MIAMI – During the legendary 1998 wrestling match known as “Hell in a Cell,” two professional wrestlers faced off: “The Undertaker” and Mick Foley, aka “Mankind.”
The idea was for the two to do their usual stunts – poking, whacking, tossing, and grappling with each other – in a metal cage.
And in a crescendo of allegro fortissimo, they were supposed to climb on top of the cage and continue their antics there.
Then, the script called for the Undertaker to throw Foley down onto a ringside table that had been specially rigged to break the fall.
But something went wrong. Foley hit the mat so hard, the fans nearby thought he had died. There was blood coming from the side of his mouth. His eyes were fixed, staring blankly, like a dead man. The announcer said:
Good God almighty! Good God almighty! That killed him! As God is my witness, he is broken in half!
Also unscripted was the announcer’s follow up: “Stop the match!” He thought Foley was severely injured… and possibly dead.
It wasn’t acting. Foley had a concussion, a dislocated jaw, a dislocated shoulder, a bruised kidney, a cut lip, one tooth knocked out, and another broken.
Yes, Dear Reader, even scripted, phony battles sometimes go bad.
When we left off yesterday, we were about to tell you why the Great Economic Boom from 1979 to 2018 was doomed from the outset… why it was largely bogus… how it is bound to blow up… and why the trade war might be the thing that sets off the explosion.
But to help us understand the absurdity of what is going on, we turn back to WWE. Yes… to professional wraslin’.
It’s make-believe. It’s ridiculous. But it is a good model to help us understand Swamp Wars. They, too, are staged. And like professional WWE wrestling, they are partly scripted, partly improvised… and often, unintentionally funny.