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List of Controversies in the World of Wrestling Entertainment

IN THE HIGH-PROFILE WORLD OF professional wrestling, the waters have been anything but calm. Massive wrestler egos, unrealistic fan expectations, and outright deception by bookers have all played a part in wrestling scandals over the years. Lawsuits have been filed. Wrestlers have watched their careers sell-destruct. Beloved personalities have tragically died.

Thus far, professional wrestling has survived the setbacks and remained extremely popular. But the impact of the following well-publicized controversies has had a substantial effect on how wrestling is perceived by both hardcore and casual fans. For both groups, the scandals provided a rare glimpse of the real-life happenings behind professional wrestling.

Bruiser Brody

Frank Goodish, a.k.a. Bruiser Brody, was hardcore before hardcore was a common term in professional wrestling. On July 16, 1988, Brody was allegedly stabbed to death by fellow wrestler Jose Gonzales in the showers of the Bayoman Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Brody bled to death on the locker room floor, surrounded by wrestlers and waiting for medical attention that arrived too late. While Gonzales was charged with the murder, he was later acquitted and actually made a professional comeback.

Owen Hart

Over The Edge was supposed to be just another WWF pay-per-view. The Godfather vs. the Blue Blazer was supposed to be just another match. Sadly, May 23, 1999, will forever be remembered as one of the darkest days for professional wrestling. Owen Hart fell from the rafters of Kemper Arena in Kansas City to his death, a victim of a stunt gone bad. Grief gripped the Hart family, WWF co-workers, and wrestling fans everywhere. A lawsuit filed by the Hart family against the WWF and others is still in the pretrial stage.

Brian Pillman

Although he began his career as a fan favorite, Brian Pillman’s style evolved into a persona that was loud and obnoxious. His death on October 5, 1997, did not resemble that latter career style. In the quiet confines of a Bloomington, Minn., hotel room, Pillman–an employee of the WWF–passed away. According to the Hennepin County coroner, arteriosclerotic heart disease caused his death. Pillman’s affliction may have been exacerbated by painkillers he had been taking since being involved in an automobile accident on April 15, 1996.

The Von Erichs

Once known as a prominent family in professional wrestling, the Von Erich name is now more closely associated with tragedy. Five out of six sons of parents Fritz and Doris Adkisson all met untimely deaths. Jack died in 1959 at age 7 when he accidentally electrocuted himself. David died in Tokyo on February 10, 1984, at age 25. Mike over-dosed on Placidyl–a drug used as a sleeping aid–on April 2, 1987, at 23. Chris shot himself with a 9mm pistol on September 12, 1991, at age 21. Kerry committed suicide at 33 with a gunshot to the chest on February 18, 1993. Only Kevin survives.

Legal Wranglings

Arrests of Ken Patera and Mr. Saito

All they wanted was a burger after the match. The problem was how they went about getting it after being refused service. During an April 6, 1984, late-night visit to a Waukesha, Wis., McDonald’s, Ken Patera and Mr. Saito threw a boulder through the window of the closed restaurant. A brawl ensued between the wrestlers and the local police at a nearby Holiday Inn. On June 6, both men were convicted on multiple counts of battery to a peace officer, not to mention criminal damage, and sentenced to two years in prison.

Sable Lawsuit

For all the publicity the lawsuit brought Rena Mero, the outcome was rather anti-climactic. Claiming that the WWF sought to intimidate her into performing obscene and dangerous acts, Mero filed a $110 million lawsuit on June 3, 1999. She also wanted the rights to the Sable name and a full release from her WWF contract. After public gyrations by both sides, including Mero appearing in the audience during a WCW “Nitro” broadcast, the suit was quietly resolved. Mero was able to keep the proceeds from her Playboy magazine appearances, but she was held to her contract and unable to use her famous moniker.

