The following column contains both opinions about wrestling, as well as content concerning Christianity. If you are offend by religious content or Christianity in ANY WAY, you are advised NOT to read this week’s column. Thank You.
Hey there all you little Trade-Marks! ‘Tis “The Mav”, once again bringing you a new edition of The Trademark Rants. Over the next few weeks, I’m going to be attempting to write a book, of sorts. Well, not really. It’d make more sense if I were writing a book, but if I were, I’d have to cut it down more and make it less time-specific than a mere series of columns would normally be. In other words, when you write a weekly column, you tend to write what you’re thinking at that very moment, but when you write a book, you can’t depend on it being published at the exact moment you type it up. If you’re too time-specific, the book could be outdated before it’s even published, which is sad, especially if you put so much time and effort into it. Anyway, there has been some changes in my life, and a lot of changes in how I’m seeing things, so I feel the need to address them. Some of them concern my vision of Wrestling. Actually, it ALL does, really, although some of what I might talk about may not seem that way right away. This has been a process over a couple of months, but the process, up ‘til now, has been kept a secret from you. But anyway, this book is going to be called “Wrestling With God”, and it’s going to have a lot of talk about Christianity, as well as what I would like to do from here as a writer, wrestling fan, and possibly as a performer or a promoter in the wrestling world. When you pray, sometimes, God shows you stuff. And sometimes, he wants you to write down what he’s showing you. So that’s what this book is going to be about. This is stuff He’s showing me. And yes, I sound crazy right now… That’s the risk I’m willing to take.
In case you didn’t already notice, there have been a few changes to the way this column has been presented over the past couple of weeks. Now, some of you will wonder exactly what I’m talking about, as you probably didn’t notice any real change at all. But then again, most of the changes have been subtle, so I probably shouldn’t expect anyone to notice anyway. Yes, I’m babbling, and I do that a lot. Long time readers of the Rants can probably tell you that it takes me a paragraph or two before I actually start getting to some sort of point. So, to spare you the agony of me wasting any more time or space, I might as well tell you what the major change has been… I’ve found Jesus.
No, this isn’t a publicity stunt. This is the honest, legitimate truth, not a game or any sort of attempt to reach out to an audience that, in all actuality, does not exist on the Internet. I’ve really found Jesus, and I’m really one of those Bible-toting, Scripture-quoting Jesus Freaks that helped make The Passion of The Christ the top-grossing film of all time and continue to support P.O.D. despite the fact that rap-metal has been dead for going on two years now. Hard to believe, isn’t it? I haven’t said a curse word in nearly a month, either, which is not something I’ve done in a long time, in this column or in real life. Heck, just ask anyone who’s known me. For someone who dropped F-bombs like it was Armageddon, the idea that you wouldn’t see one in nearly a month’s worth of columns is like… well… like seeing a good Heidenreich match.
Yeah, I’m not perfect. I’m not going to be. After all, I still write this column, and I bet that at least ONE person is going to find a fault in that. I also still believe that Stephanie McMahon is absolutely incompetent, and don’t really care who I upset with that comment. It’s true. She took the hottest commodity in entertainment and, under her watch as creative head of WWE, steered that commodity into the ground, so much so that we are now seeing the WWF of the mid-1990’s all over again. Does that mean that I’d rather see the Corporate Ministry try and sacrifice her to Satan again? Not really. But at least that would make for good TV, which is something WWE needs to do more than just once a year around WrestleMania time. One well-booked show a year should NOT make up for a year of lackluster wrestling shows, and unfortunately, with WWE, we’re expected to gobble up a year of lackluster wrestling shows just so we can finally see one good show in the spring. It’s been that way for 4 years now, and the ratings show it. They were pulling 4+ ratings last year around WrestleMania last year, too, and the year before, and the year before that. Within a month after WrestleMania, though, the ratings dip back down to the standard 3.5 average with a minimal surge near SummerSlam (if you really call a 3.7 a “surge”), then spend the fall and winter in a ratings slump until the next WrestleMania season. Things are going good in McMahon-Land right now, but unless something’s done to stop the cycle of inconsistency, this surge won’t last.
