Five instances of WWE exploiting real-life tragedies for its benefit

Sayak Basu


Five instances of WWE exploiting real-life tragedies for its benefit

12 Jan 2019: Five instances of WWE exploiting real-life tragedies for its benefit

On Monday Night Raw, Hulk Hogan paid a tribute to WWE's legendary announcer Gene Okerlund, who passed away last week.

While Hogan's appearance may seem innocuous, it is being perceived as WWE using Okerlund's death to bring back Hogan.

Notably, Hogan's racist comments had seen his contract getting terminated.

This is not the first time WWE is exploiting a tragedy. Here are other instances.

Jerry Lawler: WWE made a mockery of Jerry Lawler's heart attack

In 2012, WWE announcer Jerry Lawler suffered from a cardiac arrest during a live broadcast of Raw.

It left everyone in a state of shock as Michael Cole broke character to announce it was a real-life situation.

Lawler recovered, and when he came back, his condition was mocked ruthlessly by WWE, with CM Punk and Paul Heyman making fun of his heart attack.

Roman Reigns: WWE even exploited Roman Reigns suffering from leukemia

Roman Reigns came out in October and announced his temporary retirement from WWE due to his leukemia resurfacing.

WWE, even in this day and age, did not hesitate to use this tragedy in its scripts.

It was used to turn Dean Ambrose heel, and Ambrose further added that Reigns was answering "to the man upstairs". As if cancer patients deserve to suffer.

Muhammad Hassan: Hassan was made a heel and used pathetically post 9/11

Muhammad Hassan's character was of an Arabic wrestler.

While WWE could have used him to spread a message against xenophobia prevalent in the United States post 9/11, it used him for the exact opposite reason.

He was stereotyped as an extremist despite his impressive talent inside the ring.

WWE even introduced an angle where Hasan and a bunch of terrorists would kidnap The Undertaker.

Paul Bearer: Heyman and Punk made a mockery of Paul Bearer's death

When William Moody (Paul Bearer), passed away, The Undertaker came out to give his lifelong friend a tribute.

But who knew this was no tribute but a tasteless build-up to a match?

Punk came out and emptied the urn, which (kayfabe) contained Heyman's ashes, all over himself and Taker.

Then Paul Heyman, dressed up as Bearer, made a mockery of the man's death.

Eddie Guerrero: They even used Eddie Guerrero's death for their own benefit

Eddie Guerrero was an athletic superstar, beloved by the fans, and it came as a great shock to the WWE universe when he passed away in 2005.

But WWE used Guerrero's death to augment storylines, with Rey Mysterio praying to his friend's soul and carried his memory in matches.

Even Randy Orton claimed that Guerrero wasn't in heaven, but in hell.

Extremely distasteful!