Having been known to occasionally watch Monday night Raw while in college. Not to mention the fact that Johnny B. Badd was the evangelist who helped bring me to faith my sophomore year of college–I have been reflecting on the state of WWFE due to the Chris Benoit story. Long gone are the days of Hulkamania, the British Bulldog, Jake the Snake, Andre the Giant. I have come to the conclusion that they need to shut down wrestling. That NBC needs to stop carrying this show (it is not a sport because it lacks competition).
It employs, breeds and propogates a horrible image for our culture. Under Vince McMahon’s management it has transformed from a Good/Evil show into a carnal expression of hedonism.
The actors become obsessively involved in their character’s lives, to the point that they take on the personality in public. The violence displayed, though not legitimate, entices young viewers to try and do likewise. The punching, slapping, and hitting of women by men in the ring promotes domestic violence as an appropriate display of masculinity, which is then brought into the home by these actors (see Steve Austin) and the fans subconsciously condone it. The bra and panty show of the women only further objectifies the women such that they become mere props in this male fantasy. Not to mention the out of the ring situations, where an obvious abuse of steroids, the obsession with physique and the need for recreational drugs to “come down” has led to serious addictions.
While the argument has been made that WWE is the male version of a Soap Operas, the lack of critical reflection by their management (60 people under the age of 45 have died in 10 years) and the high rate of undereducated wrestlers who incapable of seeing the systemic problem this industry perpetuates means that someone else needs to step up and speak vehemently against this hedonistic industry.
Who is the target audience for WWE? I would guess 10-25 year old males. The product is placed during the family hour, and on family television. The over the top drama, basic plot-lines, and scantily clad women are alluring caricatures. Hopefully the Benoit case will open the publics eyes, like it has mine, to the seediness of this industry and like the XFL it will make an unceremonious exit.

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