It's been the talk of the town since last night. Almost everybody knows about it. Those who don't know about it yet will certainly log onto Bleacher Report, or another wrestling-based website, and pick up on the traces of the debates, disputes and discussions.
What did happen, though? What has got the IWC up in a riot?
If you haven't heard, up-and-coming manager Abraham Washington, also billed as A.W. during his tenure, has been released by WWE after supposedly inappropriate comments made on the 30th July episode of Monday Night RAW.
What was uttered by Washington, who now goes by his real given name, Brian Jossie, was an off-the-cuff reference to the infamous Kobe Bryant sexual assault charge way back in 2003. Jossie declared, through his designated headset:
"Titus O'Neil is like Kobe Bryant at a hotel in Colorado: he's unstoppable!"
The moment was not pre-planned; it was off-script and entirely devised by Jossie. He pronounced it on a whim, not really expecting any backlash whatsoever.
Unfortunately, there was backlash. It's incredibly disappointing to see that a playful jab such as this could result in one man instantly being given the pink slip. In this day and age, this sort of joke can be heard almost anywhere with little criticism over it whatsoever.
However, apparently, WWE is one of the few places that cannot accept it. A company which promotes glorified, rather theatrical violence for profit refuses to allow a dig like this go by without punishment. A company which, week in and week out, features an overly sexual middle-aged man casting his eye over 20-something-year-old women. A company whose poster boy cracks jokes at the expense of overweight people and homosexuals.
Did A.W. deserve to be fired?
Ten years ago, in fact, even five years ago, this Kobe quip would be lauded, not panned. Vince McMahon would probably race over to Jossie backstage and give him a grand old pat on the back. Even on SmackDown!, which has been rated PG way before this so-called "PG era," this little stunt wouldn't have resulted in a sacking.
The fact that a simple rub like this, one that references a crime perpetrated just over nine years ago, leads to an instant firing shows what many have been saying for the past year-and-a-half.
WWE is going downhill. Fast.
Needless to say, it's run by a corrupt, aging man caught in a chokehold by his wife and his sponsors. The crooked nature of Vince McMahon is shown by chastising Jossie for his Kobe joke whilst allowing the likes of John Cena to run free with his innuendo-laden bullying.
He cannot allow himself to be dictated to by Linda McMahon, and he certainly cannot allow himself to be dictated by his sponsors. WWE was at its peak, both product-wise and maybe even income-wise, when it was sticking its middle finger up to the world. The weekly viewership was much higher than what it is today. Merchandise was flying off the shelves quicker than Nash dropped after a finger poke.
It was like that because Vince didn't let himself be bossed around by people clueless about the industry. When it came to business, he associated himself with the right people, meaning his promotion could say whatever they wanted and the sponsors would still be putty in his hands.
If WWE can't return to a business scheme like that, it will almost certainly fall into the same pit WCW and ECW have. For the first time ever, TNA looks like a credible rival to VKM's baby, and it's really laying the path as the show with the best product.
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