by Irvin Muchnick
Thank you to everyone who has made nice comments on my interview two days ago with Will O’Callaghan and Richie McCormack on “Off the Top Rope,” part of the Off the Ball podcast series from Ireland’s Newstalk, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bRMzEdNBj6g (53 minutes!).
And thanks again to Will and Richie, as well as to Greg Oliver’s SLAM! Wrestling for publishing my instant analysis the same day on the episode of VICE TV’s Dark Side of the Ring about the Snuka-Argentino case, http://slam.canoe.com/Slam/Wrestling/2020/04/15/22806327.html; https://concussioninc.net/?p=14399.
As noted earlier, Concussion Inc. is rolling out both some fresh aspects of the story and some old wine in new bottles. The latter will take the form of recontextualized reprints of real-time coverage of the Snuka case over the years.
Regarding what is something of a secondary controversy over my appearance on the post-show panel Dark Side of the Ring After Dark, I want to emphasize that the producers’ sleazy censoring of me does color, but does not define, my take on the documentary itself. To the extent that it exposes a slipshod or unethical modus operandi, it might affect how all of us should grapple with their key new revelation from Sam Fatu, the former “Tonga Kid” — which, if not completely, verifiably true, is at the very least intriguing. More on Fatu from here shortly.
The main point is that, despite some pandering to the fanboy community’s expectation of portraying Snuka’s “complicated legacy” (you know, some entertaining dives off the tops of steel cages on the one hand; woman-beating and likely murder on the other hand), plus some willful cluelessness on the large lesson of 2020 (corrupt Lehigh County district attorney James Martin and his gang of cronies and cover-up artists are still right where they’ve always been), DSOTR deserves two and a half strangled cheers for a basic success, Which is this: Only a viewer in deepest denial could possibly come away not believing that Snuka did it.
The other day I was conversing about the Snuka episode on email with a prominent sports columnist. He said, “I was just gratified to see and hear [Vince] McMahon’s operation cast in a more candid light than the usual b.s.” I told the columnist that I thought that was about right.
Planned for our next post — though subject to the usual change without notice as the crack staff of ConcussionInc.net LLP mobilizes — will be a piece appreciating and reviewing some of the best reflections and analysis by others at the time of Snuka’s death in 2017.
WRESTLING BABYLON: Piledriving Tales of Drugs, Sex, Death, and Scandal (ECW Press, 2007)