Sunday, February 12, 2006

Death becomes him

Since today was a snow day, I had a lot of extra time to do e-fed related stuff, so that's why we're getting treated to two blog entries.

And today's non-favorite characters post concerns death in e-fedding. Not death of handlers, but the death of characters. More of a theory post, although this is somewhat of a reaction to things that have happened in a few feds lately.

Death is a very touchy subject, and most of the time, it's not handled very well in wrestling altogether. In real life, we see the WWE tastelessly exploiting the death of Eddy Guerrero, especially lately with Randy Orton toting around this "Eddy in Hell" angle in his feud with Rey Mysterio. There was also an angle where Triple H alleged necrophilia against Kane (although the real travesty in that angle was Trips not only had this shit on Kane for the necro, he also won in the feud, almost demolishing Kane's heat in the process... but that's a different commentary altogether). And then you had WCW still trying to further an angle between Larry Zbyszko and Louie Spicolli after Spicolli had died with Zbyzsko talking trash on Spicolli after his death (and if that wasn't a work, then WCW was doubly shamed by letting such a piece of shit like Larry Z have a mic in a spot where he'd talk about someone he didn't like).

I'd like to say that e-fedders leave the subject of death alone, but those among us don't at times, and for the most part, it's cringeworthy. Several notable examples:

-Robert Lamb (author of the nWo B-Team stories, Excitable Boy on A1W) ran a character in A1E called Vreck Stone who was among one of my favorite characters at the time and of all-time. However, it was his expressed purpose that he'd bring the character in just to have him die in his hotel room of drugs. And he actually did kill him off, although it was a few years after he had left A1E. Honestly, Lamb has always had a taste for the morbid and occult, and wrestlers dying is a natural part of the business.

But part of the fantasy of fantasy wrestling is that we escape the drug problems and the steroid scandals and the premature death that real wrestling has. Our wrestlers don't have drug problems, and even if they do (like Randalls and Youngblood), they rarely ever adversely affect them in the ring. Our character's demons are parts of storylines that we derive enjoyment from, not that we feel pain from.

-The British Bomber in AWC faked his death in a feud with Red Rock as a way to get over on him. They had a memorial for him and everything, but Bomber came back and "shocked the world" by still being alive. Red Rock went on to win the blowoff match though.

I can honestly say that that was a very crass angle to run. Faking death is not a trivial matter, and it really should make you a pariah wherever you are. Death is too emotional a subject, and to fake it is in bad taste, be it in a message board stunt or in a wrestling angle. If that's the only way you can get heel heat, then you should just hang up the keyboard and not e-fed anymore.

-NFW West, Donaven Winters' handler decided he was going to kill his character off and just retire from e-fedding, at least with that character. Which is well and good until Troy Windham, a character I usually mark for, interrupted the memorial. Once again, this is in the same vein as Orton's "Eddy in Hell" stuff (although this came before Eddy even died, so you could say the WWE ripped off NFW?). Once again, crass stuff, and this heat is too cheap.

-PRIME did an angle where their owner was murdered as part of a wrestling storyline. Now, this falls into the whole "telling a story vs. telling a wrestling related story" that I see some PTC feds struggle with from time to time. I don't even think the WWE would to go so far as to run an angle where someone gets murdered. Two, this angle in PRIME is passed off as a real life thing, that Hin See is dead and there's nothing to bring him back. This is unrealistic. You wouldn't figure that out through a wrestling angle. You'd figure it out in a police investigation and in things that shouldn't be shown on a TV show as being part of the show. I'm sorry. If the WWE tried to do that, RAW would be taken off the air and a federal investigation would be started.

So on the whole, I don't think death and e-fedding particularly mix. Of course, when the unthinkable happens and we lose a handler like Chad Dupree, the only thing to do is to honor his/her memory as best we can.

But when it comes to just killing characters off... that's better off left undone.


James Irish said...

This is probably one of your best entires to date, Tom.

But, way back in A1E's early days, I think a character as offed then, too. I think it happened in ring, but I could be wrong. Could someone who was there back then help me out?

Mike Stanton said...

Doc Silver has battled alcoholism and an addiction to pain killers. Back on prodigy he was champ of NGEN and cut a series of promos from the side of a pool for a match. The 'insider' info was that he was in fact at betty ford and in Detox at the time.

This is the major reason why Doc is most likely going to retire at the end of this season of NFW. He can't take any pain pills due to his history and he really at this point doesn't know any other way to work then being a bump machine that gigs all the time, so a consistant work schedule is hell on him.

I'm not saying that you could have read my mind and known any of this, since it's all years ago in Doc's past...But at least there's one character that's had problems with drugs.

hyde said...

The British Bomber angle was always going to suck, I agree. Thoughts on Alexander Strider (for which we got heat for "ripping off Guerrero"...?!)?

Tom Holzerman said...

James... that might even be before my time in A1E, so I couldn't really tell you.

Hyde... the Alexander STrider thing was done about as tastefully as you can get, so I really didn't have any complaints.

Hyde said...

Heh. T.T.S. quit over that. *sighs* A blessing in (very thin) disguise anyway.

Beast said...

I don't remember anyone being killed in A1E, although Gladiator's injury that led to his heel turn was originally *supposed* to be him snapping his neck and dying in the ring. That's when Roger came up with the Empire angle and talked me into keeping him around.

Sam from AWC said...

Yeah, I was surprised that TBB was mentioned over Strider, as I remember much more contreversy over Strider. TTS got their dicks cut off about the whole thing, saying BS like "YOU GUYS DISGRACED EDDIE" and etc. It was all quite dumb, but a big deal was made out of it. I barely remember the British Bomber, I was around when it happened, but I didn't care enough about TBB to read anything about it.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the in-ring death that James is talking about in ealry A1E, I believe it actually happened during the original A1E (v1.0) Tournament that occured prior to the reformation of the current A1E. IIRC - a character of Gerry's called "The Masked Champion" expired in the ring during the tournament finals - basically as a joke, since the fed was not continuing.

Also, in MBE, Lance Thunder (v2.0) was reported to have died in a car accident shortly after losing a loser leaves town match to the Canadian Loonie. Lance (v3.0) did return later as an extra body for the MWM Angle and the report of his death was explained to have been in error.

Bryan said... reference to this, you might want to check out the character I'm running in PRIME, Kyle Lamen. I'd like to think his angle is being done tastefully.

(btw, I also handle Collision Course in AWC)

The blog's great. Thanks for keeping it up.

Bryan said...

I also think the death of Matt Register, from all I've heard, back in OSW/E/F was handled quite well.