Wrestling In The Twenty-First Century
February 17, 2005 by Al "Gootch" Gutjahr
I pride myself on being educated on the things that interest me.
Wrestling however, does not interest me; it consumes me. I have been
watching wrestling for most of my life and I have seen some amazing things
unfold before my eyes in the world of wrestling. Over the last few years, I
have seen some things that are beginning to really upset me. Wrestling is
becoming absolutely ridiculous. Wrestling of today is lacking many things
that it used to have at one point. Titles have lost meaning, wrestlers have
no substance, and there are now wrestlers who don't even have good moves
Some of the titles of the WWF/E are almost completely useless
today. The tag-team titles are currently pointless with the way that they
set that up. They have the titles staying on the RAW show, and all the
matches are between the same useless people, over and over again. I'm sorry
but watching Eugene and Regal every week competing against La Resistance
just doesn't do it for me. Something needs to be added to these titles.
Maybe even have matches between SmackDown! and RAW wrestlers, not
having two separate titles for both SmackDown! and RAW, make it interesting.
The Intercontinental title needs to be fixed. I'm tired of seeing boring
matches between horrible wrestlers like Gene Snitsky and Shelton Benjamin.
This title used to be something that would be a main event on RAW. Now it
is just a filler before a more important match to do with the heavyweight
title. This title used to have class. Ken Shamrock, Billy Gunn, Owen Hart;
now those were Intercontinental champions. Edge and Christian vs. the New
Age Outlaws; now those were matches.
How about the wrestlers in the business today, they have nothing
even comparable to the wrestlers of old. What happened to the Steve
Austins, the Rocky Maivia's, and the Hulk Hogans" What we have now are
wrestlers like The Hurricane, Renee Dupree, and Gene Snitsky. I used to be
jumping out of my seat when I heard about Hulk Hogan fighting at
WrestleMania, or Randy Savage in the Royal Rumble. Now what do I have to
get excited about, Scotty 2 Hotty entering the Royal Rumble, or Maven
entering a WrestleMania event. Wrestling needs its dignity back, no more of
these useless wrestlers to fill time slots. These "jobbers" as I like to
refer to them (because they have one job, go down to the ring and get beaten
down) are taking up main event time slots. This business needs to
straighten itself out and get back to its roots, REAL WRESTLERS.
Finally I'd like to make a comment on how easy it has become for
people to get into the wrestling business. All you need is some steroids
and a neat haircut and you are in. John Cena, Dave Batista, Chris Masters are
all prime examples of people using their size, which obviously had a little
help from the "steroid fairy", to get into this once prestigious
corporation. These guys have nothing but their size going for them. They
have little or no talent, and cheap gimmicks. John Cena has only a handful
of moves, all of which involve simple body slams onto the mat. He wears
jean shorts to make himself look tougher, and by the by John, you aren't black
so stop rapping like you are. Dave Batista, probably one of the better of
the "juicepigs" as I like to call them. Batista has the potential to be
good, but instead all he does are his simple slams and power bombs. He
uses his size as his gimmick, but the fact of the matter is, size isn't a
gimmick. Size is an advantage, not a gimmick. Chris Masters, the
Masterpiece, what can I say about him. He is a big guy, steroids may not
have been used, but this guy does not know what he is doing. The full
nelson, or sorry, the master lock, what is that" Get a move that is not so
ridiculous. If he wants to make a statement in the WWE, he needs to stop
fighting wrestlers like Steven Richards.
I am going dedicate a little portion of this article to two of
my least favourite additions to the WWE, Muhammed Hassan and Eugene.
Muhammed Hassan has a terrible gimmick. When there is already so much
hostility towards that race of people in the United States, the last thing
anybody needs is a guy like him going out there and making fun of it. It's
only a matter of time before somebody flips their lid about him and his
antics and kills him. Eugene. What can I say about Eugene" This is the
most morally wrong thing I have ever seen on television. Nick Dinsmore and
the guys over there at the WWE must have been half intoxicated when they
decided to make fun of this type of condition. That is offensive in so many
ways, to so many people. Just Plain Wrong.
I am ending my rant on that note. Please let me know how you
feel about this.
by Al "Gootch" Gutjahr ..
