Sunday, August 1, 2021

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Mr. Glamazon’s Hitting the Ropes – Glam Slam Mailbag #1

Welcome to the first “Hitting the Ropes” Glam Slam mailbag!  I enjoy writing my normal column but I thought it would be exciting to mix things up a little bit.  I’m not exactly sure where I want to go with this, but at the very least it is a chance to interact with you, the readers, and to discuss some new topics and issues.  Of course we’ll still talk about women’s wrestling but I thought I would open up Pandora’s Box and see what else is on your collective minds.  Maybe along the way we’ll learn something about each other and…God forbid…even have a little fun.  (I know, I know, I sound like such a mark.)  So, I hope you enjoy the Glam Slam mailbag, a mixture of serious, humorous, and thoughtful responses to your questions and comments.  Plus a few wrinkles thrown in for good measure…        

Some Glam Slam ground rules: No topic is off limits.  You want to comment on movies, TV, music, sports, politics, etc, go ahead and drop me a note.  If there something specific you want to ask me about the Divas, Knockouts, etc., please don’t be shy.  I will try to include all of your comments and questions unless they are rude or vulgar.  Can’t have that.  Also, if I don’t have an interesting response or I just don’t know what the hell you are talking about, I will either 1) reach out for help from my fellow Diva Dirt writers or 2) make up an answer.  I hope nobody takes this too seriously.  I have already received a bunch of good questions and I appreciate that.  Fortunately I won’t have to make up questions to fill out this column.

So let’s get started! 

Reader: BPhoenix1933
“Who do you think is the prettiest Diva in the WWE?  And do you have plans Saturday night?”

Mr. G. – ok, ok, just seeing if you’re paying attention….

Here we go for real…. 

Reader: Bobby Lea Burchill (Tom Fox and BC757 both asked variations of this question as well…)
“If you had the chance to open a lockbox and inside there was a contract in which you could decide how and when Beth Phoenix would return to the WWE, how would you have her return, and at what event?” 

Mr. G – As much as I miss her, and as much as I want to see her capture the women’s championship again, I hope Beth returns only when she is 100% healthy.  I don’t want her to rush back and jeopardize her long-term health.  With ACL injuries it is easy to get impatient once you start feeling better.  I know this because I started to feel much better about 3-4 months after my surgery, but I was not fully recovered until another 6 months.  By all accounts her recovery is going very well and you certainly can’t question her work ethic.

When Beth is ready to return I hope she is not booked immediately into the title picture. I think this was the problem with Melina’s comeback.  Melina fans are so excited to see her back they don’t need her challenging for the title…yet.  Let her fans enjoy that for a few weeks, and then after a few impressive wins over the Bellas, etc., turn her attention to the champion.  By that time her fans will be rabid to see her recapture the title.  Same goes for Beth.  Her “face-turn” was handled beautifully and it got the fans squarely behind her.  If they don’t shove Beth down the audiences’ collective throats right away, people will be excited to see her return and then support her rise back to the top of the division.

So for Beth’s official comeback I would have her do a series of run-ins starting at the Survivor Series which lead to a championship match at the Royal Rumble.  I would then win Diva Search 2011 and become her official tag team partner.  PMA!

Reader: TrishMelinaFan
“Do you think WWE should have been more elaborate in Melina’s return, or do you think it was good that they kept it simple?”

Mr. G – I was very excited to see Melina come back because it was a testament to her determination, and it’s great for the Raw division, but I don’t like that she was immediately pushed right over some of the other girls because it diminishes the work they have done in her absence.  Girls like Eve and Natalya have shown improvement and I would have enjoyed seeing them in the title picture while Melina built her way back to the top.   It could also be argued that Melina’s “taped” return robbed her fans of that “LIVE” moment.  Ultimately I would have preferred a run-in at SummerSlam, which would have been roughly 800 times more exciting that how it was really booked.  Even her title win felt a little hollow…like a restaurant giving you the main course before the salad, soup, and appetizer.

