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The W - Pro Wrestling - Don't kid yourself - Austin's return (1 of 2)
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bigdaddy
Medisterpoelse








Since: 18.6.02
From: Washington, DC

Since last post: 4420 days
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#1 Posted on
Don't kid yourselves - this is not necessarily the end of Austin in the WWE by a long shot.

First things first -- you've got to separate the spousal abuse issue from the walkout, insofar as Vince & corporate are concerned. One is a public issue that will almost certainly quickly go away; the other is a private issue that could be forgiven, but certainly won't ever be forgotten.

Vince is all about making money -- end of story. It's pretty clear that he/WWE really don't care about their employees' personal lives, as long as they continue to produce $$$. For decades, wrestlers have been allowed to abuse drugs (street & prescription) and alcohol, commit serious bodily assault on each other and on bystanders, and perpetrate any number of spousal/SO abuses with little or no penalty. Vince doesn't care about the harm that's done to the wrestler -- or the harm that he does to others along the way -- as long as the public outcry isn't so great as to permanently ostracize him so as to prevent him from putting the asses in the seats, he is still allowed to be in the game.

And for the hell of it, I might even argue that that is as it should be for the CEO of a multimillion dollar enterprise, whose primary loyalty should be to the stockholders. (Of course, the real 'stockholders' and the CEO are one and the same in this case -- but that's the way of the world more and more often these days as well.)

Austin could have seriously hurt Debra, and if he wasn't locked up for it, they would have tried to keep him as a valued member of WWE -- guaranteed.

We have all seen this sort of thing over and over again among celebrities from many arenas (sports, TV, movies...), where abuse cases post-fact are spun as "not having told the whole story", or "not the public's business", or the classic "was under stress/abusing medication/excessive alcohol, but counseling is now making him/her all better" spin. This is the man's first official exposure for this issue (notwithstanding Debra's alleged comments about this having happened before, it's never happened before in the eyes of the law.)

Even assuming that charges were pressed, a good attorney -- and Austin could definitely afford one -- could get him off with the proverbial wrist slap in 5 minutes. (Hey, Steve --thank God you live in the great state of Texas, where even _repeat_ domestic violence offenders aren't _required_ to serve time or even go to counseling! All that stuff would really cut into your 'driving around with open containers of alcohol' time!)

I'm not saying that spousal abuse is _ever_ truly JUSTIFIABLE -- what I am saying is that, due to both the nature of today's society (where people are almost always allowed to offload responsibility for their actions onto some circumstance or condition which was 'beyond their control' at that time), and the short attention span of today's public (which swallows that weak excuse over and over again), abuse IS all too often successfully JUSTIFIED, by media handlers, attorneys, and finally, most importantly in the case of a celebrity, in the court of public opinion.

The only celebrities who don't make it through a circumstance like this one unscathed are those who are already starting to bore the public. Then the public seizes on the excuse of their 'immorality' in order to feel justified in discarding them and turning to the next big thing.

I think we all feel vaguely guilty about being suckered in and giving these people so many chances in the first place, so we're eager to find somebody on the way down that we can kick, just so it looks like we don't condone immoral behavior. "Yeah, I used to like him: but you know, he beat his wife. I just can't put up with stuff like that -- who does he think he is?" The forms of appropriate behavior are satisfied -- all's well with the world.

But Austin, smark moaning about workrate and not jobbing notwithstanding, was not on his way out with the majority of WWE viewers, who are sorry he's gone and would welcome him back tomorrow with open arms.

So given that unescapable fact, had it not been for the walkout, WWE would have almost certainly done something like the following:

a) given him a private talking to about 'damaging the product',
b) given him a couple of weeks off to both get some constructive help re: the problem, and to make it seem as if 'disciplinary action' was being taken,
c) issued the usual vague statement about 'time off for personal issues' and 'supporting SCSA and his family throughout this difficult time', and then
d) brought him back (at a PPV or something) to pop the marks and the ratings.

Companies, just like people, want to look good in the eyes of the world. The forms would have been satisfied, the marks would have forgiven, and all would be well.

But Steve Williams did something much more heinous in VKM's eyes then just punch his wife.

