There's No Such Thing As A Golden Age
July 11, 2005 by David Barker
Hello Online World of Wrestling, it is time for my second column, a follow up of sorts to my first ("Why World Titles Are Meaningless"), this column is going to focus on how there is no such thing as a golden age in professional wrestling. And yes, I just did a big no-no in introductory paragraphs; I said specifically what I was going to focus on. Sorry, I went a little off topic. Anyway, for the past several months, since I've been a follower of OWW, I've noticed a large number of people claiming different eras to be the Golden Age of Wrestling, or the Golden Age of the WWE/WWF, but there is no such thing.
Professional wrestling is an evolving market. I'm going to take everyone back on a journey with me. Yes, this seventeen year old is going to take everyone back, to the early 1900's, and move us to the present. In the early days of professional wrestling, it was not mainstream, it was not on television, it was a travelling act. It went with carnivals. They even had their own language: 'carnie'. From there, it developed into regional and local, cities having their own companies, with their own stars. All of these being a part of the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). The NWA was not a company; it was a collection of promoters and territories. There was ONE World Champion. He defended all across the globe. He'd come into a territory that'd never seen him before and wrestle, win or go to a time limit draw, finish his program there, and then leave. That was his life. This era, the territorial era, had many classic wrestlers, and many classic matches. Don't believe me" Let's take a look shall we" There was Lou Thesz, Pat O'Conner, Ruddy Rogers, Gene Kiniski, Dory Funk Jr., Terry Funk, Jack Briscoe, Harley Race, Dusty Rhodes, Ric Flair, and a whole host of others. In the eighties, territorial wrestling began to die out. Vince McMahon was rising, Jim Crocket was rising.
Vince McMahon was taking over the wrestling world. With his roster of Greek godlike wrestlers (in appearance), he was changing the wrestling world. Slowly, his matches were getting shorter, but he still gave the world classic matches. I'm talking about Valentine vs. Santana, Snuka vs. Morocco, Steamboat vs. Savage, Piper and Orndorff vs. Hogan and Mr. T, Hogan vs. Andre, and many more. But Vince was giving a different style. A more child-friendly style. A family orientated style. A less bloody style. A less violent style, but a successful style, an entertaining style.
Jim Crocket wasn't doing things like Vinnie Mac. He was still giving classic bouts. And I mean CLASSIC bouts. Flair vs. Race, Flair vs. Rhoades, Flair vs. Steamboat, Flair vs. Windham, Flair vs. Sting, Flair vs. Funk, Piper vs. Valentine and the list goes on. Crockett was still giving the fans historic matches. Long, drawn out matches. Matches that went to hour time limits. Matches that went forty-five minutes. Matches that showcased the wrestlers' ability. Matches that were WRESTLING. In the late eighties, '88 I believe, Jim Crocket Promotions joined with Georgia wrestling to become WCW, and wrestling began to change again.
Now there were two national promotions, each bidding for the larger audience. This was the 90's. Many great things happened in this era. Michaels vs. Ramon, the '92 Royal Rumble, Hart vs. Michaels in the Iron Man, the Attitude Era, the rise of ECW, the NWO, Lucha Libre coming to "main stream" American wrestling. The 90's evolved to the present.
This was a brief history, a brief look. All of this for a purpose. People classify eras as the Golden Age of Wrestling, because we each cherish the moments that mean the most to us. We each cherish the era that we enjoyed the most, but that doesn't make it the Golden Era of Wrestling, or of a company, because there is no Golden Era. There is simply the constant evolution of what was once called a 'sport', and evolved into 'sports entertainment', while some companies still represent the 'sport' of professional wrestling. I say this to all you classifiers of Golden Ages.
STOP! EVERY era had its ups and downs. Every era had its classic bouts, and its not so classic bouts. Every era has moments that will last with us forever, others we want to forget. But that is what wrestling is. A collection of great matches, great moments, great memories. If you want to classify a Golden Age of Wrestling. Then the Golden Age of Wrestling started in Ancient Greece, and will last until the end of the world.
by David Barker ..
SAMEER KAUSHAL wrote:
Some people keep barking and waste others time and you BARKER are one of them ,Just for your knowledge Piper and Orndorff vs. Hogan and Mr. T was one of the worst Wrestlemania main events though it was over hyped at the time .When was Vince's style family oriented and child friendly " Was it family oriented when Sable dropped her bra and showed her sagging implants or when Chyna peed in the middle of the ring or child friiendly when Foley was thrown ,chokeslammed through the Cell and slammed on top of pins or when Shawn Micheals put bananas in his pants or when every time upon coming to the ring , D X used to say Suck It or when a hand coming out of Mae Young there are many examples but i m not here to bore people like you. now to your defination of The Golden Era please dont subject us to Ancient Greece CRAP coz we are talking about SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT .ur article was pure crap coz the golde n era was the 80s and thier will be nothing to cherish off these times in future .
Ruth Mann wrote:
Right On! Now lets ask Verne Gagne or Ted Turner whether there ever was a "Golden Age." According to your logic, both of these guys should still be prospering in this constantly "evolving sport." I guess Ted Turner is still doing alright (no thanks to pro 'rasslin), and Verne, well,.....he sort of went the way of the horse and buggy
David Barker wrote:
SAMEER KAUSHAL, you sire, obviously did not understand the article. So before you reply with bashing, because you did not enjoy an article, is no reason to to bash with such intensity. When was Vince child friendly" How about when he had a God damned cartoon series" Or color, friendly characters as faces. If you're too damn ignorant to understand that I was speaking about a time before the "Attitude Era", then you're too damn ignorant to be replying to MY article. So Sammer Kaushal, why don't you pull your head out of your ass. Piper/Orndorff vs. Hogan/Mr. T might not have been a great scientific match. But you know what it did do" It made more money than you will ever make in your pathetic life.
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