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In My Head - The State of Wrestling

Posted in In My Head by Jack at 03:16, Jul 22 2005

The first "In My Head" column submitted by an IYH Fan Mikael from Sweden

The State of Wrestling by Mikael Selander, Sweden

The state of wrestling today.

I've been following the sport called Pro Wrestling on and off through the years. It all started when I was about seven years old when I watched a WWF tape. The only match I can remember was one involving The Undertaker and Giant Gonzales. I can still feel the enormous fascination I had back then. Here are these two huge men beating the hell out of each other in their awesome ring attires and with all the atmosphere around. I was in complete awe and since then I was hooked. When I got back home I longed until the next time I could get back to my friend and watch more wrestling.

A year or two later I moved, and to my joy I found that we had the channel TNT via the community dish. Me and my neighbour watched WCW every week for all four hours (both Nitro and Thunder aired). Back then I was still a pure mark, not knowing what was true and what was fake. My favourite wrestler back then was Sting (and he still is for that matter). He embodied everything I loved about wrestling at the time; Attitude, style and skill. He was also involved in all kinds of storylines and I was more sucked in than ever before. I saw Goldberg win his first match and I saw the first he lost. I remember how infuriated I was with Scott Hall for electrocuting Goldberg with that tazer and getting Goldberg pinned.

Wrestling back then got me engaged. I was interested. Emotions boiled. The joy when Sting got the World Heavyweight Championship. The anger when Hollywood Hogan and the nWo ravaged my favourite babyfaces.

Now a days when I watch the WWE most of that's gone. I'm not really excited when I watch the new episode of SmackDown, because I know that the WWE will still be misusing talent and killing any belt which is not the heavyweight. I know that the cruiserweights are still going to be underrepresented and sadly underrated. I know that the tag team division is extremely poor and uninteresting. And most of all, I know that the WWE are going to continue giving the likes of Heidenreich more airtime than really talented wrestlers like Rob Van Dam.

The state of RAW is a little bit better. At least I really hate the heels and cheer for the faces. But then most is the same. Misused talent, storylines that are so bad you want to cut your ears off and gouge your eyes out, racism and an overrepresentation of T?n?A girls only there to be just T?n?A. Who can forget the year 2004 when it comes to storylines, eh? Kane and Lita join in holy wedlock, gets a baby, loses a baby. And a new character is introduced; Gene Snitsky. I call him a character because in my eyes he doesn't even qualify to be called a wrestler. With his great charisma, lovely looks and soothing way to breathe he all swept us of our feet. Perhaps not, but he got me off my ass to go puke. The year 2005 hasn?t exactly been a lot better either, especially when it comes to the continuation to the Kane ? Lita ? Edge angle. It?s gotten a bit more spice with the introduction of ?Matt-I-Brake-Kayfabe-On-TV-Hardy? but the storyline itself still sucks.

This brings me to my next point of complaint; The Vince McMahon "You're FIRED" streak. WWE fired some great talent; Matt Morgan (could be great with another gimmick), Charlie Haas, The Dudleys, Jim Cornette amongst others; and signed 10 new tits and ass girls (almost all of them diva-search gals are going to be signed) and Big Vito. Also they bring back ?oldies? like Hulk Hogan and Brock Lesnar. I don't get it. In what way does Vince and the others justify this? Getting rid of real talent and bringing in some half-assed, half-dead wrestlers and T?n?A girls as a way of rejuvenating the company? Well, not only did they fail, they almost obliterated the women's division.

As of late I've been broadening my horizons when it comes to wrestling. I've started following TNA on a weekly basis and I've watched several hours of ECW action, since buying 8 ECW DVD's and watching "The Rise and Fall of ECW". I saw yet another ROH show today too. And I don't get it. How can WWE still be at the top of the mountain? How is it even remotely possible? TNA and ROH absolutely obliterates WWE when it comes to wrestling. I was chatting with a friend of mine about this, and he just said that the WWE is still the biggest company out there because of the third letter in the company
acronym; "Entertainment". Storylines, gimmicks and silly promos is what keeps this company on top, and I can't believe it. Is the majority of the fans really just interested in "entertainment"? I don't call it entertaining to see The Masterlock challenge and I sure as hell ain't entertained by Heidenreich's poetry. The thing that really took the prize though was when I was chatting about this topic in an IRC channel. One of the guys there were under the very firm belief that to be a good wrestler you only have to have a very good gimmick and a good character. He thought that Heidenreich(!) was one of the
best wrestlers today, due to his character. He then asked me if I thought that you had to be a great technical wrestler to be a great wrestler, and of course I told him yes. What entertains me is good wrestling, heart and pride in the ring.

I appreciate a match with Chris Benoit but at the same time it pisses me off. I know that Benoit is capable of so much more than he gets to display in a WWE ring. The list of barred holds in the WWE is probably about a mile long, and most of those holds I am confident Benoit can master, or already does master. But he's not allowed to use them
because they are too ?dangerous? or too ?extreme?. And Vince put it the best way: How can his superstars make more money for him if they get injured? Put this together with the statement that WWE is not a wrestling company, but an entertainment company. That should be enough for any wrestling fan to get a mouth full.

On the ROH show I saw today, Mick Foley was a special guest referee and he summarized my thoughts in a great way. He said that he was happy that there are still wrestling companies out there that present sport and not sports entertainment. This is what both ROH and TNA is about (although TNA is slipping slowly but surely toward the
"E-word"). I encourage anyone that can to watch both TNA and ROH. They present to the viewer great wrestling in every aspect. Most of the wrestlers in these two promotions are probably better pure wrestlers than Triple H will ever be and for that matter almost any WWE superstar (who isn?t from ROH that is).

Thank you for taking the time to read this and please share your own thoughts! And remember, this was just my two cents not a universal truth.

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