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The Michigan Daily Friday, April 19, 1985 Page
THE SPORTING VIEWS
SAnother coup for Frieder
...the giant of sports awakens
By ADAM OCHLIS
You say you don't like professional wrestling. You say that it is silly, a
joke, and you can't understand how people can watch such garbage. Well,
buddy, you're quickly becoming a minority.
Unless you have been in hibernation the past six months, you probably
know that pro wrestling is on a resurgance. Everyone from USA Today to
CNN Sports to the cover of last week's US magazine have featured it.
By going out on a limb I will admit that I really do like professional
wrestling. I find it exciting to watch such flamboyant personalities as Hulk
Hogan and Roddy Piper do their thing, as do many other people, it now
Now granted, the whole thing is getting out of hand with the appearances
of Cyndi Lauper and Mr. T, but that just reinforces the whole idea of this
"sport." Pro wrestling is a form of entertainment just like a rock concert or
a movie. OK, it's not a sport in the true
sense of the word. Call it a trash sport if
you will, but the individuals who perform
are real athletes.
Mr. Wonderful Paul Orndorff (a bad
guy) is a former linebacker with the Min-
nesota Vikings. Junkyard Dog (a good
guy) played defensive tackle with the
m Houston Oilers. The Dog is rumored to be
former All-Pro Curly Culp.
Many people condemn wrestling saying,
pepe"Look at the guys' names. Anything whose
participants are called Blackjack
Mulligan and Abdullah the Butcher has to
be a joke." But these are the same people
who sit on their bed and listen to The
Violent Femmes and The Sex Pistols. And
to quote Piper, "How would you like to put
The Hulkster your kid in Duran Duran's lap?"
Now anyone who believes that pro wrestling is real has their head on
backwards. As 20/20 correspondant John Stossel showed millions of viewers
last month, most of pro wrestling is fake. While the blood is indeed real, it
comes from the wrestler cutting himself with a razor blade and not from
ramming one's head into the turnbuckle or the ring post.
But while you and 95% of us already knew this, it has not stopped the fans
from flocking to the arenas. Madison Square Garden sells out all 22,000 seats
every month in addition to filling up the adjacent Felt Forum for people who
want to watch it on closed circuit television. The same is true for the Boston
Garden as well as the Philadelphia Spectrum. Even in Detroit. more neoDle
would rather see Hogan "put the boots to" Big John Studd than watch Isiah
Thomas and 11 other guys play basketball. All this in a time where the NBA
has better attendance than ever.
While attendance for professional wrestling has not increased significan-
tly (it is impossible to fit more people into an already sold out building, as is
the case) its publicity has.
, (Continued from Page 1)
mates and mother can still go and see
RICE'S CHOICE also makes
Michigan the unofficial home of the
state's Mr. Basketball. The 6-7 forward
joins 1982 Mr. Basketball Robert Hen-
derson and 1983 winner Antoine Joubert
in coach Bill Frieder's collection.
Rice also rounds out another banner
recruiting year for Frieder. Rice's let-
ter of intent, signed Tuesday, fills out a
portfolio that already includes 6-10 J.P.
Oosterbaan, 6-8 Loy Vaught, 6-7 Mark
Hughes, 6-6 Mike Griffin, and 6-2 Billy
Despite the fact that he now joins a
team with seven front-line players on
its bench, not to mention three
established starters, Rice believes he'll
contribute. Still, he said he knows he
won't see time automatically.
"COACH FRIEDER was telling me
he wasn't going to promise me a star-
ting position," Rice said. "But he said if
I work hard enough, I could earn one."
Kirkland said whether Rice starts is
not the important question. He said
what is important is the shooting ability
that helped Flint Northwestern win
consecutive Class A state titles.
"He's really gonna come in and give
Michigan what it really needed,"
Kirkland said. "Against teams like
Villanova who take a defense and sag
in, Glen can step out and make the kind
of outside shot they need."
But first he needs to step out ahead of
all the other Wolverine forwards, and
Rice believes he's up to the task.
"I know they have a good team," he
said. "I'll just go down there and work
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'The equation of Satur-
day Night Live and the
Federation equals a
body slam of intergalac-
When Cyndi Lauper appeared on the
scene because of her friendship with
(bad guy turned good guy) manager
Captain Louis Albano, so did MTV.
MTV, whose initials stand for "Music
To Vomit" by according to manager
Bobby "The Brain" Heenan, has gone
so far as to broadcast certain matches.
The interest in wrestling has never
been more visible than seeing the
Michigan Union Arcade when MTV is
telecasting a match. The place is jam-
med-evidently more people want to
watch wrestling than a Bruce
Springsteen video, even if they won't
r'.44' * ,' . .. = ; .. .
Daily Photo by BRAD MILLS
Glen Rice puts up a shot against Detroit Southwestern in the Class A cham-
pionship game at Crisler Arena last month.
The greatest renewed interest, however, has been caused by the increase
in television coverage, specifically cable. Not only can you watch wrestling
on local TV on Saturday mornings, but USA Cable programs three hours
worth of matches every Tuesday evening, and promoter/announcer Vince
McMahon has his own talk show, Tuesday Night Titans (Wrestling TNT).
Don't be fooled by the name, however, as the one hour long program is
broadcast on Friday night (I never said people in wrestling are smart, just
And now, professional wrestling has gone big-time. Starting May 11, NBC-
TV will replace Saturday Night Live once a month with Saturday Night's
Main Event. While NBC had been toying with this idea for awhile, McMahon
thinks it can only be good news for the major network.
"The equation of Saturday Night Live and the World Wrestling Federation
equals a body slam of intergalactic proportions," said the native of Green-
As we already know, wrestling is fake. I warn you, however: do not accuse
the wrestlers of faking it. Stossel did this when interviewing (very bad guy)
Dr. David Schultz and promptly got his ears boxed by Schultz. Stossel now
has permanent ear damage and is presently suing Dr. D.
Even our hero The Incredible Hulk Hogan (a word to the wise: do not call
the Hulkster by his real name-Terry Gene Bolet) got into the act. When
cable host Richard Belzer asked Hogan to put him in a hold (thinking that
Hogan really did not know any) Hogan put him in the sleeper hold. It was
lights out for Belzer.
'M' women netters
Special to the Daily
EAST LANSING-After last week's Reichert and
success against Purdue, the women's triumph, put
tennis team was hoping for another win The team
to add to the trend, and it got one. The 4 victory as
Wolverines edged Michigan State "I'm really
yesterday at East Lansing, 5-4. the win," sa
Advancing to the doubles with a 4-2
margin, Michigan needed only one State two we
more win to clinch the victory. With then lost dot
victories by Paula Reichert in first better (yeste
singles, Tina Basle in third singles, The Wol'
Monica Borcherts in fourth singles, and regular sea
Erin Ashare in a sixth singles retire, hoping for
the first doubles team of Paula them into th
d Leslie Mackey went on to
ting away the win.
was quite pleased with its 5-
was head coach Bitsy Ritt.
pleased to come away with
id Ritt. "When we played
eks ago, we were up 4-2 and
ubles. We looked so much
verines finish up their
ason today at Indiana,
another success to carry
e Big Tens on May 3-5.
Nan nFlVITIcI~hI. EYDEDiIIIV