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WRESTLING COLUMNS

The Anti-Smark: The Good Points of the WWE
November 22, 2003 by Josh Ronge


Welcome one and all to the second installment of The Anti-Smark. I'm always amazed at all the bad press the WWE gets by people who call themselves fans. A true fan doesn't go online and create a bitch-fest (Pardon my french) about how much the WWE sucks. If you don't like what you're watching, then turn the channel! Sheesh! Nobody's making you watch it. Turn on Monday Night Football or Survivor.

Now, onto the purpose of my column. I've decided to name and discuss some of the GOOD things about the WWE and it's product. By George, what a novel idea! So, as a very wise man once said,"On with the shoe!".

First and foremost, the WWE has an AWESOME array of talent. Even the most cynical of "Fans" wouldn't deny that. Where else in the world will you find the likes of RVD, Edge, Chris Benoit, Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, Booker T, Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle, Kane, The Undertaker, and Triple H? No where. You want to know something else? That's only the main-event caliber talent. As far as mid-carders go, the WWE is more than covered in that department as well. You have Charlie Haas, Shelton Benjamin, Test, Christian, Scott Steiner, Goldust (At least until January '04), Matt Hardy, Rhyno, Randy Orton, Tommy Dreamer, Johnny "The Bull" Stamboli, Chuck Palumbo, Batista, Al Snow, Lance Storm, Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley, John Cena, La Resistance, Rico, and the Big Valbowski. All of these individuals are capable of putting on more-than-respectable matches. Still not convinced? Alrighty, how about the cruiserweights? Mysterio, Kidman, Tajiri, Noble, Funaki, London, Spanky, Ultimo Dragon, and Nunzio are the cream of the crop when it comes to high flying action. They steal the show week in and week out on Smackdown! OK, we've covered the main-eventers, mid-carders, and cruiserweights. So what's left? Oh of course, the divas! Lita, Trish Stratus, Victoria, Jacqueline, Ivory, Molly Holly, Gail Kim, and Jazz regularly ply their trade on Monday and Sunday nights. We've seen great matches out of all these women. And none of them (With the possible exceptions of Molly and Jazz) are all that hard on the eyes either! Let's not forget that Torrie Wilson, Stacy Keibler, Dawn Marie, Shaniqua, Nidia, and Sable don't even compete full time. Can you imagine if all these divas joined the ranks of the Raw diva's division?

Alright, so we've established that there is no shortage of talent in the Raw locker room. Well, what else? How about the storylines. Yeah, yeah, I know, the storylines haven't exactly been compelling as of late. But let's not forget, this IS the company that gave us DeGeneration X and Austin Vs. McMahon, two of the greatest storylines ever created. They DO know how to entertain their fans, it's just that something gets lost in the execution sometimes. Admit it, they have been getting better. The Undertaker coming back as The Dead Man will spark some fan interest. The Trish Stratus/Chris Jericho storyline is exteremely interesting and has just about everyone guessing. And the Bischoff/Austin feud wasn't quite a home-run, but it was a definite improvement over Katie Vick.

Now, onto some of the smaller things. The WWE has given the fans some of the best gimmick matches ever. Hell in a Cell, TLC, Cage, Ladder, Table, Elimination Chamber, and Street Fight matches can be awesome if booked correctly.

The announce teams are very good as well. Good Ole' J.R. and Jerry "The King" Lawler have been an institution in the WWE for years. They can call the action better than anyone. Michael Cole and Tazz, while not quite as good as J.R. and the King, are very good at what they do. Tazz brings an unparalleled personality to the table and Michael Cole can call a match very nicely as well.

Well, there you have it. Are you going to look at the glass as half-full or half-empty? Call me a hopeless optimist, but I enjoy Raw and Smackdown! every week and I take the good with the bad. There's bound to be bad storylines and angles. If you don't like it, deal with it!

Josh Ronge-The Anti-Smark


Mark Rose resonds:
Ok Mr Anti-Smark you seem to want to antagonize those of us that don't sit and stare blankly at our TV screens every monday and thursday so you now you have my attention. So allow me to retort. First of all to your statement of "if you don't like it turn the channel" I say you don't know what the hell you are talking about. Those of us who critique aspects of WWE's product are doing so because the product has taken a turn for the worse over the last couple of years. We do enjoy certain parts of the show and we do enjoy a lot of the talent WWE uses. You generalize as if we hate everything which is certainly not the case. A lot of the people you mention in your column are very talented and those of who criticize are tired of their misuse.

And even you admit in your column that the storylines haven't been very intriguing yet you basically imply that we should just shut up and watch because WWE has done a good job at entertaining us in the past? What kind of bullshit is that? What are you Vince's PR man?

As far as JR and the King go I don't give a shit if they are an institution. They are BOTH horrible and stale now as announcers. JR doesn't know the names of half of the moves anymore and he spends most of his time during matches coming up with lame metaphors and talking about upcoming matches. The King never has anything to contribute but the same jokes he used 5 years ago and to constantly point out that there is a set of tits available to gazed at on the screen.

