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The Freak Lars Sullivan

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  • Originally posted by Powder View Post
    If this guy was a 6 foot 180lb guy, he would have been fired, but because he is 6'3", 300+lbs, athletic, strong, and could be a 'monster heel' with a unique look, all is forgiven....SMH.
    Yes. This is the entertainment business. Not all people are created equal, and many are given special treatment if there is greater upside or opportunity to make money off of those people.

    What really needs to be understood is that even with WWE's decline in ratings, "Wrestling Twitter" or Reddit, the loudest voices that want to see these guys fired -- and very likely the only ones that are more than tangentially even aware of the situations -- are a fraction of the audience. Is it even 10k people? 20k? Shit, I wasn't even aware of Dream's issues until Triple H made a comment.

    I would say if there were fans in buildings things would be different, but I'm not sure. It's easy enough to get "fire Dream" chantalong going to overwhelm a TV show. People like to chant and would probably even join in if they weren't aware of the situation. BUT there were no chants, no overwhelming boos, nothing the last time Lars had an arguably worse issue.

    It feels like overwhelming calls to "cancel" these guys, but that's just because a few thousand people on Reddit and Twitter come across as overwhelming. But would it even make a dent in numbers if every single one of those people shut off the show?

    I personally think Lars is more of a headache than he's worth and should have been cut last time. If not for the injury, he might have but they hate firing people while they're hurt.


    https://youtu.be/CuiN0s2cLEI
    Check out this COVID era pro wrestling show I just produced.

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    • I mentioned hypocrisy in my last post, and it's extremely important to keep in mind. Lars Sullivan used a racial slur on a message board a decade or so ago (which started with him calling someone else out as racist, and then he made his own racist comment), and apparently made inappropriate DMs or posts to a yoga instructor.

      Meanwhile, we glorify Macho Man Randy Savage who locked Elizabeth up, or Ric Flair who did far worse than yoga DMs. These are just small examples, but we all know there are hundreds of stories of legends we praise today who showed racism/sexism or any other inappropriate behavior using 2020 glasses. Why do we gloss over most of these?

      There are several possibilities. The top 2 are because the content they provided outweighs the negative of their behavior, and that they changed over time and were better human beings in their later years.

      We are holding Lars to a different standard, which is understandable - but only to a point. I think I post here differently than I did when I discovered LOP in 2001. We all grow up and change, yet refuse to give anyone else the opportunity. He's a young product who hasn't had the chance to produce anything, so does that mean his career should be ended before it even starts?

      I don't think the right way to handle any of these issues is cancel culture, or at least not in the way it gets overused or misused today. I understand why several people still have issues with Hulk Hogan's racist comments, and it's because his apology doesn't really cover what actually happened. I'll admit to barely following the case and never saw the original recording, but to me he apologized more for being caught saying terrible things, instead of apologizing for the thoughts that were terrible. And we've all had terrible thoughts and said terrible things that we later regret. I know I've said hurtful things to family or lovers in the heat of anger. Nothing racial, and nothing caught on tape, but still a thought that wasn't fully formed and mostly just red emotion. I think you're lying if you've never experienced something similar. Anyone who has been here long enough knows how evil some discussions got in other threads that were political based. Slap/Slapzilla/Slapnutz for example really pushed the limits, and I think it stems from an anonymous source. Assholes exist in all walks of life, and when they can't actually face consequences, they sometimes push a little further than if their name and address was next to their posts.

      This doesn't defend Lars. He made mistakes, and I'm hoping he's learning or has learned from them. I don't get how it's our business in the first place, but I know that's how culture is in 2020. At the same time I would still pay to watch Kevin Spacey movies, while I wouldn't for Mel Gibson. We all make our choices on what we accept or won't. But I don't go on Twitter and shame people for paying money to see Mel Gibson films. And I don't get how as a fan how we have any right to force their hand by any method other than changing the channel.

      The WWE Twitterverse isn't as powerful as they like to think. I also doubt it's that bad for Hollywood either, but I understand why there will always be hesitation to put a high profile on Mel Gibson or Kevin Spacey. But Vince takes another approach, which I respect in this case. He knows the pushback might be loud in volume, but inconsequential overall, so he ignores it. Complaining incessantly, but still putting money in their pockets won't change anything. I might not be bothered by these business decisions, but I'll respect people like TO and Cult Icon who don't waste time complaining and simply stop paying for anything WWE related. People need to realize that by complaining about something, it still shows an interest. I know there are people who are up in arms about Lars and stop following WWE, but most still tune in on the Network and Monday/Wednesday/Friday nights. And until that changes, WWE won't.