He belittled the product -- he broke with the company line and has done so repeatedly in recent weeks -- and unlike slapping around a woman, Vince sees that as a character flaw that can't be allowed to go unpunished...

(continued)
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dfallan
Cotechino








Since: 11.1.02
From: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

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#2 Posted on
Sorry if I am going to interrupt your (not so) little comment here, but I gots to say what's on my (I wish it weren't so little)mind.

I (And I'm sure many others) agree that VKM is all about making cash. If he could come to terms with Satan himself, and had a good way to market it for big bucks, then no doubt we'd see a PPV from the Bowels of Hell itself. (Although he has done them from Toronto, so he ain't far off )

Now that said, I had no doubt (As of Monday, prior to my learning of Austin's Domestic violence) that while Austin was gone now, Money heals almonst all wounds, and that odds were good that soooner or Later, Steve would come back to the WWF/WWE (Convinced that the cash he could make would massage his hurt feelings), and VInce, seeing the dollar signs Austin could bring in, would welcome him with open arms.

Vince didn't need Hogan, or the NWO, but he believed he could make cash off them, so he signed them, despite misgivings I'm sure he would have had.

My only concern (About a possible return)now is with the Domestic Violence issue. Sure legally it won't hurt him all that much, but Austin is a huge name in Pro-wrestling, and one of the more recognizable wrestling personalities in other entertainment (Hogan, and Currently, the Rock being much better known with Non-wrestling fans I'm sure) and this issue is bound to make it to the press (SOme papers are already coverin it.). Sure other Wrestlers have done bad, or worse things, but if D'Lo Brown were caught doing something illegal and naughty, sure the smarts would know, but odds are it wouldn't make a huge media splash, where as Austin will likely get some coverage on this.

This means the Marks will know what he's done, as well as internet smarks, and smarts, which leads to the question, will Austin survive in the Court of Public Opinion.

OJ Got off (If you don't wanna do time, hire a lawyer who can make a rhyme), but he doesn't seem to be making a lot of media appearances now does he?

I'm not saying Austin's fan base will dissappear, but I think that if Steve decides he wants to come back, it will be that barometer that VInce will use, since its watching where that public opinion goes that made vince the Billionaire he is today.

Now I've said this all from a cool logical businesslike standpoint.
Personally, I say He's a friggin asshole for slapping Debra around. I ain't her biggest fan, but damn, that just ain't right. (Hell she was married to Mongo, ain't that punishment enough for one lifetime)



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"Welcome to Monday NYQUIL, where the Big boys Play with each other": Steve Austin, in ECW imitating his former boss Eric Bischoff.
OlFuzzyBastard
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Since: 28.4.02
From: Pittsburgh, PA

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#3 Posted on
I think Austin may come back *someday*, but I think we'll have a new president and a sixth Star Wars film before we see it happen.



"It's a sad day when mocking one's opponent via midget becomes an acceptable form of entertainment."
--Lance Storm
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 38 days
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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.18

If Vince is willing to bring back Hogan and Nash and would bring back Bret Hart, then bringing Austin back at some future point is no great shakes.

The thing that bothers me is this: Stereotype or not, what percentage of the pro wrestling audience doesn't think spousal abuse is that much of a crime? If it's as high as I think it might be, Austin has only a vocal (and correct) minority to deal with, in terms of bad PR.





"I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine." -- Murray Head, One Night in Bangkok
EastCoastAvenger
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Since: 4.1.02
From: Clearwater, FL

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#5 Posted on
It'll be "safe" for Austin to make an actual comeback within a few weeks. Marks have a short memory, and for the most part "smarks" are the most fickle group of people on earth outside the fashion industry. The real issue is whether Austin will return. I don't thinks so. This is the second time he's walked out, and frankly he sounds like he's got some serious mental issues to work through. However, once he gets through that, gets things straight with Debra (Austin had his swing, now Debra gets one with the weapon of her choice - them's the rules!) and tells Vince man to man "It won't happen again (unless you piss me off)", he'll be back. And of course he'll be jobbed into oblivion, then fired. After all, even after all that's happened with Austin, Vince is STILL an infinitely lower P.O.S.!