Reader: ohiofan1
“What do you will happen to Layla once Beth Phoenix comes back? I think she will be lost in the shuffle to Beth and Michelle.”

Mr. G – I think Layla has a bright future no matter who else is on the roster, and although some people still question if LayCool is stronger than its individual parts, I think she has established herself enough over the past year that she is definitely ready to stand on her own.  There is a great line in the musical “A Chorus Line” that goes, “All I ever needed was the music, and the mirror, and the chance to dance for you.”  All Layla needs now is the chance to dance for us.  She’s ready.

Reader: Peter Rupal
“Do you think Alundra/Madusa deserves to be in the HOF given that she put women’s wrestling on a level in which it had to tone down because it outshone a LOT of the male roster?”

Mr. G – Sure.  I mean, considering that this is the WWE Hall of Fame and the acceptance criteria is pretty shaky (There’s a Mr. Koko B. Ware on line 2), why not put Madusa in?  We all know the HOF is basically a showcase for Vince, so I don’t get all worked up about who is in the Hall and who isn’t.  This isn’t like debating Pete Rose (who 1000% should be in the baseball Hall of Fame..and in jail.)  So put her in, although she probably hurt her chances by dumping that WWF belt in the trash.   By the way, I love that we had a huge debate on Diva Dirt about the “Beth Phoenix: Future Hall of Famer” trading card in the August WWE magazine.  There was also a Wade Barrett card, so we can probably stop getting all lathered up about the “does she / doesn’t she” deserve it debate.

Reader: Peter Rupal
“Which Diva submissions stand out for you the most that should have been in the [WWE.com] top 25 (e.g. Gail’s Flying Dragon and Bull Nakano‘s Queen Angelito stretch)?

Mr. G – Diva Dirt’s own Jennifer took a crack at this one:

“I’ve gone through just about every woman that’s wrestled for the WWE and I honestly can’t find any whose submission holds deserve to be on the list.  None of the females really utilized a submission as their finisher and it’s hard to find stats telling how many wins were via pinfall / submission.  Neither Nakano nor Gail was there for very long so I can see why they weren’t included.”

Mr. G – Diva Dirt’s Eric seems to disagree with Jen…

Mickie James‘ live performance of “Are You with Me?” should have been in the top 25 submission moves.”

Mr. G – OUCH!

Reader: Tom Fox:
 “Which city would you like to go on holiday to?”

Mr. G – This is an easy one for me…San Francisco.  I have been fortunate to travel all over the US (mostly for business) but the Bay Area is the one part of the US that I haven’t been able to visit.  I would love to visit SF for a few days and then go to Napa Valley to check out wine country.  Usually my wife doesn’t come with me on my business trips, but if I am sent to SF she will definitely come along.  I heard it is so fantastic we might just have to book our own trip there sometime in the next few years.  I will say that Las Vegas, Memphis, St. Louis, and Dallas are my favorite US cities to date.  My least favorite – Syracuse.  It was cold and the casino didn’t serve beer.  Two major fouls.  If I had to choose a city overseas I would choose Athens, Paris, or Berlin.  Any suggestions of a city that I am overlooking?

Reader: Spanner82
“If you guys were given complete control of both the women’s and Diva’s division in WWE and you could sign anyone from TNA, Shimmer, Eve, Femme Fatales, who would you sign and what matches would you make for an all female WWE PPV?”

Mr. G – I would headline the show with the following three matches:  Mickie James vs. Awesome Kong (how excited is everyone for their match later this year?!), Beth Phoenix vs. Natalya in a ladder match, and the Beautiful People vs. LayCool.  I would fill out the card with Melina vs. Serena, Mia Yim vs. Mercedes Martinez, Gail Kim vs. Traci Brooks, and a triple threat match between Sara Del Rey vs. Daizee Haze vs. MsChif.  And I would be the guest referee.

Reader: JHONMARCO
“Hey David I’m a Diva Dirt reader and I wondered what were your thoughts on Lindsay Lohan’s very short jail time and her special treatment.”

