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Edge & Rey Mysterio vs Kurt Angle & Chris Benoit (WWE No Mercy - 10/19/2002)

This is a request I was lazy about and then forgot about. Here’s a real piece of solid observation: Stephanie McMahon looked very different 13 years ago! Imagine that! I missed the Smackdown Six “era” in real time because I didn’t have UPN and I wasn’t buying all the PPVs then so I had to see these matches well after they were already hyped to death, and the first one I saw was the three-way from Survivor Series ‘02, and I was, like, “This is the big thing everyone’s yapping about?” But it wasn’t, actually. I was just wrong.

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Muhammad Hassan assaults The Undertaker [July 7th, 2005]

Muhammad Hassan was the perfect example of “right place, wrong time”. Hassan’s character was brought to television as an Arab-American who had been unjustly labeled a terrorist due to his heritage. When he was drafted to SmackDown, General Manager Theodore Long announced that Hassan would face The Undertaker at the Great American Bash, and that that night (taped on July 4th, mind you), that Hassan’s manager Daivari would have to face The Undertaker that night.

Though the challenge of The Undertaker taking on Daivari was simple for The Undertaker, what happened next shocked several pro wrestling fans as Hassan began to pray on the ramp, which led to several men in hoods running down to the ring. The group assaulted The Undertaker with clubs and a piano wire (ever seen Audition?!), beating him down so that Hassan could get into the ring and lock The Undertaker into the Camel Clutch. Afterward, the men carried Daivari to the back over their heads.

While this was a hot angle and it made for good television, this was where the “wrong time” part comes in, as the day that the episode of SmackDown that this was taped for aired, London was bombed by a terrorist attack that included suicide bombers targeting the public transmit system. While the two incidents were incredibly unlinked and comparable, the idea of a Muslim character on television following a terrorist attack made the executives at UPN nervous, prompting them to pressure the WWE to take Hassan off of television. Pretty bizarre how everything Hassan was saying in his promos about how American’s are terrified of Muslims because they think “all Muslims are terrorists” wound up being accurate.

Hassan was scheduled to appear the following week on SmackDown, but when UPN announced that he would be edited out of the show, he only appeared to the live crowd. He denounced all of the media’s statements and went on a tirade about how WWE’s show and real-life tragedy are unlinked. He referenced Don Kaplan’s article, calling him a terrorist and claiming that the men in hoods were “Arabs in ski masks”. While he was doing what’s considered a “worked shoot”, much of what he was saying was accurate and insulting to the WWE and its fans. Though the video didn’t air on WWE television, they did host it on their website, and it has since shown up on YouTube. Trust me when I say, it’s worth viewing:

Sadly, the WWE had no choice but to comply with UPN’s standards and take Hassan’s character off of TV after the Great American Bash, and released him from the company the following September. Because of this, he retired from professional wrestling.

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Chris Brown guest appears on the tv show “ONE ON ONE” performs YO! and talks to Brionna.

I don’t think we all fully appreciated Veronica Mars when it was on the first time. I mean come on, a sassy self-possessed teenage girl who doesn’t care what the popular kids say about her and thinks about things besides who wants to date her? Sure things spiraled out of control a little bit in the second season (the bus crash, Duncan’s secret baby, Beaver the covert rapist), but for one beautiful, shining moment everything was perfect.

Miss you; love you, V Mars.