Forgive them, Father
Desperate WWE storyline involves Almighty
TJ MADIGAN - Calgary Sun
World Wrestling Entertainment has announced the biggest celebrity guest appearance in the history of sports, the history of entertainment and, probably, the history of the world.
At the Backlash pay-per-view April 30, God will make his pro-wrestling debut.
Yes, WWE is advertising the actual God -- of Old and New Testament fame -- will be taking part in a grappling match and, for just $35, you can witness a moment previously thought to be reserved for sometime around the Second Coming.
Here's the back story: A few weeks ago at Wrestlemania, Shawn Michaels defeated Vince McMahon in a violent one-on-one match. McMahon later accused Michaels of having help to win the match, in the form of divine intervention. Therefore, McMahon declared, to even the score, he would team with his son, Shane, and take on Michaels and God in a tag team match at the next pay-per-view.
Now here's the real story. WWE is rapidly running out of edgy angles to push the envelope and get some watercooler talk going. Since the anti-Arab storylines were nixed by the networks and fans no longer react to the exploitation of Eddie Guerrero's death, the company was on the lookout for the latest buzz topic to latch onto.
Seeing dollar signs in the controversy spawned by The Da Vinci Code and The Passion of the Christ, McMahon decided Christian sensitivities were ripe for the picking.
The storyline was plotted and the wheels were set in motion, with Michaels -- a devout Christian who often turns down WWE scripts because they go against his beliefs -- at the helm.
How they actually execute the match, though, is still anybody's guess.
For one thing, the pay-per-view takes place on a Sunday which, last I checked, God doesn't work.
Remarkably, Christian groups haven't come out in opposition to the storyline, although that's not necessarily an indication they see it as fun family entertainment.
It likely either means WWE is so far under the public radar that no one knows or cares what happens on their TV shows, or WWE has crossed the line of decency so many times the mainstream is completely desensitized to any cheap publicity stunt.
But while the storyline isn't stirring controversy, it is getting a ton of press for the company and developing a lot of curiosity.
McMahon vs. God. April 30 on pay-per-view. Top that, Don King.
April 10, 2006: God booked for match; Backlash expected
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