UD Flyers: 2020 NCAA Champions of the Imagination!
So.... did Edge and Randy Orton actually have the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever last night? Of course not, don't be silly.
But they certainly DID have the Greatest Wrestling Match of the COVID Performance Center Era, and as we approach the halfway point of 2020, also a match that appears a strong contender for Match of the Year. Which is pretty damned impressive, and was a pleasant surprise to This Humble Viewer (who was smart enough not to actually buy in the "best ever" hype). And hey, maybe it helped even more that the announcers went out of their way to lower my expectations even more just moments before the match started, promising "unique camera angles," "enhanced sound," and other "cinematic" add-ons.... oh the horror (especially after having just endured the Street Profits/Viking Raiders skit)!
But no worries. Turns out the most annoying thing was that they insisted on dubbing in very fake crowd noise, but honestly, it was done way more artfully than when canned crowd noise was Standard Operating Prodedure for the better part of the 90s. Tip of the hat to all involved. And best wishes to Edge, who reportedly suffered a triceps injury during the match, which would obviously put a damper on the logical rubber match in this feud..... here's hoping his remarkable comeback run isn't put on hold for too long.
Meantime, there's nothing new to report on getting the forums back. The last 3 weeks haven't necessarily been super hectic or demanding on my time.... yet somehow, with the entire country in a full meltdown, it's also been damned near impossible for me to prioritize computer code over trying to process the whole shit storm.
I will gladly take a moment, however, to give some credit where it's due. This was Keith Lee's ring gear for the most recent NXT Takeover:

WWE has a history of not getting anywhere near political or social justice issues, not just in storylines, but going so far as to discourage talent from speaking up too loudly. This is the company that got all passive-aggressively testy when Lita dared to wear "Time's Up/#metoo" gear at the Royal Rumble 2 years ago; they didn't dare actually confront her about it, but they made sure everybody else got the message that they had better not pull any of that happy crappy.
And don't even get me started on the hypocrisy of WWE's happy shiny attempt to be "anti-bullying" so long as Vince -- and the "Culture of Vince," resplendant in all its immaturity, shitty-sense-of-humor-having, and love of public humiliation --  is still around.
But this? This is good. Not only did WWE issue the basic public relations blurb about how they condemn all racism and injustice, but it was followed up by an internal email encouraging talent to speak up however they want. And just in case some of the talent didn't necessarily buy a corporate email, Triple H held an intense locker room meeting where he put a very personal touch on it and basically swore that there would be no trouble for anyone speaking up for Black Lives Matter or related issues. So it has come to pass that over the past 10 days, we've seen WWE performers making their feelings known via ring gear, gestures, social media, and in the case of the New Day, a full 2 hour podcast.
As a white man living in a world built for white men, I can't pretend to fully comprehend the totality of the injustice that exists in our society. But I like to think I've had a ballpark idea, and have always done what little I could to be Not Part of the Problem. If I've picked up anything the past 3 weeks, it's that there's another necessary step: becoming Part of the Solution. I know I'm not there yet, but speaking up and trying to change just one mind and offering full and unconditional support for badly-needed reforms (some already being implemented, even!) is a good start for anyone, and that includes WWE.
Now..... if only we could get WWE to quit talking out of both sides of its mouth with regard to the OTHER half of our national meltdown. The one where most places that aren't New York are suddenly re-approaching record levels of COVID-19, because people don't care and just want to pretend like everything is back to normal. Reports are that not only will WWE bring back fans as soon as they are legally permitted to do so in whatever jurisdiction (because, hey, "legal" is the exact same thing as "wise," right?), but they've also more or less scaled back all the original precautions/procedures they put in place to the point where it's just some light disinfecting and asking talent "you feel alright today?" when they show up. Ooof.
I guess one out of two ain't bad, though.Till next time: Be Excellent to Each Other!