Rev. Terry Jones, the Florida fundamentalist preacher who declared “Islam is of the Devil” and recently burned its Holy Koran in protest, is ready to take on a faith even larger and more threatening to Christian values.
Jones and his Dove World Outreach Center have scheduled the burning of a boxed set of all WrestleMania DVD’s produced since the professional wrestling event was first staged in 1985.
“World Wrestling Entertainment bills these annual events as ‘The Showcase of Immortals,’ implying the participants are gods,” Jones told a press conference in Gainesville yesterday. “Christianity does not regard the likes of The Undertaker, Triple H, Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock to be part of the Holy Trinity. Though I have to admit that I enjoyed The Rock’s performance in his current film, Fast Five, and thought the nuance he brought to the title role of The Scorpion King was woefully underappreciated by critics.”
Jones said features of the event serve to mock ideals and traditions long held sacred in the Christian Church. He cited the “Money in the Bank Ladder Match,” in which six to ten participants try to retrieve a briefcase of cash suspended above the ring, as implying that the most effective smackdown will gain the winning fighter access to eternal life.
“There is only one truth path to Heaven and that is through me,” Jones said. “And I challenge any and all comers who say otherwise to face my wrath. I will smite them with the Folding Chair of Righteousness so hard that they won’t know what hit them.”
Jones cited the 2011 WrestleMania, which included a tag team battle featuring Jersey Shore’s Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi taking on LayCool and Dolph Ziggler, as particularly offensive to the Almighty.
“They may claim that, in the context of Bret Hart’s return to WWE over 12 years since the Montreal Screwjob incident, that having a diminutive ‘Guidette’ romping around the ring in a tight miniskirt was appropriate,” Jones said. “But I know that the God of Abraham would disapprove. And I have to say that, despite record television ratings for the pay-per-view finale, I would agree with that God.”
Jones denied contentions that the staged wrestling matches were simply innocent fun, saying that participants “failed to drop to their knees in prayer frequently enough” and that the piledriver move which left victims prone and unconscious “didn’t count.”
Jones said he would proceed with the DVD burning, even though many WrestleMania followers promised retribution that would make the Apocalypse look like a picnic.
Jones also denied he was simply unhappy because he hasn’t talked with his long-lost-son, professional wrestling icon Hulk Hogan, in over two decades.
“That boy is dead to me. I’m over him,” Jones said. “This protest is all about glorifying Jesus and has next to nothing to do with how his mother and I threw him out of the house at age 16.”