WWF vs. WCW lawsuit

Vince McMahon had lost the services of stars Kevin Nash and Scott Hall to WCW. “Nitro” was creeping up in the ratings with the New World Order “invasion.” But McMahon still had some fight left in him. In the summer of 1996, Titan Sports, Inc., filed a lawsuit claiming that WCW was duping the wrestling public into believing that there was an arrangement between the two promotions. Hall and Nash were portrayed as “outsiders” trying to overtake WCW, and the WWF took exception. The lawsuit is still working its way through the courts.

Steroid Trial

On November 18, 1993, more than two years after former ringside physician Dr. George Zahorian was convicted of selling steroids, WWF owner Vince McMahon was indicted for possession and conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids. The trial featured testimony from star witness Hulk Hogan on July 5, 1994, in Uniondale, N.Y. The 17-day trial ended when, after 16 hours of jury deliberation, McMahon was acquitted of all charges.

February 26, 2009 Posted by | Sports Controversy, Wrestling Controversy | , | Leave a comment

Top Bollywood Movies Which Led to Controversies

Salman Khan’s Veer is in the news yet again. After the portion of a wall fell on bystanders, the film’s unit was rapped for damaging portions of the Amber Fort. We take a look at some of the most controversial films over the years.

Slumdog Millionaire

Arguably one of the finer movies to release this year, Slumdog Millionaire has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in India. From political parties slamming it for its title to a slum dweller suing it’s makers and Amitabh Bachchan criticising it for showing the underbelly of the country, Slumdog Millionaire could have deserved better media attention in India. Fact is, it didn’t. Here’s the latest: Nakul Singh has sued the makers for wrongly crediting the bhajan Darshan do Ghanshyam to the blind poet Surdas. He claims his father Gopal Singh Nepali had written this for the film Narsi Bhagat.

Jodhaa Akbar

Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodhaa Akbar was in the news right from the beginning. First it took an exceptionally long time for the film to be shot and then to be edited. Then there were rumours that Jodhaa Akbar was delayed because of Aishwarya Rai’s marriage and finally when the movie did release, it faced a boycott from a tin-pot organisation called Rajput Karni Sena. It was alleged that the movie had distorted historical facts. Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a prominent Hindu organisation also demanded that that certain objectionable dialogues in the film be removed. Surely, Ashutosh Gowariker must’ve thanked his stars that Swades and Lagaan were not historicals.

Billu

If last year it was the Rajputs who were protesting, this year it was the turn of the barber community. The film in question was Billu – earlier called Billu Barber. Days before its release, the makers had to change the title and knock off ‘Barber’ from the title. But things didn’t end there. A word from the song Mar jaani offended certain Muslim members of the audience. Stone pelting and some drama unfolded at the theatres playing the movie as well as at Shah Rukh Khan’s house.

Aaja Nachle

Madhur Dixit’s Aaja Nachle also irked certain communities in Uttar Pradesh. A particular line from a song managed to get it into some serious trouble. So much so, Mayawati called for a nationwide ban on the movie. Trouble started when some bloke led a demonstration in front of a movie hall in New Delhi where the film was being screened. The controversy reached Parliament on Saturday when Lok Sabha MP Ramdas Athawale of the Republican Party of India alleged the title song humiliated Dalits and demanded that the film be banned. Things turned uglier when even the chief minister of Punjab banned the movie expecting trouble. It took some amount of fire fighting to get things in place. Director Yash Chopra had to issue an televised, unconditional apology and remove a particular word from the song.

Black Friday

Arguably the most controversial film in this entire list, Black Friday was based on the book by the same name. Written by senior Mumbai-based journalist S Hussain Zaidi, Black Friday narrated the events that preceded and followed the dreaded 1993 blasts in Mumbai. The movie was ready in 2004 but kept getting stuck as the court stayed its release. Finally in early 2007, the movie hit the screens after the accused had been charged under TADA. The movie was a hit and propelled director Anurag Kashyap into some much-deserved limelight.

