No Contest For Outside Behavior
Earlier this year, I got super mad with WWE because a match ended in a No Contest. Why? I can’t remember who was involved exactly. I remember it was during the Asuka & Kairi Sane vs. Bayley & Sasha Banks feud. Someone attacked a wrestler standing on the outside of the match, yet somehow it was ruled a No Contest? Even though they didn’t touch anyone in the match itself?! C’mon WWE, that’s another level of dumbassery.
All I know is that this year, WWE has changed it so referees can decide to end proceedings, even if the outside fighting isn’t directly involving the superstars working the match. And it’s happened a few times. I can understand stopping it if someone got in the ring and attacked one of the competitors, but what does it matter if it’s directed at those who aren’t? How do their actions affect the outcome of a match so badly? Yeah, I know this is more of a poor booking decision than anything else, but it was so bad I had to include it. That was my face too Asuka. What. The. ****!
Yank On Rope Launches Opponent
You know that spot (hard to describe) when a wrestler is on the apron holding the top rope, and a bigger opponent comes along, stares at ’em, and yanks on the rope so hard it launches them over the top… flipping them in to the ring? I hate that move, it makes no sense at all. How does that work? It shouldn’t, but somehow it does in wrestling.
It’s like Sami Zayn’s Blue Thunder Bomb. They treat the move like he is going to win the match! Yay! New champ… new champ! Aww, well that didn’t work. And trust me, it never works. And there are so many signature moves like this, that are sold by wrestler and commentary like they will definitely win the match, when we know for a fact they have never scored a pin or submission with it.
There’s a way to rectify that though. Change it up… let moves like the Blue Thunder Bomb win a match sometimes. Even if it’s against jobbers, it makes future matches more interesting because you can sell it legitimately like another finisher. I get they are trying to sell the offense, but try to do more with signature moves and matches will be less predictable.
Piledriver Banned! Destroyer & Tombstone Exempt
Title speaks for itself. In WWE especially, the standard Piledriver move is banned. Tombstone Piledriver and Canadian Destoyers are not. How does that work?! If we’re thinking about the Owen Hart and Steve Austin dangerous Piledriver… you watch it below. That move was more of a Tombstone than a standard, and it wasn’t done very well. And The Undertaker used to do jumping tombstones long after that incident. I’m all for protecting wrestler’s necks, that is of utmost importance. But banning standard piledrivers while other very similar, and probably more dangerous variants of the same thing is free rein?
I can’t begin to describe how logic defying that is. I’m only for jumping Piledriver variations if the person delivering is a veteran who knows exactly how to protect who they are working with. Otherwise, standard Piledrivers where you lean back and fall aren’t too bad. Just like any move, be professional and protect your opponent, and a Piledriver will only be as dangerous as any other move.
My biggest peeve in the business today. There was a time when wrestlers sold each other’s moves. Things mattered. Offense had consequences. Technical wrestlers focused on arms, legs, shoulders, and their opponent sold it not only during the match, but afterwards too. Wrestlers used to get tired, battered, and show you the progression. After 20 minutes, wrestlers would slow down. They would struggle to stand up. The fans would admire their toughness and bravery as two gladiators exchanged blows in their weakened state.
Nowadays… after 20 minutes, wrestlers are going full speed at each other, pulling off all kinds of acrobatics. They don’t act tired or like they have sustained any damage at all. After matches, it looks like they could go another 20 minutes. Nothing matters anymore because so many don’t make us care. It’s all fine showcasing your amazing repertoire, but what good is it if it doesn’t look strong? When your opponent can get up afterward and walk out while you cut a promo? John Cena used to do this all the time. He’d spend a whole match getting beaten down, make his comeback, and then cut a promo without selling a thing. Even a retired Shawn Michaels can’t sell a RKO and Punt Kick properly.
You need to sound exhausted and beaten up, or everything we just saw was for nothing. We know it isn’t actual competition, but at least care enough to make it seem that way. Otherwise, we’re just watching a bunch of guys performing moves. And that’s the problem with wrestling today. Matches should get slower! Not faster. Wrestling should start fast and gradually get slower as it progresses. But it seems to have gone the other way. And I don’t know about you, but someone… somewhere needs to get the memo. Stop fishing for cheap pops and make us care! And in return, we will reward the business for its patience.
Below is a quote I felt like sharing from a Facebook user, after I asked our page followers what their pet peeves are. Much of what I have said is subjective, and it’s not meant to come across like I watch wrestling to nitpick for all the negatives. There’s so much good as well, which I will share with you in the coming weeks. 2020 has been a crazy year in many ways. Thanks for reading.
“It’s gotten out of hand in general but what can you do? If a promotion hit the reset button and went back to the basics and fundamentals would that promotion succeed? Probably not. The wrestling community has become desensitized.“