The perspective of wrestling to a grown up fan
by, 02-08-2014 at 04:58 PM (960 Views)
Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Rock. Masked Kane. Chris Jericho. Triple H. The Undertaker. The Dudley Boyz. The Hardy Boyz. Too Cool and Rikishi. Mick Foley. Edge and Christian. New age outlaws. Trish Stratus. Molly Holly. Lita. Victoria. Kurt Angle. William Regal. Eddie Guerrero. Chris Beniot(he was fucked in the head, but the man could wrestle), Booker T....
These were the names that stuck out the most for me when I was young kid growing up watching wrestling. There was never a dull moment watching these guys on TV and they always kept me coming back for more. Whether you had Stone cold flicking off his boss, stunning people and drinking beer, The Rock going off on people, Chris Jericho making stephanie his bitch on the mic, or Kane and Undertaker trying to burn or bury each other alive, these guys had my attention from beginning to the end. Management gave these guys the time, opportunity and freedom to not only show their skills in the ring, but on the mic. Everything came off so naturally and it was like second nature to them. Everybody on the roster had a legit part on the show. Whether it was the Dudley boyz putting folks through tables, Too Cool dancing, or Edge and christian acting the stupid with their 5 second pose and giving conchairtos, even the midcarders, tag teams and even the divas were all involved in actual storylines and everybody had a chance to develop their character and tell a story in the ring and outside. Even the divas had stuff to do. It wasn’t just lita, Trish, gail kim, and Victoria fighting for the titles all the time. Even the divas who were not as good in the ring(stacy Kiebler, Torrie Wilson, Maria, Dawn Marie) were involved either as valets or in separate non title storylines.
When I remember wrestling as a kid, there was a cause and effect for everything. Every match had a story and in every segment and promo, you felt the tension and intensity. Everybody had beef with everybody and they had an opportunity to go on the mic and go after each other. During that time, everybody had some free reign on the mic and the freedom to be themselves as a character. They used that freedom to show off their personalities more and it gave the fans a chance to really connect with them. If you were able to successfully gain cheers as a babyface or get booed loudly as heel, you found yourself with more tv time and bigger storyline chances. Sometimes it got you to the main event where you could challenge or even win the WWF championship. The show did not revolve around just one guy or a few group of people. Everyone had a huge part to play in the show and to get the fans attention. They were able to accomplish that in only 2 hours. The storylines may not have been perfect, but they were still interesting. They were captivating and captured the fans imagination and hearts. I felt that connection
Fast forward 10 years later, I am 22 years old and getting ready to graduate in a year and start my big boy job
John Cena, Randy Orton, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Sheamus, Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston, Cody Rhodes, Goldust, The shield, Wyatt family, AJ Lee, Natalya, kaitlyn, Naomi, bella twins, Fandango, Tyson Kidd, Wade Barrett, Los matadors, Real Americans, ryback, The miz, Kofi Kingston
These are the names that stick out to me now when I think of wrestling. When you think of this group, you probably roll your eyes and say BRING BACK THE ATTITUDE ERA. To me, these guys are extremely talented hard working individuals who have given their absolute best despite the new constraints of the new era. They do not have the mic freedom and character flexibility that the guys of the attitude era had to develop their characters and make folks care about them. They don’t have the time to create a viable story in and outside the ring. They are stuck in shallow pointless storylines that go absolutely no where most of the time. That passion and intensity is gone. The fans are silent because they have nothing to boo or cheer because nothing is really going on. Everything is disjointed and a complete mess. The midcarders rarely have storylines and they don’t get the time to really make people care about the match or the person they are “feuding” with. The Divas division has had only one decent feud in the past few years and that was Kaitlyn vs AJ( in my opinion, that was the top feuds of the year).Lately, I have seen a lot feuds that were badly excused and half assed.
For example, I feel that the dolph Ziggler and AJ lee break up lacked depth. Years ago, Dolph would have been able to go out and really explain why he dumped aj. It would have gotten the crowd on his side more, made him sympathetic, and give aj lee more heat. Adding Kaitlyn to the mix would have made it even more intense. After all, AJ pretty much embarrassed Kaitlyn and took her title. What better way to really get her revenge and stick to AJ by kissing on her man? Then you have Big E Langston who gets tired of being AJ’s manservant and prisoner of the friendzone. With that everybody wins. Dolph gains more babyface cheers, Kaitlyn still has regained some momentum and got even with aj, Big E Langston has some sympathy for a babyface turn, and aj lee has more heat and becomes more deranged
But no. That is the story of the WWE today. Its not the wrestlers faults that most of the fans seemingly don’t care about them. Its not PG or lack of blood. I blame it all on the guys on the top. The management. All that wasted talent and potential is because of lazy half hearted booking. It feels like the WWE does not care about making the show entertaining for the fans anymore. Its more about promoting their apps, reality tv shows, making twitter trends and their new network. The fact that the guys in the attitude era can make a more entertaining show in 2 hours and the WWE can’t in 3 hours in unacceptable. I know that the WWE is not perfect and I won’t always get what I want. I have always been supportive, but lately its hard to forgive and overlook. I have never seen the show this badly run in my life. Constantly shoving guys that the fans don’t want to see down our throats and showing the same match again and again. Its an absolute insult to the fans who loyally pour money into this program. You have the potential to give the fans a captivating and memorable show, but you constantly feed them half assed garbage and expect them not to hijack segments with their chants. That is what makes me angry. You might as well pull out your penis, shaking it in of their faces and wave their money in their faces because that is what they are doing now.
