Originally posted by dwatersDon't you realize this is all an elaborate work to get Steven Richards' "Right To Censor" back on the air? Now that was a heel group. (Never really bought Val Venis as a member though).
Vince will respond by making an "evil TV executive" character, possibly played by Hassan himself.
It's nice to see UPN taking a stand. Too bad the Katie Vick fiasco wasn't on Smackdown.
Hey, the Katie Vick storyline was AWESOME. I dont know why so many people had problems with that. The whole "I screwed your brains out!" was really funny. The topper was when Trips brought in a blowup doll and Lawler was like "I can see up her dress!"
In my opinion the "terrorist" run in was a bad segment. But even then the Hassan/Daivari characters had not crossed any lines I think. They could still show up and talk about NOT being terrorists and prove it. Just so happened they found five men who didn't want to be indentified.. Hell..have Taker finish off the five and reveal them as begrudged wrestlers who never got a shot
Do I think it's lame that the whole Hassan char has to be dumped? Yes. Lame by UPN. Do I think it's the death blow to Magnus' career? Naaah.. Repackaging someone in wrestling is easier than you think. How many times have people claimed they would never call wrestler X under his new name only to find themselves using that name three months later? Come on, you know it's true.
Hell, it can even make the guy into a bigger character. As mentioned have him come out in a few weeks and have him talk about all the legal stuff he had to go through to reappear but now under his own name. Have him condemn what he did, then have Vince come out and tell him he cannot speak his mind against him like that. Because he is Vince McMahon damnit! Do what I say! I feed you all! You aren't worthy of being in the same ring with me! Have Magnus beat up Vince or at least rebel against him. Magnus would be a over right then and there. You know it's that easy. People will remember the Hassan char but not hold it against him.
Interestingly enough it might prove more difficult for Daivari. Think it's time to drop the last name *grin*
To play Devil's Advocate... is the Hassan character REALLY a marked departure from wrestling's historic heels -- particularly when you consider that everything done today has gotta push the envelope just a bit more than what was done in the past?
So... is Hassan -- given that push-the-envelope context -- any more nefarious than a goose-stepping Nazi like Baron Von Raschke? Or a South African military henchman like Colonial deBeers -- who feuded with minority wrestlers during the height of apartheid? Or any number of the "Russian" wrestlers who'd demonize America during the Cold War?
To answer that question (Angel's Advocate?), I think the Hassan character IS different from the others. Here's why:
Those historic heels were connected to foreign countries -- or discredited ideologies -- who largely used American patriotism (or xenophobia) to gain heat. Sure, they'd do the typical bad guy stuff like cheat, attack faces, etc. -- but that was basically the extent of their gimmick. Baron Von Rashke didn't threaten to send Jewish wrestlers to the gas chambers; deBeers didn't try to disenfranchise Jimmy Snuka; the Koloffs didn't urge rebellion; and so forth.
By contrast, Hassan's character is specifically espousing & deliberately giving credence to the ideology that -- many believe -- is currently fueling international terrorism... during a period in time when American soldiers (primarily men between ages 18-35... the WWE's demographic) are dying. One of the primary claims of groups like al-Qaida is that Americans HATE Muslims, want to hurt Muslims, and cannot be induced to stop persecuting Muslims -- which is why terrorist attacks against civilians is divinely justified by Allah.
On top of it, Hassan seemingly followed the same tactics (& logic) of terrorists when he attacked the Undertaker... at a time when we're legitimately worried about copycat terrorists emulating the al-Qaida playbook.
The separation between reality & fiction was just too narrow. Even in the strange, dramatized world of pro wrestling. And to strip logic aside, for many of use, the Hassan character just FELT different. This wasn't merely the heat borne of jingoism -- but a desire by the adience to burn Hassan in effigy & retribution. That's dangerous.
One other note: All non-cable TV networks limit what their programs can do. Drew Carey wrote that -- during the entire time his show was on the air -- only once did network censors fail to cut at least one skit or line. Besides, the UPN has a legitimate reason to control what it broadcasts, as angering sponsors & advertisers does impact their bottom line.
Given all the nudity, language, violence, etc. that's aired on SD over the years, if this is the first instance where UPN has so strongly put its foot down, I hardly think that qualifies as over-reaching or draconian.
I don't think moving Hassan back to RAW is going to be that simple. Let's not forget that Spike and UPN are both owned by Viacom. Yes, Spike is on cable and has less restrictions than UPN, but I don't see Viacom in general allowing the move, especially with the new TNA deal.
If Hassan grows some hair, stays out of the tanning booth, learns to wrestle and either shaves or grows a different beard he could have a chance. You could always put him under a hood. More than likely him and Davari will spend around six months in OVW before being released.
There goes my Support Arab Free Speech for my house show sign on August 8th.
The Hassan character was meant to be controversial. He was right on many fronts that he had the right to say and as he pleased. I always thought of him as pushing the envelope to that place where it teeters on the edge but doesn't fall.
I myself didn't see the events, fell asleep, that had everybody go nuts but I would've understood that it was just wrestling.
Yeah, I know it was portrayal of the current times we live in, it was unfortunate that London was attacked but scraping Hassan isn't the answer. Tone him down? Explain he isn't associated with those actions and doesn't condone it? If they want they could easily write there way out without to to much public heat.
J.J. Dillon: "I'd rather flip burgers at McDonald's than work for Vince McMahon again." July 3, 2004 New Era Of Wrestling
I redered to Hassan's character as a patriotic Arab- American one time who was ill at the way he was treated because of his decent. Ok maybe not patriotic but I do remember him in one of his first interviews that he wis an American like everyone else and being picked on.
Based on that original character one way they could save his Hassan character and not repackage him as someone else would be this. Since he has not been on air since that they would write him in as finding out who the "terrorist" are and bringing them to the ring for a good old beat down or something. Use an angle like " I hate the way I am treated but I am still an American first and no one is going to terrorize my country!" I think it would make a good face turn out of a bad situation then in a few months he could turn heel again and be pissed off at everyone.
As for his wrestling skill, he actually isn't too bad I don't think. I don't like his character but he produces some decent matches. Everyone messes up now and then but he is alot better than some of hte others on TV.
Oh, man, I picked the WRONG time to break my vacation from Smackdown.... Okay, last night I taped the thing, and as I came home, I just scanned the whole show really fast without seeing a whole segment...except the Michael Cole kidnapping.