Does that mean that TNA is doing a better job? Who knows? I don’t understand the logic of putting Ron Killings in the X Division when he’s a Next Generation-Style Heavyweight. Does anyone remember Sonny Siaki as the X Division Champion? Okay… now, if YOU can, how come it’s almost impossible to find much of a reference in TNA History to Sonny’s run as the X Champ? Here’s the thing – Sonny’s a Next-Gen Heavyweight. And a rather clumsy one at that… No, really. Watch him wrestle sometime. He’s thinking waaaaaaaay too much in the ring, and when you think too much, it affects your flow, and causes you to mess up. His reign as X Champ is also the least memorable, least mentioned, and least known facts in TNA History. He was only given one match on TNA’s Best of the X-Division DVD, and it was a Six-Man Tag when he was a part of the Flying Elvises. No title match. He only has a mention as X Champ in a pre-match build up on the DVD to explain how Kid Kash won the X Title. That’s it. Otherwise, Siaki’s involvement in the X Division has been swept under the rug as an embarrassing moment in TNA History, for reasons I will never fully know. Siaki may be clumsy, but he wasn’t THAT BAD… was he? He’s at least about as good as Batista, and Batista’s going in the Main Event of WrestleMania (unless the rumor is true and Hulk Hogan is going to wrestle Muhammad Hassan, which will undoubtedly draw more heat than anything else WWE is booking thus far for WrestleMania 21, hands down). I mean, WWE isn’t THAT POOR a judge of talent, are they? I mean, anyone could make the mistake of bringing on Tyson Tomko and Heidenreich to enhance their roster…
The unfortunate truth is that the ONLY reason Sonny’s used in the X Division right now is because they have NOTHING ELSE to do with him, and the same is true with Ron Killings. TNA has NOTHING ELSE to do with the former 2-time NWA World’s Champion, so they’re contemplating putting him in the X Division because… I don’t know. I would hope that TNA would have learned something after giving Siaki the X Title and subsequently sweeping him and his reign as champ under the rug, but perhaps, they didn’t learn the right lesson. Either that, or Dusty Rhodes thinks of the X Division as a mid-card Heavyweight Title. In that case, we might see Monty Brown in the X Division next. No offense to Monty, but he doesn’t belong in the X Division. He’s too big, too powerful, too grounded, and too limited in the ring to work in the X Division. One would IMAGINE that Sonny Siaki, Ron Killings, and even Chris Candido (who si also supposedly in the X Division now, too) are also too big, too powerful, and/or too grounded to work in the X Division. Perhaps Killings’ presence in the X Division is supposed to lead him into a feud with AJ Styles or something, which would be a great idea, seeing as I had always wondered how a program between these two would work out. Meanwhile, Candido’s presence in the division is likely an attempt on Dusty’s part to bring some “psychology” to the division. I guess having Christopher Daniels as the major psychological talent in the X Division wasn’t enough… As for Siaki, I wish I knew. I wish the guy would relax more in the ring, though. It’s not like Dusty Rhodes is going to shoot him if he misses a spot or something… right?
You know, I started this column off talking about finding Jesus, and here I am, ranting about the X division and Stephanie McMahon AGAIN… Well, this is a wrestling column, after all. And like I told you before, I’m not perfect. I’m not going to be. I’m just going to keep going to Church, praying, reading my Bible, and walking the path God has put me on. But, regardless of what I believe or the life I lead, I still write a wrestling column. Why? Because this is a wrestling website and people get really upset when I don’t talk about wrestling in my columns. So I have to talk about wrestling, and I’m going to KEEP talking about wrestling, because I LIKE wrestling, and I like writing this column. But sometimes, to the annoyance of many, I also feel the need to talk about other things, but also keep wrestling in context. I can reach more people with this column than without it, and I can still do what’s expected of me from both sides without losing integrity. The Internet is NOT evil, after all. You just think it is…
I know that I made some fun of Vince Russo a while back for his conversion… I didn’t think it was legit. Let me tell you, he’s for real. He’s actually dedicating his life to Christ, and, in a round-about way, one of many factors leading me to where I am right now, writing this very column for you. If his site ever comes back up, I’d recommend it to anyone reading this column right now. It’s VinceRussoForgiven.com if it ever comes back online. If not, try to get a copy of the “Glory Event” on DVD, which Russo and some of his friends in the wrestling business, along with people in his ministry, put together recently. It features Jeff Jarrett, Elix Skipper, and a few other major names, so it’s worth checking out, if just for the wrestling action, which there’s bound to be plenty of. To obtain a copy of the Glory Event DVD, send $20 along with your name and mailing address to:
1476 HYW 27
Chichamauga, Ga. 30707
If you send a check or money order, make it payable to Covenant Life Worship Center. I ordered a copy last week and already sent my money, so when I get the DVD, I’ll probably talk about it at some length in this column.
