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Stephen Rivera's 4th Fall

Session Three: Dawn Patrol

February 17, 2011

I hope you're happy. While you were out frolicking in the forest with your beloved on Valentine's Day, I was penning this column at the pier alone, watching sun-kissed couples pass by my sightline. Don't cry for little old me, though. Those couples were kind enough to greet me with the friendliest smiles I ever did see. In response, I threw them up and over the railing into the high tides below. They were too busy being in love to notice that they had stumbled upon Pier Six. Regardless, a win is a win.

I should be fine, but if I were you, I would start worrying about your significant other. You're bringing this romance to the next, post-Valentine's Day level. As no saying goes, anything can happen after February 14th. How she feels about you today does not always transfer to tomorrow. If you continue to read this column with her, she could fall in love with it and end what you thought was the perfect relationship via emotional low blow. Consider this your first and last warning. The circle of sadness looms once more.

If it makes you feel better, female wrestling fans who fall for my work are a rare breed. By my count, only one, two, or 5,167,786 women have asked my writing to go steady in the past. At the end of the day, just remember that any girl who leaves you for a wrestling column is probably not "The One." Who in their right mind could love a column like a human being anyway? That's insane. That's not how I look at my column. My feelings for it are strictly platonic. We may have bought each other headbands embroidered with our names, but that's what good friends do.

Oh, hey there, column that I write. You look different today. Did you do something with your spacing? I like the way your words look on the page. I mean it. Why, that's awful nice of you to say. To be honest, I haven't been working out lately. My body is all natural. Feel my neck muscle. Wait a second. Hold the phone with your hands. What was I talking about again? Where am I?

- I look forward to having a daughter some day. I hope I get one soon, preferably by legitimate means. You see, we're living in a golden age in which men and women are considered true equals. The ladies of WWE are proof of that statement, demanding appreciation and respect everywhere they go. Way back when, female wrestling superstars could only aspire to be dumb, unattractive, and weak. Those days are long gone.

My future daughter would be a girl who models her life after the current crop of WWE Divas. When she finally matures into a woman, I envision her wearing something smart (librarian glasses), something sexy (lime green Spanx), and something powerful (the suit Tony Stark made in that cave in Iron Man). She will smelt her own alloys. I will be proud of her.

- On February 21st, 2011, a man in a duster will walk through the pouring rain into a rural house. Like you, I can't wait to see what he finds in that house. Is there a potter's kiln? Think about the kinds of dinnerware that one man could make in a kiln. My mind is swimming with possibilities. Serving platters and salad bowls. How about square saucers? Calm down, Stephen.

- King Sheamus is one depressing character. The man he is now is nowhere near the man he used to be. In his current get-up, he reminds me of that proud, insane guy on the bus who can't stop talking about the end of the world — the one who dresses himself in a garbage bag because he misplaced his formal shopping bag. If I understand British rule well enough, I'm beginning to think that Prince William should never enter the King of the Ring Tournament for an opportunity to become King William. Besides, only one person should don outlandish headwear in a royal relationship and Kate Middleton fits that bill. Out of the public eye, Queen Elizabeth II dances a round in Buff Bagwell's top hat. I don't see any reason to break tradition.

- I've noticed that announcers struggle to do their jobs after their table has been broken in half. Without that collapsible block in front of them, they seem to have no clue what to do with the lower half of their bodies. They cross their legs. They uncross their legs. They put one leg over the other. Keep those lower limbs still already. In order to prevent this awkwardness in the future, I urge WWE to replace that flimsy, breakaway table with a Russian nesting table. As one layer of the table breaks, a slightly smaller announce table is exposed. For some reason, the tables are in the form of adorable Russian women wearing red bonnets. A quality table indeed.

- My heart goes out to farm-raised chickens. Their lives are nothing but Three Stages of Hell, none of which they can possibly win. First, they spend the best part of their youth running in circles, surrounded by chicken wire (Cage Match). Next, a farmer confines them in a coop (Hell in a Cell Match). At that point, the chickens count the days away until they are killed and grilled (Inferno Match). What kind of cruel joke is this, Lord? Why did the chicken cross the road? She didn't cross the road. Old MacDonald ate her.

- Vince McMahon's fascination with big men doesn't bother me, probably because I'm patiently waiting for the right one to come along and make my dreams come true. One of my sports entertainment wishes is to see a wrestler twice or thrice the size of The Great Khali. He doesn't have to be as co-ordinated as him, but he must strike fear in the hearts of all living creatures. I can picture his debut now. He takes forever to make his appearance. The crowd wonders why he hasn't shown his face yet. After a twenty-minute delay that spans two commercial breaks, his manager shows up dressed as the Green Power Ranger. He plays the dagger flute. Out the big man comes.

