By Bayani Domingo, Staff Writer
Global Force Wrestling recently merged with IMPACT wrestling and kept its name and branding. We SHOULD be talking about that this week. GFW just celebrated its 15th anniversary at Slammiversary, lasting approximately 1 to 14 years longer than most people gave them credit for depending on who you ask. We SHOULD be talking about that. But we aren’t, we’re talking about Alberto Del Rio El Patron or whatever he’s going by and Paige.
There were reports of an incident at an airport that Paige and Alberto got into a heated argument and Paige had thrown a drink at Alberto while yelling at him and making accusations of abuse, Alberto had been detained after it was reported he reeked of alcohol. I’d like to applause GFW by being proactive, although some would say over-reactive in their indefinite suspension of ADP. Until an investigation had been concluded. But this isn’t as simple as a company taking a moral stand and doing what’s right in their mind for the reputation of their company and the message they are sending to their fans.
You see, IMPACT had already taped a few weeks’ worth of shows already. They were able to simply announce a suspension knowing they had a few weeks to get more details. Television had already been taped so why throw all of that out before the cops completed their report. As it looks to be turning out, that was a very wise choice. Jeff Jarrett made an announcement a week ago about the suspension and publicly it makes it look as if the company took a moral stand against a potential domestic abuser. Not only that, but I’m sure it didn’t cause them any pause after ADP has been running his mouth and shooting on his former employer after being told not to. In the face of the public GFW looks like a morally responsible company. But as facts are now coming to light, it appears as though it was actually Paige that was being investigated for assault after throwing a drink at ADP. Now what does the company do?
Contrary to popular belief; not ALL publicity is GOOD publicity. Quite frankly GFW is going to want to keep this as quiet as possible and for good reason. For one thing, not all the facts are out. If it happens that their champion got into a fight with his fiancé and she was being investigated for a minor assault charge, then it’s nothing. There’s no skin off their back if their champion was potentially assaulted. They can merely say that they were extra cautious, didn’t want to do anything rash by stripping ADP of the title and move along. The WWE on the other hand simply doesn’t address the issue because it’s a wrestler who has been off TV for so long that she’s been almost invisible, on top of that if she isn’t charged it’s a big “nothing burger” for them. I think this brings up the question as to what GFW’s moral obligations would have been if ADP HAD been arrested for domestic violence?
I’m going to make the argument that it’s not about “morals” here, it’s about what is in the best interest of their business. Now before I get dragged for that fairly cynical point of view I think we should look at the WWE as the basis for that argument. Because they are a publicly traded company they have actual shareholders to answer to. The E has had a spotty record with arrest, drug use, and domestic violence dating back to the F days. If you recall they dropped Adam Rose not too long ago after his accusations came to light, but Stone Cold was never punished back when Debra and he were still married. Obviously, you see the reasoning here. They also had that awful angle involving the former Headbanger, Chas, where he was accused of beating his valet and it turns out she was faking it the whole time. Nothing like glamorizing false accusations of domestic abuse to show what a socially progressive company you are. I’m almost sure that now that they are mainstream and beholden to the shareholders this kind of angle would never happen again. But…you know…it’s pro wrestling after all.
In an industry where large men bludgeon each other with steel chairs, barbed wire wrapped bats, and rip each other’s cherished stuffed cats to shreds, “moral obligation” has very little to do with why these companies make decisions. Public perception is a big reason why any of these personnel decisions are even made. Even then it really depends on the hierarchy within the company as to how harsh the punishment is. Do you think if Heath Slater or Curtis Axel had been popped for PEDs as often as Orton they’d still be with the company? Let along given another title reign? Do you think that if Grado had been accused (potentially falsely) of assaulting his fiancé that he would just have been given an off camera (nebulous) suspension? I am not sure what would have happened to Shibata after it was discovered he was cheating on his wife, Japanese culture is very different than American culture and had he not been injured it may have been likely that NJPW would have shunted him down the card as punishment.
