Glenn Beck Hides from WWE, Refuses to Give Interview
WWE sent Michael Cole and a camera crew to Glenn Beck's studios in Irving, Texas before Monday's Raw, only to find closed doors and rebuffs.
The conservative radio host and media personality has now found himself caught up in a bizarre feud with the world's biggest sports entertainment company.
Beck recently took offense to the narrative direction WWE has gone with Jack Swagger and his new manager Zeb Coulter. After going on a hiatus of a few months, Swagger returned more aggressive, with new entrance music and apparently armed with extreme political views.
He and Coulter spoke about how immigrants were ruining the United States, of how they wanted a return to "real America."
These performances caught the ears of more than WWE fans.
Beck believes this new character is "demonizing the tea party." He trashed WWE on his show TheBlazeTV, mocked Linda McMahon and referred to WWE as "stupid wrestling people."
WWE has since turned this situation on its head.
Beck may have thought the fight was over after his initial jabs, but stab WWE with a stick and the hornets will come out.
WWE took the fight to Beck. In a recent YouTube video, Coulter (real name: Wayne Keown) stepped out of character to address Beck, explaining to him that WWE is a scripted show that utilizes characters from all walks of life.
WWE was set to film Raw at the American Airlines Center in Dallas and so took the opportunity to visit Beck personally. Cameras followed announcer Michael Cole as he attempted to get an interview with Beck. Cole didn't get past the lobby.
One of Beck's employees told Cole that Beck was booked "doing anything else."
Cole waited around. He was cordial but persistent. Eventually, the head of the studio escorted Cole out.
Even without a single glimpse of Beck on camera, WWE seems to have gotten what it wanted out of this. This rivalry with Beck has given the company, and Jack Swagger specifically, far more mainstream media attention than WWE could have created on its own.
Media outlets that normally don't have much to say about what goes on at Raw and SmackDown have weighed in.
Huffington Post, New York Post and International Business Times have all reported on the war of words between WWE and Beck. With WWE gearing up for WrestleMania 29 in April where Swagger will take on World Heavyweight champ Alberto Del Rio, the company can't get enough media coverage down the stretch.
WWE has made it clear that it's going to defend itself against Beck's verbal assault on its product and turn his insults into something advantageous.
It will be interesting to see where this goes next, if Beck will respond or if WWE will persist in seeking a response. WWE presents feuds every week, but few have been as odd as this one. Beck vs. WWE is merging of entertainment and reality, WWE and political commentary.
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