Mr. G – I have some comments on this, but first I thought I would ask Diva Dirt’s own Eric for his take on this situation.  I know he is a big Lindsay fan.  Eric, the floor is yours…

“When asked my thoughts on Lindsay Lohan getting out of prison early and the privilege that she may have received, I am sure it was expected that I would say she deserved to get out early because of my fondness for her. After all, if the Duggars can keep having babies and use up all of our resources why can’t Lindsay Lohan have a little sippy sip or sniffy sniff before her car trip home? Well actually, I agree with those that say she got a lighter prison sentence. However, I think the reason she was released early has more to do with her celebrity.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CA currently budgets $11 billion to oversee and supervise 316,229 offenders at an average cost of $49.00 per inmate (California-Criminal-Law.com). While $11 billion seems like an exorbitant amount of money, in actuality it is far lower than what the state requires. How many of you could survive on $49 per year (even per month, or per week would be cutting it close)? Nobody could. Hence, California is underfunded. Adding into the fact that there are 33 state prisons, 40 camps and 12 community correctional facilities (with the latter two having little room for inmates) and knowing that the state is underfunded, one can imagine that a lot of overcrowding exists.  This overcrowding is made worse when one accounts for men and women being institutionalized in separate prisons, or at least separate wings. With 93% of the prison population in California being male, many prisons will opt out of female wings all together, making the female slots more competitive. In 2009, federal judges tentatively rules that CA must reduce the number of inmates as prisons were operating at 200% or twice as much of their legal capacity. This equates to release some damn prisoners.

When it comes time to release these prisoners, who will be chosen first? Hint, it’s usually rich white people. In CA, 68% of all prisoners are Black or Hispanic, and the great majority of these prisoners are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Without getting too into social justice statistics, rest assured that rich white people tend to get off easily. So, considering that Lindsay Lohan is white, rich and female in an overcrowded prison, as well as acknowledging that she probably received a space far away from her peers due to safety issues, as to protect her, it makes sense that Lindsay Lohan would be released earlier than she probably should have (although I think mandated, strict rehab is what she needs). This is further evidenced by Martha Stewart and Lil’ Kim being incarcerated for their full sentence, which suggests that Lindsay Lohan may have received her full sentence if she had been incarcerated elsewhere.”

Mr. G – I find Eric’s response fascinating because most of us don’t think about how much it costs to actually keep people in jail.  From what I understand even those given the death penalty cost taxpayers a ton of money because they usually serve extremely long jail terms before their punishment is carried out.  I’m sure the cost of incarceration did have a lot to do with her early release.  The thing I don’t understand about Lohan is why anybody cares about her.  Why is she such a celebrity?  She looks strung out all the time.  “Mean Girls” was a fine movie but there are 35,000 actors that could have played her part just as well as she did.  Last time I checked nobody was demanding a “Herbie Fully Loaded 2”.  I get why we made such a fuss about Michael Jackson when he was having issues, the man was a genius on the stage.  Is she even a better-than-average actor?  Did 5 people buy tickets to see “Georgia Rule” because she was in it?  I don’t know.  My “celebrity radar” is questionable anyway (I’m convinced the Bangles are the greatest rock band of all time).  Ultimately I know Eric and I won’t see eye-to-eye on Lindsay but I thank him for a very thoughtful response to the question!

Reader: alexl467
“Have you been enjoying Alicia Fox’s title reign so far and what do you think about her character development?”

Mr. G – I certainly was enjoying her title reign until it came to an end at SummerSlam this past Sunday.  I think Alicia gets better each and every week so I was disappointed to see the WWE take the title from her so soon.  A year ago I didn’t buy her “street” gimmick but I think now she seems more polished as a performer and I’m enjoying seeing her in the spotlight.  I think she and Melina could still work a great program together but I don’t like the way it has been booked to this point.  It makes me mad actually.  Hold on, I’ll be back…I’m gonna go axe kick some stuff now…

Oh dear, I guess I’ll have to rent a new couch from Rent-a-Center now.

Reader: Kevinmci
“How do you feel about the possible face turn for Jillian?”

