Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Weasels of the Week: James Dolan & Vince McMahon

A pair of repeat offenders get the Weasel ears this week.

James Dolan picks up yet another pair, but it has nothing to do with his sports ventures. While Knicks players are among the sports personalities pitching in to help relief efforts in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, which hit the tri-state area 2 weeks ago, Dolan's primary business, Cablevision, is playing Scrooge a month early.

While Cablevision's chief rival, Time Warner Cable, has provided credits to customers still without cable and/or internet service, Cablevision is refusing to follow suit, opting instead to adhere to its longstanding policy of requiring customers to call and provide specific details of their problem(s) in order to qualify for a refund.


It is taking forever and a week for certain agencies in the area to complete the process of restoring power to affected areas, and all Dolan is worried about is his profit margin? Gee, what a surprise. Dolan comes off as being selfish, greedy, and irresponsible all at once. Par for the course for this lifetime Weasel. I shan't be surprised if I read the paper tomorrow or Thursday and read that he's been shamed into changing his tune. If any civic theatre group is looking to cast an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, Dolan would be perfect as Scrooge. He lives the part, after all.

Meanwhile, in Columbus, Ohio, Jerry "The King" Lawler returned to work on Monday Night Raw after 2 months off recovering from a heart attack suffered while on the air in Montreal. However, a feel-good moment was scorched when WWE Champion CM Punk and his manager, Paul Heyman, came out and, in the course of cutting a promo on Lawler, picking up a minor feud that had started before the heart attack, Heyman pretended he'd suffered a heart attack himself. No one was buying.

Heyman & Punk are better than agreeing to something this lame. However, it's business as usual for WWE CEO-Chairman Vince McMahon, who routinely has made mockery of the misfortunes of other employees (i.e. Jim Ross) for "cheap heat". However, with Raw suffering from its annual autumn ratings maladies due to heavy competition from Monday Night Football and other sources, spoiling the return of a beloved figure in the business wasn't the smartest of ideas. Then again, McMahon, who's just a few years older than Lawler, isn't exactly a Rhodes scholar.

A week ago, I mentioned the equally boneheaded storyline involving former figurehead GM's AJ Lee & Vickie Guerrero, former champ John Cena, and would-be champ Dolph Ziggler, and while that just won't end---the writing is twice as atrocious---it also runs counter to the Be A Star anti-bullying program the WWE has invested a ton of time in. Vickie's role in all of this as the heel is that of a jealous, hypocritical bully who is calling out Cena and the 20-something Lee on a "inappropriate" affair when it's pretty well known that the widow Guerrero has engaged in similar dalliances with Ziggler and others over the course of the last 5 years. Her message might be, "do as I say, but don't do as I do", but the way this angle's been written to this point, one-sided in favor of the power-addicted Guerrero, it comes off as crass, irresponsible, abusive behavior exhibited by Guerrero against a woman half her age, and it's wrong. It should've been stopped at the jump.

Guerrero's act went stale a long time ago, but McMahon just doesn't see it, as I've said before. The problem is creating an appropriate punishment for the heels. I'd say, put Guerrero in a sensitivity training course and have her participate in a Be A Star forum or three. As a parent herself, Guerrero needs to look in the mirror and realize that the persona she projects on TV reflects badly on her children.

McMahon gets the Weasel ears because he's allowing this to continue, in turn continuing a tradition of crass, poorly written storylines that cross the boundaries of bad taste, making it increasingly difficult for WWE to recover its audience. Guerrero, Punk, & Heyman can't be blamed for their roles. They're doing their jobs, perhaps too well, but as long as the ratings continue to slide, it isn't going to matter how well they perform. Current head writer David Kapoor (aka Ranjin Singh, Great Khali's storyline brother-interpreter) is under heavy pressure to produce, and is capable of better. He just needs the opportunity, if McMahon will let him have it, to close this storyline without further offending the audience. McMahon just has to man up and accept the fact that this is wrong and move on. We all have to hope he does.

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