I also recently got a DVD Sampler from Jersey All-Pro Wrestling. I’ll be talking more about that in a future column, as well. I was extremely impressed with the production value of JAPW (much higher than expected for an Indy Promotion… higher than ECW in the day, in fact) as well as the in-ring action. I plan on discussing them at length more in the future, when I learn more about the company, and have an opportunity to see a full-length show.
By the way, before I wrap up this column, if you happened to see a “Jesus Loves You” sign on the No Way Out PPV, that was me. If you saw it on Heat, that was Terry. And if you ever see it at an Indy Show in the Northeast Ohio/Western Pennsylvania area, it’ll either be Terry or me… unless someone steals this idea and does it, too. That’d be kinda cool, actually. Anyway, I mention this because this was a sort of ministry idea that Terry and I came up with, and I really hope that there’s other people out there who’d want to do it too, so it could be something you’d see on every wrestling broadcast in every city. There’s a lot of people in this country who’d be more than willing to do it, and even more who’d respond to seeing that sort of thing on a wrestling show. So, if you want to do it, all you have to do is make a sign. Don’t worry about having anything to pass out or evangelizing or anything like that. Just make a sign and hold it up at a wrestling show. Any wrestling show, actually. Local Indy, Major Indy, TNA, WWE… if people wrestle, take your sign. It really doesn’t matter what the sign says, whether its “John 3:16” or “Jesus Loves You” or “God Wants You (To Live With Him For Eternity)” or something like that. Keep the message positive and accessible to everyone. In other words, no “God Hates Gays” signs or anything like that, because it’s not true. God loves EVERYONE, and he wants EVERYONE to come to him. When it comes to sexuality or abortion or whatnot, leave that between the person and God. His Word will handle that, and it’s not your job or mine to judge or pass judgment on anyone. A lot of times, people will try to justify those kinds of messages by saying that we “must live in Spirit and Truth”, meaning that we have to say hateful and judgmental things because they’re “truth” or whatever. These people are unfortunately doing more to HURT Christian’s reputation, and thus, Jesus’ reputation, towards non-believers than anything else. We do not ignore what is written in the Bible, nor should we ignore our morals and our core beliefs. But at the same time, we are in no position to judge ANYONE, no matter what we believe or what the Bible says about homosexuality or abortion or premarital sex or whatever. We are first to LOVE God, then LOVE one another. NO WHERE in the Bible does it say “Judge Thy Brother” or “Condemn Thy Neighbor” because of their sin. God will take care of that. All we should worry about is pointing them in God’s direction, which can only be done when we speak with LOVE and not hate. Judgment is God’s Job, not ours. Keep your role in perspective, and you will be a much more effective Light for Christ.
The purpose of the “Sign Guy Ministry” (the tentative name for what Terry and I started at No Way Out) is not to be confrontational or beat people over the head with a message of fire and brimstone for those who don’t think like we do. The purpose is to expose the Love of Christ by sharing positive messages of Christ’s Love for All of Mankind. If you want to take part in this ministry, just make a sign expressing God’s Love and hold it up at a wrestling show. That’s it. If you really WANT to pass out Bibles or whatever, that’s up to you, although, if you choose to do so, it would be best if you let people come to you, rather than approach people about a Bible. I say this because I’ve often found it rude that a person would go up to another and try to “force” a Bible on someone. If you hold up the sign and people see it, God may or may not enable someone to come to you and ask you some questions. If they do, take the time to talk to them, perhaps offer them a Bible or some other reading material, and pray with them if they ask you to. If not, don’t approach them. Let the sign speak for you. You’ll be more effective if you allow people to come to you, rather than push it on them.
If you have any other questions about this, or anything else I’ve mentioned in this column, feel free to write me at TheMaverickMJ@yahoo.com. Thanks for reading, and feel free to come back again for another installment of The Trademark Rants!