World Wrestling Entertainment responded to criticism of having John Cena call somebody gay for a laugh by teaming with the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in an anti-bullying campaign. So, of course, it makes perfect sense that announcer Michael Cole would use Twitter to call his co-worker a faggot and receive no punishment!
That’s exactly what happened on Saturday morning, when Cole, who has seen an upswing of face time since turning heel and screaming about himself for two hours every Monday, responded to a tweet from fellow announcer Josh Mathews with the F-bomb. Cole quickly deleted the tweet and apologized, citing “being a character” as the reason for the taunt.
“I apologize to any and all who were offended by my tweet toward young Josh Mathews … It was obviously not meant the way it was taken.”
How was it meant to be taken? Well, let’s take a quick look at the history of homosexual tolerance in pro wrestling.
1941: Gorgeous George Wagner debuts his new “glamour boy” gimmick by dying his hair blonde, wearing a robe to the ring and acting effeminate, more or less inventing the idea of having an arena full of people boo you for being a “sissy.”
Shortly Thereafter: “Exotic” Adrian Street adds “being gay” to Gorgeous George’s gimmick, accentuating it with pastel facepaint, glitter and chains, and has a signature move where he escapes being pinned by kissing you, and you’re too overcome with shock/fear to continue wrestling. He also puts make-up on you when you’re incapacitated. Also, this:
1985: Adrian Adonis becomes “Adorable” on Piper’s Pit, transforming from a biker into a hair dresser/flower salesman who sprays perfume in peoples’ eyes and wears Christmas bows in his hair. Adonis eventually put lipstick on Piper, causing Piper to destroy Adrian’s flower shop with a baseball bat, shave his head and send him fleeing the WWF in shame.
1995: Goldust is introduced. Goldust’s original character was a guy who loved movies so much it made him a gay pervert. He infuriated heterosexual wrestlers by performing “mouth to mouth” on them, leading to a parking lot brawl wherein storied gay-basher Rowdy Roddy Piper attacked him with a bat, chased him in a white Ford Bronco and eventually stripped him of his clothing to reveal women’s underwear. Eventually Goldust started wearing fake breasts and a ball gag before contracting Tourette’s Syndrome.
1999: WWF debuts “Too Much,” a gay tag team. They become friends with a fat Samoan man in a diaper and get into hip hop, becoming “Too Cool,” and proving that homosexuality can be okay as long as they are constantly entertaining you.
1999: World Championship Wrestling’s Lenny Lane and Lodi form the “West Hollywood Blondes,” a tag team in pink triangle trunks who can’t stop seductively eating lollipops. They are eventually revealed to be brothers who, I guess, love having sex with each other.
2002: Tag team partners Chuck Palumbo and Billy Gunn begin showing homosexual affection to one another. Chuck proposes marriage to Billy, who accepts. GLAAD is so happy about this that they publicly applaud WWE and give Billy and Chuck a gravy boat as a wedding present. The wedding happens, but Billy and Chuck don’t go through with it, revealing that they aren’t REALLY gay, they were just pretending to be gay as a joke, and the idea of gay marriage is appalling to them. That leads to a couple of Samoan guys attacking, beating them up, then beating up some women.
Also 2002: WWE has a guy in developmental who is a former police officer and SWAT team member who was also a member of the touring Christian evangelist group The Power Team and won American Gladiators. What do they do with him? They put him in leopard print pants, cover him in glitter and make him “Rico,” the flamboyantly gay personal stylist of Billy and Chuck.
1997 – present: The Rock makes horrible fun of anyone who is effeminate or homosexual. He then threatens to take their possessions, turn them sideways, and insert said possessions into their ass.
2002 – present: John Cena continues The Rock’s work, making sure all heterosexuals feel shamed by his slowly spoken rap lyrics about how they are actually homosexuals.
2010: Orlando Jordan takes the gay gimmick one step further by squirting himself down with lotion in the style of a cumshot before matches, driving his opponents crazy because they can’t handle the idea that a man wants to have sex with them. Jordan is eventually teamed with a mentally retarded man and they become close friends, because the only person who could like an LGBT wrestler is a guy who doesn’t know any better.
And this is just the tip (the literal tip) of the iceberg. This list doesn’t include the world of Japanese wrestling, where a guy named Hard Gay hangs on with your kids on the playground and Danshoku Dino stuffs your head into the front of his underwear before piledrivering you. It also doesn’t contain a lot of the more subtle aspects of homophobia in wrestling, like the Midnight Express walking around on their knees and getting hugs around the waist when they needed support.
The worst part of the entire story is how Cole can just delete the Tweet, say he’s sorry and face the most minimum penalty imaginable (personal shame?). Let me put it to you this way: If I work at the Olive Garden and I call my co-worker a faggot, I don’t get to work at Olive Garden anymore. A secondary “worst part of the entire story” goes to the comments section on any website ever made, where you get one of two comments on repeat: One, that the word isn’t offensive, usually followed by the commenter facetiously using the word because the Internet is anonymous and you can do whatever you want wherever you want because REAL PEOPLE ARE NOT READING, and two, that the only reason people are upset about this is because Cole dared to “not be PC.”
If you’re reading this, do me a favor. The next time you start to type something about the “PC police,” think about how stupid you sound typing “grammar nazis” and stop it. Being upset about a major employee of a publicly traded company PARTNERING WITH GLAAD calling somebody a faggot online is not “being PC,” it’s being a sane, good-hearted human being. He didn’t misuse nomenclature here. He also didn’t say something was “gay” and get away with it because “that’s not what gay means anymore.” He called someone a faggot to hurt them for being weak or effeminate, and guess what? He should be punished. For real. End of story.
Fantasy booking: Piledrivers, blood and a tethering to R-Truth for immediate post-