Black

Get the Friday off Black Friday and you still have a controversial film. For one, a antique furniture dealer sued director Sanjay Leela Bhansali alleging that he had purposely burnt the sets of Black to claim insurance. It was also alleged that the director has under-insured the movie sets in order to reduce his premium outgoings and has charged him. The dealer was reportedly not compensated either. The state-run Maharashtra Film, Stage and Cultural Development Corporation, which owns Mumbai Film City where the studio was located, had also slapped a Rs 60 million suit on Bhansali for causing damage. That was not all. A deaf and mute assistant also accused the director having skipped his payment for his services.

Devdas

Arguably one of the most controversy-ridden movie in recent times, Devdas was probably jinxed from day one. Aishwarya Rai suffered from some food poisoning, then Salman Khan reportedly came drunk on the sets and created a ruckus, a storm fan caused a serious accident, killing one unit member and seriously injuring another. Along the way, Madhuri Dixit also reportedly issued ultimatums to Bhansali because the shoot date kept getting postponed.

Fanaa

There wasn’t anything in the film that stirred the controversy as much as what the lead actor said outside of it that undid it. Aamir Khan, always a man about town when his film releases, made himself seen along with those protesting against raising the heights of the Narmada dam in Gujarat. The film was banned in the state for quite some time till the court decided to intervene and provide protection to the theatres screening the film.

Tashan

It was a film that pretty much brought the mighty Yash Raj films to its knees. The battle between multiplex owners and distributors reached a head with this particular film. The owners claimed that Yash Raj demanded more than a fair share of profit from the film. Not willing to give in to the Studio’s demands, all multiplexes refrained from showing the movie. As a result Tashan, one of the first big budget films of the year, ended up being a miserable flop. Funnily, it was Yash Raj, which started the whole anti multiplex owners trend with Fanaa.

Jo Bole So Nihal

This Sunny Deol-starrer was supposed to be a celebration of ‘Sikhdom’. Ironically, the movie managed to irk the very community it was cheering for. Members of the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee accused the film of showing “the Sikh community in a bad light.” Things turned really ugly when two high-intensity blasts rocked two cinema halls in the capital killing one and injuring about 53 others. The community also had issues with a Sikh character being chased by scantily clad women. Further the Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee claimed that the film had grossly misused a terms that was spoken in Sikh temples and battlefields.

Fire

This was probably Deepa Mehta’s first brush with controversy before Water. Right-wing activists stormed two theatres in Mumbai and prompted the movie’s distributor to stop the showing of Fire. The film focussed on a lesbian relationship between two sister-in-laws. It was clearly a first in the Indian context where homosexuality to this day is discussed in hushed tones. The controversy also rocked the parliament with opposition members slamming the Hindu nationalists for “intolerance” and “hoodlum rule” in Mumbai. Interestingly Shabana Azmi one of the two leading actors in the film and an MP, was present in the house when the debate started. She silently watched it unfold without once making a comment.

Water

A period piece set in Varanasi, Water was to complete Deepa Mehta’s trilogy – Fire and Earth being the first two. But the movie ran into controversy right from the first day of the shoot. Water dealt with the plight of Indian widows in the 1930s and was supposed to be shot in Uttar Pradesh. However the state government the film’s location permits as mobs stormed the ghats along the Ganges. The film’s sets were burnt as were effigies of the director. At some point Deepa Mehta gave up the idea of shooting in India and put together an entirely new cast. Seema Biswas replaced Shabana Azmi and Lisa Ray replaced Nandita Das. The film was shot and completed in Sri Lanka.

Ek Choti Si Love Story

Manisha Koirala who had created waves when Dil Se released found herself in a spot when a film called Ek Choti Si Love Story began to generate curiosity amongst the trade circuit. The story revolved around a body double she had allegedly approved of. Shashilal Nair, the director of the film claimed that Manisha had no problem with the scenes where the double was used. Manisha, of course, claimed otherwise. Things came to a head when the actress approached Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackery to intervene. Nair was ‘advised’ to delete the scenes but he insisted that the Sena chief should see the film first before suggesting any cuts.

February 19, 2009 Posted by | bollywood controversies | , | Leave a comment

World Most Renowned Cricket Controversies

1932/1933: Bodyline, England v Australia: In an effort to nullify the world’s greatest batsman, Australian Don Bradman, England employed a tactic that came to be known as ‘‘bodyline’’. The bowlers would target the batsman rather than the wicket, and the outrage it caused in Australia following injuries to many of its batsmen threatened friendly relations between the two countries.

