I apologize for the lateness of this post. Truthfully, it took me until just now to process what has happened. Indeed, the last 24 hours have been a blur to me, and maybe to you as well. But I think I've pulled myself together enough by now to give my two cents in reaction to the news that has rocked the very foundation of fake wrestling.
I am speaking, of course of the release of Gene Snitsky by WWE Entertainment.
I know I'm a fool for not seeing this coming. When he was relegated to the "new ECW" I should have sensed a change in Vince's feelings toward the big man. After he was given the gimmick of "large generic psychopath #216" by the creative crew, I should have seen the end coming. But as much as they tried to change Gene, they could never change the way he was seen by me and all the other Snitskyologists around the world. To us, he would always be a unborn-child-murdering foot fetishist.
True, he was never a mat technician. He may not have been able to execute a shooting star press or a Topé con Hilo. But from the minute he hit Kane from behind with a chair after their match was over, accidentally knocking him into Lita and causing her to miscarry Kane's unborn son, I think we all knew he was something special. It's easy to forget he resisted at first - leading to that catch phrase that played on everyone's lips those chilly fall nights back in 2004: "It wasn't my fault!" But I think that even then, he knew what he was saying was against his very nature, and in time he came to accept his fate. This, of course, led to some of the very best moments in pseudo-sport history, including this classic exchange between Gene and another wrestling light that was dimmed too early, John Heidenreich:
Alas, I feel my words may not truly convey my melancholy over this shocking turn of events. Luckily, I know someone who's more experienced with documenting the lives and legacies of the best grapplers of our times, Dave Meltzer. The Meltz's experience in chronicling pro-wrestling goes back decades, starting in 1987 with his publication of the premier wrestling newsletter (or "dirt sheet") in America today, the Wrestling Observer. Along the way, he has become known for writing some of the most moving and complete obituaries* about some of the greatest wrestlers in history, eventually publishing not one, but two books on the subject. Here I include the entire tribute from the Thursday, Dec. 11th online newsletter:
--Snitsky was released today by WWE
As concise and as moving as always.
So farewell gentle Snitsky. Wherever you turn now, may you leave a trail of murdered babies in your wake.
*- Yeah, I know Gene's not technically dead, but there's no fucking way I'm going to watch TNA. Don West's voice gives me hives.