Thursday, December 16, 2004

# Posted 10:01 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

ARROGANT MILLIONAIRE COWBOY: People are always asking me, "How can you like something as stupid as professional wrestling?" Well, here's one reason: On tonight's edition of Smackdown!, heavyweight champ JBL insulted another character by accusing him of being as corrupt as Kofi Annan.

So you know, part of JBL's shtick is to be as offensively conservative as possible. He's an arrogant millionaire cowboy who is supposed to resemble a certain other arrogant millionaire cowboy. (You can see why I had to dress up as JBL when I went to watch Smackdown! live in Washington, DC.)

After dissing Annan, JBL paused for a moment, apparently to check for the negative reaction from the audience he wanted to provoke. But maybe JBL forgot he was in Nashville and that a whole bunch of folks from the 101st Airborne were in the house. Or maybe the whole thing just went over people's heads.

Anyhow, there were plenty of other clever bits in the show. At one point, two henchmen are arguing about which of their bad guy bosses is better. The trump card in their debate turns out to be the fact that one of the bosses -- JBL, in fact -- gives his henchmen full healthcare and dental benefits. Priceless.

And how about this: The new ad for the WWE's annual Royal Rumble features 30 wrestlers dressed up as members of the Sharks and Jets and singing a song from West Side Story with slightly modified lyrics. (I think it was "When you're a Jet".)

Finally, here's something to think about even if this kind of humor doesn't appeal to you. Next Thursday, Smackdown! will be broadcasting from the Middle East, where for the second year in a row the WWE is making a major effort to support the troops by shipping all of its biggest superstars overseas. (Click here for a video clip of some highlights from last year's trip.)

I'm guessing that the show will probably be broadcast from Qatar or Kuwait rather than Baghdad for security reasons, but so what? What was the last time Sean Penn made it to the Persian Gulf?
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