Laurens Fuchs wrote:
Let me just say that this is absolutely ridiculous..... I am sick and tired of people like you - and please don't take it too personal - complaining about todays state of wrestling and the lack of moves and - in your case - the use of steroids..... uh, Cena had a little help from the "steroid fairy" and he has no talent and "only a handful of moves, all of which involve simple body slams onto the mat" - but where's the wrestlers of the old like Hulk Hogan" To recite SCSA: What"
You have the nerve to complain about guys like Cena and Batista and their abilities and in the same column you call for guys like Hogan or The Rock"
Face it: Hulk Hogan was the worst wrestler ever. Period. The only thing that helped him being the "icon" that he is today is that he started out in a time where 95% of all wrestling fans were complete marks and thought wrestling was for real. That's all. If there had never been a "Hulkamania" and Hulk Hogan would start off his career today in the exact same manner that he did back in the late 80's, Hulkamania wouldn't run wild, it would go down the drain and nobody would even care. This is an issue of time and evolution (no pun intended).... yeah Hogan, man he had some great and highly technical moves..... punches, clotheslines, big boot, whip-in and reversal, maybe some backscratches and don't forget about the patented finger-wag and hulkin up and then the greatest and most deadly finisher EVER - the LETHAL Legdrop..... man that move was SO lethal it's not for the weak of heart..... and now I have to hear people complaining about the FU as a finisher just as I've had to hear people complaining about the People's Elbow as a finisher 6 or 7 years ago. Now that'd be all good if those "statements" wouldn't always be coming from people who appreciate guys like Hulk Hogan and his move-set.... all those moves may not be the most devastating moves and guess what - they don't have to be.
And to make something else perfectly clear: I hate it when people complain about a guy using only 5 different moves nowadays when every wrestler - and I repeat - EVERY wrestler uses the same move-set in every match.... that's what's called a routine and people like to see that routine cause they know it and quite frankly they expect those moves, even if they're not the most technically refined or difficult moves.... people wanna see the 5-Knuckle-Shuffle, people loved Austin performing the Thesz-Press, the Mandible Claw, the Sweet Chin Music, the Ankle Lock and the list could go on and on..... this isn't mainly about wrestling, this is about entertainment. Sure some guys use their 5 moves over and and over, others 7 and others maybe 10.
But fact is you don't have to be an extremely great wrestler to get to the top of the mountain, you never had to be and you never will have to be. Hulk Hogan, The Rock, The Undertaker, SCSA just to name a few. It's about gimmick, looks, charisma, and the right point in time to get your break. Sure, if you can pull off some decent moves it's even better. And Cena - and everybody will have to face this whether they like it or not - is in my eyes everything you need to be to become a real SUPERSTAR one day.
He's got the looks, he's got the charisma, he's a decent wrestler and he's over with the crowd.... he's just got that certain something that guys like Maven or Benjamin, Haas and many many others so desperately lack and therefore will never reach that top-level - even though they maybe be the better pure wrestlers. Look at Benoit, he maybe the greatest technical wrestler of all time, but still he's not a the top of the game because he lacks almost all of the other attributes I mentioned. And the guys that you cherish so much are all mediocre wrestlers at best. Another thing Cena has is time, give him time to evolve, get over the fact that he's had some squash-matches and is being pushed like hell as a face, he could and will be at some point as over as a heel as he's now as a face just like it was with The Rock, Jericho, Austin, Hogan and the likes..... just stop complaining about something that wasn't any other way before, just because it was a decade ago or you were ten years younger and your approach to the wrestling world was a different one. I speak from experience because 10 years ago I was a mark for Razor Ramon and others but as time goes by you realize (or you should realize) how things are and that the guys 10 or 15 years ago didn't do more (some have actually done less) than the guys that have taken their place today, expectations are so over the top nowadays, there was a column here not too long ago that I liked very much and it was about how we were glad to get WWF Superstars on TV or how we had to try to catch tapes and stuff in order to get a glimpse at our favorite wrestler maybe once a month.... in a time where we didn't have countless hours of wrestling on TV per week and a PPV each month. But people seem to forget too fast and many don't even know cause they're too young and all they do is whine and complain about how things are today and how nothing is good enough. If you don't like the product, don't watch it but stop bitchin' all the time about how bad everything is and how everythings going completely wrong.... hell, I agree that the WWF/E was better during the Monday Night Wars but I still like their product and the guys that are on today to the degree that I don't have to complain and whine all the time. And if that should change in the future, well then I might as well take a break from the current situation, sit back and enjoy tapes and DVD's from the loveable old days..... but give guys like Cena, Batista, The Hurricane and Dupree a break and stop bad-mouthing them just because you were a mark for Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania a long time ago.... because the way you express your opinion and the stuff you say about those guys makes you look not only like a mark but like a fool.