And by the way to counteract you whole little "if you don't like it change the channel" remark, if you don't like what we write and criticize.....DON'T READ IT. DEAL WITH THAT.

I'm done. From now on give your opinions but don't insult ours you little pissant mark.
Karl Dixon says:
"The announce teams are very good as well. Good Ole' J.R. and Jerry "The King" Lawler have been an institution in the WWE for years." Make that many- Many years. I actually perferred Heyman and JR. After watching some old ECW tapes I really like Joey Styles on commentary- but I'd have to say someone from WCW's announcing team, such as, Schiavone, Tenay, Heenan, Zybisko (sp I know- but c'mon that's hard to spell), Bischoff, still hit the spot everytime. I was very interested in the Coach/Snow angle. With RAW's announcement table moved to the 'Nitro position', and Eric now with his own announce team. (Add in the fact that in hindsight we now have Heyman as SD's GM with Taz on commentary....) It would have been just too sweet. A feud, between Bischoff and Heyman/ Heyman and McMahon/ Bischoff and McMahon, could have delivered big bucks and could have escalated into an Owner VS Owner match at WrestleMania. This could then have stipulations such as WCW or ECW being brought back as a separate company. Trading under two corparate names would open avenues such as more TV time and more oppotunity for Mid/Low card wrestlers..... But this is all 'Could haves' and 'Could be's', isn't it. This is not the WWE we are getting. And, to close- I will look at the glass as half empty- Because as little as four years ago, in 1999, it was more than completely full.... And I say it's better to have too much of something than too little.
Quinn Crossley says:
I happen to agree with the commentary written. Smarks just pick on triple H and never have anything good to say. A lot of the stuff said is just things said that might make sense if I was also a paranoid wrestling fan preaching the end of the wrestling world. The wwe is just in a slump (may i mention bastion booger and TJ Hopper?) business is now picking up and just will continue to get better. The smart marks have nothing to say or do but complain. There opinions don't seem to matter to Vince or Panda energy, so I ask for them (To quote Jericho) to "please shut the hell up!"
Josh Ronge defends himself:
Pissant mark? Wow, THAT'S real mature. "If you don't like it turn the channel."

When did I EVER say that constructive criticism of the WWE product wasn't a good thing? That statement applied to those smart marks that go online and have absolutely nothing good to say about the WWE, in case you couldn't figure it out, you peon. (Sorry, but I had to retaliate for that pissant mark comment)

Yes I did say that the WWE's storylines aren't the best they've ever been, but again, in case you missed it, I said that they are getting better. And DO NOT put words in my mouth. I never told you to shut up and watch it because they've entertained you in the past. I simply pointed out that they ARE capable of entertaining the fans.

"And by the way to counteract you whole little "if you don't like it change the channel" remark, if you don't like what we write and criticize.....DON'T READ IT. DEAL WITH THAT."

Why don't you practice what you preach? If you didn't like my column, DON'T READ IT! And for god's sake, if you didn't like it, don't give it credibility by responding to it.
Let's Get Ready to Rumble!!!! - Mark Rose resonds:
Yeah call it mature call it whatever you want but the whole concept right from the beginning is to piss of those of us who consider ourselves smart fans by using the title the Anti-Smark. And yes you never did say constructive criticism was a bad thing but your whole damn column implies that if someone writes a negative criqitue they are just "being negative" and shouldn't do that because the WWE has or is capable of entertaining us. Read it again what you wrote. That's the statement your column makes. And my statement at the bottom of the column was to show you how stupid your "if you don't like it turn the channel" comment is. I HATE it when people make idiotic statements like that. We're wrestling fans we're gonna watch because we LOVE wrestling. There are certain things we like but let's face it for the last maybe 2 years most of it has been complete shit.

I do apologize for the pissant mark comment but this column was a clear attack and attempt to antagonize those of us who complain about the WWE's product. And look at the buyrates and ratings going down, obviously we're not the only ones.
Josh Ronge's Final Thought:
I disagree. I didn't write this column to attack anyone. Smart-mark or otherwise.

"your whole damn column implies that if someone writes a negative criqitue they are just 'being negative'"

Well gee, that's pretty sound logic if you ask me. If someone writes a negative piece or column on the internet, then I would say that they ARE being negative. That is not to say that all negative columns are bad, unwarrented, or unfounded. Some of them are. The message I was trying to convey was that there are too many of them. There need to be more columns celebrating the good points of the WWE and that was what I was trying to accomplish.

"Yeah call it mature call it whatever you want but the whole concept right from the beginning is to piss of those of us who consider ourselves smart fans by using the title the Anti-Smark."

Well, you got me there. I AM trying to get under Smart-marks' skin by using that name. And judging by your responses thus far, it seems like it's working.

Again, I never said not to criticize because the WWE has entertained you in the past. I only mentioned that they HAVE entertained in the past and so not to lose hope when the storylines are far from engrossing.
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