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Raw Talent

You might be tempted to feel a touch of pity for World Wrestling Entertainment honcho Vince McMahon. About the same time his lame football league bit the dust, the wrestling tycoon got spanked in a British courtroom by the World Wildlife Fund regarding his corporate acronym. McMahon complied by renaming his venture WWE, World Wrestling Entertainment, employing the endearing slogan, "Get the F out!"

But poor Vince is one of America's great capitalists, and he hasn't missed a step. McMahon took his two incredibly successful network television series, WWE RAW on TNN and WWE Smackdown! on UPN, and re-branded them into different entities, with different story lines, different characters, staging an elaborate draft to split the bloated personalities, and opening the door for even more steroided bouncers to get rich.

McMahon also tried to flex his fan strength as a political base last year, with Phoenix as the launching point for "Smackdown Your Vote! Day" on May 9, an effort aimed at registering high school students old enough to cast a ballot. Secretary of State Betsey Bayless smiled alongside WWE star Bradshaw at Sunnyslope High in April when the announcement was made, and proud Arizona hearts collectively swelled at our innovative ways, but considering the results of November's election, not many of our 18-year-olds made it to the polls.

Bradshaw hit Phoenix again last month to pimp the upcoming RAW! Live at America West Arena on Monday, January 6, signing his trademark "Drink or Fight!" tee shirts. Expect those teens who didn't bother to vote to turn up in droves.

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Brendan Joel Kelley