In case you don’t read the Best and Worst of Raw column every Tuesday afternoon, let me catch you up to speed: You know those people who say, “you know wrestling’s fake, right” every time it comes up in conversation? Those are the same people who send you a “whoa did you see that I think that was real!” IM when something unconventional happens on TV.
I don’t want to generalize, but ESPN’s Jim Rome strikes me as that type of guy. Why do I think that? Because of this newsbit that has been literally copied and pasted verbatim onto every half-assed, pop-up-filled dirt sheet wrestling newz site today:
Jim Rome aired CM Punk’s RAW promo in its entirety today on The Jim Rome Show and offered the WWE Superstar 45 minutes to come on his sports talk radio to finish his speech.
The more detailed synopsis from The Wrestling Observer, the one that gets quoted less often, reveals an important detail.
Jim Rome on the air brought up the Punk promo and said he believed it was legitimate and wanted to get Punk to do his show to tell him what he was going to say when they cut off the mic…(Rome) said he believed it to be real but with WWE you never know, but he said working in entertainment it is frowned upon to blast corporate partners (which is why he thought it was real was the crappy shows on USA Network line).
Punk made mainstream news by ending this week’s Raw with a vitriolic speech about what’s wrong with pro wrestling and basically everyone he works with. Rome — a guy who is more or less my generation’s Morton Downey Jr., but who is still employed by a legitimate sports news and presentation organization — analyzed a segment from a weekly wrestling show, deduced it as “real”, then offered a fictional character a chance to come on his show and say what he was going to say when the show went off the air. What’s he going to do next, frame-by-frame the Sopranos finale and ask Tony to come on his show and explain what happened when the screen went black? This is easily the most embarrassing thing to come from ESPN and wrestling since Erin Andrews got caught naked on GTV.
Hey ESPN, I can run a radio show for half the cost of Jim Rome and pretend twice as many wrestling storylines are real. I can do it for soap operas, too. If you cut me a suit and give me a $500 haircut I can even call Jim Everett a woman so many times he jumps the table and tries to strangle me to death.