Its not only insulting to the fans, but to the wrestlers who have left their loved ones and batter and exhaust their bodies on a nightly basis to make you guys money. They are wasting their potential and the best years of their life. Most of these guys were influenced by the guys of attitude era. They saw how they rose to the top by improving their skill and being entertaining. They saw that if you got the crowd on your side, you became a star and main eventer. But these guys are not getting the same chances that the guys of the attitude era got and even the guys who go out and find away to somehow get a following, they go nowhere because the writers no longer know what to do or Vince does not like them. Its not about who the fans cheer or give reaction to. Vince is going to put who he wants out there. The fans have a hard time seeing eye to eye with Vince today and I don’t blame them. I don’t know if he has always been this stubborn. I can only imagine how the superstars feel. Imagine being ambitious and wanting to work your way up in a big company. You are constantly performing well and you have the stats to back it up. You are the workhorse and you are constantly proving yourself. Unfortunately, your boss is too blind to see it and you are passed over by someone who does not deserve it. Most people just swallow the bitter pill because they are happy to have a job. Then you have the person who feels like they are wasting their time and is worthy of more. It toughs putting your heart and your effort into something and when you get way less than what you put into it, it is very disheartening and makes it hard to continue doing it a high level. You get burnt out and you begin to look at other things. If you had the option that you could leave your job and be fine, I know you would not hesitate to jump at it. I sympathized with the plight of Kaitlyn and CM Punk.
Even though I was originally skeptical of Kaitlyn winning NXT, she won me over completely and became one of my all time favorites. She inspired me to make this for her. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_bx0Ua6WvQ
She was a bad ass chick. You look at her and see this fine thick young lady, but she is dressed like a bad ass with a vest, black pants, and army like boots. It her I-am- just-like-the-guys-persona, but I am still a sexy bitch persona. AJ lee is great and deserves to be the top diva, but I felt kaitlyn was one of the top girls in that division. She had shown great improvement and became one of the top workers in that division. But she gets dropped completely off television and loses all her momentum. After spending a year and a half proving yourself and getting dropped completely with no direction and having promises broken to your face, its hard to really care about your job and have that same drive.
Punk was a guy who constantly put 5 star matches and great promos, but was constantly overlooked. It took one great worked promo to finally get the WWE to take him seriously. Punk became champion for 435 days and had great matches Daniel Bryan and chris Jericho. But there may have been the sense that despite being the champ, Punk was not really the man or the main event. Punk was not happy that his epic 435 day championship run was ended by a part timer who barely wrestles and can’t go 5 minutes in a match without being winded. He fought busted his ass and laid his body on the line to become one of the biggest stars despite questionable booking, only to be overlooked for the main event once again. His injury break was way too short and he found himself on the midcard after he returned. The WWE is bad at developing stars and they rushed him back before he was mentally and physically ready. Punk was not the same guy as he was before. He was still injured and very disillusioned about the way the company was going. Punk is a guy who lives and breathes wrestling. He sees it through the fans eyes and he is not afraid to call anyone or the management on their bull. He knows when its good and he knew when it was going straight to crap.
Punk is not the only guy alone with his frustrations. He was the only one who would speak up. You dream of being apart of wrestlemania and you bust your ass for an opportunity, but you get passed over from a blast from the past who is going to get gassed within 5 minutes. I don’t have a problem with part timers coming back, but the reason they were so popular to begin with was because management gave them the freedom and the opportunity to gain a following. These superstars of today don’t have that opportunity and its unfair. But what can they do? Unlike Punk and Kaitlyn, some of those guys don’t have the financial flexibility or the any other options. They are forced to accept their postions. The same for us fans. Like it or not, WWE is the biggest wrestling company today. They don’t have any legit competition anymore. If you want to be remembered as a wrestler, this is where you should be. If you want to watch quality wrestling, then tune in to Monday night raw and smackdown. But unfortunately, WWE does not produce the same intense, fierce, emotional quality tv that it used to when we were younger. Its half heartedly thrown together with very little substance.
Its sad to see something we used to love turn to crap when we get older. It’s a reminder of a childhood and the things that keeps us young. It gave us imagination and made us believe in heroes. Even though quality has declined, Some of us still watch it for nostalgia and just for the fact that we love it. Its not easy to throw away something you love. We continue to hold on to it with hopes that it gets better, but when it doesn’t, it becomes harder to hold on to. I know the days of Stone Cold, The Rock, Triple H, Mick foley,Sting, Goldberg, HBK and the undertaker are over and even if they come back, it will never be the same. Times have changed so much that even these guys would not be as effective in this era. As long as Vince is making money, things are going to be the way it is and it will take something drastic to really shake up how they do thing. What can we do? We can only just watch , support, and appreciate the superstars that are still giving their all despite the bull they are given. Knowing me, I will probably have my eyes glued at 7:00 central to watch Monday night Raw and TRY to enjoy the show. Wrestling will always be a part of me and hold a place in my heart, but it is getting harder to sit and watch the whole show every passing week.