George Pickering wrote:
Yep, its true. The WWE has become the worst state it has ever been in, and what's more, Vince doesn't get it. Ok, the appearence on RAW of Marty Jannety and Jake Roberts was true class, but that's the only thing that kept my face glued to the screen. I remember the good times...the Undertaker actually scared me. The Hardy Boyz actually amazed me. Wrestling seemed believable. But now-"Hey look! Triple H says he's that damn good! Wait a minute, didn't he say that last monday"" -0- My verdict is that the scriptwriters are taking drugs. Either that, or wrestling has lost its touch.
I agree with aloitta things you've said, You are have a point on mostly everything you say but the very last thing you said, Muhammad Hassan is a great wrestler, and has been shwoing this since his days in OVW as Mark Magnus. And Eugene a.k.a. Nick Dinsmore, was not ment to steriotype anything, he was meant to play ahero character, though he does show the sign of being a vegetable, lol.
Rhey Higgins wrote:
While you do make some good points in your column (I especially like the Cena-bashing ones), you say that size is not a gimmick, which is absolutly not true. I mean, look at Andre The Giant, Big Show, Giant Baba, and Giant Gonzales! Their size and gimmicks are the same thing! The same thing is true for Big John Studd and to a lesser extent, Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Also, Batista's size is not his gimmick: his gimmick is The Animal, a huge monster with a short temper who destroys everything in his path; granted, his size helps him with his gimmick, but they aren't the same thing.
Erkka Järvinen wrote:
I was gonna make a looong reply to this one but laurens took my job. I think i
could not put it better than Laurens did. Thanks for making some valid points in
Jack Malone wrote:
I have a very mixed bag of reactions to the points raised in this column.
On one hand, you do bring up some very good issues. The titles within the WWE have lost a lot of prestige in the past few years. You are very right to say that seeing La Resistance each week isn't a huge draw, because let's face it, the anti-american gimmick was stale before they were even introduced.
On the other hand, I have to disagree with some of the points you made. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe you implied Shelton Benjamin to be a terrrible wrestler, along with Gene Snitzky. Where Snitzky is concerned, that is a very valid point. Yet Shelton is a great athlete with a ton of potential. In the future he could even be one of the guys to move the company forward.
I also object to the way you compare the likes of Austin, Hogan and Rock to guys like Durpree, Hurricane and Snitzky. You see, you cannot compare these two sets of wrestlers, because their purposes to the audience were/are totally varied. The likes of Hogan were meant to be top draws, but you could hardly say WWE is relying on Hurricane to carry the company. Your point would have been more valid had you compared these past main eventers to Cena, Benoit and Gurrearo. Because even back in the good old days they had jobbers, just like Hurricane and Durpree. That's like comparing Randy Orton and John Cena to the Blue Meanie. It really doesn't show a great deal.
And finally, I have a variation of thoughts on your points about Hassan and Eugene. I fully agree with what you say about the Hassan gimmick, it just displays a distinct lack of effort on the creative team's part. The anti-american gimmick has been done to death and now this new talent has been lumbered with it. However, I fully disagree with what you say about Eugene. Sure, when he first debuted I felt exactly the same way - that it wasn't entertainment but just morally wrong. Yet WWE has managed to turn the gimmick around. The fans are behind Eugene and his role with Regal provides some decent action as well as a little comic relief. You see, nobody is laughing at the gimmick; it's more that they're supporting Eugene really. JR and King do a good job of putting Eugene over as being less of an "idiot" so to speak and the whole gimmick has become rather entertaining.
Nancey Me wrote:
Wrestling hasn't changed much in the way of being, "fake," or, "real,"
it's always been selling, and stunts. Perhaps it's this recent revalation that has gotten you so disappointed... Kind of like that sinking, let down, feeling you had when you discovered Santa wasn't, "real!"
Ignorance is the root of all racism,,, who said a rapper had to be black" (on your comment of John Cena's rapping and not being black) If you dislike a wrestler, feel free to voice your opinion, but do not use racist remarks nor accusations, that you cannot back up with proof, to ridicule or belittle him.
Wrestling has outlived any soap or sitcom I've ever seen on TV... it will never die!!!
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