The professional wrestling industry has no shortage on the embittered and rant-happy. Sure, it can be an ugly business with unhappy endings, and those who choose to sound off about its pitfalls have every right to be heard. But there eventually comes a time where it becomes necessary to move on.
When I see fit, I will single out those who have abused their piss and moan privileges, should cease all complaints and/or diatribes, and live what's left of their lives. Taking cues from an old Chris Jericho catchphrase, I implore you—the disillusioned wrestling personality—to please shut the hell up.
Gail Kim is one of the sacred cows of the online professional wrestling world. Kim is known for her proficient "workrate" and boasts a decorated history as one of the pioneers of the once successful TNA Knockouts division. The talented former WWE Women's Champion and TNA Knockouts Champion should have had no problem fitting in as one of the elite talents in WWE's much-maligned Divas division when she returned to the company in 2008.
Instead, Kim was cast aside, significantly visible only as an extra in WWE Diva battle royals and to those who logged onto WWE.com to view the obscure WWE Superstars show.
Kim handled her apparent "misuse" the way any independent contractor by heart would—with a misguided sense of entitlement. Kim endeared herself to the oftentimes anti-establishment Internet not by taking action in the ring, but rather firing up her Twitter account and blasting WWE Creative.
Once the apparently inexcusable misuse of Kim's divine talents became too much to handle for the once prolific women's wrestler, Kim unceremoniously quit, leaving behind a trail of both literary and in-ring acerbity.
Taking cues from the shoot-minded CM Punk a bit too seriously, Kim sang her own swan song when she rebelliously eliminated herself in a recent WWE Divas battle royal, thus quitting the company on her own terms.
Or so she thought.
Kim has since spent the last few weeks letting her Twitter followers know that she indeed quit the WWE, with WWE's newest malcontent going as far as to kindly ask the powers that be to officially release her from her contract.
WWE still hasn't budged.
Said Gail on her Twitter account recently:
"This is the current situation for everyone who's asking: I quit last Monday. And apparently after a total of five years of working for a company where I was not utilized or appreciated, I am now, for some reason, valuable enough to keep me under the remainder of my contract so I can't work elsewhere. Controlling? Thoughts?"
If it is WWE's intention to allow Kim to ambiguously sit and rot on a couch, and in effect pantomime her recent run with WWE, they have every right to do so.
It's worth mentioning that WWE's right to such power should be in breach of the otherwise orthodox laws pertaining to the status of an independent contractor. No, WWE should not have the right to such a contractual stranglehold if its workers are indeed classified as independent contractors. This is a flawed technicality that WWE has taken advantage of to enjoy employment tax breaks.
But if Kim signed on the dotted line in 2008, which she did, then the always controversial independent contractor debate is rendered a moot point. Perhaps the formerly relevant Diva made the wrong kind of sign. Maybe a picket sign against WWE's questionable independent contractor classification would have been more fitting?
In a brief amount of time, Kim has since gone from obscure malcontent to news-making vigilante armed with countless complaints about being misused and done wrong by that thankless WWE creative team.
These complaints seem to only fuel the ubiquitous sentiments and, for lack of another term, electronic filth which propagate the inflated idea of the poor, misused wrestler.
Wrestlers shouldn't be in such a violent and unforgiving business simply to be "used" correctly. Most individuals who adopt such narrow-minded ambition end up being used up (resulting in an unhappy ending ranging from unemployment to death) or not "used" at all.
Chances are, wrestlers who never achieved that rarefied air of WWE success, specifically because they couldn't overcome the omnipresent politics of the business, had no business in the pro wrestling industry in the first place. One must either eat or be eaten.
Welcome to the cut-throat world of "the fed."
Zack Ryder didn't bury himself under the weight of his own outcries while not being "used" properly in the WWE. He saw that creative had nothing for him, and made something for himself. Twenty-plus weeks later he has an Internet show that has achieved cult-popularity and—alas—the creative team is using him!
CM Punk had nothing but detractors upon arriving in the WWE. He virtually had one kickpad out of the door before he was even able to get both of them in. A product of the corporately vilified independent wrestling circuit, Punk fought off said detractors by way of raw, undeniable talent mixed with controlled rebellion (with a little help from Shawn Michaels). Punk's success has resulted in the Fed singing a different tune by kneeling to the ground, staining their proverbial slacks, and begging him to re-sign.
One year and zero complaints after his prolonged stay in WWF's doghouse, Triple H found his way back into the main event picture to resume a career that has since become immortalized.
But Gail is above working within the system to get what she wants. Instead, she's chosen to work outside of it. Now, she's not working at all.
Kim will continue to be embraced by the anti-establishment Internet crowd as a wrestler who was "done wrong" despite the fact that she did nothing outside of bellyache and self-destructively leave her fate in others' hands.
To this day, it confounds me why anti-establishment is so popular among Internet wrestling circles, all of which bask in the noted pastime of tirelessly complaining about WWE. If everybody was anti-establishment (Gail, not Punk), there would be no WWE for them to complain about in the first place.
Gail Kim continues to rot along with what remains of her contract, tweeting pungent messages to whomever out there still knows who she is.
Unless "elimi-gate" proves to be an elaborate work, chances are she'll end up in TNA, where wrestlers go to die (among other places). For Kim's sake, let's hope she has put her life in the right person's hands this time around.
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