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Stephen Rivera's 4th Fall

Session 4: Swing Circle

March 3, 2011

In the quiet of night, I was often left by my lonesome with my deepest and darkest thoughts. As I gazed into the nothingness, I questioned the impact of my words upon an industry that did not always want to listen. I worried about the millions of admirers who might never see my abstract and elegant ideas come to fruition. Worst of all, I wondered if writing about professional wrestling was my true calling. A baker was born to bake. A refrigerator was born to refrigerate. A Ziggler was born to ziggle. What was my birthright?

I once was a conflicted young man, caught between the slimy world of wrestling and the slimier world of mixed doubles tennis. My doubles partner, Francesca Triplethorpe, wanted me to walk away from the keyboard forever. Fortunately, a mysterious being visited my quarters less than a fortnight ago and stopped me in my tracks. He was my North Star, directing me toward my ultimate destiny.

Under the pale moonlight, a glowing spectre awoke me from slumber. He was adorned in a flowing leather jacket, which he probably stole off a fashionable pirate about to make an entrance. The spectre crept to the foot of my Escalade bed and told me tales from a present yet to come. "Mere mortals exist in this life to cure incurable diseases, spread peace and happiness throughout the land, and promote the virtues of the pure human spirit. The ones who came before you graced this earth with your presence so you may do the Lord's work. The Lord's cable provider does not carry WGN America anymore. If he cannot watch Superstars, what's the point? He might as well stop watching wrestling altogether."

Thanks to the Lord's short-s ighted cable provider, I am observing for two. With pride, I will take full control of his holy remote and watch in awe as the next generation leads wrestling into an everlasting boom period. Mush, you mighty sled dogs, mush. You shall rest when you die or become slightly tired.


- In my neighbourhood mall's parking lot, I've set up my own carnival. This carnival has a face painting booth, a booth painting booth, an elephant who looks too cool to be there, a bring-your-own-food court, and two rides. For $10 ($9 for children under five years of age), an inexperienced independent wrestler will give you tilt-a-whirl slams. For $20 ($40 for women), an inexperienced, independent, female wrestler will let you give her flying headscissors takedowns. I do apologize in advance to any female attendee who wants to go on this ride. I had to double the price because women tend to spin much more than men during flying headscissors takedowns. I get it. You like to spin. Please get off the ride, madam.

- As the leader of the viewing people, let my voice speak truths for you all. We would like nothing more than to witness the return of the Punjabi Prison Match. Seeing that much bamboo in one place enriches our souls, strengthening our will to live better and be better one stem at a time. Unfortunately, Vince McMahon doesn't care what the fans want. He would rather let us dream these panda dreams of ours than give in to our desires.

In order to recreate the thrill of watching these matches, I made my dog ("The Home Dogg") weave a bunch of large bamboo stems together. For two hours every Monday and Friday night and one Sunday night per month he holds the bundle in front of my face to obscure my view of the television. "I have no idea what's going on, but look at all that bamboo. I think I can make out a sliver of one wrestler's shin. What's that? That's bamboo, too? Perfect."

- Usually, WWE Superstars are released from their contracts because the creative team can't come up with something interesting for them to do. Former RAW legend Gene Snitsky is a definite exception. That time he punted a baby doll into the crowd magnified a bigger problem going on backstage. At first, management thought Snitsky's playful behaviour was cute, but he soon wore out his welcome. In his days off, did you know that Snitsky punted real babies for fun? Unbelievable. He punted them so high that those babies had to live a significant part of their lives in the sky. The other day, a few of them finally came back down to earth as traumatized, malnourished teenagers. They were airborne. Always airborne. He cost them their childhood. The clouds must have sped up the aging process.

- Bucket List Item #103: I'd like to take one of those WrestleMania III ring carts from the WWE vault and initiate a high-speed, coast-to-coast police chase. In the 1980s, ring carts ran on unleaded gasoline, which could be found at most gas stations in North America. In 2011, energy sources have changed. They run on Peter Pan fuel now. The moment I stop believing, that ring cart comes to a complete stop. At that point, you would probably recommend that I transfer to a full-scale ring and keep the chase going, but those rings don't move. Where have you been?

