The Flesh Forsakes; Macho Lives Forever

In which I conduct an aborted live blog of the Monday Night Raw immediately following the death of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, hoping for some closure and some fond memories.

7:55 p.m. Central Time: I’m preparing to watch a full episode of WWE’s Monday Night Raw for the first time in a fair number of years. You can say what you want about Vince McMahon, but more often than not he’s done right by the legacies of his dead wrestlers, and I hope tonight is no exception. I’ve got the Kleenex nearby, a Bell’s Best Brown Ale in hand, and I’m ready to do this.

I grew up a huge WWF fan, and a particular fan of the Macho Man. In fact, if I had to rank the levels of sadness I felt when various wrestlers died, it would look something like this:

  1. Macho Man
  2. Andre the Giant
  3. Mr. Perfect
  4. Owen Hart
  5. The British Bulldog
  6. Ravishing Rick Rude
  7. Junkyard Dog

I’m sad but excited to see what kind of tribute Raw has cooked up.
8:00 p.m. – Before the show starts, this picture is flashed on the screen in silence.

Really? They couldn’t find a better picture to use than the one cropped from a Slim Jim ad?

8:01 p.m. -We open with some kind of terrible nu-metal song that I can only assume is the Raw theme song. Was it too much to ask that we open with the Undertaker’s 12 gongs?

OK, now there are fireworks. This is not really the mood I was expecting. The announcers are talking about last night’s pay-per-view, with no mention of Savage yet. OK, here comes Jerry “The King” Lawler — that has to be a good sign. Nope. He’s monologuing about a “kiss your feet” match at the PPV between two announcers instead of the Macho Man? Someone needs a lesson in tone.

Lawler came up with Randy Savage in Memphis — shouldn’t he be talking about Savage? He’d be a perfect choice. This is honestly bordering on a disgrace. Maybe the rumors are true and Savage did deflower Stephanie McMahon.

Hey, here comes my all-time favorite wrestler, Brett “Hit Man” Hart, to join Lawler in the ring. Two old-time veterans — this seems like the perfect opportunity to discuss Savage and his legacy. But no, they keep talking about some other announcer kissing Jerry Lawler’s feet. Did everyone at WWE just hate Savage? This is like Obama coming on TV the night bin Laden was killed and talking about his puppy Bo learning how to shake hands. This is like going to Paul Newman’s funeral and hearing a eulogy from Bam Margera about how great the movie Jackass 2 is.

8:05 p.m. – Now, some guy I don’t know is talking to Bret Hart. About some subject unrelated to one of the five most famous wrestlers in history dying three days ago. Also, Bret Hart is wearing knee-length jorts. I feel sad for everyone involved in this.

Randy “Macho Man” Savage mattered. His in-ring persona contained an unhinged element that transcended typical wrestling characters and stars. He always felt a little dangerous.

Thank God Miss Elizabeth is dead and buried so she doesn’t have to see this disgrace.

This bad guy who’s yelling at Bret Hart is black, and has gold teeth and dreads — it’s nice to see latent racism is still alive in professional wrestling. John Cena, whom I believe is the current champion, just came out wearing a T-shirt that says something about “Cenation.” Is that really an attempt at a catchphrase? Cenation?

Do you want to know why I tuned into Monday Night Raw tonight? I expected a fitting tribute to the Macho Man — a heavy dose of nostalgia with wrestlers from the ’80s (Honky Tonk Man? Earthquake? Koko B. Ware?). I wanted to see highlights of Savage’s best matches and most insane speeches. I wanted Slim Jims to rain down on the audience like confetti. I wanted two hours of all-Macho, all-the-time. I wanted the Undertaker to come out with Paul Bearer and give the best eulogy ever heard by man. What am I getting instead? What I’m guessing is a typical Monday Night Raw. I’m old, but I would happily still watch WWE if they presented an entertaining product. They don’t. This isn’t. This is fucking awful.

There’s no point in continuing to live blog this bullshit unless they start talking about the Macho Man. So…back later. Maybe. Here’s to you, Randy.

Update: The “tribute” to Savage finally came deep into Raw’s second hour — in the form of a five-minute video montage narrated by a parody of a voiceover announcer saying things like “Randy Savage was truly one of the greats.” It was insultingly non-specific, too short, and too filled with generic photos of Savage set to shitty background music instead of live-action clips from his best matches.

Worst of all, they set the end of the montage to Coldplay’s “The Scientist.” WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK? Coldplay?? Chris Martin’s delicate piano and feminine warble truly set the perfect mood for saying farewell to someone called “The Macho Man.”

I’m sorry, Macho. You deserved better.

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