Meanwhile, as per his great idea last week, I’m set to liveblog the Congressional Hearings on Professional Wrestling on C-Span. I guess after they reformed baseball they figure they can clean up the sewer of gutter trash and ‘roid-heads that is professional wrestling. I’ve got my TiVo ready so I can make sure I get the quotes right. This should be great. Not.
I hope Victoria’s Secret debuts the new Kathy Bates thong.
Liveblog of the April 14 Congressional Hearings on Professional Wrestling:
10:30 AM: I just realized that if it weren't for the word "Professional" this would be the CHOW hearings. Instead it's CHOPW. Way to screw up the acronym, Congress. Anyway this appears to be a mixed committee of Representitives and Senators, which I didn't even think they did. But apparently everybody wants to be seen grilling the steroid freaks of wrestling, because all the big names are in the room. Ted Kennedy, Pelosi, Lieberman, Waxman, Arlen Specter, and even Larry Craig. Huh, you'd think he might want to stay away from issues involving big, sweaty men engaged in homo-erotic grappling. Or maybe not.
10:50 AM: They finally got through the introductions of the panelists and witnesses. We’ve got some real “celebrities” here today. Did you know that Hulk Hogan is now balder than George Costanza? He’s almost as buff, too. What’s the point of this, again? Anybody who’s seen a Slim Jim commercial knows that Macho Man Randy Savage is strung out on ‘roids. It’s not a “yes/no” question, it’s a “how much” question.
11:03 AM: First question comes from Teddy Kennedy, who needs the early slot because he’ll be getting plastered at lunch. His question (and I’ll take out the numerous “Ah” and “er” and other stumbles to save space): “How is it that Randy Orton is able to purposefully disqualify himself in No Way Out 2008, lose the match, and yet retain his title? Don’t you think you owe it to fans to have meaningful penalties when competitors seek to game the rules?” What the hell? I guess Ted had lunch early today or something. For the first time ever Vince McMahon is speechless, as is his lawyer, who had doubtless expected a different line of questioning.
11:05 AM: Thirty-five minutes into it and we get our first reference to wrestling as a sport, with no laughter from the gallery. Speaking of which, how did these seedy crackpots get past security in the capitol?
11:06: Ted cuts off Vince, asking him if it’s reasonable that a person could lose a match but retain his championship. Waxman adds that he wants to know what the difference between the different championship belts is. But Vince doesn’t get a word out; instead Specter answers for him, telling the others that “we’re not here to determine how Wrestling structures its championship system, which is no more convoluted than the BCS.”
11:11 AM: Pelosi is drilling McMahon and asking if he thinks the WWE Divas are good role models for girls. “I find it commendable that they enter the ring to defend their allies, but don’t you think they deserve costumes that don’t fly apart and reveal their breasts to forty million people?” She draws a comparison to Janet Jackson more torturous than the final scene of Braveheart, but Specter jumps on her with both feet telling her this is Pay-Per-View and not subject to the FCC.
11:15 AM: Have you ever noticed that Pelosi looks like she’s wearing a Nancy Pelosi plastic mask? Kind of like Mike Myers and the William Shatner mask in Halloween, only Myers is more competent about his business. Still, there’s been about two minutes of silence as she and Specter glower at each other across the room.
11:16 AM: Vince McMahon tries to be the voice of reason and promises that “at the WWE we push the envelope, but always keep it within acceptable social norms.” When Vince freaking McMahon is the voice of reason, the crazy train is off the rails, my friends.
11:34 AM: Well, this is the one hour point, and we’re almost to the fourth question. My brother just text messaged me to tell me that VS has come out with a new “PermaWet” tight white T-Shirt for big-breasted women. I hope it’s modeled by Roseanne Barr.
11:41 AM: Lieberman has finally finished his soliloquy about how wrestling was more pure back when Gorgeous George wore the spandex armor or some such bullshit like that. He’s asking Hulk Hogan if he can explain why so many good guys “go bad” and admonishing Hulk for not telling more people about the pain of his own time on the dark side. I never thought I’d agree with the Kos Kidz, but Lieberman might actually be suffering from dementia.
