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The Grapevine (7/31/15): Could Brock Have Been Gay? And Some Bad News For Lana

Good morning, everyone! Welcome to the Grapevine, and for those who need to catch up, here's today's round-up of the (technically unconfirmed) dirt and rumors from the cartoon world of pro wrestling that you may have missed from the day before.


  • Could Brock Lesnar have been presented as a gay character? Apparently, back in 2002, before the whole Billy & Chuck kerfluffle, the 'E was considering debuting a character who would have been presented as an ass-kicking tough guy who would out himself as gay, but without playing to the "flamboyant gay" wrestling stereotype. The man this was written for? A soon-to-debut Brock Lesnar. The idea apparently came from former WWE Magazine writer Brian Solomon, who pitched it straight to Stephanie McMahon with the thinking being that it would get huge support from the gay community, as well as positive sentiment in the mass media for having such a "progressive character" on the roster. The idea eventually got shot down by older agents who felt it was a terrible concept, and we ended up with #TeamBillyChuck instead. (Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)

We say: While this would have been an intriguing pitch, we think it's probably for the best that it didn't come to life. Homosexuality is not just a gimmick, and shouldn't be treated as a cheap vehicle for publicity. A more positive and progressive depiction of gay wrestlers is good, but not when you're being as inauthentic as using it as a stunt to push a man who isn't actually gay.

Having said that, let's not forget that this is how the WWE felt a gay wrestler should be presented back in 2002.

  • Could Lana be losing her shine in Vince McMahon's eyes? We've heard multiple reports in the past about how high the WWE is on Lana, and see her as a potential future face of the WWE Divas division. The tide seems to have turned, however, and now it seems the WWE is specifically looking for a Latin female star to fill this role. What exactly are they looking for? Sex appeal and Spanish speaking skills seem to be the priorities, as the WWE has supposedly been actively looking at either weather reporters in Mexico or Melissa Santos of Lucha Underground, who just may be available if LU programming doesn't pull through as planned. (Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)

We say: This is terrible news, guys. Stephanie McMahon may have given us hope with the whole #DivaRevolution featuring spectacularly-skilled female talents whose looks are just a footnote when compared with their kick-ass wrestling skills—Sasha Banks, Charlotte, Becky Lynch, Paige, et al are legitimately talented wrestlers who could compete in any ring—but this new thrust makes it feel like talent, skill, and athleticism are the least of the WWE's concerns in finding the new face of the Divas division. Of course there have been great examples of models eventually transforming into great wrestlers with a bit of training (Trish Stratus, anyone?), but it worries us that they may not have enough faith in their current crop to groom any one of them into their top female star.

  • Did TNA make MVP the fall guy for the whole Hernandez debacle? The buzz is that even though MVP had supposedly been thinking of leaving TNA all along, it was management's decision to fire him primarily because he was the man behind the idea of bringing Hernandez in for the Beat Down Clan storyline. Higher-ups needed to point fingers at someone for having been forced to cut a running storyline short, and waste unknown tons of already-shot footage progressing Hernandez's role in TNA due to a fudged-up employment situation. (Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter)

We say: We just need to get this out of our systems: #LOLTNA. This is a classic case of a blame-centric work culture, and we think it paints a picture of a corporate structure that doesn't know how to assign accountability. MVP may have been the man who pushed for Hernandez's return in a high-profile storyline, but it really isn't his job to check the man's employment status or any existing contracts he may have with other wrestling organizations. Last we heard, that's an HR Department call. Either way, this was just an all-around disaster for TNA, both from a storytelling point of view, and from a corporate health point of view.


What do you think, fellow smarks? Are you looking forward to a new Latina star to displace Lana in the race to be the future face of Divas programming? How do you feel about the WWE potentially manufacturing a gay gimmick for Brock Lesnar for his debut? Let us know in the comments!

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