HLA Match


September of 2002 was without a doubt the gayest month in WWE history. It seemed that every show that aired that month was designed to make viewers say out loud, “This is so gay!”

Gay, that is, meaning literally homosexual. If we here at Wrestlecrap wanted to express that something was being embarrassingly stupid, we wouldn’t stoop so low as to call it, “gay.”

Anyway, week after week, WWE bombarded viewers with really gay story lines and stunts (that just so happened to be embarrassingly stupid) such as Billy Gunn and Chuck Palumbo getting married and two “lesbians” performing something called HLA (which had nothing to do with the human leukocyte antigen, and everything to do with two no-name women hesitantly pawing at each other).

As hard as it is to believe, one feminist group took offense to the hot lesbian action segment and picketed Raw the next week. Since WWE thinks that every activist group is as gullible as GLAAD, Eric Bischoff invited them to the ring, which we all know is the safest place to be at a wrestling event, especially one with a heel authority figure.


In case you don’t remember, this was the period on Raw when 3 Minute Warning, consisting of two super-heavyweights from the famous Samoan wrestling family, had been viciously beating an impressive list of victims, including “Jimmy Snuka, the WWE Hall of Famer, Jeff Hardy, lesbians…


Bischoff was just about ready to sic 3 Minute Warning on the women, who apparently didn’t watch WWE enough to see that sort of thing coming. Ridiculous, right? As it turned out, the feminist group wasn’t what they appeared to be, but merely a ploy to let Stephanie get revenge on Bischoff for sabotaging that Thursday’s gay wedding. No elaborate costumery here, just Stephanie in a wig and a kick to the crotch.


(Future McMahon-delivered crotch-kicks forwent the wigs altogether)


Billy and Chuck, fellow victims of Bischoff and 3MW, rushed in soon after. The former life-partners paid homage to the Road Warriors by hitting Bischoff with the Dooms-gay Device while Stephanie screeched like a banshee.


Bischoff’s goons lived up to their team name by taking approximately 180 seconds to finally storm the ring and help out their boss, only to be fended off by the only tag team to ever be endorsed by GLAAD.*
*not a joke


Eric, despite the intense pain, managed to cook up a special stipulation match between his team and Steph’s, where he either had to smooch Stephanie McMahon’s fanny (note to UK readers: that means bum) or watch her get fondled by another woman. And here you thought he was just some pervert.


Stephanie agreed to the stipulations the next Thursday on Smackdown, which figures, because a McMahon will never miss an opportunity to show their bare butt. I don’t know what it is, but the whole family really resents having to cover their asses (like when they had to create the Wellness Program).


The Rock may have left for Hollywood the month before, but that wouldn’t stop WWE from promoting a major pay-per-view match via satellite. In the face-off, Bischoff scoffed at the idea of kissing “McMahon tush,” while Stephanie teased that if she had to perform HLA, she “just might like it.” I bet Triple H told Steph that night that he had this crazy idea (“Hey, what do say you keep the title on me for basically the next three years?” I didn’t say the idea had to do with lesbians).


That Sunday’s Unforgiven pay-per-view thus hosted the first-ever HLA match, which was also WWE’s third-ever Kiss My Ass match.


It’s common for wrestlers’ entrance themes to start off with a sound bite, but 3 Minute Warning’s music kicked off with perhaps the worst sound bite in WWE entrance history. It’s Eric Bischoff asking a question about himself, stealing the audience’s attention away from the subject at hand. Am I the only one who finds that sort of thing really distracting? Well, am I?


Billy & Chuck’s choice of entrance music wasn’t much better, as they still came out (so to speak) to the same love song they used back when they were gay.


Speaking of gay, Rico was on the receiving end of chants from the few fans who weren’t enlightened by Billy & Chuck’s stint as a couple.

Rico’s not gay, for the record. Why, here’s a picture of him with 2 lesbians on his lap. So, uh, case closed.

Billy, clearly not learning his lesson from the Smoking Gunns’ battles with The Headshrinkers, attempted to double-noggin-knock the Samoans to no effect, only to get a double-headbutt in return. “That’s a lotta head,” said Tazz in a statement that would have meant something completely different for Gunn two weeks earlier.