      Comment


      • You know, I had the same thought during the original Speaking Out movement when guys in their late 20s and 30s having inappropriately young relationships with 18+ year old girls started being a thing that was called out.

        What do people think Ric Flair was doing at Panama Beach in 1998 during the WCW Spring Break show? Do people think he was making sure the girls he was taking back to his hotel were "age appropriate"? I've heard stories about wrestlers in the 80s that would border on crimes in today's world but were just things that happened back then. But, because these people are idolized, we gloss over it.

        Everyone has their line and is entitled to it, and I don't begrudge what someone's line is. But guys that WWE thinks they can make money with are going to get second and third and fourth and fifth chances, and 1,690,000 out of the 1,700,000 fans watching Raw probably have no idea anything happened.


        https://youtu.be/CuiN0s2cLEI
        Check out this COVID era pro wrestling show I just produced.

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        • Eh, my boycott has more to do with the grandstanding Saudi shows (as a nonbinary individual I can't support a company who gladly takes huge amounts of money from a country where people like me would get murdered without question). I understand their business reasons for the deal to an extent, but it doesn't mean I have to support it.

          The Lars stuff? Also don't like it but that wouldn't get me to stop watching.

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          • I think one thing we're potentially underestimating here is the scale of just how close the 'net fans' and 'casual fans' are nowadays. I noticed it a good few years ago, that people who weren't really part of the IWC were starting to give me the same kind of opinions that I'd get online. If you think that the audience, particularly the WWE audience, is now down to a group that's so hardcore they seem almost impossible to run off, while on the other hand the reach of social media has grown massively, it makes sense. There's probably some people it doesn't apply to, of course, but the idea of there being clear water between the two, as there was in 2002 when I first came around here, I just don't think that works that much anymore and it feels like the repetition of an old . And of course, the other side of social media is that even if it were only a few people spreading it, they can reach far further than they ever could before - right to the apps on mobile phones of plenty of people in the audience who'd never think of visiting a wrestling website.

            Anyway, a lot of this is a theory based on anecdote, rather than hard fact, and I'd have to pay to present actual numbers on this (and sorry I'm just not doing that!). But based on what I can determine for free, the most popular WWE trend on Twitter over the last few days has been #WWERAW. Predictable. But the second most popular has been #firevelveteendream, and the third most popular has been #firemattriddle. There was also one story on the Sullivan case that I saw a news tweet about, and it had been retweeted more than 500 times. I haven't been through it to see the number of followers each account had, but if we were to assume 10 each - probably a very conservative estimate, given a quick glance at the first handful - then just that one tweet could have been seen 5,000 times. Never mind all the other places covering it.

            Although obviously, the reach of a story doesn't necessarily tell us how many people agree with it, or care. It could well be that, while the best part of a million people might know about Dream, or Sullivan, or whoever, the number of people who feel strongly about them being fired but might be just the couple of thousand that you mention. The kind of analysis that judges how popular a hashtag is will make no distinction between people using the hashtag one way, and those who are using it as part of their response, nor can you tell whether or not a retweet equalled an endorsement. So there's that, too.



            But anyway. The whole point that if you actually care then you need to be willing to walk away is true, because as far as WWE are concerned.... if you aren't going to do that, you don't really care, you're just stirring shit. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the issue are, that's what it boils down to. They are going to carry on doing what they want to do and moving down the same line they've got planned out unless something forces them to change.


            "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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            • I had a wild thought, and I would just LOVE it if it happened. But they should turn Lars face for 6-12 months. Have him be apologetic for being a monster (without actually naming his online actions), and be as genuine with regret as possible.

              I would personally enjoy it from a sociological study of the reactions from fans. Would they refuse to accept he's changed? Or would they forgive him since his on screen character became "likable"?

              I know WWE wouldn't have the subtlety and ability to pull it off properly, but I would still greatly enjoy it.

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              • Turns out they quietly let Lars go about a month ago. News of it seems to just be coming out now.

                "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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                • Too bad.

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                  • Just seen the final act of this long-running story - it sounds like he was the one who told them he was done with wrestling, and no-showed a bunch of events before his release. Sounds like the widely-reported anxiety thing was key to his decision. He's apparently lined up a signing thing in May but is more interested in moving into legit combat sports than doing anything in wrestling again.

                    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

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