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Stephen Rivera's 4th Fall


August 31, 2011

For three long months, I wandered around this beachfront community in a referee's uniform, looking for a sign. The road to the truth was endless. Every direction became my blind spot. Anytime I ventured outside to stare at the never-ending waves, laughter and passive-aggressive insults echoed from my neighbours' spacious, non-conical homes. They called me "Sad Patton," a name usually uttered under a disappointed breath. As days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to months , I was ready to quit. In the midst of throwing in the proverbial towel, I dropped to my knees and slammed my palm against the sand in frustration. Before counting to three, I saw a sign, or did the sign see me?

"Two," shouted a scraggly-bearded man. His rubber coat and hat implied that he was a fisherman. The black and white striped shirt beneath his coat proved that he was my saviour. With his wooden prosthetic arm, he helped me off the ground and introduced himself as Herb Elner. At his bait shop, Herb regaled me with stories of his adventures on the high seas. He told me about the time when he narrowly escaped a menacing storm on Eastern Canadian waters. Fighting back tears of pride and joy, he spoke of his son who grew up to be a man just like him. Most importantly, he showed me pieces of a tattered cardigan, which he found floating on the open water.

Tomorrow morning, I will embark on the S.S. Splendid Splinter II for the far reaches of the Pacific Ocean; Herb and his deckhand have agreed to assist me in my quest. I will not rest until I save Magdalena Kensington-Williamson from a life of "eternal mermaidenry." If a shackled Jeff Hardy is still underwater, continuing to promote No Way Out 2008 for some reason, I might save him, too. Nobody should have to live under the sea. It is not better where it is wetter.

Sadly, I cannot guarantee my return. At the end of the day, is anything a guarantee in this crazy, mixed-up world? For those of you who may resort to wild acts of violence in my absence, need not worry. I have left my award -eligible column in good hands. Until we meet again, farewell, my dear, dear readers. I will almost always not dislike you.


- CM Punk's attitude is that of a man who wants nothing to do with Stephanie McMahon, yet he cannot stop talking about her. That is interesting. That is very interesting.

At SummerSlam, Punk refused to shake Stephanie's hand because he knew "where it has been." While Joseph and Josephine Six-Pack believed this statement to be a brilliant and biting jab at the intimate relationship between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-H, Punk's body language told me the real story. I think a certain someone has a schoolboy crush. Punk is one tree and one innocent peck on the cheek away from admitting it, but fears that he will fall out of favour with the Cool Kids Club (also known as the debonair Internet Wrestling Community). A-dor-a-ble.

Besides, the manner in which a grown woman's hand travels is common knowledge. Stephanie's hand is attached to her person at all times. Wherever she goes, so does her hand. How is this biological fact a surprise to anyone? From town to town on their magic tour bus, Triple H and Stephanie venture to Chuck E. Cheese with their daughters. Regardless of its opinion of anthropomorphic restaurant mascots, Stephanie's hand joins them every single time.

In conclusion, CM Punk is jealous of Stephanie McMahon-H's hand. Point to column. Metaphorical, pipe-esque bombing device.

- Both RAW and SmackDown are super, doubling in roster size in the same week? Test them for performance-enhancing drugs, please. They must be on The Mushrooms. These shows have raccoon suits in their inventories; I can sense it. The instant that RAW or SmackDown crouches to turn itself into a statue, fine and suspend it on the spot.

- Whether you are a loyal fan of one or both major, North American wrestling promotions, you cannot deny the needless damage that Impact Wrestling is inflicting on this planet. The company is wasting one of our most valuable resources.

You see, the apocalypse is looming. When the Sun burns itself out and we exhaust all petroleum reserves, only Sting vs. Ric Flair matches will remain. I refuse to live in a dystopian society in which rival, steampunk biker gangs fight for the control of two middle-aged men who repeatedly chop at each other's chests. I would rather get by with candles and windmills.

- Contrary to popular opinion, telegraphing wrestling moves has its benefits. In the context of a wrestling match, blatantly exposing your tendencies to an opponent may leave you at a great disadvantage, but that does not mean the act is fruitless. Actually, one could become quite famous, setting a new Guinness World Record by telegraphing a move.

I hereby challenge the Yoshi Tatsus and Trent Barretas of WWE to make history. Travel to the beautiful yet misunderstood city of Portland "Parts Unknown," Oregon. Stand in the center of the Rose Garden Arena and bend over in premature anticipation of a back body drop. If a production crew is preparing for a sold-out Mark Morrison concert later that day, ask them to work around you. Once you explain what you are doing, they will understand. They may even keep you alive with tasty snacks. Return of the Snack. They know that you eat snacks.

In ten years time, WWE will hold the Exclusion Orchard Pay-Per-View ― a autumn-themed wrestling extravaganza presented by Space Skittles ― in that very arena. On September 1, 2021, one underutilized wrestler will set the world record for "Longest Wait for a Kick to the Face." He will forever be known as an international hero.