11:45 AM: The Hulkster didn’t get much time to answer before Waxman asked about possible EEOC implications of McMahon’s “Kiss My Ass” club and forcing people to join it. Specter jumped all over that one too, saying that Wrestling is a right-to-work endeavor and that Congress has no right to restrict McMahon’s employee policies.
11:47 AM: I’m gonna have to get a transcript, because even after rewinding this thing like ten times I can’t tell if Waxman, in a question about whether McMahon had more or less power than a typical sports commissioner, just referred to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as a Kleagle or a Weiner. It’s gotta be the latter, though, because Democrats never stoop to using racial epithets.
11:48: Fireworks just before lunch, as Pelosi is telling McMahon that wrestling is a monopoly and has abused its power and thus needs to be controlled. McMahon’s protesting he’s an entertainer, but nobody’s listening to him anymore. Specter is saying other wrestling corporations have existed in the past and will exist in the future and is railing about free markets.
11:50 AM: BAM! Pelosi gaveled Specter to silence: “I sincerely hope that the assorted representatives will begin taking their roles seriously and do the people’s business!” Specter is not happy about that!
11:58 AM: Took a quick break to vomit, try to hang myself. Unfortunately I couldn’t find enough rope to get the job done. I got another text message from my brother: “Crotchless Panties are in This Season!” Bastard. I hope all the models have crabs.
12:05 PM: Okay, I admit I fast forwarded through some shit, and now Lieberman’s sitting on the other side of the room next to Specter. And there’s a buxom young blonde standing behind Kennedy now and whispering in his ear. I hope she brought a swimsuit, because when you hang out with Kennedy you need to be ready to go swimming at a moment’s notice.
12:08 PM: They just held the first vote, on whether to grant immunity to witnesses, and Lieberman voted with the Republicans. Pelosi is seriously pissed off now, and she bangs the gavel down like she'd rather be slamming it into Lieberman's skull. At least this is more entertaining than hearing Vince McMahon try to dodge questions about steroids.
12:10 PM: Kennedy and Craig are in an argument now. They’re both on their feet staring each other down, and suddenly the woman (who Kennedy introduced as his campaign manager, Honey Thize) has ripped off her conservative business suit to reveal a sequined bunny outfit and is cavorting behind Kennedy, trying to distract Craig! It’s not working.
12:13 PM: I’ve gotta repeat this exchange word for word, with Kennedy’s accent in full bloom:
Kennedy: You, er, ah, want, ah, that Wrestling is, erm, teaching ah children that cheating is, ah, wrong?12:14 PM: I guess Kennedy won, since Craig sat down first. Then Kennedy kind of listed and had to have help from Honey to sit. It reminded me of the way the Titanic sank in the movie. Speaking of which, you know what the difference is between Ted Kennedy and the Titanic? When the Titanic went down people helped each other get out of the water.
Craig: I’ve always taken the position that-
Kennedy: We know all about your, erm, wide stances!
Craig: Drunken murderer!
Kennedy: Cahk hunting dee-vee-ant!
12:25 PM: Ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back: hearing Henry Waxman excoriate Vince McMahon for the Floyd Mayweather/Big Show fight, where Mayweather won by using brass knuckles. I think Waxman said “scurrilous” thirty times.
12:28 PM: Finally, some action! Specter kept telling McMahon he didn’t have to answer, since the integrity of wrestling isn’t in question, until finally Pelosi gaveled him out of order. He was so mad he made a big show of getting up and leaving the hearing, strolling down the aisle like he was just daring anyone to say anything. I didn't realize Arlen Specter had a pimp stroll. Waxman then tried to make some kind of point about how wrestling was corrupting other sports, for some reason bringing up Pacman Jones. Lieberman tried to make a joke about boxing being the only "pristine" sport left, but Pelosi was having none of it. I think maybe he's dead to her, she wouldn't even say his name, just "the Senator".
