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Snitsky 2: This Time, It's Personal~!
October 8, 2004

by Denny Burkholder
Courtesy of WrestleLine.com


I was all set to have some fun this week. Then, a guy who lacks a sense of humor ruined mine.

I've been preparing a satire bit for the Dungeon for the past week. It's still not where I want it to be, so rather than rush it, I was going to shift my focus and give myself more time. 

Watching Smackdown last night, I found my subject - the smashing debut of Carlito Caribbean Cool on Smackdown. Carly Colon's got a great pedigree (the family tree, not the move). He wears his gimmick well, and he's already got a catchy phrase to market in "I SPIT IN THE FACE of people who do not want to be COOL!" Moreover, WWE rolled the dice by debuting him with TWO

interview segments, an extended main event match AND a major title victory in his very first non-vignette TV appearance with the Carlito Caribbean Cool gimmick. Carlito knocked the ball out of the park on just about everything, which is amazing considering this guy's so young. Triple C's best years are way ahead of him. Think about THAT.

That was gonna be my subject. Something positive. A fresh newcomer, given a fair shot by the bookers, making good on his chance. Topping it all off, the gimmick is priceless and lends itself to having fun, sort of like the Rock and Razor Ramon rolled into one package and stuffed inside the frame of Chavo Guerrero. That hair? Awesome. Yes, Carlito Caribbean Cool did for Smackdown this week what Gene Snitsky and Eugene have done for me on Raw: they made it fun. And that's the stuff I like to write about.

Then, last week's Snitsky column came back to haunt me.

"Thank God for Snitsky" had plenty of light-hearted humor mixed in, but the overall tone - or so I thought - was that I really, truly was enjoying Snitsky's stay in WWE so far. Apparently, Snitsky's got a friend who read my column and did not take it the way I intended. And this guy decided to email me to put me in my place... for being a Snitsky fan!

So here we are, back in Snitskyville. Population: you, me, and a guy that trained to wrestle with Afa Anoai and knows Gene Snitsky from that time.

I'm going to share his email with you, and my reply will follow. The reply is exactly as I emailed it to him this morning, and his text (in italics) has not been altered in any way except for the removal of his name. I don't really owe it to him to keep his name anonymous, but since I never really told him I was going to reprint this (and no, I don't need permission), I'll be fair.


I read your column on Mr. Gene Snitsky. I for one am very displeased with your thoughts on this man. I perosnally am a fan of the big guy. It's about time the WWE had someone of His size come in and kick ass. I think this young kid has alot of potentional if done right. I hope his run is not short, and i hope that he sticks around. See what the truth is your probably some "mark" kid who picks on various guys in the business cause in reality you are jealous that you arent in his shoes, plus i dont think if you were infront of Gene Snitsky, you would say ANY of what you said in that column to his face. So why dont u stop tlaking shit and just write good columns and not this shit that i just read. thanks

your truely and "personal friend of Mr. Snitsky"
[Name Removed]

* * * * * * * * * *

[Name Removed],

I recognize your name... you're a student of Afa's, aren't you?

Thanks for the feedback. Let me respectfully say that I think you took a lot of my comments the wrong way. The name of the column was "Thank God for Snitsky," and I mean it - he's the single most entertaining part of Raw these days. I think you took me wrong on these key points:

1) He might not be around very much longer.

-- I didn't write that to mock Snitsky's skills or his look, but to knock WWE's track record with these types of angles. Where's my proof? Simple - Mordecai... a promising young talent whose only crimes (and the reasons WWE took him off TV) were that the angle WWE saddled him with was subpar and they pushed him too fast. That's not Kevin Fertig's fault, nor would it be Snitsky's if the same thing happened to him... it's WWE's fault. That wasn't a knock on the man, it was a reflection of recent WWE history. One more example - the first run of John Heidenreich on Raw last year.

Two examples in one year alone... I think my point was justified.

2) My sarcastic tone.