1947 – Pakistan v India

For many years following the partition of India, games between Pakistan and India had to be played at neutral venues due to crowd trouble. In recent years, the games have been labelled ‘‘the friendship series’’, and fans have joined together in displays described as ‘‘cricket diplomacy’’.

1977 – World Series Cricket: battling the television networks

Australian multi-millionaire Kerry Packer signed 51 of the world’s leading players and established his own competition in defiance of the International Cricket Council.

The move was ultimately successful in wrestling television rights from ABC, Australia’s publicly-owned broadcaster, and modernising the game.

1980s – The rebel tours

During the 1980s, players from England, Australia, Sri Lanka and the West Indies toured South Africa, in defiance of the international ban on sporting contact with the country due to apartheid.

All of the players involved in the tours received lengthy bans.

1990s – Match-fixing

The captains of South African (Hansie Cronje), Pakistan (Saleem Malik), and India (Mohammed Azharuddin), were banned for life after a match-fixing and illegal betting investigation. Two Australian players, Mark Waugh and Shane Warne, were fined for providing inside information to bookmakers.

2003 – Zimbabwe

Two Zimbabwean players, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, wore black armbands during the 2003 World Cup in protest against ‘‘the death of democracy in Zimbabwe’’. The Zimbabwe Cricket Union, headed by Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe, subsequently faced allegations that it had introduced a racist policy banning white players.

February 17, 2009 Posted by | Cricket Controversy, Sports Controversy | Leave a comment

Recent controversies Involving Jonas Brothers

The American boy band, Jonas Brothers, is not only making headlines because of their music and acting efforts. Recent controversies involving Kevin, Joe, and Nick Jonas have caused Disney to lose some money to cover up bad publicity swirling around. From the buzz-making Jonas Brothers shirtless pictures to controversial dating rumors left and right, the teen group act has been receiving a lot of jabs from the media, paparazzi and currently, some disappointed fans.

The rumors were said to have been caused by the brothers’ various relationships with famous young stars in Hollywood. With the exception of the oldest sibling, Kevin, the rest of the Jonas Brothers have caused a stir because of highly publicized dates and affairs.

Joe Jonas’ highly sensationalized break up with country singer, Taylor Swift, caused a major buzz in Hollywood. To compound matters, Swift has been very vocal about her feelings towards the split. Swift said that the break up was sudden and only happened through a phone call. Joe, according to her, was the one who made the ‘break up’ call that only lasted for 27 seconds.

“When I look at that person, I’m not even going to remember the boy who broke up with me over the phone in 27 seconds when I was 18,” said Taylor in a talk show interview.

In response, Joe refuted the claims of his ex-girlfriend and said that the phone call only lasted as it did because Taylor wasn’t open to hear his side. He also denied other allegations that he cheated on Swift with 10,000 BC actress, Camilla Belle. Although Camilla and he are already dating, he insisted that he never cheated on any girlfriend.

Nick Jonas has also been the target of tabloids because of his relationship with Hannah Montana star, Miley Cyrus. The two apparently broke up because of Nick’s new fling, Selena Gomez, another Disney star. Selena starred in the Jonas Brothers’ music video, Burnin’ Up as the singer’s love interest. The incident caused the two teen actresses to cause cat fight rumors and the Youtube war between Miley and Selena also emerged because of Nick.

Despite these, the Jonas Brothers is taking the rumors in stride. They also have the support of Disney and their record label. However, Disney did some reprimanding to the siblings to avoid further damage on their squeaky clean image especially when there some jarring Jonas Brothers shirtless photos spread all over the internet. In some reports, it was said that Disney is alarmed with the issues that have been surfacing about their sweet, clean, and dandy young stars like Hannah Montana, Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, and just recently, the Jonas Brothers.

February 12, 2009 Posted by | hollywood Controversies | | Leave a comment