As some of you that follow on Twitter might have noticed I started blogging about wrestling. Little did I know the WWE would decide to make the crossover into my NBA world as well. The last time the WWE and NBA really made news was when Raw was forced to change venues over an NBA Playoff game in Denver. Ironically enough this latest news is based on Colorado as well. Last night on WWE Raw this line was said by a "heel" manager character named AW.
"Titus ONeal (WWE Wrestler) is like Kobe Bryant in a hotel room in Colorado....Unstoppable"
This prompted a rather quick apology from the WWE coming out of the next commercial break. This was of course in reference to the Kobe Bryant rape trial from years ago. While I don't know if Bryant could sue WWE based on the comment nor would even care to go there it still was at least in poor taste. Bryant of course was never ultimately convicted of rape and is thus innocent in eyes of the legal system. Still it did make me realize just how long ago that seems and how Bryant's image has been restored to it's previous state prior to the events in Colorado.
Bryant is current part of team U.S.A and will be in action today playing for the U.S. In terms of the WWE they would like to see this go away fast. Linda McManon is trying to run for a senate seat in Connecticut and this is not publicity they are looking for. Ultimately this would be another thing that people would throw at her in a long list of transgressions in the wrestling industry.
Normally the WWE is always happy to find a way into the mainstream and has always tried to use NBA Stars as draw to their relevance with the main stream. There was a plan that Shaq was going to wrestle at the last Wrestlemania that eventually fell through. In past we have seen guys like Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone make appearances in the former rival company WCW that has since been purchased by the WWE.
This may just all go away but TMZ jumped on this like vultures waiting to strike. In terms of Bryant even if he has a legal case it seems unlikely he would want to remind people of that incident in Colorado. Bryant has of late been having problems once again in his marriage within the last year. So the chances he would take legal action against the WWE would be minor and quite frankly he likely wouldn't have a case anyway.
It does make me wonder about how we all seem to just bury the past of athletes and praise them as long as they comeback and become a winner. Winning does in fact cure all in many cases. Including repairing damaged reputations. WWE announced they have taken actions against the performer who utter this line on a live mic on Raw. What those are remain to be seen. Given he is not a major part of their company it could easily see him be released or fired. WWE does not exactly offer main people guaranteed contracts and Vince McManon will not need to use an amnesty clause to send him packing.
What also will or could be awkward for the WWE is their next PPV ironically enough will be in the home of the Lakers and Clippers Staple Center as WWE Summerslam is going to be there in a few weeks. These are the moments I am glad that my regular job is to cover the NBA. It is moments like this that make you kind of humiliated to admit you like wrestling or are a fan of it. Not to the level of a trail where you could go to jail in Colorado but still even that has been forgotten by almost everyone. That is except for this soon to be unemployed WWE performer...Clearly he was not on the Kobe System.