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WRESTLING COLUMNS

What's Wrong With Wrestling?
November 4, 2004 by Joseph Huber


This topic is not new. In fact, it is getting so old that it has helped ruin the sport I love called wrestling. I know wrestling is not a sport in the real sense like football, basketball, baseball and others we all know and love, but wrestling was always, well about two guys in the ring performing moves and exciting crowds. Well that has changed. It has become about hot, near-naked women flaunting their butts to the delight of many men.

Now I don't have a problem with women being involved in wrestling. I was a big fan of Miss Elizabeth and I happen to really like Trish Stratus, and gasp, I am even liking women in the ring (the one's who have some wrestling abilities, sorry Torrie & Stacy). I do miss the actual wrestling though. I am not referring to technical wrestling, but the characters and the wrestling moves. I miss matches where nobody interferes. I miss the days when someone can put a sleeper on someone else for minutes at a time without the crowd booing, actually the crowd cheering the move.

I think part of the problem has to do with how society has changed over the years. We have become a short attention span society. We fall for political tricks, like one or two word lies (who flip-flops better then Bush? Going AWOL from National Guard to telling lies about someone who saved lies in Vietnam) from presidents with the apparent IQ of Eugene on a bad day. What does it have to do with wrestling? You may ask. Well we no longer long for the wrestling matches involving wrestling moves. We want the chairs, tables, ladders, spiked baseball bats, steel cages etc. Everything should be over the top and short to please crowds today. Instead of "Show me the Money" it has now become "Show me Stacy's ass". Sorry but I can get that on Playboy channel anytime thanks to Direct TV. It has gone so far that the crowd no longer wants a simple match between two wrestlers without interference. Sadly, this is what I miss most.

Wrestling is not the only thing missing from, well wrestling, these days. Characters are missing also for the most part. Sure we got the Rey Mysterio's, Undertakers & Kane's but for each one of them there is now 3-5 "real-type" wrestlers who are boring to watch and don't know how to tell a story in the ring. For all Chris Benoit's wrestling ability to tell a story in the ring, he fails at getting the crowd excited anywhere else but in ring. It is actually painful to watch him in an interview. I think what wrestling needs more is people like Eddie Guerrero who can pump up the crowd in and OUT of the ring. Eddie has the charisma that is missing from most, if not all, of the new wrestlers we are seeing each week.

Heidenreich? Powerful. Scary to kids. Boring as hell to watch in the ring and in promos. Ric Flair? So old his friends in High School were dinosaurs. HHH? Over the hill and tiring to see as champ, especially now when he really doesn't seem to deserve it. Edge? Even his heel turn had the crowd sitting on their hands. HBK getting as tiring to see as HHH. His in ring and camera time should be severly limited and used on rare occasions to pump a crowd up.

What can be done to save wrestling? I think a return to basics. Good training by wrestlers from the past who could train interesting moves and creating a good character. The people training the upcoming wrestlers are failing miserably at making them the least bit interesting. Ricky Steamboat, Hulk Hogan, Stone Cold Steve Austin, Bret The Hitman Hart and others from the past could and should be behind the scenes, and still in front of the camera, on occasion, training new wrestlers on both wrestling moves and characterization.

While there was a time for it, the days of chair shots and other things should be over, at least them being used on a regular basis. Too many wrestlers have been hurt by this and the product has been hurt as well. We need to get back to the basics of what wrestling was in the past. Two guys getting the crowd excited by wrestling moves in the ring. Promos made to promote the matches & feuds instead of women taking up screen time flaunting their bodies. Now I am not against the occasional chair shot or weapon, even interruptions in matches. They should be just that though, occasional. We have grown so used to interferences in matches that when someone is getting beat up the crowd and home audiences watch the ring entrance to see who is going to interfere, or help someone in a match. Basically wrestling needs to get back to the days when such things were pleasant surprises.

Now I hate complaining. I write all this because I want to see an improvement in the WWE. I hate to see it going down the tubes like it is. I know there are up and down cycles in wrestling and I hope this is just a down cycle. Work needs to be done to save wrestling for future generations to enjoy.

by Joseph Huber


Stace, Grand Prairie, TX wrote:
I agree with Joseph 100%. I'd just like to add a little bit to it. I think the WWE should do away with the brands. Wrestling was a little better to watch when it was one show, twice a week. The rivalries would be fresh and the belts would mean more because more stars would be in contention. One champion, one IC Champion, one tag team Champion, period! I also wish they would allow fans to identify with stars as being heel or face. growing up in Texas, we loved the Von Erichs and hated the Freebirds. Now days, with the exception of a very few (HHH, Taker, Kurt Angle), we don't know who to love or hate because they change sides every few weeks. Lastly, GET RID OF THE COMEDY SCRIPTS!!! Wrestling not supposed to be silly (John Cena with the gay comments about Cole). Wrestling fans wanna see somebody talk smack and kick butt! Somebody please tell Vince, BACK TO THE BASICS!!!!!
Twilla J. wrote:
I agree 100%. Wrestling has become so fake nowadays. I know I'm only 16 but I remember watching old matches on tapes that my dad would pull out showing guys like Andre the Giant, the Bushwhackers, Roddy Piper and even the Hart family. Now back then, in the late '80s and even in the early '90s, wrestling was wrestling. Nowadays, it's become more of a fashion show where the women come out parading their bodies and the guys come out flaunting their looks as well just to get the screams out of the men and women in the crowd who love looking. I wish wrestling would get back to how it was on the video tapes that I'd watch. I love a good hardcore match too once in a while but not every match has to be hardcore. And some of these personas that are going on now, they are seriously overrated. Carlito Caribbean Cool, what's the point of his character, I mean all he does is say how cool he is and spits apple in people's faces. I read articles on how big of a superstar his dad is over in Puerto Rico, but by the looks of things, he's not going to be as great as his dad. Even Randy Orton and the Rock, they all came in being known as Cowboy Bob Orton's son and the son of Rocky Johnson or the grandson of Peter Maivia and they were shot to the top right away. Now the Rock, he has proved himself as a wrestler and I'm glad, but Randy Orton hasn't proved himself as much as he should have, I mean yes I'm glad he won the title and he did deserve to win, but at least give the guy more time, don't drop it back to guys like HHH who are basically becoming hasbeens and washouts. Guys like Ric Flair, get rid of them already, they're dead weight, we need new fresh faces in wrestling and we need to bring back the old school moves as well, get rid of all this fake crap and bring back the real essence of wrestling.
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