Kansas City, Kansas-based Metro Pro Wrestling finally -- finally! -- got the attention of The Kansas City Star in Sunday's Star Magazine. The attention is a good thing, but the story, "Off the mat: Pro wrestling, and all its wackiness, returns to KC area," is horrible.
I'm not sure I'd call a man stabbing another man in the head with a fork (a la Abdullah the Butcher) or grinding barbed wire against his head "wacky." But that's the headline on writer Suzanne P. Cole's fan-unfriendly story.
Cole turns up the romanticized, neo-new journalism prose for her story about the
indie wrestling fed's June show at Turner Rec Center. Here's the lead:
"The ring is well-lit, the crowd reeling to see its favorite high-flying missiles. And the ropes? The ropes are ready. It will be only minutes before the first 250 pounds of accelerating flesh is tossed effortlessly into them."
Nobody ever asks about the fucking ropes.
I happened to
be in attendance that night, and Cole doesn't capture the gritty vibe of
the events that unfolded. She misses, for instance, the fan who took a swing at bad-guy manager Steven J. Girthy. Or the rather large woman in sweatpants stomping to the ring to try to get a piece of Girthy and his man, Jeremy Wyatt. Or the kid who was bigger than many of the wrestlers on the card and who kept yelling "dirty Mexican" at Domino Rivera. That kid's dad laughed and
later told me that his son wanted to spend his birthday watching
Cole even manages to get the main characters' roles wrong. She calls
Michael Strider a heel (the bad guy) and Derek Stone a crowd favorite.
Stone turned heel a couple of months ago, bloodying Strider with a fork. It's
the whole reason for the main-event match, with Strider seeking revenge
against Stone in a "first blood match," which Cole explains at remedial length. She also incorrectly calls the Metro Pro Wrestling TV Title the "First Blood belt."
Cole also writes that Trevor Murdoch is WWE-bound. I wrote that prior to the June show, but
that's no longer true. A few weeks ago, Murdoch wrote on his Facebook
page that the WWE had rescinded its offer.
Maybe only a wrestling nerd would complain about the rest of her gaffes. She calls a sharpshooter (a move made famous by Bret "Hitman" Hart and Sting) a "back breaker." She writes: "All can do forward and backward aerial flips." I have money that says not all can because there are some rotund men in tights.
And that ending: "Ding! Ding! Ding! Winner: Kansas City."
You know who doesn't win with this piece? Wresting fans and the Star's award-winning sports desk, which is nowadays pretty much the paper's only reason for being. Where were the paper's sportswriters a year ago, when Metro Pro debuted? Or even some savvy editor at the features desk who might have spotted a good entertainment story? Nothing says "wrestling doesn't count" like a "special to the Star" byline.
Wrestling fans want to see Metro Pro succeed (the indie fed's next show is August 13 at Turner Rec). Promoter Chris Gough is a good guy. He deserves the attention. He deserves better than this.