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WRESTLING COLUMNS

A Critique On Internet Critics
April 21, 2005 by David Crane


Before I begin to critique the worst (and sadly the loudest voices) and seemingly bitter sports entertainment critics on the net let me give you some background on myself. I have been a serious pro wrestling fan for the past ten years now. While most of the people that become attracted to this genre came in during boom periods that would inspire many reasons to want to become a fan, I came in during one of the very worst wrestling years of the past twenty five years. Yep 1995 saw a horrible year to become how bad was it" How about Mantuar the Half-Man Half-Beast! An evil dentist was given a high profile feud with Bret Hart, and a evil school teacher named Dean Douglas (he was one of my favourites back then... scary stuff!) was going to teach us all a lesson. I loved it though, because I loved wrestling. It was all new to me, and I had no idea what good wrestling years were like (i.e. 96-00 ). So since I was essentially brought up on crap, I can deal with it a little easier the next guy (i.e. Dave Scherer).

Having worked within the business for the past five years (whether as a journalist, or backstage hand with local indys), I have attained a firm idea of what works and doesn't work. More importantly what I like, and don't like. I regularly read columns on the internet every day, in fact after a show ends I eagerly anticipate reading what everyone else thought of it.

Yet as of late I find myself in a great deal of conflict. Some of the sites that used to be my favourite (this site is still one of my faves) have continued to compel me to stop reading. All websites have negative critiques on the sport, it's what the internet does (however sites like these are a bit more positive, and fan friendly) and it has always been that way. I expect that, and that's fine. I myself have a number of negative things to say about the state of the current state of the business. We all do. That's not what I have a problem with, what I do have a problem with is internet writers that read far too deeply into things, have absolutely no sense of humor, are just as easily offended by some angles as a ptc member. At times going so far as to outright tell US what is morally acceptable and certainly what is politically correct, and claim that the fans "do this or do that" the fans "believe this or that" when clearly this is just the opinion of the writer and the issue in question is left undefined. These mainstream wrestling "journalists" (I use that term loosely) have at times such inflated egos, that when you do approach them on something you take issue against and devote your time and effort on voicing your views, they send you a letter like the following. "I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and I most certainly don't agree with you here!" Basically they give you about as much thought and respect as the WWE gives their emails (which I find ironic). I'm not here to speak out against any particular website or particular person. The truth is most of the top ones with five ads pop ups for a page, have this kind of mentality. I think this has a very negative influence on the fans, and is bad for the business in general.

Below is a list of things I truly despise seeing on the net, some are just recent issues, while others are constant negatives. Hopefully through feedback that is left after this column is read, we can all find out how right or wrong I am. It whatever case here's hoping this forum makes an impact, and more entertaining columns to follow.

Any writer who doesn't have a decent memory and can't expand more than two years and makes over analytical critiques. Case in point, one very famous and apparently respected writers on the net recently mocked Triple H for supposedly breaking kayfabe during interviews recently. He brought up that Triple H now calls Batista "Dave" and that since he is using his real name he is trying to be edgy. Ah, news flash, people have been calling Batista "Dave" all the time since he came over to the RAW brand a couple of years ago. While they haven't used it as much recently, they still use it from time to time. Correct me if I'm wrong readers but I also believe that Batista could be announced as "Dave Batista" only about one year and a half ago. These writers send mixed messages when they expect the WWE to pick up on storylines from four years ago, but can't remember things from four years ago themselves.

I was seriously scratching my head when I read that a respected writer actually suggested that for fans to accept HBK as a man that loves his country he should dump the "Sexy Boy" theme music. WTF" Would said writer rather have him come out to something a bit more all American like Lex Luger's old star spangled banner music (horrible stuff)" While this guy proclaims monkeys can do a better job on writing WWE shows (and I agree with his view on that) he himself could never fill their shoes. Could you imagine the idiot that would change HBK's music to something more patriotic" Yeah I would fire that guy in a heartbeat too!

