Day 009: Irrelevant Wrestling Sign of the Week
Having the fans bring in signs is a wrestling tradition as old as ratings wars and Rocky Maivia getting booed. In other words, the tradition is about 25 years old. Some of the signs are wholesome and relevant. Popular examples include, “Suck it, Vince” and “I’d Rather Be In Chyna”. Others get confiscated upon entry, because they are too crude or aid in breaking Kayfabe. Others, well, they’re so harmless and irrelevant that the security guard doesn’t care. Those signs are always the best and are highlights to otherwise boring promos. So, I feel like it’s my duty to highlight these signs as I find them in the wild. The first ever Sign of the Week comes from the 4/13/1998 episode of Raw at the Corestates Center in Philadelphia:
Faarooq AKA Ron Simmons AKA Doom had just recently been ousted from the Nation of Domination. Stripped of his gimmick and personality, Ron did all he could to sound interesting while calling out The Rock. I didn’t pay attention to what actually transpired because I was busy thinking about this sign.
I sometimes forget how much crossover there was with wrestling and South Park. They were both synonymous with the Mountain Dew Generation. The sign format, “______ fears ______”, was typical back then [WCW Fears Ratings, Vader Fears Weight Watchers, et cetera]. But South Park fears new episodes? This take is as cold as ice. In a historical perspective, you can kind of see where the writer is coming from. South Park had finished its first season in February ’98 with a dramatic cliffhanger, leaving in question the identity of Eric Cartman’s father. The show came back on 4/1/98 with, well, an April Fools joke. The father wasn’t revealed and instead, viewers were given a spinoff episode. It was one of the biggest trolls in television history and in a way, I feel that dude’s pain. But he only had to wait 10 more days before the next episode aired and as it turns out, Cartman’s father is also his mother. Yep. Stupider than Maggie shooting Mr Burns.
I get it, but the writer really needs to relax. As most shows make viewers wait 4-6 months in between seasons, sometimes even years, South Park only waited 4-6 weeks in between seasons. He should feel grateful that Trey Parker & Matt Stone were so dedicated to bringing new content to his face.
As it turns out, this guy’s sign couldn’t have been farther from the truth. South Park went on to make 295 more episodes and counting. The show broke a lot of barriers as they were defiantly unafraid of new episodes. They made a 9/11 episode in less than two months. They made/aired an election episode in a day. There’s even going to be a pandemic episode this week. No other show has been more fearless when it came to making new episodes.
I bet this guy feels really stupid right now. After all, he lives/lived in Philly. On the other hand, maybe, just maybe, this sign was an inspiration. Maybe Trey and Matt saw the sign and were like, “fuck you, we’re not afraid of new episodes! And we’ll prove it!” The world may never know, nor will they care.