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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Has The Internet Destroyed Wrestling"
May 3, 2005 by Danny Walker


I was just sitting there, on the net, posting on multiple forums when I stumbled upon a post. It was about how great wrestlers, before the time of internet wrestling fans, were adored, and then, thanks to the birth of the smart mark (Smark/Internet Fan), they were hated and they sank down to the all time low. And then, while reading through it, I asked myself the question:

HAS THE INTERNET DESTROYED WRESTLING"

Before I first accessed the Internet, I loved any wrestler I saw. I loved people like Triple H, Goldberg, and others. But then I logged onto the Internet for the first time in my life and then noticed that wrestlers like them, and them, were so greatly hated. And I couldn't understand it.

That was almost three years ago.

At first I wondered why they were hated. They put on good, exciting matches to me. They were very entertaining. I didn't get it, why were they so despised that people said they deserved nothing but to have their legs broken. But I didn't listen, I continued liking what I liked. Goldberg was so fucking amazing to me, the streak, the Jackhammer, the Spear, he was great.

But... I stayed on the Internet, I shared my views and got laughed at, I got called things from the technical term, Mark, and the basic term, Stupid F*cking Idiot. Then I started holding back my views because I couldn't defend against these arguments, they were too strong. That was the first sign of my transformation from Mark to Smark.

I began reading these arguments about how they are sh*t wrestlers. Then I noticed one guy who was practically a preacher of old school technical wrestling, I read his posts and arguments which made me stumble down memory lane. I remembered the first time I really was entertained by pure technical wrestling WITHOUT the internet ordering me to like it. WCW, Bret Hart Vs Chris Benoit. Probably the first time I was actually stuck to the screen. I gave the match five stars without even thinking about it. That's about the point the internet stuff started making sense.

I compared people like Goldberg, and Triple H to Bret Hart and Chris Benoit.

I realised that the stuff I liked then, was different to what I like now. Goldberg wasn't a good wrestler, he was no longer entertaining to me. I found his streak a boring storyline for WCW to use, I found the spear sucked compared to most others, and above all else, I realised that he was one of the sh*test wrestlers I have ever seen. Stage Two.

I started paying attention to something I never even knew existed, Indy Wrestling. I got hooked on people like AJ Styles, Low Ki, Christopher Daniels and many others. That was followed by the brief time I started getting interested in the Japan and Mexico wrestling scene. I was impressed. I no longer enjoyed watching people like Big Show throw his opponents around. I was attracted to the sporting side, no longer the entertainment side. Stage Three.

I am not yet a Smark, I am merely a fan of technical wrestling. But then, I read more stuff around the net. Stuff like "The WWE Should Push Their Young Talent More." And "I Wonder What The Writers Were Thinking When They Decided On That Storyline." And then one thing led to another, pretty much the same way as before, but this time I never found the thing I knew before no longer entertaining, I simply looked at it in a different way. I became aware of the smart and not so smart business decisions the WWE goes through. The smart and the bad signings of new talent. The politics of the backstage were now understandable to me. And thus the end of my journey from Mark to Smark.

I became a Smark less than a year ago. Actually, less than six months ago. I look at Angle and say "He is a great wrestler, and he is entertaining", I look at people like Benoit and say, "He is a great wrestler, but he needs to put on a better show", at John Cena, "He is a crappy wrestler, but at least he is entertaining" and I look at people like Goldberg, the one who I once looked at like the greatest in the world, and I say, "Not only is he a shit wrestler, but he is a shit entertainer to."

So, Has The Internet Destroyed Wrestling" The answer for me is, NO! It has simple shown me a new side of wrestling. But... I can't speak for you all. You have your own answer for the question.

by Danny Walker ..


Mikkel Larsen wrote:
That is so describring. What you have just written, is the exact same evolution as i went through since i began on the internet. I canīt find any bad in your column. It is just so detailed, for me. Damn, good job.
Huthaifas wrote:
In way it has, its so much harder to surprise the fan anymore. surprise is key when it comes to entertainment. People like Triple H really suffer from this. Too many people holding grudges against the guy,who has done nothing to them, instead of just watching him wrestle.
L. Biggins wrote:
Ah, I'm so sick of people saying Goldberg's wrestling skills suck. Listen, I'm not a mindless Goldberg fanatic who doesn't want to know anything negative about it, but Goldberg is not as crappy as you say he is in the ring. God, Kevin Nash does as good as 3 wrestling moves and gets less flak than someone who does rolling leg locks, ground side leg locks and ground cross arm breakers.
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Josh Z. wrote:
I used to love wrestling. WCW mostly. I loved it to death from the time I started watching it in 1996 until a couple years ago when Ric Flair said the company was run very poorly. Unlike the WWE today (15% wrestling, 85% soap-opera), WCW was nearly 50-50 wrestling and soap-opera. What attracted me was the luchadores and badass gimmicks, like Sting and Mortis. I liked Goldberg. He and Sting and Ric Flair were the defenders of WCW, fighting the nWo. I didn't care if they couldn't wrestle, that it was real or fake, because wrestling and fighting styles like Muay Thai and karate all mean the same to me: people beating each other to pieces. But then, today, I go online and see people trash talking the wrestlers I enjoyed watching in WCW. It made me change my feelings for wrestling. And I hate the change. I'm not going to turn Smark. I'm just quitting. I think the Internet ruined wrestling. At least for me it did. Thanks Internet, you SOB.
Toba Trytell wrote:
I think you have a valid point. Ive always been a wcw fan and liked Goldberg. The internet did make me think but it never changed my mind. You cant let what people say on the internet change the way you think and who you like no matter how good the point is. Goldberg made wcw rise, so to me he made an impact so i will always think nothing less of goldberg no matter if a bunch of idiots try and change my mind because if they dont respect an opinion then they are the ones that are wrong.
Johnny Speckman wrote:
I just want to start off by saying that this is a very good topic for an article. This topic is something that I have been struggling with for quite some time. I myself have been balancing on the line of Smark and Mark. I have access to all of the web-sites that 'ruin' wrestling but I choose not to look at them. I continue to watch in shock when a certain storyline comes up or a new superstar is introduced. I like having things surprise me. It reminds me of my earlier years when I knew nothing and had no internet.