Despite their best efforts, Billy and Chuck ended up on the losing end (The blame really lies with Stephanie for picking a man who was 0-1 in “Kiss-My-Ass” matches to represent her). That meant that it was time for HLA for HHH’s S&M BFF.


Since the two “lesbians” weren’t required to take bumps this time, WWE could reach beyond the wrestling world and use models far more attractive than the ones used in the first HLA segment.

She may not wrestle, but I’d love to see her box! Nah, she’s probably not any good at that sport, either.

No offense to the original “lesbian” couple, but these women were solid 9s, while Jenny and Tanya were each maybe a 4 out of 10. Bret Hart certainly wasn’t impressed.


King may have enjoyed the lesbians from Raw enough to squeal throughout the whole night, but the ones on this night were enough to drive him to a focused, Zen-like state of perviness.


With “Peaches” and “Cream” in the ring, Bischoff next brought out the losing GM. Now, Steph’s team may have lost the match, but she still got at least two men to kiss her ass. “Look how hot she looks!” said Lawler about Stephanie. “There’s no doubt about how hot she looks,” said JR. Listening to the commentary, you’ve got to wonder how long Steph has been scripting everybody’s dialogue.


As JR talked about knowing Stephanie since she was a little girl, Jerry replied with this nugget: “When she was a little girl, she might have had her girlfriends sleep over, who knows!” Did The King just fantasize about a grade-school Stephanie McMahon experimenting sexually with her friends? Ooooh yeah, he did. Now I understand why Lawler is always excited about the Divas dressing as schoolgirls. (Just kidding. I put the pieces together long ago)


Lawler may have savaged the viewers with his perverted commentary, but Ross at least did his part to shut The King up. How is it that whenever JR imitates other people, it’s awesome, but when other people imitate JR, it’s always repulsive?


Yeah, I don’t know either, Peaches.


(Luckily for King, he didn’t have any facial disfigurement for anyone to take cheap shots at, now that he had gotten that eye-job)


Before the fans got to see what they paid for, Bischoff once again put an abrupt halt to the festivities, sending the two hired hands to the back, then telling Stephanie that she would be doing HLA with a special guest.


Bischoff claimed to have found a “lesbo” who was so hideous that Stephanie couldn’t possibly enjoy the proceedings. Surprisingly, Eric didn’t use any other insults you hadn’t heard since third grade, like “gay-wad.”


Cue WWE’s stock porno music, and enter Hildegard, a woman who viewers could have sworn was just Salofa “Rikishi” Fatu in a dress. The announcers didn’t seem to see the resemblance, though, and for good reason.


See, as much as this “lesbian” may have looked like Rikishi in drag, as the cameras zoomed in on “Hildegard,” one thing became apparent: the announcers were complete morons, because of course that was Rikishi in drag.


Stephanie looked like she had just seen the script for Triple H’s upcoming promo in the funeral home.


Then, to the Raw GM’s shock, Stephanie slipped the giant lesbian the tongue and appeared to play Twister with Hildie as the mat.


The super-sized Sapphist then nailed Eric with a savate kick before taking off her wig and peeling off her makeup to reveal…


…the exact same face but with different hair.


Bischoff must have had the worst eyesight known to man; not only was he the only person in the world not to see Warrior’s reflection in the mirror, but he couldn’t figure out that “Hildegard” was just Rikishi with a wig after seeing him up close and personal (twice).


Near-sightedness was the least of Eric’s problems on this night, though. Just like the previous match with a “kiss my ass” stipulation, it ended with a man’s head stuffed up a fat, non-regulation butt crack.


Stephanie and Rikishi then partied like it was 1999 (or, considering the hideous mess of makeup rubbed off on Steph’s face, 2000).

Stephanie clearly inherited dad’s dance skills.

Fortunately, after Unforgiven, WWE abruptly shifted away from the sort of embarrassing nonsense that had been plaguing its programming for weeks. Smackdown did so by for months presenting some of the most consistently great wrestling ever broadcast on free TV, while Raw built their main feud around necrophilia.


Come to think of it, maybe Gay September wasn’t so bad.

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