Mr. G – I would be thrilled if the WWE did SOMETHING with Jillian.  I was happy to see her get the win this past Monday on Raw and hope it leads to a bigger role for her.  I think she is a strong wrestler, but the singing gimmick and jobber status overshadow that.  I’d love to see her get another shot at the Divas Title and move away from straight comic relief. Although I do think her recent work with the Bellas has been entertaining and shows she can blend the humor with good wrestling.  Lastly, I am not sure she is the “hottest thing since sliced bread”, but I will admit I think she consistently looks great when she’s in the ring.  I like her sense of style because it is simple and she chooses colors that work for her.

Reader: Bobby Lea Burchill
“Who do you feel would win in a battle of the English Muffins between Layla and Diva Dirt’s own, Melanie?”

Mr. G – Well, truthfully that’s a pretty even battle.  On one hand you have a girl who knows how to mess people up and lay the smack down, and then you have Layla.  I’m going with Melanie in this one because I’ve heard her when she gets angry.

Reader: ohiofan1
“I didn’t get a chance to say this at the live show, but this has always been bothering me since the day after Wrestlemania 26. Shanti last week talked about bringing Awesome Kong to the WWE and eventually facing off with Beth at Wrestlemania 27. While that would be an awesome match worth the price of Wrestlemania IMO, we just know that isn’t going to happen. In fact, the WWE has plenty of talented divas that they can use to put a decent match at Mania, but they refuse to. The last four years have been awful as we have gotten the playboy push matches, random tag matches, and of course, the infamous Miss Wrestlemania battle royal match. Since the WWE still won’t put much effort into the Divas and they will only [hire] models and not wrestlers, I feel the Divas shouldn’t have a match at Wrestlemania 27. I am still planning to go to Atlanta, but if there is one thing I loathe about wrestling, it is when a company gives the fans bad matches on purpose just for the poor sake of a bathroom break. I thought that was the point of the recaps and video package, but I guess not. Honestly, [no match] might be the best thing for the WWE Divas and everyone here on Diva Dirt. That way we can have an alternative Wrestlemania match party on Diva Dirt like we did last year and we all won’t complain as much. For the Divas, they don’t have to go out there and make fools of themselves and get panned by most critics for taking time away from Edge/Jericho and Punk/Rey, which for most people like me, thought those two matches needed more time. I also blame Bret Hart for that but that’s for another day LOL. Maybe the Divas can be on the preshow or something. What do you think about this idea?”

Mr. G – In general I think only the most deserving WWE stars should be booked for Wrestlemania.  Being part of the Wrestlemania card should be an honor that reflects a superstar’s hard work from the previous year and the matches should have significance instead of just being a head-count.  That was the major problem I had with the Divas tag team match at Wrestemania 26.  What was the point of it other than to cram in as many girls as possible?  I don’t even remember who won.  I point to WrestleMania 8 as the start of this problem.  Up until that point I felt most (if not all) Wrestlemania matches were important and deserved my attention.  Then the next thing you know The Big Boss Man, Virgil, Sgt. Slaughter, and “Hacksaw” Duggan teamed up to defeat the Nasty Boys, the Repo Man, and the Mountie.  WTF?!?  WM would never be as special and that match gradually gave birth to Miss Wrestlemania battle royals won by cross-dressers.  So to answer your question, I don’t think we should exclude the Divas altogether.  If several of them have had big years they deserve to be on the card.  I just wish we would get back some of the exclusiveness of the event.

Frank, when you and I were discussing movies the other week, you asked me about the ending of “Indiana Jones 4”.  The only acceptable ending to that movie would have been for the usher to hit me over the head with a baseball bat so I would forget the hours I wasted in that theater.  Indy 4 now completes my Top 3 worst theater experiences of all time – “Indiana Jones 4”, “Star Wars 3”, and “Godzilla 2000”.  Oh, and the time a girl walked out on me during “Some Kind of Wonderful”…that sucked too.

