It’s just so… weird.

Not that I have any problems with it, mind. But after so many years of WWE being treated as such a fringe thing in the world of sports (rightfully so, one might say, actually being “sports entertainment”), it’s weird to see such a close union between the brainchild of Vincent Kennedy McMahon, Jr. and Disney’s sports-centric network, ESPN. But apparently the recent experiment leading up to SummerSlam worked well for them, and now we’re seeing more of it on SportsCenter:

Wow, Coach — the last time I remember you talking that way to a WWE guy, they put your head through a wall and spray-painted your derriere.

But I digress. It’s just kind of weird to see this happen now of all times, seeing as wrestling isn’t quite as big now as it was in the “crash TV” driven Attitude Era. And yet, over recent years, more and more legitimate sports outlets, from Sports Illustrated to Grantland to… er, does Muscle & Fitness count? …have been shining a light on the stars of the squared circle. And I’m okay with this.

Heck, maybe it will help lead WWE to even pretend that their show is based around a sport again, but that’s an article for another time.

Interestingly enough, however, this isn’t the first time that the issue of WWE being covered with the rest of the sports highlights has come up. Back when they were the World Wrestling Federation (a Titan Sports production), some of the stars of the day stormed the SportsCenter offices with that question in mind:

via The Big Lead

To give you an idea of when this took place, it was right around when I first began watching — so we’re looking at mid-1995 to early 1996, I think. “Yeah!” I thought. “Where are those highlights, huh?” Granted, I thought more of wrestling than most sports at the time. Not that they were more real, so to speak, but just… I thought more of it.

Actually, I suppose little has changed in that regard, especially after an overblown game between two teams that aren’t even Canadian completely preempted the scheduled WWE Smackdown episode that was supposed to be on SportsNet last night, thereby wasting my night and screwing up my schedule. Screw you, Houston and Kansas City — I’m rooting for the Cubs.