WWE threatens legal action against Connecticut journalist for violent porn remark

As Dave Meltzer reported in this week's Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Linda McMahon has once again won the Republican party's official nod of approval to be their 2012 nominee for the U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut and is expected to comfortably win their primary in August:

Linda McMahon captured the Republican party's official endorsement as its candidate for the 2012 U.S. Senate race in Connecticut on 5/18.

McMahon defeated rival Christopher Shays 730-389 at the convention among party delegates. Shays, as expected, has insisted on staying in the race and battling it out again in the primary. The party wasn't happy about that as they were looking for a united party to get behind McMahon this go-around. Shays did agree that if he doesn't win the primary, that he would back McMahon.

Shays isn't giving up the fight yet due to the belief that his rival can't win the next election due to her pro wrestling background, which makes her deeply unfavourable with female and independent voters in the state. That certainly proved true in 2010, despite Democrat Dick Blumenthal proving to be a damp squib of an opponent that McMahon discovered had lied about serving in Vietnam. She probably won't have such luck this time around, so winning the election will be an even bigger mountain to climb, as pro wrestling isn't viewed in any better light two years later.

Moreover, Linda McMahon still hasn't managed to get local journalists on her side who are wary of her political inexperience and how she gained her millions. Indeed, her most robust critic Chris Powell, the managing editor of the Journal Enquirer, recently had this to say about her second attempt at running for office:

If, having spent several times more money than had ever been spent on a campaign in Connecticut, a candidate isn't known well enough, whose fault would that be? But of course nearly everyone knew very well who McMahon was -- that was the problem. Her practical qualifications for office did not extend beyond her fantastic wealth, and that wealth derived from the business of violence, pornography, and general raunch.

Of course, WWE doesn't like this portrayal of their business, which means that their Stand Up For WWE campaign is back on with a vengeance. Officially this crusade is to correct inaccuracies within the media about WWE, but is more a tool to bully writers into shutting up about their checkered past. Indeed, WWE has threatened Powell with legal action if he refuses to retract his statement that WWE programming is either violent or pornographic in nature. The problem is that the comparisons between pro wrestling and porn are valid ones to make and Powell was clearly being metaphorical in his description, which means WWE hasn't got a legal leg to stand on.

Though Powell is willing to publish their legal letter sent to him, he won't go so far to make a retraction and is making jokes about the incident:

"I also asked if we could get the depositions done before the Republican primary because I wanted to meet Trish," he said.

Powell said he was referring to a woman who, during a WWE performance, McMahon's husband Vince made undress in the ring and crawl around on all fours, barking like a dog. He said interested parties could find the video on YouTube but would need to verify their age first because of the video's "pornographic nature."

Oh dear, it looks like this will be a long election campaign for WWE's legal team, especially as Linda McMahon's possible Democrat opponent Susan Bysiewicz is already using the same angle to attack her rival:

McMahon's campaign also criticised Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Susan Bysiewicz, who, during a debate on WNPR Thursday, said she was running so someone like McMahon wouldn't be elected.

"I'll be darned if I let someone who sells sex and violence and pornography for a living be our next United States senator," she said.

The McMahon campaign responded by calling the comments a "dishonest and disingenuous" attack.

It will be interesting to see whether WWE also has the balls to threaten legal action against Linda's opponents if they continue this rhetoric. Expect more on this story in the months to come, Cagesiders.

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