I was narcissistically browsing through my Twitter timeline like we all do occasionally, when I found a real nugget of a YouTube video from the nineties: WCW’s Bash at the Beach that featured an inter-promotional tag match. This wasn’t your very rare bout between two wrestling promotions like WWE and ECW did in their heyday. This was much better. The tag team match pitted Hulk Hogan with none other than Dennis Rodman against Diamond Dallas Page and Karl Malone. Yes, that Dennis Rodman and that Karl Malone participated in a very rare cross promotion between the NBA and WCW. Call it jumping the shark on WCW’s part—actually you can call most moves made by the company, with the exception of the nWo, jumping the shark.
This got me thinking: can this ever happen again? Will we ever see the 2010s iteration of a Rodman-Malone integration in professional wrestling. Can you picture to of the NBA’s top players using their time off to stay in the limelight just a bit longer after the NBA playoffs? Who would be the modern day participants? From the top of my head, I would say that Dwight Howard and Chris Bosh would be viable candidates to do this. Both of these big men have already made appearances on television before. Plus, in the case of Dwight Howard, he can get more attention in the offseason—and this is without threatening to leave a city or calling out a coach, though that is probably going to happen every offseason until he retires. I can see it now; the Titantron (does WWE still call it that even though they got rid of the Titan name ages ago?) blasts John Cena’s music amidst a sea of cheers and jeers. Let’s Go Cena! Cena Sucks! Then a few overly sarcastic remarks are said to appease the young fans who probably don’t understand sarcasm yet and Dwight Howard’s music hits also, fittingly, accompanied by the same boo-cheer ratio of Cena. Then they would team up based solely on their inability to see their detractors. “What did we do? We’re just nice guys!” Cue CM Punk and Chris Bosh, who both mock their opponents by not taking the situation seriously.
Or, better yet, to appease the WWE Universe, CM Punk and John Cena can have partners that play in their respective cities of Chicago and Boston. Cena would be stuck with Kevin Garnett and CM Punk will have the injured Derrick Rose, fitting given that Punk was recently out with a leg injury as early as December.
But this situation will never happen. We have entered an age where the moves of every basketball player are meticulously tracked to prevent any wrongdoing or worse—a non-basketball-related injury! Remember when Vladimir Radmanovic got injured snowboarding when his contract specifically prohibited him from coasting downhill on that fresh snow? Well, sustaining an injury by participating in a fake sport and having it televised is just asking for fifty times the trouble, though I’m sure pro wrestling falls under the ever-so vague category of sports entertainment; it’s not really a sport but it’s not strictly entertainment either. It’s a nice in-between.