The Irresistible Force
Bob Schrader is a long-time WWE fan who has attended 11 WrestleManias. Bob grew up in the New York area and became fascinated with WWE in the mid-80s. From the brutality of Roddy Piper smashing a coconut on Jimmy Snuka's head, to the train wreck beauty of the "Land of 1000 Dances" music video off the Wrestling Album, Schrader has witnessed many moments in the history of WWE. After getting hundreds of submissions, Bob was chosen by WWE.com Senior Managing Editor Michael Cole to become the first-ever "WWE. com -- Fan Columnist". Check back every Thursday for a new column from Bob.
"Without Evil there could be no good, so it must be good to be evil sometimes."
-- Satan, South Park -- Longer, Bigger and Uncut
Bobby Lashley strode to the ring Tuesday on ECW with a purpose. He looked at the crowd and stated emphatically that no one is happy about Vince McMahon being the ECW World Champion. Not himself, not the ECW Originals and not the fans. Well, I'd like to state emphatically that Lashley does not speak for me. I, for one, am very happy about Mr. McMahon being ECW World Champion, and if you think about it, Lashley should be, too.
Adversity is a good thing. Think about any action movie you've ever seen. The hero never simply walks in and blows away the bad guy -- that would make for an uninteresting and very short movie. Before the good guy can triumph, first, his partner gets shot. Or his wife gets kidnapped. Or he plucks glass out of his bare feet after he loses his shoes when he decides to make fists with his toes at the Christmas party of his estranged wife whose office is taken over by terrorists hell-bent on blowing up a high rise to create a diversion in order to run off with $600 million in negotiable bearer bonds. (Less than two months until the next Die Hard, baby!) The point is Mr. McMahon being champion may be the best thing to ever happen to ECW.
Think of what Mr. McMahon's victory has brought us thus far -- Bobby Lashley attacked an injured man in a wheelchair; the ECW Originals showed more heart and passion in three minutes of raw emotional footage than they have all year; Extreme Expose… DANCED!!! Ok, maybe the third one would've happened anyway, but you can't deny the fact that things have gotten a lot more interesting in the Land of the Extreme. For one thing, Lashley and the ECW Originals often looked like they were on separate shows (and for the most part, they were). Now they each have a common enemy, and it'll be interesting to see if they band together or fight each other to see who can get to Mr. McMahon first. Already this seems like a problem, as RVD has a match for next week while Bobby Lashley, when not beating up the handicapped, has a rematch clause in waiting.
And what about Mr. McMahon himself? The Chairman upheld a long-standing tradition in entertainment, which maintains that any white person older than the age of 60 who sports a 'do rag must immediately start acting like he's straight out of Compton. Look, Mr. McMahon has been on the short end of the stick lately. Just as adversity is good for someone like Lashley, success is equally beneficial to someone like Mr. McMahon. Because when Mr. McMahon is successful, he can do the one thing that defines all great wrestling bad guys -- he can be correct.
For my money, there's nothing better than when a guy is correct and justified, yet still gets booed. Consider the examples of some of my favorites:
Irwin R. Schyster -- Warned potential tax cheats that they had BETTER pay their taxes. Politicians will be saying this throughout the primary season and get standing ovations. The offspring of Mr. and Mrs. Schyster says it and gets booed out of the building.
Rick Rude -- Would ask the fat, ugly, disgusting people to keep the noise down while he took off his robe and showed the ladies what a real man was all about. Chances were Rude had a better body than anyone in the arena. Chances also were nobody wanted to hear what the fat, ugly, disgusting people had to say anyway. You would think people would appreciate this… they didn't.
Ted DiBiase -- Not only claimed everyone had a price, but PROVED it. Was the shining example of the success of capitalism. Also had a killer entrance theme. Constantly booed out of the building (though it does explain his later association with Schyster).
John "Bradshaw" Layfield -- Opposed illegal immigration and chided fans who relied on the welfare system as opposed to finding jobs. Cited himself as an American success story, which he most certainly was. Became the most vociferously booed man of the past five years.
Mr. Bob Backlund -- Dared to complain about the American public school system and how America's youth needed to focus on their education. Was against profanity and encouraged youngsters to read their dictionaries to better their vocabulary. Treated like the second coming of Hitler.
Crush -- Liked to crush things. Maybe not the best example.
At this rate, the newfound sportsmanship Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch displayed Monday on Raw will make them the most hated team in the past 20 years.
We live in a society where people don't like to be reminded of the truth. When things go wrong, the tendency is not to look in the mirror, but immediately blame someone else. When someone speaks the truth AND they can back it up, we want to knock that person off their perch as quickly as possible. It creates an incredible opportunity. With Mr. McMahon as champion, someone is going to rise up against him, and in doing so will strike a blow AGAINST truth, justice and the American way. And that person will be treated like a conquering hero.
So my advice to Lashley would be to relax, chill out, let Mr. McMahon have his fun. Two years ago, Bobby Lashley's career highlight was force-feeding Simon Dean hamburgers. Now, he has the chance to be the only man in history to shave the Chairman's head and beat him for a championship. His goal is clear. His purpose is defined. Fans have a reason to support him. If I were Lashley, that would make me pretty damn happy.