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Thursday, March 24, 2016

It's a Slobberknocker, Jim Ross!

By now I'm sure you all have heard the news (and more importantly, if anyone's following my social media feed you'll have seen the memes): Bollea vs. Gawker has gone through the legal system, and a jury has ruled in favour of Bollea. Heavily in favour of Bollea.

I'm not a fan of Hulk Hogan. Even back when I used to watch professional wrestling, I wasn't a fan; in fact, I couldn't stand him. I've never been fond of the squeaky-clean, all-American image. Maybe it comes from growing up overseas and not really identifying internally as American; maybe it's my misanthropic nature; maybe it's the fact that I know, deep down, no one is truly innocent and no one's really one hundred percent good guy. In my experience, the harder you project that image the more untrue it is, and in his heyday nobody projected that image harder than Hulk Hogan. When I transitioned from mark to smark (literally “smart mark,” or a wrestling fan that knows what's staged) I found myself disliking him even more.

When I was a teenager, I went to a local WCW show where Hogan was scheduled to appear. Maybe he was off doing some humanitarian work, or maybe (more likely) it's because it was in Shitheel, Alabama, but he didn't show. He was on the card to be Dave Sullivan's tag partner against his “evil” brother Kevin Sullivan and... I don't even remember now. Typhoon, maybe?... some incredibly large man in a spandex onesie. Their music played, and the heels came to the ring. The face music played and... Dave Sullivan wandered out by himself, looking very scared and confused. (The thing you have to know about Dave Sullivan is that he was 'special.' That was his gimmick. According to Wikipedia, he was apparently dyslexic, but his character acted as if he had a severe developmental disorder.) Dave fumbled his way into the ring and proceeded to have seven shades of hell beaten out of him by his evil brother and the aforementioned very large man in a spandex onesie.

This went on for about two or three minutes before music once again began playing over the decrepit speaker system of the farm center's makeshift arena, and who else but Sting charged down to the ring and cleaned house on the badguys. Sting, who wasn't even on the card for the evening, didn't even have a match, but nonetheless came out in full ring gear to save the day when Hulk Hogan couldn't be bothered to show. That's my memory of Hulk Hogan: the man who didn't bother to show up, and the man who saved the day in his place. That's why I've always liked Sting over Hogan, and why, when he went full Crow vigilante mode, I was right there backing him.

But when greater evil rears its head, the enemy of your enemy is still your enemy's enemy, and you can find it in yourself to cheer them on. I have no hesitation in openly stating that Gawker and all it's affiliate blog sites are utter trash.

A tabloid that would make the Weekly World News proud to call itself a newspaper.

A figurative, if not literal, cancer on the internet and journalism itself.

I have a great deal of respect for the tradition and responsibility of investigative journalism, and to have those words associated with digital toilet paper like Gawker is shameful. Some people question the First Amendment when it comes to this court case. Ironically, those same like to trot out the whole “freeze peach” nonsense whenever anyone else mentions Freedom of Speech or the First Amendment. But showing an old man's genitals isn't why the Freedom of the Press is important here. It's not meant to protect Gawker when they try to ruin people.

So I really don't care that Hogan boned his best friend's wife. I don't care what he called who or what his opinions are on what. I don't even care that he let down Dave Sullivan and didn't bother to show up for an untelevised match in the middle of nowhere. When the day came that the jury handed down a decision that will likely bankrupt Gawker and hit Nick Denton in the only place where he still has any feeling left, that was a good day. So good a day that I'll treat it as a national holiday.

As for Hulk Hogan: I salute you. Now consider this your retirement match so I won't have to be reminded of you anymore. This is the most interesting you've been since you turned heel and joined the nWo back in the day. Too bad that I was always Wolfpac nWo as opposed to Hollywood nWo.

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