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Interested if this belongs in a clip file

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by housejd, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. housejd

    housejd Member

    I wrote this at an internship I had two summers ago, and it was one of my favorite stories. I'm getting ready to put together my clip file for jobs post-graduation, and I'm curious if this is something potential employers would take seriously.

    It's written somewhat tongue in cheek, but I thought it turned out well thanks to some legwork and helpful editing.

    Is it something for the clip file?


    A limousine burst into flames outside the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township late Monday, presumably killing long-time World Wrestling Entertainment Chairman Vince McMahon.

    Or so WWE would like its fans to believe.

    WWE fans around the country were treated to an explosive ending to a sold-out Monday Night Raw, live at the Northeastern Pennsylvania arena for a special three-hour broadcast. McMahon’s apparent demise, however, was just another twist in the male soap opera’s story line.

    As far as Wilkes-Barre Township Police Chief Robert Brozowski knows, McMahon is alive and well. WWE taped the explosion Sunday night on the arena property under controlled conditions with the township’s permission, he said. WWE representatives purchased a permit from the township after providing proof of insurance and certification to use pyrotechnics.

    Deerfield, N.Y.-based Zenith Pyrotechnology performed the controlled explosion before township firefighters extinguished the blaze.

    Still, the supposed death of McMahon in Wilkes-Barre created quite a stir. Concerned fans and curious media members across the country called the Wilkes-Barre Township police and Wilkes-Barre City police to inquire about the explosion, shown live on the USA Network.

    Lt. Will Clark of the Wilkes-Barre Township police even took a call from Warner Bros. asking if a body had been sent to the coroner’s office yet.

    “The end result is everybody thought it was real, and we got inundated with calls about the homicide that doesn’t exist,” Clark said. “It comes down to the old adage you don’t always believe what you see on TV.”

    The only evidence of an explosion at the arena was a small, black scorch mark in the parking lot behind the facility, hidden from public view.

    There was no indication an allegedly fatal explosion occurred just nights earlier.

    Still, the WWE contends McMahon may be dead. In fact, a full investigation into the suspicious incident is under way, according to a WWE press release, “although full details have not been disclosed.” WWE’s Web site also features one fan’s account describing McMahon’s scorched body hanging out of the limousine.

    No suspects are being ruled out, according to the release. Real estate magnate Donald Trump, rapper Snoop Dogg, NBC’s Bob Costas and wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin all made negative statements about McMahon the night of the bombing, the release also pointed out.

    “But would any go so far as to actually blow him up?” the release asks.

    Luzerne County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Lisman said no one advised the coroner’s office of McMahon’s death.

    “I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about,” he said.

    Steve Poremba, marketing coordinator at the arena, was mum on what really happened Sunday and Monday nights and referred all questions to WWE’s headquarters in Connecticut.

    WWE spokesman Kevin Hennessy declined comment, but assured the limousine has been disposed of properly.

    Meanwhile, WWE’s Web site declared Tuesday a day of mourning for the organization. Flags at WWE’s headquarters were flown at half-staff, and the McMahon family will issue an online statement today, according to the Web site.

    A woman from Arizona called The Citizens’ Voice on Tuesday and said the show was so convincing, she had to find out if McMahon actually died.

    She noted fans could never know for sure whether something is staged after the death of Owen Hart in 1999. The 34-year-old fell to his death at the Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Mo., during a pay-per-view event.

    Hart was being lowered into the ring from the rafters of the arena as part of a skit when the hoist malfunctioned. Hart fell 78 feet and hit his chest on the turnbuckle, severing his aorta. He died about an hour later.

    However, this death — which came during McMahon’s self-proclaimed Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night — is a hoax, Brozowski said.

    “Vince lives on,” he said. “I wish him a speedy recovery. I’m sure he’s sitting in a nice hotel room in Trump Plaza laughing like a bastard.”
  2. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I wouldn't include it. The beginning part -- about the people who actually performed the explosion and the permits, etc, WWE had to get to pull it off -- is interesting and could have made for a decent non-sports feature. I think if you had focused more on that, on what steps the WWE has to take to pull off these big, outside-the-ring stunts, it could possibly have been a clip. Or if you'd focused on the calls and aftermath the city dealt with from people reporting an explosion and a homicide, even though (almost?) everyone knows this was a scripted event, that could have been interesting. You know, how the real world has to deal with the WWE's scripted shenanigans.

    But the rest of it is actually, no offense intended, kinda dumb. Anyone who knows anything about WWE knows this stuff is scripted. And even though you said it's intended as tongue-in-cheek, it doesn't really read that way. It reads like a real, confused news report, one paragraph saying it was fake and McMahon's not dead, the next listing possible suspects in his murder. It's not quite sarcastic or funny enough, in my opinion, to be tongue-in-cheek. It's not humorous enough for people who know this was a scripted, fake event (like WWE fans like me), but it's too serious, too real-newsish, for people who might think this was a real explosion (which apparently there are plenty of, given that you say the township received calls about a homicide. Which is why I think that would be a good story. I always assumed people know anything outlandish the WWE does is fake, so why would people call in to report it?).

    Besides, it's a story about WWE. And sports editors are a cynical bunch, so there's a good chance they'll look at this and go, 'Harumph, this is a story about a scripted event. It might as well be an investigative piece into the 'Days of Our Lives' murder. What is this doing as a clip?'
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    As soon as I read the words "Vince McMahon" the answer immediately became hell no.
  4. housejd

    housejd Member

    Just as some context, this did not run in a sports section. It ran in the news section. Thanks for the replies.
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