The Return of Wrestling
September 1, 2004 - by Joseph Miggiano

H ey everybody, I've been coming to Online World of Wrestling for a very long time and I have decided to post one of my columns, as I want to see what you all think. You may wonder what the title of this topic is about. The Return Of Wrestling. You see, I feel that WWE and other promotions needs something that they already have, but have much more of it. Wrestling. I hope you enjoy it.

The "Attitude" era in the WWF wiped out alot of mat based wrestling and replaced them with good, but outrageous storylines. This was because of Vince Russo, who loved the idea of "Crash TV" and it worked, for a while. When Russo went to WCW and he helped kill the company, using the same storylines that had worked a few years earlier. There was much more emphasis on character in this time period. In this time there was more talking and things based outside the ring than actual wrestling inside of it. There was some, but most of it was pretty bad and it went over people's heads because everybody loved the storylines and didn't care what went on inside the ring, as long as there was blood and gore and not any submissions or technical moves. I can't point out any matches from that era I regard as wrestling classics, even though some of the Triple H vs. The Rock matches and most of Kurt Angle's matches were pretty good. But I do understand why the WWF did what they did, they were drawing money, lots of it. It was a good time to be a wrestling fan because you watched something that was a general feeling around America and the world and that was a "Rebellion" period. Everybody and their grandmother loved wrestling during that time because matches were kept short and title reigns didn't last very long. It was full of excitement and it still is today, except that today's excitement is more long term. That can't grip many fans and they ended up turning off because you have to wait longer for matches.

"Attitude" died down in 2001, especially after Steve Austin turned heel, as he was the pioneer of the Attitude era. As a result, people didn't want to watch anymore as wrestling was changing and WWE needed to find something that would make them very popular again. WWE first thought that Attitude's cousin, "Shock" was the answer. WWE did some weird and sometimes stupid storylines, such as the Katie Vick saga, which didn't go down too well with most fans. Not surprisingly, that died quickly and WWE was forced to try something else. It tried to have some old WWE stars that worked in the 1980's and early 1990's back like Roddy Piper to boost some star power but that failed. The only old return that was sucessful was Shawn Michaels's, as he was soon welcomed back in WWE because he could wrestle excellently and he was able to do things like he used to. The era of pure wrestling soon came in.

Some people could argue that wrestling was always a part of WWE as it is in their name of World Wrestling Entertainment or as we called it a few years back, the World Wrestling Federation, but only in recent years has there been any old school wrestling at all. I would say that pure wrestling came back into full swing at the end of 2002, with the then new WWE Tag Team Championship league on Smackdown!, where regular matches between the teams of Chris Benoit & Kurt Angle, Edge & Rey Mysterio and Los Guerreros. They frequently had amazing matches, with my personal favourite was at Survivor Series 2002, between all three teams. Wrestling was made even more prominent where the WrestleMania XIX Main Event was a battle of two former amatuer wrestlers, Kurt Angle & Brock Lesnar. It was like a return to the NWA days where matches like Ric Flair vs. Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat were wrestled, only with today's stars. WWE took the next step at empasizing the Wrestling part of their name when they made World Champions out of two former cruiserweights Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit. They were or are sucessful at being the Champion and rightfully deserve praise for their title reigns. They have had much better reigns than a big man like Diesel(Kevin Nash), who nearly killed WWE with his long title run. Isn't it ironic he helped kill WCW aswell"

I think that the era of the smaller man is in now, instead of people like Hulk Hogan, who was very popular but could not wrestle that much and pretty much sucked in the ring. He could talk and he had charisma but I don't think he would work in today's wrestling environment anymore. People knew more and knew these men and women could put on much better shows than they were used to. Even though Hogan's 2002 return was popular, it was out of respect of what this man had done for the business, not to see him wrestle. Plus, his 2002 WWE Undisputed Championship reign was very short lived. Secretly, I don't think he was drawing any money and the title was put on The Undertaker before a short reign by The Rock and then onto the rookie, Brock Lesnar, who had an excellent reign. He was a full time wrestler who could wrestle injury free, unlike Hogan and Undertaker and The Rock was soon called back to Hollywood to shoot another movie. Brock was someone WWE could rely on to carry them on into the future. He was always there and was loyal to the company, at the time.

What WWE needs is more Eddie Guerrero's and Chris Benoit's. They are the best of the best in WWE and people love them for their wrestling ability and what they have given to the business over the years, weather it was in WWE, WCW, ECW or anywhere else in the world. They have given their all and people recognise that. That is why the Diva Search is bombing, as these women have no experience in wrestling whatsover and one of them will get signed to a WWE contract. Fans can't connect with the women unless they are doing something the fans know best, wrestling. WWE needs wrestlers who have a genuine passion for the sport and don't just come in for the money. People like Eddie Guerrero have proved this. The fans need somebody who they can rally behind or hate. Take Eddie. Everybody wanted him to become WWE Champion and they rooted him on to victory against Brock Lesnar because he had the right character and desire to be the WWE Champion.

