Billy Bob Kane
WE ALL NEED CATCHPHRASES
People seem to be misunderstood. They think I am a racist. They think I am New York yokel. They think I hate all whites. They think I think Bradshaw doesn't deserve his spot (well they're right about that). Let me clear up some things.
I don't really think JR is a racist. However I have wondered about that from time to time as have many of my friends of all colours. I do think Jim Ross is prejudiced. I am not an American citizen, so I am biased toward neither the South nor the North. I do not hate all whites. I did not mention as Austin as critically for one reason: he changed.
Today Stone Cold is one of the best wrestlers going. He works hard, he doesn't forgo most of the risks that come with in-ring competition and he of course deserves to be the WWF Champion. However in 1998, when he won the title in March of that year, through to when he took a year off for bone spurs, he was not the wrestler he is today. He did not go all out, or if he did he went all out on rare occasions. His matches were predictable, with the punch, clothesline, thesz press, kick and stunner all happening in that order. His promos were repetitive and bordered on annoying. I hated Austin. I hated that he was the WWF Champion with many, many better wrestlers on the roster. I hated his gimmick, his catch-phrase, his push, the way he was made to look as if Jesus Christ had indeed returned in Austin's form, and most of all I hated the announcer who apparently he had in his back pocket.
I hated JR trying to spoon-feed me, and millions of others, that this fuse-necked, numb-kneed, boring, repetitive unoriginal wrestler was the best. Austin did not want to leave the business when he was at the point where he had the most potential to make a lot of money. I can appreciate that. However this is not banking or industrial procurement, this is an athletics-related business and to take home top honours in this business, namely the Word title, you need to be able to perform to the best of your ability. Austin was not at his best for that entire time and JR, his buddy, was treating him like a king.
I've heard that Austin was the top face and had to be promoted that way but that is not true. He did not have to be promoted that way. Shawn Michaels was only the 'leader of the WWF new generation'. Bret Hart was only 'the excellence of execution'. I'd love to list a top black guy, but the WWF's never produced one so I can't. For JR to promote one top babyface better than another is bad for business and it is unprofessional. I realize this isn't baseball, or a refined corporate environment, but it is a business and Jim Ross promoting one top guy better than another, as stronger than another, is not creating a level playing field. A few people told me he did promote the Rock as strongly, and although I won't go on to say he buried the Rock, I strongly disagree that he put the Rock over anywhere near as ambitiously as he did Austin. He didn't. He promoted the Rock fairly well, as well as he did a babyface Bret Hart in 1993-96, or a babyface Shawn Michaels in 1995-1997. About as well as he promoted two white guys who were half as over as the Rock was. The Rock was huge, though, his reactions were off the charts, and Ross acted as if he was 'just another top guy'. I do not believe that after he made Austin look one way he should not have made the Rock look just as good, especially when the Rock sustained momentum and ratings after Austin left in November 1999, something that Austin has not been able to do since the Rock left last April (but the Invasion has). If we can't agree on that then we just can't agree. Is that a racial thing? Maybe. I think you have to consider the possibility. I only want people to consider the possibility, and I really think that it is there.
Anyone who believes Ross hasn't consciously billed Austin as a bigger deal than the Rock is kidding themselves. Even Chris Zimmerman, in one of his Raw reports, clearly states that JR oversells Austin. Linda: "...But there IS going to be that very special individual who's gonna be in the Rock's corner, who's gonna have his back at Backlash in less than two weeks, and it's with great pleasure tonight that I announce to you that in his corner is going be none other...................than STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!" Ross has six simultaneous orgasms - yes, he IS overselling it JUST a touch. Rock: "...and the Rock with Austin 3:16. " One more orgasm for Ross. So a quick count of the previous paragraph shows Jim Ross with a dozen orgasms.
Austin was always JR's boy, and even if I can't prove JR is prejudiced based on race, I can prove he is prejudiced based on who he associates with, and a prejudice is a prejudice and it makes you a piece of trash in my book. I don't think Jim Ross is a good person ladies and germs. I think he is a real genuine prick. I don't give a rat's ass who likes him and who doesn't like him. I don't care if he is the best play-by-play man in the history of the goddamned milky way, he's still a prick in my eyes. And not liking him is not something I have to apologize for. Nor is going out and gathering information for hours on end that feed my hypothesis that he is particularly prejudiced based on race. The more I think about it, the more I realize that JR is a prick. He is a prejudiced prick. Am I supposed to say: "God bless him. At least he's not racist." I won't do that.