Reader: BradfromTexas
“If NFL wide receivers were regularly knocked out by bone crushing hits over the middle would it affect your viewing of the NFL?”

Mr. G – Not at all.  In fact WRs, RBs, and QBs are knocked out by bone crushing hits each week and I still love watching the NFL.  Obviously I don’t enjoy seeing anyone get hurt, but these guys all know the risks when they get involved in pro football and every year more and more kids are lining up to make an NFL roster.  Why?  Because they like the game and love competing (obviously), but also because of the money, fame, and girls.  Life is good as a pro athlete, especially a pro football player in a town like Dallas or Pittsburgh where football is king.  Don’t believe me?  Read “Boys Will Be Boys”, the story of the 1990’s Dallas Cowboys.  It’s like an issue of the National Enquirer.   The bone crunching hits are as much a part of the game now as the referees and goal posts.  I’ve come to accept that and just hope that all the players stay healthy, unless they play for the Redskins…

Reader: RedHotVixen
“Do you think that this generation over-romanticizes the Trish-Lita era? As much as I personally loved that era, I feel that it is sad that the current Divas are living in their shadow, which is incredibly unfair. What do you think?”

Mr. G – Absolutely.  But this is nothing out of the ordinary.  I believe this is something we do in many areas of our lives.  As time passes we remember everything differently, and in a lot of cases we remember only the good things (or in some cases, only the bad things).  My mom still says her grandmother made the best cherry pies she ever ate.  Who knows.  We especially do this with past romantic relationships.  I think back to my first girlfriend and I have a lot of wonderful memories of our time together, and I’m glad we’ve been able to remain friends (well, Facebook friends anyway).  Sometimes I forget there were obvious reasons why we didn’t end up together, that there were pieces of the “relationship puzzle” that never would have fit together.  Over time those reasons fade and that’s a good thing because we should really only hang on to the good memories from our past (and learn from the negative ones).

I also feel that way about the WWF in the 1980’s.  I have such happy childhood memories of the WWF that I choose to remember the great characters and storylines (Macho Man, Miss Elizabeth, the Harts, Hulk vs. Andre, the “two Dave Hebners”, etc.) and forget the bad ones (So, the One Man Gang goes to Africa, learns to dance, and becomes “Akeem”?)  The wrestlers today are so much stronger and athletic but I will always think the Honky Tonk Man is the greatest Intercontinental champion of all time.  We are also guilty of this when we debate each week’s TV programming.  Not every show from the 80’s and 90’s was a solid program either, but we ultimately remember the storylines we enjoyed and eventually forget the bad segments, matches, and promos.  No doubt Trish and Lita were sensational, and maybe they did resonate with the fans in a way none of the current Divas can, but does that mean the entire era was amazing?  I firmly believe McCool, Melina, Beth, Mickie, Gail, and a few others would hold their own during any era.  Each girl deserves to be judged on their own merits. 

By the way, RHV, you mentioned that you would like to get more into film and television.  I thought I would pass along a few auditioning tips that I learned along the way, I hope they help!

1.  Have 3 monologues prepared at all times: 1 dramatic, 1 comedic, and 1 classic (like Shakespeare, etc.)
2.  During a “cold read” don’t worry about the exact words on the page.  Capture the emotion of the scene.  The director figures you’ll learn the lines later.
3.  Listen to the director at all times.  If he/she asks you to read a scene differently (more serious, more humorous, using an accent, etc.) make sure you show that variation.  The director really just wants to see that you take direction well.
4. Be reliable:  Always show up on time.  Always know your lines.
5.  Always bring more clothes than asked for (which might actually get you in more scenes).
6.  Never throw out an article of clothing. You never know when you will need to sacrifice a pair of jeans or a t-shirt because you’re going to get killed in a horror movie. 

Before I wrap this up I thought I’d include a great email I received this week:

“Hi, I go by TalkinWrasslin on Twitter. I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you for that pleasant surprise at the end of this week’s “Hitting the Ropes”. I always knew one day someone would come along and recognize my uncanny ability to click the follow button at just the right moment. In all seriousness I wanted to give you kudos for that amazing interview with Ms. Brooks, & followed you to send you a tweet about it.

