On capitalism and professional wrestling:
It is the strange fate of America, in its waning days, that even wrestling — carnival redoubt of grifters, heels, and freaks of every stripe — would wind its way into the colorless confines of a ratty corporate park. Today, World Wrestling Entertainment — now renamed, per a legal settlement with that more genteel WWF, the World Wildlife Fund — trades on the New York Stock Exchange with a market capitalization of over $856 million.
Jim Barnett, one of the most powerful godfathers in the mid-twentieth century “Territorial Era” of wrestling promotion, boasted that he dealt with only three coteries: kings, prime ministers, and dictators. Barnett more typically dealt with sweaty jobbers and Georgia babyfaces, with names like “The Continental Lover” or “Geeto Mongol,” but the claim is perhaps not as ridiculous as it appears. Historically, professional wrestling, with its screaming neon lunatics, potbellied big daddies, and tasseled “ring rats,” has been considered too absurd to be taken seriously — deprecated by sportswriters and ignored by politicians, its fans derided as low-class marks.
This — the notion that pro wrestling is a fixed, low-rent travesty, undeserving of serious mainstream scrutiny — is the single greatest angle ever sold by the wrestling industry.