These wrestlers have to have gimmicks, like Eugene. Eugene wrestles excellently and like a veteran. The fans love him for that, not because he is classed as a "retard". Without a gimmick, these proper wrestlers would not get over with the fans, no matter how much they wrestled. Fans need a reason to hate them or love them. That's why Eddie Guerrero, Ric Flair, Eugene and Shawn Michaels are so popular, because they have character and they are not just a plain wrestler who goes out there, raises his arms up, wresltes his match and goes back into the dressing room. Nobody wants that.

As far as the wrestling shows go, you could have a few great matches a show and fued build up. These matches would be shorter than their PPV counterparts but it would be like a little preview of the PPV and I am sure people would love that. I think that the best wrestlers should be combined into one brand, as WWE could get rid of alot of dead weight and concerntrate on building the stars of the future and maintaining the stars of the past. Within a few years, older stars like The Undertaker will be retired and they need to start putting over Randy Orton and other young stars over these veterans, so WWE can make the transition when the older stars retire smoothly. It also draws more money now as fans would love to see fueds like these unfold when they still can.

Most of these fueds would be based around the Championships, which would be cut down to the WWE Championship, WWE Intercontinental Championship, WWE Tag Team Championship and the WWE Cruiserweight Championship. It gives WWE a sense of a real sport and people would love that for sure.

Wrestling does need to tone down now. We can't have so many TLC or ladder matches, or Hell In The Cell matches. Look at all the wrestlers who were out with broken necks. Steve Austin, Edge, Rhyno, Chris Benoit and others. Shawn Michaels's career was put on hold for four years. Wrestling needs to tone down in general and we should go back to more mat based wrestling, where the wrestlers themeselves would be safe and it would be a great surprise to see a Ladder match or another gimmick match. They should be used spareingly and should end a fued. Also, if we toned it down, we would see many of our favourite wrestlers last longer. You could also vary the wrestling styles, from technical matches(Chris Benoit etc), high flying(Rey Mysterio etc), power(Batista etc) and more. It's all wrestling, but you can vary the styles in how these matches are wrestled, so people don't have to be feeling like they are watching the same thing all over again, week after week. It makes for much more exciting television and better TV ratings.

Talking about TV, I would have Raw on a Monday, Saturday Night's Main Event on a Saturday and a recap show every Wednesday evening. There would also be a show before a PPV, every month. It would showcase the best matches of that PPV as voted by the fans. SNME & Raw would be on for two hours while the recap show will be on for one. The Pre-PPV show would also be on for two, hyping the matches and there would be some matches inbetween all that.

In a way, it's like a mixture of every past era. Classic wrestling (60's-70's to 2003-4), gimmicks(80's and 90's) and everything else thrown in to make a super package for all wrestling fans. There would be something for everybody. The main base would be wrestling, with entertainment thrown in and it would be broadcast around the world. All together, that makes the WWE name serve it's purpose.

by Joseph Miggiano

Andre Simonelli wrote: Dude I agree with you about that Kurt Angle VS Brock Lensar match at Wrestle-mania. Also about putting the titles on Lightweights such as Guerrero and Benoit. Now I would of loved to see a feud between Rob Van Dam and Eddie Guerrero for the WWE Title. I mean I don't know why they don't give RVD a shot at the title. He can wrestle, he is a high flyer and does insanely cool moves. Plus the fans love him. But they had to give it to that mid card jobber JBL. But thats a different subject. Now, in my opinion, the WWE only gave the World Heavyweight Title to Orton so they could erase Lesnar name of the record books for being the youngest champ. I mean Orton is an "OK" wrestler ,but I really loved Chris Benoit being the champ. Also, RAW gotta find more number one contenders for the title. I mean in almost every PPV main event, Triple H is almost always involved with the title ,which pisses the hell out of me. I mean give guys like Edge and Y2J a shot at the gold. OK, I threw in my two cents, by the way, nice article!
Joecool1 wrote: I love this column you touched on my feeling about wrestling. I see a return to mat based wrestling. Some fans will be turned off to this, especially the one's who want to see blood & guts every week, but this will eventually save wrestling. They went so far with the "Attitude" era that where else could they go, but back to basics" I also see a trend in returning to characters and hopefully bad storylines like Kane-Lita will show that being tasteless doesn't draw fans anymore. There is a lot of hope that a return to mat based wrestling will draw back families who have tuned out for years because of the product being tasteless. I hope you write more columns. I liked reading this one. I need to get back to writing columns as well, but want to find something different to write about being as how I keep finding myself trying to promote my favorite brand Smackdown.

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