[Last] week’s “Hitting the Ropes” was very inspiring. It was brave of you to share the tale of your WWE dreams being shattered & reminded me of one of my own personal embarrassments. When I was 12-13, I was used in a scene for a Bronx Tale, just a bunch of kids playing stickball.  Any way my scene was cut from the film, something I found out when I dragged all my friends & girlfriend out to the movies on opening day to watch it. Even though my scene would have been around the opening of the movie I remember sitting there thinking about how he’ll probably have a flashback, why he would have a flashback about a stickball game he had when he was 9 really didn’t make sense but I was still hoping. It got to the point where I thought maybe they would throw it in during the credits, they didn’t. I did get to meet Robert DeNiro; I remember him shaking my hand, & him making a facial expression that said, “Yuck”, which could explain why I was cut out of the film.

You also made a really good point about the “indies”, and the myth that all the talent is in TNA & WWE.  I think there are a lot of girls in the independents that are just as good if not better than some of the current divas & knockouts. I don’t mean that in a negative way towards any of the Divas or knockouts. Only a handful of girls make it to where they are, & many of them have been with their respected companies for years now, which in a revolving door business where they are always looking for the next big thing, that’s saying something.  Your favorite, The Glamazon Beth Phoenix, is someone I would love to see in the indies. Calm down, calm down, deep breath in, exhale, okay let me explain. I feel the WWE limits Beth, so long as she’s there you’ll never get the opportunity to see her wrestle against a cheerleader Melissa, Sara Del Rey, and other women who many consider to be the elite of female wrestling. Personally I would rather see Beth & “Amazing” Kong battle to a 15 minute draw in a bingo hall, then watch her win both the Diva’s and women’s championships on the same night on Raw/SD/or PPV. I feel it would only add to her legend. Of course I’m speaking as a fan, financially, she should stay in the WWE as long as possible, and you don’t get your own action figure in the indies. Not to mention WWE probably would own the name Beth Phoenix, and Beth Flaming Flamingo just doesn’t have the same pizzazz.

Well, I’ve babbled long enough, again I thank you for the mention in your column; it was a delightfully unexpected surprise, which had me smiling from ear to ear. Also thank you for the kind offer of your King Kong Bundy action figure, however I wouldn’t feel right taking it from you, I’m just your 100th twitter follower save that for someone important, like your 500th twitter follower. Hope you have a great week and I look forward to listening & reading more from you.

DD supporter, [email protected]

PS – For those who say DD, is too opinionated, all I have to say is it’s your (entire DD team) opinions that separate DD from every other diva site. I can find out results anywhere, it’s your take on the news and match results that makes me go to DD. When you’re on top there is always some jerks looking to knock you down.

PPS – When you refer to yourself as a DD supporter you’re either a bra or a fan of Diva Dirt :)”

Mr. G – I LOVE IT!  That joke made me laugh out loud.  It may actually be better than my Eat Defeat joke (barely).

A very special thank you to all the readers that sent in questions.  I hope you enjoyed reading the first Glam Slam mailbag.  If I keep getting good questions I hope to publish 1 mailbag a month, so give me some feedback and let me know if you enjoyed this.  Also, a special thank you to Eric and Jen for their contributions.

Send your mailbag questions to [email protected]!  Besos! 

— Mr. Beth Flaming Flamingo

PS – I am thinking of featuring a Diva Dirt reader every few weeks as part of my “Hitting the Ropes” column.  If you would like to be interviewed, send me an email and we’ll set up a time for a 10 minute recording.  I will then insert the interview into my column.  We’ll talk about anything and everything to do with women’s wrestling!  It would be fun.  Let me know. 

PPS – I am on vacation for the next few days but I will be back next week with a new column.  Have you ever witnessed the “perfect” match?  Let’s see if your definition is the same as mine…

PPPS – Follow me on Twitter @dlb19338, it’s just the right thing to do.

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