Sunday, 27 May 2018

#4 - My Love/Hate Relationship with Pro Wrestling (Part 2 - Hate) 05/27/18

*NOTE - if you didn't like all the wrestling talk yesterday, well, thanks for page hit anyways. Come back tomorrow*

I don't like to use the word "hate" in regards to people. At least people I know. It's a strong word.

But I use it all the time in regards to stupid things. Sports, movies, music, stuff like that. And I don't know if there's any topic I feel more passionate about what I hate than professional wrestling. I don't know why I feel so strongly about something as trivial as wrestling. Politics, the economy, real life stuff? Meh. But Roman Reigns is going to main event another WrestleMania??? Don't get me started...

I think part of it is just that I love the good side of wrestling so much. The love/hate push and pull relationship you have with something is a two way street. The more you love aspects of something, the more you hate aspects of it, too. Maybe? I don't know. I'm just trying to justify why I get so worked up about a "fake" (shut up) sport.

And truthfully, I don't hate that much about it. I hate particular wrestlers (which I'll get to in a minute), but I don't hate a lot else about it. Some people argue gimmick matches are overplayed, but I love them. People hate "spotfests" (matches where the wrestlers just go from pre-determined stunt to pre-determined stunt, without much actual wrestling in between), but I think they serve a purpose. When used correctly, anyways. I have no problem with short title reigns. Some would say that it "de-values a title", but I don't think I agree with that. I look at it as it just means the company you're watching is more competitive. I like the idea that on any given night, a champion can be beaten. Plus, I think it adds more value to a long title reign. (CM Punk's year + as champion, for example).

So, if I don't hate those things, what do I hate? For starters, I hate scripted promos. For my money, that's one of the biggest issues with the WWE today. Back when wrestling was at it's peak, wrestlers weren't handed "scripts" when they had to go cut a promo. They were told what to touch on, and they'd have some ideas, but they were handed a microphone and told to "get over" (make fans care). Stone Cold, Jake The Snake, Chris Jericho, obviously The Rock, all masters of it. It was so much more fun than the promos today, where it's clearly guys and girls that can't act, trying to act. I hate it.

I hate that WWE doesn't have any competition. Remember when Vince McMahon bought WCW? I thought it was awesome, seeing Vince and Shane arguing with each other on Raw and Nitro at the same time. We all thought this was it, we'd get the dream "WWF vs WCW" feud. It should have made a billion dollars. But it sucked. You can argue that Vince couldn't put his ego aside and let WCW look equal to his precious WWF. Or that he should have gotten off his wallet and done whatever it took to get WCW's top stars to come over to WWF earlier. Whatever way you slice it, the angle is largely considered to be the biggest missed opportunity in pro wrestling history.

But with hindsight in mind, the bigger issue wasn't Vince blowing this big angle, it was that he no longer had competition. The WWF(E) product suffered horribly. With nobody pushing them to improve, the WWE started getting lazy. (Triple H wins. Triple H wins again! Here comes Triple H! get the idea). I can't imagine how difficult it is to write several hours of original, entertaining television every week. But now that they're the only real game in town, they don't have to. They just have to put a product out, and they know there are millions of loyal wrestling fans out there that'll keep tuning in, even if they don't like what they say.

And on that note, I hate that the WWE doesn't listen to it's fans anymore. CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, Daniel Bryan, the Nexus, Rusev, Cesaro, Gail Kim....the list goes on and on. How many wrestlers have we as the fans gotten behind, only for Vince, HHH, Stephanie and friends to come out and tell us, "Nope. You want Roman." There was a time when the powers that be within WWE couldn't ignore the fans. If we let them know, week after week, that we wanted someone to win, eventually they won. Because that's how the company made money, and kept fans from going somewhere else. It doesn't work like that anymore. WWE has decided Roman Reigns, John Cena, Randy Orton, Jinder Mahal (????) are who they want us to pay to see, and that's that.

My final straw with the current product was the burial of CM Punk. Punk could have been the next Stone Cold Steve Austin. He was white hot. But for whatever reason, WWE didn't want him to be the face of the company, and they let Triple H bury him. When Punk left, a lot of my interest in the current product did as well.

This has been a longer blog than I intended. I could spend another hour ranting about Roman Reigns and the WWE today. But at the end of the day, WWE is making money. They're (realistically), the only game in town. And after the scare WCW put into them in the 90's, they aren't going to let anyone else get even remotely close to knocking them off the top of the mountain. And with that perch at the top, comes the ability to do whatever you want. Fans can take it or leave it. And until enough leave it, nothing will change.

I hate the current product. But I can't quit it.....

Thanks for reading!


My official 5 most hated pro wrestlers of all time:

5 - Stephanie McMahon
4 - Goooollllddddberrggggg
3 - Kevin Nash
2 - Hulk Hogan
1 - Triple H

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