- Shawn Michaels is one heartless legend. He has kicked many an unsuspecting adversary in the face without even showing an ounce of remorse . I recall one incident involving "The Heartbreak Kid" and a WWE employee by the name of Stanley. This unfortunate victim ate Michaels' boot in the midst of transporting a stack of loose papers from one end of the arena to the other. Another infamous incident involved Shawn dressed as a chef. He played Sweet Chin Music for a precocious little girl about to eat a salad. How can WWE and the planetary elements within its universe tolerate and reward HBK's negligence? That little girl chose a life of healthy eating and spirited conversation. What does she get for her troubles? A broken jaw.

As of this moment, I vow to help that girl get revenge on Shawn Michaels. She will come to Japan, where I will craft a Samurai sword from the glass shards found in the ruins of Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake's Barber Shop. Before she can fight Shawn, she must kill every member of "The Kliq." Even that member with a eye patch who disguises himself as a nurse (Justin Credible?) must go.

- Some people think that Kelly Kelly points too much during her entrance. Others are convinced that she really isn't pointing at anything when she does so. Can a woman physically give her props to practical, arena light arrangements without criticism? Leave her alone. She has been through enough. The unemployment line's light arrangement left much to be desired.

- If WWE releases Chris Masters again, he shouldn't worry about looking for another job because I plan to hire him. I don't have my own promotion. I'm not even interested in watching him wrestle. I just think he would be more useful than any lock I could buy in a store. The next time I need to leave my bike unattended in a public place, I'm going t o call him. Almost immediately, he'll show up and put my bike in "The Master Lock." If a thief dares to approach, Chris can continue to hold on tight and holler at his boy. "Yo, Steves. This guy is trying to cop your tricycle." As long as I keep my belongings away from suburban and urban ropes, Masters could be the best security system I ever owned.

- Most hardcore wrestling fans perplex me, especially when it comes to their character preferences. Specifically, I fail to comprehend why and how they could hate a group like The Spirit Squad. According to them, five fresh, young faces with dynamic personalities and a penchant for impressive acrobatics did not belong in wrestling. Oh, heavens no. We can't have that, can we? Let's pour liquid excrement on them, then stuff them in a box. If we do it fast enough, we'll be able to get back to some real wrestling. Am I right? Let's see the return of that version of Tommy Dreamer who eats and drinks various poisons. He can eat their abandoned trampoline. Heck to the yes.

- Since Shane's departure from WWE, the relationship between the Siblings McMahon hasn't been the same. I'm not 100% positive that they have become distant, but I get the feeling that their busy schedules have made them drift further apart. They must miss each other's company dearly. At night, does Shane sit on his bedroom window sill and think about his sister while Stephanie stands on the roof of her house, thinking about her brother? I picture them signing their hearts out, trading the lyrics to "Somewhere Out There." I suggest you picture the same.

- Chris Jericho was about to announce his return to wrestling, but I couldn't answer a question about United States presidents in time. From a high-rise building, a conveyor belt sent him, an entertainment centre, and a gumball machine crashing down to the streets below. Alas, do not fret. The real Chris Jericho, entertainment centre, and gumball machine are fine and/or enjoying life after wrestling. All items on the conveyor belt were representations of actual prizes.

- World Wrestling Entertainment does not allow blood letting on their programming anymore. I, for one, applaud their initiative. Scientific studies conducted somewhere scientific have proven that wrestling fans do not bleed until they are eighteen years of age. Therefore, they need not see blood until they're good and ready. Once you bleed, you vote, and you're off to college. Nevertheless, I do notice a problem with the company's blood prevention methods.

Whenever a wrestler bleeds, a medical team rushes down to the ring to give him first aid, causing an instant match stoppage. While that may be quick thinking on their part, I don't believe WWE has thought quick enough. What happens if the medical team starts bleeding while they are tending to the bleeding wrestler? Do we get an instant first aid stoppage? Does everyone stop what they're doing and awkwardly stand in place, bleeding and bleeding until the end of time? Back to the drawing board, WWE. I can't help you any further. I just got a paper cut.

- Fans still don't know what to make of "The Corre." They're not confused about the purpose of the group per se, but the stable name itself. In particular, they want to know why WWE added an extra R to their name. If you ask me, I think the creative team was about to write out "The Correlation," except they got hungry halfway through the writing process. After returning from a power lunch, they forgot what they were supposed to be doing. That's why we never got D-Generation Xerox Machine Repairmen.


Stephen Rivera is the creator of The Swerved (2006-2010), Neon Ropes, and this column. Seems like eighteen is pretty young to be reading his column. What were you like? Twelve?

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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.).