Hey everyone have you heard that the fans have been giving Triple H "X-Pac heat"" Oh wait a minute, wait a minute, I have just gotten late breaking news; we're now giving him worse then "X-Pac heat"! You know it! Well there is not a lot of supporters on the net for Triple H, and while I'm not one of them. One thing can not be denied, the guy is marketable. "X-Pac heat" is heat that gets you to stop watching. Yet the ratings have actually continued to go up a bit as of late, while Triple H who apparently as we all know has worse then "X-Pac heat" remains pretty much the main star. Should Hunter back down and give Batista his chance to shine as champ" Maybe, I say that due to the fact that Batista's title reign was doomed from the beginning. Not because of Triple H necessarily, but rather Batista's lack of mic skills, and lack athleticism to perform in main event calibre matches. No one can deny that Batista's star began to fall a few weeks before he even won the title. Whether or not Triple H is hogging the spotlight, and "burying" the talent he still is the most hated man on RAW and business continues to do well. People still want to see him. When "X-Pac heat" earned the distinction of having his own kind of heat, the vast majority didn't want to see him at all. That's what made it "X-Pac heat".

This one by far makes me the most upset when I see it. Whenever something is said or done with the slightest bit of political incorrectness, or can conjure up controversy some writers are quick to sell the WWE down the river and ask questions later. It's like everyone forgot about the Attitude era, and the product the WWE was geared to become. Or they ignore the TV14 rating. In any case that you look at it there are a lot of writers out there that are even quicker to critique (and bore us) with things about what is right and wrong in our society, whether then talk about the quality of the content on a entertainment level. I remember six months ago when Kane was feuding with Snitsky, and Kane said he was "going to kill" Snitsky. He didn't hold a gun or knife to Snitsky's head in fact they never even got in a confrontation that night. However Kane said this in a pre-taped vintage backstage in a dimly lit room. The building he was in just happened to be the same arena Owen Hart died in five years ago. This writer spoke loudly against this, but he left it up for the fans to "decide" whether or not it was wrong. There was one option he pointed out that you could choose stating "I felt nothing wrong with what Kane did, and I can't understand why someone would" he then stated that he couldn't imagine the type of people that would choose this option. Ah your readers would. In the end 30 % of his readers did, while only 8% were actually offended (the other 62 % were somewhere in the middle between the other options). While said writer seemed to slow his pace a bit, he has definitely increased over recent weeks back to his old way of telling us what is right and wrong. Case in point: last Thursday JBL made a rather odd comment, albeit offensive to very few. JBL stated that Theodore Long "is not a disgrace to the black race. He is a disgrace to the human race. Martin Luther King (a man the WWE pays tribute to every year) must be spinning around in his grave" well, being a black man myself I was deeply offended, weren't you" Actually in all seriousness I laughed at the thought of this morally upright writer actually being offended by it, and calling it low brow. To that writer (who won't give me or anyone that differs from his opinion a real email) I have a few words "stop trying to find things to turn into controversy". In truth JBL's statement wasn't racist or lowbrow at all. Why and how it could be considered as such I will never know. To these writers that constantly critique the moral integrity of the WWE, I have one question how does this benefit the reader" Is there a big audience out there that loves to talk about what is morally right and wrong in wrestling" From my experiences there is a small audience, all of which run some of the most high profile wrestling websites on the net (except this lovely site). The people that actually go to your sites are the ones that get turned off by your constant nagging and not anything the WWE does in a moral state.

I really could go on, and on but I think these are the most irritating things that I have seen recently on the net. You will find with the current writers at the biggest sites these will always be a problem, until a strong majority of the fans decide to speak out against it. So please send me your feedback, so I can know what other actual fans think about on these matters. Also please continue to support sites like these where a variety of different type of views are displayed each and every day.

by David Crane ..


Andrew Sharp wrote:
David, you bring up some brilliant points in this column. I love having the freedom to share my opinions on the wrestling industry with other via the internet but I find nothing more annoying than people who pick apart every minor fault in the business. I am a passionate wrestling fan and have been for years and I don't want to hear people pick it apart - especially on websites that I usually enjoy visiting.

However, one disadvantage I see on the IWC is that just with the tabloid newspapers with celebrities, the rumours that get started on the internet can hurt the credibility of great superstars - I have lost count on the amount of people who have turned on Edge as of late due to the love triangle, despite this account being true and not just rumours people say things on the net which just aren't called for. Normal people like you or me cheat everyday, relationships crumble all the time and it's not our place to comment on the superstars' personal lives that I thoroughly enjoy watching.

In my opinion we only have the right to comment on what we see on the television screen, granted WWE superstars are in effect celebrities and rumours often come with the whole package but by focusing on the negatives in their personal lives we are totally taken away from what they do in the squared circle for us - the fans watching in the arena and at home. These Men and Women sacrifice everything they have for us and for some people to ignore that and focus on every possible minor negative of this great business is exactly what's wrong with the wrestling industry today
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