- These sensual segments between a raven-haired Aksana and a flustered Theodore Long are misleading. She is not trying to seduce him to get ahead in the wrestling business. I am familiar with her tactics. References to "driving stick"? An invitation to "watch" her with 20 men? She would like to sell him an exotic car timeshare. Do not believe her lies, Theodore. Spend your disposable income elsewhere.

- I urge Christian to consider another in-ring clothing manufacturer. His personalized tights can only store one legal document at a time. While that storage limit is not an issue for most people on the go, Christian is different. Legal action has become his forte, which is why I suggest that he fit himself into a pair of custom parachute pants.

For the right price, Armani can make him a comfortable and stylish pair of pants that holds multiple filing cabinets. Never again must he suffer the inconvenience of swapping papers in and out of his tights. Trust me. Christian will like these apples just fine. Paper cuts shall threaten his sensitive areas no more.

- In the past, championship belt holders such as Chris Jericho and Hulk Hogan played it cool by rocking out with their titles as if they were electric guitars. This unorthodox title-holding method is most definitely not my style. As a hypothetical champion, I would prefer to hold the title up to my mouth, blowing into as if it is a Kenny G soprano saxophone. Meanwhile, the three previous title holders would be situated above and below me at apartment complex windows, playing backing music to complement my soulful saxophone dipping.

- My sources have informed me that Impact Wrestling is a hit in the United Kingdom and Ireland. To my dismay, these countries can't get enough of wrestling Matt Hurst either. This is head-shaking news. English, Welsh, Scottish, and Irish people should know better.

Allow me to deliver an overseas reminder: Matt Hurst is a generous and good-natured human being. Even though the recession has all but killed his red sling mat fur business, he remains optimistic. At the moment, he is trying to enjoy a European getaway with his family. Why must you force him to the ground with a front chancery before his wife and children at Stonehenge? He likes looking at stones sitting on top of other stones. Leave him alone.

- You can have your 20-Man Battle Royals. What about a 20-Man announce team, stacked five play-by-play or colour commentators high on each chair like living totem poles of wisdom?

The current WWE announce teams agree with each other way too much. More eloquent, intelligent arguments about important topics are needed. I can only hope that adding seventeen announcers to the broadcast table would help matters. In fact, I disagree with what I just said. Whoever thought up this idea is a nerd.

Forget about calling the actual matches in the ring. They are all the same anyway. I can say this controversial statement with confidence as I have been watching wrestling for many years. In that time, I have seen at least three matches.

- People think Beth Phoenix and Natalya are jealous of Eve and Kelly Kelly, but they're not. People think Beth Phoenix and Natalya want to be pretty like Eve and Kelly Kelly, but they don't. People think Beth Phoenix and Natalya want to be popular like Eve and Kelly Kelly, but they don't. People think Beth Phoenix and Natalya want to have voluptuous bodies like Eve and Kelly Kelly, but they don't. What do they want? They won't tell you, but I will. They want information on how to gain access to a 2012 Maserati GranTurismo with 20 other people.

Don't even think about it, Aksana. Keep your free colour televisions and stay far away from their island headquarters on Diva Doom Mountain.

- As a vital part of the community, I am often invited to elementary schools to inform and enlighten the children. I must say that the private school system has made and will continue to make excellent choices. During one of my typical inspirational speeches, I poll the audience to gauge what type of individual will lead us into the future.

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By a show of hands, I ask how many of these children watch professional wrestling. Of these young men and women, I ask who is a fan of the high-flying Rey Mysterio. Of the children remaining, I complete the poll by asking who wishes to be Rey Mysterio. These lucky children are whisked away from the gymnasium or auditorium to the nearest field, where a junior croquet team makes the little ones' dreams come true. They attack the children's knees with mallets until multiple, invasive surgeries are required. At this point, I conclude the speech ― "Congratulations. You are now Rey Mysterio."

What lesson did the children learn, you may ask? Be yourself.

- I am contractually obligated to state the following: Now that Kevin Nash has returned to WWE, the blonde landscapers in their tank tops and cut-off shorts are serving a cool glass of themselves on a silver platter. His hair has flair. That ponytail does not fail. Those strands are grand. His tresses bring in the dresses. Nobody can mock those locks. With that 'do, his love life starts anew. Just for Men? "That's not what she said," I said. His... head top... is good.

Okay. I did it. I sold my soul. The remedial readers are happy, raising their sippy cups in celebration. Can I go now?


Stephen Rivera is the creator of The Swerved (2006-2010), Neon Ropes, and this column. Can he talk about shrimp for a minute? He'd like his column to be able to haul in a tremendous amount of shrimp. Sort of a Forrest Gump amount of shrimp.

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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.).