What I will apologize for is the implication that being from the South, or from Oklahoma, wherever that is, makes someone a racist. That was never my intention, but I wanted to cite historical facts. Now people say the civil war was however many years ago it was, and such a fact makes it a non-factor in today's world. Well, that isn't true, it being a long time ago doesn't entirely negate its impact on today's America. I am not going to be an ass, be a tool, and apologize without actually explaining my reasoning and showing that there was some intelligence to my reasoning. At least this way, when it was something valid and not just a spur-of-the-moment rant while under the influence, this way it is a full-fledged apology, a real one, not a shoe-shuffling, staring-at-the-ground, 'mommy sez for me to say to you I'm sorry so I'm sorry.' Now the civil war spawned children of the south. Children who lost fathers. Children who saw blacks and were reminded of the fathers they lost, and told stories to grandchildren, and so on. That is not a lie and it is not ridiculous. This is how any society grows, how it develops its culture. Through stories; through ideals that are passed from one generation to another! Is that so hard to believe? How do you suppose religions last so long? Things are passed down. So for me to believe that prejudiced views could also be passed down, as a sign of a cultural belief that at one time existed is I think logical. Not to justify it, but to explain it. Another example is guns. There are many Americans who believe in having a gun to protect their family, because historically, guns were needed. That goes back even further than the Civil War, all the way to the revolutionary war. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but a gun is not designed to protect anybody. A shield is designed to protect someone. A bullet-proof vest is designed to protect someone. A latex condom is designed to protect someone. But a gun is designed so that by moving your finger you can blast a hole through someone's body and kill them. Where I live, guns are not considered normal or common and are fairly hard to find. As a result of that, the murder rate is proportionately lower than that of the United States. Am I saying all Americans like guns? No. Am I saying most Americans like guns? Not at all. I am saying that there is a portion of the American population, however small (or large) it might be, that like guns and believe in them. I know this because of the existence of the NRA and its considerable influence. This organization believes there should be no background check for a person to get a rifle. I think that's retarded. So if something as dangerous and damaging as that, as that belief in gun mongering can be taught and passed down since the American Revolution, as it obviously has been, it was my belief that given a geographical historical accounting I could draw a hypothesis as to a different but equally damaging belief being passed down to Jim Ross. That is why I put that statement out there, but I didn't do it properly and I am being man enough to apologize for it. From here on in, I am only presenting my hypothesis that Jim Ross is bigoted, potentially, on basis of his actions and his actions alone, not where he's from.
Now, that said, let me come out and state that most of the people who disagreed with me, and in my e-mail, that was about 50-50, are idiots. They don't know what the hell they are writing, and many of them took comments of mine out of context. They took things I didn't say and said I forgot them conveniently, and I mean REAL obscure things, and accused me of hate-mongering because of them. Well here a big 'I'm sorry' to all those fucks, but I didn't have time to write a novel. It was one article. Back to racist....I mean potentially prejudiced Jim Ross.
Ken Shamrock called D'Lo a 'monkey' and the crowd popped for it. Now, sure, there are people who argue that it may not make Ken Shamrock a racist, and I can't prove that he is, but I don't like Ken Shamrock nevertheless. Can I say that? Can I say that a man who uses a racial slur on a live show is possibly somewhat in some form or another perhaps possessive of the circumstantial potential of being what might in some circles be considered marginally an almost-sorta-kinda racist? Shamrock, you may not be a monkey, but you're a fucking idiot, Ken. You talk like you just stepped out of a propaganda documentary about the ills of nuclear warfare. You can barely put sentences together but you are ready to go on a public forum where you are designed to like the hero, and call someone black a monkey so that indirectly, that negative message becomes the hero's message. I guess D'Lo is not good as Shamrock. I guess D'Lo can't put together a promo like Shamrock can. "SHUT UP! You better KNUCKLE UP! 'Cause that's my zone, and you better GET OUTTA MY WAY! BULLY!" Well I think that's stupid. I think Ken Shamrock's an idiot, and for JR not to apologize for those comments is a bit retarded. Maybe JR liked those comments. Ooh! Ooh! I'm sorry. I forgot that in an opinion column I still have to put 'in my opinion' in front of everything I say.
I also stand by JR saying Tiger Ali Singh should 'go drive his taxi' as a severely prejudiced comment. If anything, this is my strongest piece of evidence. I don't know how anyone can argue with this. Indian wrestling fans have e-mailed me saying how deplorable they found this. And the phrase 'goofier than a pet coun' is by the way offensive to people who are not comfortable with the word "coun". This is not my personal offence, by rather those of friends of mine, older black friends, who interpret a 'pet coun' as a phrase for a 'house nigger' or a slave who served in the house of a slave owner as apposed to out in the fields. Rent Malcolm X. Now, on to other people Jim Ross has royally screwed with. I will even expand this to whites, because JR is a prejudiced bastard against a lot of people.
