And my editors thought they'd found a way for me to stop blogging about wrestling! There's a headline on the Thing Progress website asserting that "Wrestling fans 'hate George W. Bush more than the sledgehammer molester." Basically, the live audience heard boos when former President Bush made a videotaped "thank the troops" cameo on WWE's Monday Night Raw. Who is the "Sledgehammer Molester?" Think Progress links to a column by a fan in attendance who describes the negative reaction to Bush as exceeding the so-called heel heat given to the current major bad guy, Randy Orton. Orton likes to use a (half-fake, gimmicked) sledgehammer to wreak his carnage. He is currently embroiled in a feud with Triple H -- son-in-law of WWE chairman Vince McMahon. On Monday night, Orton kissed Triple H's wide Stephanie -- Vince's daughter; Triple H's wife -- while Triple H was handcuffed. Hence -- "Sledgehammer Molester." (BTW: Raw gets a TV-PG rating, uncannily enough.)
Unless WWE demographics -- younger, affluent males, mostly -- are totally screwed up in Kansas CIty, I'd wager that many of the fans there did cheer for their former president -- and just as many booed him. One reason why WWE was successful in courting lawmakers and political entites in Washington until its more recent steroid/death troubles was that both Democrats and Republicans derived a benefit from courting WWE's audience. If you're in a crowd and surrounded by folks who happen to be booing, you think the entire crowd is booing. The effect is psychological. Anyway, Randy Orton is the real name of a fake character, and wrestling fans know that he's an actor playing a role. George W. Bush is a real guy who, depending upon your point of view, kept the country safe for seven years or significantly ruined things for everyone. No real surprise that he is more polarizing than Randy Orton. Now -- if you really wanted to test whether GWB is hated by WWE fans, I'd perform the following experiment. It'll take two Raw shows. On the first night, show the 43 videotape on the ol' Titan Tron. Then, bring Vickie Guerrero out. Then, reverse the order the next week in a city with roughly the same demographics as the city in the first part of the experiment. It should be fairly easy to tell who's hated the most.
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