Let’s be clear here, I believe that ANY company that lives in the public eye has an obligation to try and put forth the best image they can to their viewers/customers. But in an industry which is more “Hollywood” than “NFL” it’s harder to draw those broad lines. While the NFL, NBA, and MLB are now suspending players for even accusations and investigations, no actual litigation or guilt, big companies like the E, WCW, and GFW have tried to push the line. Fortunately, GFW took a much harder and public stance this time. Though one has to wonder if they would have taken the same stance had it been a champion they didn’t already have heat with over their lack of restraint and anger issues. The fact that 90% of the fans already had pitchforks and torches upon this news really says something for how far ADP has fallen in the eyes of the fans. GFW didn’t need their ‘relaunch” to be derailed by a hot head, let alone a potential criminal and abuser. But was GFW worried about crossing the moral line or were they worried about hurting their bottom-line? If history tells us anything, I think we all know the answer to that…
- I’ll be damned, this Punjabi Prison Match is actually happening. So here is my theory on how Jinder Mahal can win this match without a predictable Singh Bros finish. Jinder actually dresses up 2 Panda Bears to LOOK like the Singh Bros, and during the course of the match the “Singh Bros” actually eat away a portion of the cage Mahal gets through. There is literally no worse than a 1-25 chance this is the actual finish to this match and you KNOW IT!!
- NJPW G1 Climax 27 has kicked off this week in a very long 4 week tournament…this kind of thing only happens in Japan. No wonder the birthrate is falling so dangerously low, it takes those guys 4 freakin’ weeks to climax.
- Taya is having a spat with AAA and Vampiro over her “Mexico City Screw job”. Aka that thing Sexy Star had to do to Vampiro to get her title back. The trick is, she has to arch her back juuuuust at the moment of initial impact or she could dislocate Vampiro’s pelvis. Taya and Vampiro had been engaged in a Twitter war that Johnny Mundo jumped into recently despite basically owning ALL of their titles. JEBUS, Johnny Mundo is holding more Mexican belts right now than a Tijuana Swap Meet.
- Flag Match? Yes, John Cena’s big return is kicking off with… Capture the Flag. I can’t wait for the return of Kane next month in a “Red Rover Match” Braun Strowman is now the most unstoppable beast that has ever graced the WWE. He not only beat up ONE Samoan dude, he beat TWO Samoan dudes. Do you have ANY idea how HARD that is to do? That’s like beating up one Samoan WOMAN!! …yes, Samoan women scare me. They give birth to 27 lbs babies, you think my jokes are going to hurt them? God I hope not. I really hope not.
- AAA is bringing Sexy back… and giving her the Women’s title on top of it. It was kind of obvious she wasn’t done. You’d have to be some kind of an idiot or current president to assume that Sexy retires in her mid-30’s.
- Jason Jordan was recently revealed as Kurt Angle’s son, looks like Angle was a fan of….Chocolate Milk, too.
- Magnus looks to be done with GFW after dropping the belt. On the bright side, maybe it’ll clear the path for him to join his wife on RAW. Mickie could be the welcome sign for Magnus…I mean, she’s already been a door mat.
- John Morrison/Mundo/Nitro is also set to join GFW along with Taya for a few tapings. I wonder if he gets to bring all his belts with him? He’s gonna end up strapping them all on and looking like Iron Man…The Shaman of Shiny.
- Talking Smack is being cancelled. Apparently Vince didn’t like the talent being able to get themselves over and exhibiting any charisma and character development. The 30 secs they get during their ring entrance is enough. If Vince was writing for Hollywood then Beast would’ve cracked a single half smile at Belle 15 mins into the film before brutally mauling and eating her after taking shots of scotch out of Chip.
- Brock back to the UFC is now a popular rumor. A possible first opponent would be…Mark Hunt. After which defeating him, Roman Reigns immediately demands a match. HOOO-WAAAAHHH!!
- The Hardy’s are still not broken. This ultra-long tease is driving me nuts. And I thought it took the Japanese a long time to come to a Climax….
- On Lucha Underground, is Cage’s glove is making him evil? Usually a man’s right hand only makes him commit sins in the eyes of the Lord. Think you can top that masturbation joke? Well I dare you to beat it.
- I have no idea what Swole-Mates is. It’s apparently a show where 2 super muscular and uncharismatic men…lift heavy things? I mean, I guess it makes sense to have two super huge buff dudes live together…it’s not like they’re going to be able to reach back there and wipe their own asses, right?
- There’s just a ton of Lucha on my screen on IMPACT this week, which was nice. I was just confused for a minute as to whether LAX had already taken over IMPACT and the whole angle had run its course in 2 weeks.
- Alberto vs LAX is a weird feud. If I was the World Champ and a group of Asian wrestlers suddenly wanted me to join them to rule the company, I’d f**kin’ join! Are you kidding me cabron?? Could you imagine a monster Asian stable taking over a wrestling company? Setting all the rules! Wrestlers would have to take their boots off before they enter the ring and put them in the corner. Short tables, Step ladders, and floor mat matches? Wrestlers who fail to win a title in their challenge matches are forced to go to Kumon for the summer while all their other friends get to go to camp or hang out and play video games?