I enjoyed the story of a conservative (fictional) storyline in professional wrestling taken for reality by right wing schmuck Glen Beck. We get an amazing opportunity for the actors who play wrestling characters to explain some of the differences between acting and reality.
Thanks to David Shoemaker who ran the whole scenario down for us at Grantland.
The most impactful response to Beck, however, came not from the WWE front office but from Swagger and Colter, who recorded a new wooden-fence oratory. But, this time, after the promo ended, the camera angle changed, and Colter and Swagger were revealed to be standing on a soundstage in front of a green screen. They introduced themselves by their real names and explained in plain, straightforward terms how the pro wrestling enterprise works. Those anti-immigration speeches? Those were just promos, said Zeb — “a scene we record to elicit a positive or negative reaction from our fans.” The substance was irrelevant. “We aren’t in the political business or the immigration business,” he continued, “we are in the entertainment business.” After shaming Beck with a litany of audience demographics, Zeb and Swagger launched back into their rant as if nothing had happened. And Monday on Raw, even when Zeb mentioned Beck, he didn’t have to break character to do it. That was probably the most revealing thing about the broadcast — of course WWE was going to keep talking about Beck if it meant more mainstream attention, but they didn’t need to address his wrestling illiteracy on the air. They didn’t need to explain why Zeb and Swagger act the way they do, because everybody knows wrestling is staged. Beck should understand this, too, because as much as anyone, Beck knows what it is to be a performer.