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Whitebacon
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

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#6 Posted on
I had heard from a friend that has a source in the WWF that its all an angle, but, I don't put too much stock in this persons "source" and this was also before the domestic abuse situation. I'm just throwing it out there.



When my time on earth is done,
and my activities have passed.
I want they bury me upside down,
so my critics can kiss my ass.
Bobby Knight
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 38 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.18

Maybe Debra should be allowed to whack Austin with a cookie tray about a billion times.







"I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine." -- Murray Head, One Night in Bangkok
Aphrodites Reflection
Chipolata








Since: 18.6.02
From: Atlanta GA

Since last post: 4147 days
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#8 Posted on
As a woman and a fan of the WWE, I certainly hope that what some what you people are saying isn't true.

What he did pretty serious, and I know that for me personally, I will never ever be a fan of him again. If he were to come back I would still watch WWE, because I enjoy it too much. But I won't ever buy his merchandise, nor watch a big main event that he might participate in.


I certainly hope that there are more fans out there who feel the same way, as this isn't some trivial thing. People are allowed to have personal problems and make some mistakes, no matter if they are in the public spotlight or not. He made a mistake but now he should face the consequences, and one of those consequences will be that some fans will never ever respect him again.

CRZ
Big Brother
Administrator








Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#9 Posted on

    Originally posted by El Weasel
    No one should ever have to answer for their actions, period.
You're about one more useless one-liner from answering for yours, by the way.



©CRZ™
Visit [slash] wrestling
Tribal Prophet
Andouille








Since: 9.1.02
From: Winnipeg, MB, Canada

Since last post: 9 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#10 Posted on
McMahon would bring Austin back in an instant as long as he knew that Austin wouldn't walk out again.

Remember, the ENTIRE reason that the WWF made a comeback against WCW a few years ago was because of the exposure of ONE man that Vince had NO problem making a bigger star despite his (MCUH worse that Austin's) past: Mike Tyson.


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BigTim2002
Pinkelwurst








Since: 30.5.02
From: Sonoma, CA

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#11 Posted on
Wow, and just because of Tyson, WCW was done for good? I guess all those tag team matches featuring the ladders, that Chris Jericho guy becoming a big star, and that Austin dude and that Shawn Michaels dude putting on a good match with Michaels' back pretty much done was nothing close to Tyson, were they.



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Qubber
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Since: 7.1.02
From: Sheffield, UK

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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.00
(deep breath)

The truly shocking thing (as Mark kind of mentioned above) is that by the looks of things (even around here) Austin already seems forgiven by the majority on the spousal abuse situation. There seems to be a general sentiment that the incident was a one off due to Austin's life spiralling out of control, that Austin 'isn't a bad guy really'. Simply because we loved to watch the guy wrestle it seems that a lot of us are just searching for a reason to forgive him, and a hell of a lot of people are latching onto a sort of "Oh, there's more going on that's making Steve temporarily mad".

I don't want to pontificate much more, it's not my place because I'm just a fan and I know I don't have all the facts, what follows is just an opinion. All I'll say is I am not an Austin fan any more, I just can't be. I certainly lost all respect for my cousin's husband as a result of a 'one-off incident' and I don't see why I should be happy to see Austin return any more than I would him.

Some things are just plain wrong, and it shouldn't matter who you are when it comes to paying the price. I hope Macmahon actually puts decency before profit this time.

Edit: After thinking about this more I can elaborate a bit. I liked my cousin's boyfriend, a lot in fact. We all did. We let him into our family and welcomed him as one of our own. We loved him in a fashion, and he let us down to the point where we couldn't forgive him. It's kindof the same thing with Austin. He entertained us like no other, he was brilliant. He is undoubtedly a hall of famer. He was a highlight of my viewing week for nigh on six years. However, now I feel let down to the point where I can't forgive him. Am I unable to seperate personal feeling from a far off situation? Undoubtedly I am, but still I think it is wrong to let someone off in a situation like this just because of celebrity.

Sorry if that pisses anyone off.

(edited by Qubber on 19.6.02 1059)


"Nobody enjoys a good time more than I do, but this business of yours is as legitimate as a three-legged donkey...which of course is illegitimate because as we all know donkeys have four legs."