- I have an important message for younger male readers. One day, you will find a nice girl who will like you just the way you are — young and in the middle of reading something very important. Therefore, you must learn about Scott Steiner's Four Bases of Romance:

First Base ("The Pose Down"): Don't be afraid to lather yourself in coconut oil and flex more than necessary. You may use cooking oil, but make sure you're not in the vicinity of a stove or heating lamp.

Second Base ("The Push-up Contest"): For practice, prop your hands and feet on four chairs to give your push-ups some elevation. Put a candle under your face for added motivation.

Third Base ("The Verbal Debate"): Be assertive and informative while gesticulating with your pectorals. Please do not use a stove as a podium or mistake a heating lamp for your microphone.

Home Plate ("The Finisher"): No matter how you go about stealing home, remember that you cannot turn back. Get in there and give her 15-20 belly-to-belly suplexes. Don't even bother spacing them out. Let the crowd watching you two go at it react however they want. This is your ball game, chief.

- Looking for something to do on a rainy day? Find a passed-out friend. Slowly move that friend off the bed and execute the first step of a pump handle slam (bend your friend over, then grab a free hand between your friend's legs). Do not make any sudden movements or carry on with the second step. When Captain Sleepy Head awakes, his/her reaction shall bless you with infinite rewards.

- Sorry, but I'm only interested in watching legitimately tough wrestlers on television. If they can successfully intimidate and beat up a person in a real-life fight, they must raise my awareness of that fact. When we bump into each other at Wal-Mart, I need to know that they can hold their own before we resort to fisticuffs.

A wrestler's toughness has everything to do with whether or not he can entertain me. I can't tell you how many times I've watched episodes of SmackDown and thought, Alberto Del Rio is rather charismatic. Can he draw Excalibur from this rock before putting it back in one motion, stop a weed wacker with his face, and win a bare-knuckle fight against an agitated, menopausal dragon at the same time? No? Forget it. Channel button click.

- In the beginning, World Wrestling Entertainment told me not to try "this" at home. I heeded their warning and tried "this" at school. Then they told me not to try "this" at home or at school. Taking their advice once more, I took "this" to a stranger's house that doubled as a school. Nowadays, they urge me not to try "this" at home, at school, or anywhere, figuring that they've finally got all their bases covered. Flash of the news variety, WWE. While you fail to determine what you want from me, I'll be over here trying "that"... in the ether. Grape Escape, mother-fathers.

- France is unfairly regarded as a docile country that has no interest in violent confrontation. The idea that France is the kind of country that would surrender before a war even started is rather popular among most uninformed nations. With that said, what happens if you put barbed wire around the boundaries of France and replace the baguettes in French people's hands with kendo sticks? Do you know what you get? Sing it with me now: hardcore countr(a)y.

Alternatively, you could turn France into a hardcore country by filming its cities having graphic, physical relations with the major cities of another country. In this scenario, Paris, France and a thriving metropolis like Berlin, Germany would be "metrosexuals," having "metro sex" with each other by getting all up in each other's subway system.

- I've come up with a revolutionary way to get married. I'm not saying I have used this method or will ever use this method for myself, but anyone who is reading this column is free to try it out:

If your bride-to-be is not the kind of girl who enjoys expensive jewellery like diamond engagement rings, enter her into a ladder match against your previous lady friends. Above the ring, hang a "Marriage at the Altar" briefcase — my version of the Money in the Bank briefcase. If your fiancée wins the match, she is entitled to cash that briefcase in at any time within the next year for a chance to make you say, "I do."

For the groom-to-be, your life shall turn into a thrilling, nonstop roller coaster ride. Let's say you're taking a shower. In the distance, you hear the faint sound of "Here Comes The Bride." Next thing you know, you open the shower door stark naked. You find your fiancée in a wedding dress with briefcase in hand. Her family sits on the bathroom counter. Even her second cousins from Switzerland (Dieter and Ottavia) made the trip. It's time. It's time. It's marriage time.

Let's say you're in Las Vegas with your chums for a weekend of impulsive gambling and perverted debauchery. As you continue to lose at the craps table with a showgirl on each arm, your fiancée comes charging in from 200 feet away and knocks you out with the briefcase. Chips are flying everywhere, injuring innocent bystanders. Where did she come from? What is she doing here? Uh oh. She brought a priest. Father McGinty has arrived. He's telling the casino employees to ring the wedding bells. Your reign of bachelorhood is over.


Stephen Rivera is the creator of The Swerved (2006-2010), Neon Ropes, and this column. Stephen used to be a jockey in college. He loves to have rice pudding with his tea. He loves solving animal murders. Stephen has two horses: Jacques and Paris France (both girls). He rides Paris France in the brick roads in London, looking for mysterious things. He rides Jacques for pleasure.

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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.).