysterio backflipped five times in the air, connected with a flurry of bicycle kicks without touching the floor, then spun his opponent around for a Tornado DDT outside of the ring while streaks of vibrant neon colours emanated from his body pores. Get it right, THQ. Only pastel colours and tattoos emanated from Rey's pores.

- King Kong Bundy, "Mean" Gene, and Andre the Giant in the bottom of the well. Who do I save first? "Mean" Gene Okerlund, of course. The social situation down there would be way too awkward for all living parties involved. "So you guys... so did you guys see... have you seen... The Good Wife yet? It's a good show. There's a... wife in it. Netflix that."

- Move over, Sheamus. Prepare to get berried.

I think the actual Strawberry Shortcake deserves a World Heavyweight Title opportunity. Although her record as an in-ring performer is mediocre she is more interested in adjusting her strawberry bonnet than going for the pin Shortcake is rather popular with the Girls Named After Pastries and the Cats That Watch You Bathe demographics. If she was Mexican, we would have ourselves a triple threat. Strawberrita Shortcakez would live in her fruit house with her extended family and celebrate the majority of her victories with rice.

- During the early to mid-19th century, did wrestling event, play-by-play recappers exist? I almost certain that professional wrestling does not go back that far, but I have a hunch that one or two modern-day wrestling analysts went back in time and showed others how to stage predetermined, choreographed fights.

During wrestling exhibitions at the world's fair, these people would scoot up to their Morse telegraphs and relay their observations to the ends of the earth. "Dash. Dot, dot, dot, dot. Dot, dot. Dot, dot, dot. Dot, dot, dot. Dot, dot, dash. Dash, dot, dash, dot. Dash, dot, dash. Dot, dot, dot." I disagree with that match assessment in any time period. Fetch my semaphore flags, Orville/Liam.


Stephen Rivera is the creator of The Swerved (2006-2010), Neon Ropes, and this column. He's gonna do it. Give him any chance, he'll take it. Give him any rule, he'll break it. He's gonna make his dreams come true, doin' it his way. Nothing's gonna turn him back now. Straight ahead and on the track now. He's gonna make his dreams come true, doin' it his way. There is nothing he won't try. Never heard the word impossible. This time, there's no stopping him. He's gonna do it. On his mark, get set, and go now. Got a dream and he just knows now. He's gonna make his dream come true. And he'll do it his way, yes, his way. Make all his dreams come true. And do it his way, yes, his way. Make all his dreams come true for him and you.

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November 2006


by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).