12:35 PM: Pelosi takes a turn now, totally ignoring Larry Craig. She bores in on McMahon about wrestlers using hidden weapons in violation of "league rules" (her words - does wrestling even count as a "league"?) She asks the Rock about that, and you can tell he's trying to distance himself from all this as much as possible. He tries to make a joke about how his arms are lethal weapons, and Pelosi dresses him down for making light of the potential for serious injury. Then, and I swear this is true, she shows a montage of wrestlers using "weapons". Mostly folding chairs but a few chains, some brass knuckles, and one truly awesome scene where Ric Flair goes to town on some guy with a cheese grater. (I kid you not). Afterwards Pelosi demands of Flair to know how long the guy was in the hospital. He tries to tell her he didn't really hurt the guy, but Pelosi is all "What about the blood"?
12:42 PM: As a side note, watching Pelosi question Ric Flair on splitscreen was like watching Granny berating Jed on The Beverly Hillbillies.
12:45 PM: Okay, now this is getting weird: Arlen Specter is back, and he’s wearing a ski mask like he’s going to rob a bank. He’s slammed down a nameplate that says “Phil A. Buster” in front of him and is sitting there with his arms crossed, leaning back, just daring anybody to speak to him. I think they’re afraid to make eye contact, personally.
12:48 PM: I think Senator Buster’s getting pissed that Pelosi won’t recognize him. She won’t even look at him. This is high comedy. I don’t even care that my brother just sent me a text message that the models are now circulating in the crowd so that the journalists can experience their new line of Nipple Perfume.
12:50 PM: Waxman starts talking about health care coverage for injured wrestlers when his mike goes dead. Senator Buster has jumped up on the table with a bullhorn and is now raving at the crowd about how Wrestling is an American tradition, how George Washington would have been the first Heavyweight champion, and the Democrats are trying to ruin a piece of America because they’re not patriotic. He says if anybody stands against them, they’re going to get hit by the Flying Subpoena.
12:55 PM: Pelosi’s had enough and she calls in the guards to take Senator Buster away. There’s a scuffle, and Specter holds up pretty well against three guys. They wrestle him down, though, and Pelosi tells them to “reveal who the Masked Senator really is!” They do and
12:56 PM: OH MY GOD! That’s not Arlen Specter! It’s NFL washout Heath Shuler. WTF?! I can’t believe it! What is a Blue Dog Democrat doing in league with Arlen Specter? Has the world gone mad?
12:57 PM: Suddenly here’s Arlen Specter and Trent Lott and Ted Stevens, all rushing the stage. They’re grabbing for the gavel and shouting at Pelosi, and POW! She drops Stevens with a gavel right between the eyes. I don’t like Nancy Pelosi, but she just lived every American’s dream.
12:59 PM: Jack Murtha just came out of the crowd and knocked over Trent Lott! Specter’s got the gavel, but he’s also got a big cut across his forehead. Pelosi’s nowhere to be seen. The crowd is really going crazy, hooting like the audience at a bad new Fox comedy.
1:01 PM: Honey Thize and Larry Craig are going at it, and she’s ripped his shirt off and I CAN’T BELIEVE IT! LARRY CRAIG WEARS A PINK CORSET WITH PURPLE BOWS ON IT! I’m speechless. I’d say that no one will ever respect Larry Craig again, but that day had probably already come and gone.
1:02 PM: There is a God, because my brother just texted me saying that VS is also debuting their new line of transvestite nipple jewelry at the show, the Hairy Pit Collection. Advantage: Plebian!
1:04 PM: Waxman has pulled off Lott’s hairpiece and is trying to make him eat it. Pelosi is at the edge of the room, guarded by about four or five other representatives, and is saying that this fight isn’t finished. She’s calling for her supporters to come back over but
1:05 PM: OH MY GOD! LIEBERMAN JUST HIT TED KENNEDY WITH A FOLDING CHAIR!!!!! THE WHALE IS BEACHED! REAPEAT: THE WHALE IS BEACHED!
1:07 PM: Specter’s up on the table with the mic ranting about how “Now is the time for a new world order! We are the Master Debaters! All will serve us! Republicans and Democrats are no more! We are the Master….Debaters!” He screams the last part in a high-pitched voice while Heath Shuler is flexing down at his feet, the veins on his neck straining to burst.
1:08 PM: The screen just went black. Wow. Are all Congressional hearings that good?