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Since: 9.12.01
From: ミネアポリス

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#13 Posted on
Since I have no idea what REALLY happened, either during or leading up to...I think my policy will be "Don't forgive him until Debra does."



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Chaurice








Since: 14.3.02
From: Tampa

Since last post: 4281 days
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#14 Posted on
Diva Soundtrack QuestionI think we would agree Vinnie Mac left a wide open door policy for SC to return. Theer is also a good chance for WWE to get some good PR from this. SC apologises in the ring for what he did, and becomes a personal slave to VM, then goes heel. Also on the real side, SC gets some counseling, and does some positive press for battered women, and he and the WWE both look good.
odessasteps
Scrapple








Since: 2.1.02
From: MD, USA

Since last post: 38 days
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.18

You know, I keep thinking about old, old World Class Steve Austin, who was involved in a feud with Chris Adams featuring Adams' ex (Jeannie, and the future ex Mrs. Austin) and current (Toni, later ex) wives. What I remember most is that Austin's character had no reservation about manhandling Toni.

It was, forgive me for saying so, refreshing to see the "woman covers her man to prevent further abuse" angle" and then have Austin just hit her anyway.

Now, kinda eerie.



"I get my kicks above the waistline, sunshine." -- Murray Head, One Night in Bangkok
Scorpio
Boudin rouge








Since: 18.2.02
From: Laurel, MD, USA

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#16 Posted on

Vince won't touch him for a whie, due to bad press. And recovery or what, he can't risk Austin walking out again, and I don't think he will think Austin will have 'learned his lesson' for a nice long while. I don't think we'll see Austin for a couple years. (And really, after all this, I won't miss him at all.)





PMMJ


"Nothing remains interesting where anything may happen." -H.G. Wells

Torach
Pinkelwurst








Since: 12.6.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 4393 days
Last activity: 4275 days
#17 Posted on

    Originally posted by bigdaddy
    Don't kid yourselves - this is not necessarily the end of Austin in the WWE by a long shot.


You just keep on telling yourself this.

Both J.R. and Vince have come out and all but raked Steve over the coals for doing this on Confidental and in JR's Ross report. That, and the way the Rock spoke (wheather it be a work or a shoot) on Raw makes me think that Vince no longer wants any part of Steve Austin. Frankly nor would I want any part of him either after all the dirty laundy that has been aired about him the past few days. He used to be a draw, and put people in seats, but at the last Raw I went to, a lot of the people there were Rock fans.


First things first -- you've got to separate the spousal abuse issue from the walkout, insofar as Vince & corporate are concerned. One is a public issue that will almost certainly quickly go away; the other is a private issue that could be forgiven, but certainly won't ever be forgotten.


The spousal abuse thing may go away in the eyes of some fans, but he's now tarnished to a good chunk of them because he has beaten on his wife. Some fans might not support the WWF any longer if they "unbench" him. As for the walk out thing it could have been handled better, but we have not heard the whole story because it has never been revealed to us. What if he tried to communicate his dislike of where the story was going, but nobody would listen?

If I could venture to guess, Vince is going to let Austin sit for a while before he decides to do anything to him. He could come back, or he could be released from his contract in a few weeks. We just do not know what is going to happen next.

All signs seem to point to that he is going to be released some time in the future. They are clearancing his stuff on the Shopzone and not mentioning him any more. It's almost like they are treating him like Chyna.

It's sad to see one person screw up his life in such a dumb fashion.
Tom Dean
Bockwurst








Since: 30.8.02
From: New York, NY

Since last post: 3216 days
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#18 Posted on
Great comparison, except for the tiny fact that, well, they never released Chyna. They let her contract run out.

It's possible that they will let Austin's contract run out too. They would NEVER release him, though, as then he could sign with NWA/TNA or another organization the next day.

More likely, they will bring Austin back as long as he is willing to return and as long as there is proof that he has conquered his personal problems. Although it seems like the majority of the posters on this board claim to be incapable of forgiveness and proud of it, I don't think most normal fans are nearly so judgmental and blockheaded.



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