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    Monday, April 20, 2020

    Breaking Down SmackDown (4/17/20): A Letter and A Farewell

    Growing up, WWE was that friend that pissed you off when they felt like it every once in a while, so you break off from them swearing that you’ll never come back. However, after a certain amount of time, it does something really nice for you and—for some reason—you’re back to where you started, holding hands and playing video games.

    John Cena gets pushed down my throat—bye. They give me the Yes Movement—hi. Roman becomes the new Cena—bye, for good. Kevin Owens becomes Universal Champion—all right, maybe not for good. 

    You get the picture. This time, however, I don’t know if I’ll ever have the heart to forgive them.

    In recent years, WWE  has evolved from being just an annoying friend to an unbearable selfish asshole. From their blatant maltreatment of talent, to their shady deals with the Saudi Arabian government, to their inexcusable handling of the current pandemic, the king of sports entertainment has become the corrupt dictators of pro wrestling as they have chosen to completely ignore basic ethics in an effort to “increase revenue.”

    What is this? First of all, this is a letter. A letter to WWE and any other company that thinks it’s above human empathy. Secondly, this is my farewell. A farewell to that annoying friend, which I still have a fondness for, and a farewell to this review, as I am formally announcing my boycott of all WWE programming. 

    Does it sadden me that I am doing this? It breaks my heart.
    Do I believe this is a necessary move? Yes, I do.

    Why am I doing this? Because for the third week in a row, I am compelled to say: Shame on you, WWE. Shame on them for mistreating talent. Shame on them for taking money from a murderous government. And shame on them for making us fans feel ashamed of ever giving them our time and money.

    I do not think I am the best person to explain all of their malpractices, so I am going to be listing down my grievances and will provide links to articles that I think would be better in explaining these things to anyone interested.

    1. Maltreatment of talent through their independent contractor clause
    2. Having shows in Saudi Arabia, effectively supporting the government's inhumane actions
    3. Their consistent false advertising (and not for the purpose of storyline)
    4. The mishandling of their company during the COVID-19 pandemic causing many talent and crew members' jobs, despite having been projected to make nearly one billion dollars this year.

    Am I telling you to stop watching WWE? No. If it brings joy to your life in this crazy time, by all means, go for it. More power to you. It is a personal decision. However, I do encourage people to stay informed—to be aware of the company's ethical behavior considering we are putting money in their pocket.

    To conclude, what WWE has done is unforgivable in my eyes and, unless they change their ways, I don't see myself watching their product any time soon. 

    It's been a fun ride and it kills me it has to end this way. Farewell, old friend.

    Photo from USA Today

    Jacob Tambunting is a freshman at Ateneo de Manila University currently studying BS Psychology. In his high school years, he authored plays for competitions, essays for projects, and fan fiction for fun.  He currently lives with his two parents, his two siblings, and his two dogs, and is probably writing something angsty on his 10-year-old laptop.
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    Item Reviewed: Breaking Down SmackDown (4/17/20): A Letter and A Farewell Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jacob Tambunting
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