Jeff Jarrett has no job because of heat with McMahon. Well Jim Ross is the real reason for this heat. Get this, Jeff Jarrett shows up in the WWF in 1997 and says 'Austin 3:16 is ripping off the Bible'. Austin confronts him backstage and says 'don't say things that interfere with my merchandising.' Okay, Austin, that's fine. It's not like it was true or anything. I defend Austin here. I say "Shut up, Jarrett! Shut your ass! No truth-speaking for you! No blatant statement of undisguised reality coming from your mouth! Fuck you, Jarrett! You selfish asshole! How dare you make a small heat-getting truthful comment as a heel toward a face in a way that will get heat on you so that fans will want to see said face kick your ass! That's not how this business works! Fuck you, Jeff! T-Shirts must be sold." So then JR sides with Austin. They share many a night together in homosexual happenstances (and before anyone says I am anti-gay there is no statement anywhere there that says there's something wrong with that). Eventually, in late 1999, Jarrett is the I.C. champ and his contract is up. First of all, whoever the hell allowed him to be a champ when his contract expired should be drug out into the street and shot in the crotch. It was this booking retard's fault Jarrett was in any position to pull his stunt. Anyway, JR meets with Jarrett. He tells Jarrett he won't get any more money than what's offered. He says Jarrett will never be a top guy. Jarrett realizes hey, I have their second biggest title. They just pissed in my face while I have their second biggest title. He tells McMahon to come up with some considerable dough or he won't drop the strap to Chyna. McMahon has no choice, he does it. Jarrett leaves.
Good for Jarrett, I say. It wasn't traditional, but neither is telling someone they'll never be a top guy just because of your personal friendship with someone else who has a problem with him. I think Jim Ross was a prick who figured that hell, the WWF is killing WCW so Jarrett won't leave. Well he did leave and it almost cost the WWF a championship. I don't fault Jarrett for that and I think a lot of guys would have done the same thing.
Again, I don't like Jim Ross. He even had to make a comment in a recent Ross report than he has no 'personal problems' with Booker T. So obviously I am not alone in getting a certain vibe that he overdoes the heel selling of Booker. I like Booker. I think he's a great athlete and a very good wrestler, much better than he has had the opportunity to show us in the WWF. Ric Flair he is not....Damn right JR. However, Ric Flair, for anyone who doesn't realize, was a heel who cheated to win most of his 15 world championships. So what is JR saying, Booker is a lesser heel than Ric Flair. He doesn't cheat as good? Do you understand where I get this vibe from? Do you understand how promoting the Alliance's top guy, who happens to be black, as a lesser being than an inactive non-wrestler who was also a heel has certain implications? The Sting comparison made sense, despite Sting being inactive. At least Sting, for the most part, was a face. It makes sense for Booker to be promoted as lesser than a face. But lesser than a heel? That is just killing Booker's heat. If anything, he should be promoting Booker T as a heel above heels, because if he's one of if not the lead dog in an Alliance that threatens the WWF like 'never before' he would have to be a heel above heels, wouldn't he? But with JR's stupid analogies now he's a lesser heel than other heels? What, was Ric Flair part of the Aryan Master Race of Heels?
I am overreacting on purpose here, but do you all see how easy it is, how easy it can be to get this certain vibe when a Jim Ross makes stupid comments? And despite this being the only point I made that even my supporters disagreed with me on I stand by the spinarooney comment. The spinarooney, is still, in my opinion, being buried by JR. Here's how he ought to sell it (imagine in his voice): 'Look at the arrogance of this athlete. Look at the utter conceit that is running through Booker T's veins. That dance move, it's him saying, "I don't need to take you seriously" it's him saying, "I can dance and still beat your ass" and it's damn sure an insult, a slap in the face to the man on his back right now! I don't like it!' Okay? Now that is something I would accept. In fact, given that this is supposed to be a huge angle that shakes the foundation of the WWF, that is how he should sell it. He should be selling every aspect of Booker's persona, but his scoffing 'spin-a-rooney, oh please' is just shitting on the move.
In any case, I will be watching Raw tonight and judging from the wealth of feedback, both positive and negative I got, I might venture the guess that a lot of other people will be too. And I hope to high heaven Jim Ross' blow-off of Booker doesn't continue. Because if it does, you can damn sure I'll be writing an article about it, and this time it really will be intentionally inflammatory. Oh, and in the future when I say someone 'hates blacks' that will just be my way of saying there's something I don't like about them. It's like calling someone a jabroni. We all need catchphrases.Billy Bob Kane
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