-- I was simply having fun with it. Isn't that what a fan is supposed to do, let alone a writer? I pay money to see Snitsky in person and I'm not allowed to laugh? Doesn't sound like much fun to me... I'll keep my $40, thanks. And by the way... the argument that I wouldn't say that to Gene Snitsky's face is wrong, because I'd hope Snitsky would find the value in WWE fans getting interested in his work and appreciate that. What exactly did I poke fun at? His "crazy eyeball," his "oversized chin?" The eyeball is another aspect of his character... it's an indication that he's doing a great job at subtle facial contortions. It was meant as a compliment. The chin? Well, Sgt. Slaughter has a bigger one. In 20+ years in wrestling, he never took it personally when people poked fun at it. Why? MONEY and SUCCESS. It made him recognizeable, and therefore marketable. It helped him retain his fame, as it will for Gene Snitsky. The more "marks" like me point out his unique features, the more other fans will remember them, and the better off his career will be for it. Don't take it so personal!

Speaking of the "mark" comment... yes, in fact, I am a "mark," and I resent the idea that a pro wrestler - or even a wrestler in training - would insinuate that being a FAN of their business is something I should be INSULTED FOR. I am a HUGE fan of professional wrestling. I am a HUGE mark for guys like Rick Steamboat, Chris Benoit, and yes, at the moment, Gene Snitsky. Do I need to apologize to the wrestling industry for pouring my hard-earned money into it and then having the gall to actually speak critically about the show I paid to watch? I paid $35 to see No Mercy. I can't criticize the booking? OK then... I'll hang on to my PPV dollars next time, and I'll keep my mouth shut. Good luck with Taboo Tuesday... without all of those retarded "marks" like me paying to tune in, I doubt it'll be a very big success. But what do I know.

Back to defending my tone...

The only other place where I truly said something duragatory about the GENE SNITSKY CHARACTER - the Snitsky we see on TV, and that's a BIG difference from criticizing the man himself, mind you - was where I remarked that he was a dick, and too big an idiot to realize he's pissing off Kane. Once again, that's one of the things I actually LIKE about the angle. It's different. People usually fear Kane. Does the Gene Snitsky CHARACTER mock Kane out of stupidity? Perhaps (and I'll tune in next week to find out). Does that mean Gene Snitsky outside of a WWE ring is an idiot? Of course not. It looks like you read my column with the assumption that I believe everything I see on TV. Wrong - and if you really thought that, no wonder you called me a "mark," because you evidently have little respect for wrestling fans. Then, *I* (not the Gene Snitsky CHARACTER) would be the big doofus.

I agree with you. Snitsky is awesome. Might he be gone soon? YES, unfortunately, but that's not a definite nor is it his fault. Snitsky is indeed a young, fresh face on WWE TV. He does add something new and interesting to the show and hopefully will for years to come. Does he have a funny name? YES! What's the big deal? You're talking to a guy named Denny Burkholder here... believe me, I've heard them all. "Hey - dude, do you work at Denny's? HAHAHAHA!" Never heard THAT one before! But it's cool, because I can laugh at myself. I bet Snitsky can, too. If it helps people remember his name (and thus, make lots of money), I REALLY bet he can learn to live with it. Name recognition is a meal ticket. If WWE closed tomorrow, Snitsky's already got that much.

In closing, I love it when people close to "the biz" play the jealousy card. The only reason we criticize is because we wish we were "in the biz," too.

Let me get this perfectly clear: I give you (and Snitsky) all of my money, I MUST enjoy the show, I must REMAIN QUIET if I do NOT enjoy the show because I am a stupid mark who doesn't know good entertainment anyway. But I still should come back NEXT time and pay you MORE money because I'm JEALOUS of you being "in the biz," and not because I ultimately enjoy watching the performance? Did I catch the entire drift of your argument there?

If so, then I'll answer your charges by turning to my "mark" readers, and asking THEM a question:

When wrestlers, wrestling trainees, and others "in the business" continually INSULT you for being JEALOUS, DUMB, and IGNORANT, at what point do we all decide we've had enough of being treated like shit by the wrestlers WE pay to watch, and abandon wrestling altogether?

You don't want me here? Then I don't wanna be here. Have fun on PPV, and thanks for sucking the fun out of what was intended to be a column in praise of a solid newcomer.

For the record, I still enjoy The Snitsky.  


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