Wrestling, politics curious mix

As chief executive of World Wrestling Entertainment, Linda McMahon was lifted upside down in the ring and had her head placed between the knees of The Undertaker before he dropped to the canvas to deliver his villainous "tombstone" knockout move.

On national television before millions, she fired her daughter and was humiliated by her husband.

Those incidents all were part of the act. Now her life has taken a dramatic turn that not even her husband, Vince McMahon, could conjure.

A year ago, 61-year-old Linda McMahon was largely unknown outside of pro wrestling. That was before she left WWE to run for the U.S. Senate.

On Tuesday, she garnered 49 percent of the vote to win the three-way Republican primary in Connecticut.

It has been reported she put $21 million into her campaign and is prepared to spend another $29 million in the general election.

Democrats are following the lead of her Republican critics who used WWE footage of her antics in the ring, including one clip of her kicking a wrestler in the groin. That move, however, could be useful in Washington.

Her role in WWE also was assailed for the sexually provocative nature of some of its content, as well as its failure to prevent wrestlers from abusing steroids and other drugs for many years.

"Today the party of Bob Dole, Jack Kemp and Dick Lugar nominated a candidate who kicks men in the crotch, thinks of scenes of necrophilia as 'entertainment,' and runs an operation where women are forced to bark like dogs," Democratic National Committee press secretary Hari Sevugan said.

Linda McMahon could face Sevugan in a cage match at the next Wrestlemania.

■ ROCK SOLID -- The start/finish line at New Hampshire Motor Speedway will feature "The Granite Stripe" beginning with the NASCAR Sprint Cup race there Sept. 19.

The track -- located in the Granite State -- compares the 6-inch-thick, 2-foot-wide and 65-foot-long strip of Concord gray-colored granite segment with the iconic "yard of bricks" at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

A track news release released Wednesday said, "Indianapolis Motor Speedway has the 'Yard of Bricks,' Augusta has the 'Amen Corner,' and, of course, Boston's own Fenway Park has the mighty 'Green Monster.' Now, New Hampshire Motor Speedway will have (an) iconic item that every fan will remember."

Las Vegas Motor Speedway should consider honoring Nevada with a swath of silver at its start/finish line. Or, better still, adorning it with orange road construction cones.

■ IT COULD BE WORSE -- Players for the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners should rejoice that they play Major League Baseball in the United States and not soccer for North Korea.

FIFA, soccer's world governing body, said this week it has opened an inquiry into allegations that North Korea might have mistreated or tortured players and coaches after the team lost all three of its World Cup matches.

Just living in North Korea should be torture enough.

Of course, Phillies fans say the same about Pittsburgh.