Do I believe that the internet has destroyed wrestling" For those who use it, yes I do believe that the internet has destroyed wrestling. The magic is now gone for those who look at the web-sites. Nothing is a surprise anymore. Everyone complains about how wrestling hasn't kept them entertained lately and that is because Smarks are revealing the inner workings and presenting big things that the promoters were keeping a secret to entertain the fans.

If you don't want things to be ruined for you then simply stop looking at spoilers. I don't understand why people like knowing everything that is going on behind that curtain. I am part Smark mostly because I know what is important. I know that wrestling is pre-determined. I am part Mark because I keep myself in the dark as far as spoilers go. For those of you who don't look at the internet keep it up.
Anthony Mcmullen wrote:
Huthaifas, incase you have forgotten wrestling(except WWE) is still wrestling, despite that piece of shit Vince brought into wrestling, so if surprise is a key element in surprise, and the key element in entertainment is surprise, who cares. And besides, at least people don't buy these big meat no-talents (ie Goldberg, Steiner,etc). Thanks to the internet people don't buy into the politics. people use to buy Hulk Hogan holding the world title, where as today people don't buy into those politicians(ie triple).
James Guest wrote:
i do not believe that the internet is to blame for the downfall of major proffesional wrestling. I used to watch wrsetling religiously every week becoming increasingly excited at the events unfolding on international television. For me, the technical side of wrestling was not the main attraction, merely a bonus. I enjoyed the thrills that would come through storylines and events which were genuinely astonishing, for instance when Shane Mcmahon in his match against test jumped off the titantron, even though i could see the boxes it was amazing to watch him put himself through that. The fall for me started with the Rock's move into Hollywood, i did not mind that he had begun making movies but wrestling became less important to him and we, the fans, lost what actually was the most electrifying man in sports entertainment, someone who could make you shout at the tv without realising it, stand up when babyfaces triumped. Slowly but surely the storylines became so badly written i was yawning during the programs. WWF had incredibly successfully made their superstars into idols but week by week i saw them losing to weaker and smaller opponents. I would have paid anything to see HBK in his hayday but know he has been reduced to a mediocre wrestler. My favourite wrestler for entertainment value was always the various forms of Mick Foley. WWF began losing its stars' idolity as far back as the end of the 90s, just after its peak in popularity as far as i am concerned. Fans then were fanatical and i continued to watch as gimmicks got worse and storylines worse than the most ridiculous of soaps. A blow that the wwe was never to recover from was the wwf vs wcw, a storyline i had been waiting for my whole life and, like most fans i know, i was bitterly dissappointed. They made very little out of what was to me meant to be the apocalypse of wrestling. then the wwe lost 3 of the biggest superstars it had ever had or built up, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and the incredible Stone Cold Steve Austin, this was a massive blow and in my opinion they should have done anything to keep them, maybe not austin as he was suffering from a long-term injury, even though he was the most important of these three. WWE had failed to secure the services of Sting, to me the coolest of the WCW stars and the most entertaining. Then the mistake that really killed wrestling, a corporation that had lost alot of its most exciting wrestlers and was becoming increasingly thinly spread was split into two in the long term. If this had been a short term storyline it would have been exciting, but in the long term it closed alot of doors in terms of storylines and exciting matches for the wwe, instead of having the most iconic wrestlers against each other they were having bouts against wrestlers who would not have been worthy 5/6 years ago. Instead of these wrestlers keeping their status and dominating their brand, they were lowered to the level of other, worse and less-exciting wrestlers. With more and more wrestlers leaving i fear that wrestling is in deep trouble of putting off new younger wrestlers. For me, Kane is the perfect metaphor for the whole wrestling business, exciting but after the mask came off, lost all of its intrigue. Now i only watch the Royal Rumble, mainly because it would be a shame to forget wrestling all together, but the match which i used to look forward to all year is letting me down as well and the last one was possibly the most boring match i have ever watched. I feel the only way that the wwe can salvage anything is by reuniting the shows, and keeping JR and the King as the ONLY commentators.
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