On Monday, December 7, on the USA Network, wrestling star “Stone Cold” Steve Austin was strapped by his wrists to a cross-like structure while Gregorian chants played and an image of a Celtic cross flashed behind him; those responsible for the “crucifixion” were associates of the “Undertaker,” another wresting favorite.
When contacted by TV Guide Online, William Donohue commented, “Mocking Christ is not within the parameters of acceptable theatrics, even in professional wrestling; at this time of the year, it is particularly egregious.” Donohue then called the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) to complain.
Donohue’s exchange with an official from the WWF proved beneficial. When Donohue was told that this really wasn’t meant to be a “crucifixion”—that is was some kind of Egyptian image—Donohue replied that what mattered what was what most people perceived the characterization to be, and that, he stressed, was the image of a “crucifixion.”
Donohue was then asked if he could make any suggestions. His answer struck the WWF official as reasonable, and the recommendation was accepted. Donohue said that the controversy could be ended if the next time this happens, the “crucified” wrestler extends his hands directly over his head, instead of stretching them straight-out.