WWE has a really bizarre outlook on the world.
All across the nation, Americans are standing up against corporate greed, rampant corruption and a system that has been rigged in the favor of a very, very, very, very, very small group of people. While many of us are struggling to make ends meet, desperately searching for work, taking jobs that we are vastly overqualified for, going bankrupt to pay medical bills, losing our houses, etc., 400 people have more wealth than the bottom 100 million. No, not 400,000... just 400. And guess who props up those 400 when their house of cards collapses? The other 299,999,600 of us.
Those in the upper 1% cry about taxes while a bus driver gives a larger percentage of their income to the government than a hedge fund manager. GE paid $0 in taxes last year, but it's the teachers union that gets vilified as greedy and power-hungry.
So it was only a matter of time before some Americans rose up and got pissed off. The message is unfocused, but passionate anger. It didn't have to get to this point, and surely there is a more practical way to enact change besides "occupying" various business districts, but the system has failed these people for so long, they feel they have no other option. So protesters are going to do what protesters do, they scream loudly until that 1% begins to listen.
WWE thinks you want a pair of earplugs over a megaphone.
A recent study when Linda McMahon was running for Senate, showed that while sports fans generally skew to the right, a solid majority of professional wrestling fans are left-leaning, blue collar folks. We're also the least likely to vote, but I think that plays into being so frustrated at a system that has failed, we just do our jobs and try to make it to the next paycheck. You wouldn't know that by watching last night's Raw though.
In the opening segment, Triple H addressed the WWE Universe saying that he will not bow to pressure from the 99% of WWE employees, in fact, they're just a bunch of whiny bitches. "Oh it's too hard" he mockingly said as the vast majority of the company was protesting in the parking lot. They never showed them, presumably so the crowd wouldn't boo the likes of Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston when they were featured later in the evening. I mentioned it last week, hoping it was just poor execution or a pro-HHH crowd, but WWE literally set up a story where Triple H was the only hero and the entire roster were pansies who wouldn't be able to cut it in Triple H's heyday, which by the way, is the last time WWE was cool.
Okay, so he wasn't the only hero for long, he did get some support from John Cena, which makes sense. Cena literally never quits, I've seen him tortured Jack Bauer style, but he takes it and powers through because that's who he is. I thought it was weird for him to say a lot of the guys in the parking lot are just overreacting because Triple H is their "first boss," when I can't think of a single Superstar that has debuted in the very short period that Triple H has been in charge. Maybe Sin Cara Dos? But that's splitting hairs, I suppose.
Sheamus also stopped by to lend his support. Fine, whatever, he's a newly-turned good guy and they don't want to mess with that before the biggest push of his career. Of course, it is proof that WWE had no intention of making the protesters sympathetic in this situation, they are, in fact, whiny bitches.
But the worst came when CM Punk came to the ring to also join the boy scouts and speak out against the Walk Out. Yes, that CM Punk, you know, the guy who two months ago was doing the biggest anti-authority character since Stone Cold Steve Austin. Yeah, he apparently wants to settle his differences in the ring and address people he has issues with "personally." So much for the CM Punk who spoke up for all the guys in the back who aren't getting a fair shake and all the guys in the unemployment line who never will. RIP Voice of the Voiceless, 2011-2011.
And I think that's my #1 issue with this whole segment, Punk could've been the guy to come out and add some shades of grey and essentially saved the story. He could've been the guy to say that those people in the parking lot didn't walk out because they couldn't hack it, they're just tired of the bullshit and Triple H's poor leadership isn't helping. I mean c'mon, Punk just tried to get Triple H to resign three weeks ago!
In many ways, wrestling has always reflected the cultural attitude of the era that surrounds it, and I think this segment (sadly) summed up America in 2011 quite perfectly. In 1997, it was cool to want to punch your boss in the face. We were so fed up with downsizing, outsourcing and "going corporate," while the government was too worried about blowjobs, so Stone Cold took matters into his own hands and gave his boss a Stunner for trying to make him put on a tie. But in 2011, you're just lucky to have a job, so shut your mouth and get to work, drone.
You think you're going to unionize? You want a better working environment? A raise? Or else you'll leave? Well, there's the door! The fact that WWE is the only professional wrestling company that matters just makes it even more depressingly reminiscent of the real world. There's honestly a great story to tell there, but again, WWE thinks you want the earplugs, not the megaphone.
I realize I've already gone way too long for this to be a traditional Raw review, so stay tuned, more thoughts on the show coming later today.