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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Internet Killed The Wrestling Star
May 9, 2005 by Kyle


First I'd like to say a few things. This article is in response to Danny Walker's article about the Internet destroying wrestling. Now for the shameful part, in my opinion at least, although I hate the label, I guess I would be labelled as a "smark." Now we will get to the point.

Incompetence would destroy wrestling, moronic booking, matches, creative staffs, and promoters. THAT is what hurt wrestling. The Internet is just a scapegoat for some wrestlers to vent on and on about their own short comings or problems. Look at Triple H, when he is asked if he uses backstage politics, he rips on the Internet. He goes on about 13-year-old blah blah... Somehow, I just don't think that is a good answer for a yes\no question. Don't know why though. :-\

The internet gives people insight on how things are run. When we learn all this information, we can analyze the product and watch it from a whole new perspective. Rather than Shelton Benjamin winning the IC title, we see WWE investing stock in a next-generation superstar. When we watch Jericho lose against Edge we don't say "DRATS! EDGE IS A BIG MEANIE! I HOPE CHRIS WINS NEXT TIME!" We think to ourselves "They're just gonna job him out to every Henry, Patrick, and generic name #3 until his contract is up."

At the same time wrestlers like HHH complain that we think we know what everyone likes, and we think we'd be awesome writers or bookers, but we would just fall flat on our face. HA! I think that wrestling fans are a much better choice than the writers of "All my Children." Especially because we look to see who is entertaining, and who is good in the ring. This balance can generate a lot of fans. But at the same time, if someone is an incredible entertainer, INSANELY OVER with all the casual fans, but not too good in the ring, I guarantee you they would be pushed to the main event, despite the fascination towards oodles of awesome ring workers!

Another thing Vince should learn before slamming the internet is that people are cynical due to the fact that something is real bad about the product. Rather than taking these complaints as constructive criticism, he just dismisses them as a bunch of insults from little immature kids. And yes, I said immature. Oh, wait a minute... didn't Vince okay that Katie Vick angle a few years back" (I'd like to add, fans that are cynical about EVERYTHING are annoying, but the majority of fans on the net are Yin and Yang).

I would also like to add the internet doesn't make everyone look bad - I mean yeah, it adds a few extra pounds, but today I just read an article from a news site. Coach, who was injured, worked an INDY SHOW (pay probably wasn't that good), and took a bump from Mick Foley. I gained a hell of a lot of respect for Coach, he showed a lot of guts, and for some second rate indy fed. Not everything on the net is negativity, but some just like to assume that, so they can trash talk people that have exposed them for the frauds, babies, or cowards they are.

Now for my response to Langdon Beck's article... Some net fans get carried away, and think that the whole existence of wrestling lingers on ring work alone. I mean when you hear that Ultimo Dragon should have been the WWE Champion, the first thing that should come to your head is "DOES HE EVEN SPEAK ENGLISH"" Yes, there are some fans that just love to whine and complain. They think their own opinions are that of everyone else. Well that is just some of the net fans. I guarantee you there are positive message boards out there. And there are a lot of fans that don't stick to this pre-conceived notion of what the average net fan is. I mean look at you, Langdon. You use the internet, you look at these websites, but you aren't what you complained about in your article.

I myself enjoy TNA, WWE, spot fests, technical wrestlers, powerhouse wrestlers, promos, small wrestlers, big wrestlers, and medium-sized wrestlers. The only thing I don't like about certain fans are the ones who try to come across as better than the rest. They act like they know the insider terms, and are positive about EVERYTHING the WWE does. But they can't wait for TNA to die, because they are just spot fests and technical wrestlers. These people would rather have Hulk Hogan, because that makes them feel superior to overly negative smarks. I mean he drew like crazy... But in 2002" That is just as bad as what you were complaining about, Langdon. I'd rather be around individual pessimists than a bunch of robots.

Well that's it for my first article... Peace!

by Kyle ..


George Salloum wrote:
In reference to the backstage politics part, many of us, including myself, have watched professsional wrestling for many years, way before the internet existed, and let me tell you that you don't need to read internet reports to see backstage politics right before your eyes.

It existed during Ric Flair's NWA days, and Hulk Hogan's WCW and WWF days.

We forget that wrestling magazines have been around forever and so have wrestling journalists who follow the business on the inside and inform us of those ongoings. Many books and articles have been written that let us know what happens backstage.

Yes the internet has ruined it for a lot of people, especially with all the spoilers, but when someone says that we all hate on HHH just because he's married to the bosse's daughter or because of what we read on the internet and that we don't know what really goes on....that's all boloney! I heard 3 interviews here in Canada with HHH, and when they asked him about the backstage politics, he replied with exactly all the same answers. He said exactly what Kyle was saying. Even Vince said the same thing, but what both Vince and HHH said that totally was B.S., was that they do what's right for the business and what the fans want.

Let me give you some examples of HHH using his politics. Kevin Nash, the worst drawing champion in company history, gets a world title shot at Bad blood in a hell in the cell vs. one of his best friends HHH. Anyone who followed wrestling before the internet would know that the Cliq existed therefore would easily be able to observe that this is HHH and Nash using their backstage politics to help each other. Because the fans certainly didn't care about this feud, yet we are to believe the WWE listens to its fans.

Same thing goes for last year's bad blood. While Chris Benoit, the new world champion after beating HHH and HBk in back to back triple threat matches, doesn't even get the main event at bad blood, instead it's HBk/HHH for the millionth time in a hell in the cell, just like the year previous.

HHH was champion before he dated Stephanie, but the point is that he wouldn't be still at the top if it weren't for his tie to the family. It is a fact in the business world.

TNA and ROH are ten times more exciting to watch in the ring than the boring, American style wrestling the WWE likes to use to put its audience asleep.

The WWE used to listen to its fans and give them what they want. They gave us all we could handle of Steve Austin and The Rock, but nobody wants to see HHH or JBL, they want to see Eddie Guerrero and Chris Jericho. They chant their names every night yet look where they both are.

I remember last year, the WWE haned out surveys to its live crowds and on the internet asking many questions about how to help the product move forward. Every question had the right answer right there on the page, yet we saw a decline in the product and everything done the opposite way.

Of course if it were up to me, I'd run a organization like ROH, that only use good wrestlers, even if they are big men like Samoa Joe. As long as they can wrestle, that will bring the fans. People used to pay big money to watch main events because they knew they were going to be good. Only TNA and ROH deliver nowadays, along with some other indy feds that most people haven't heard of.

Sports entertainment belongs in Vince Russo's house, and Vince McMahon and his daughter are ruining everything because of Vince's stubborness to admit that his daughter knows shit about the business. Vince: "Yes Stephanie, Jacqueline winning the cruiserweight title after not being on TV for 2 years is a great idea".

Last year the WWE average 3,000 fans.....are you kidding me" HHH holding the title for the majority of the year, again, and attendance continues to die, so why is he still champion" Is it because nobody else is good enough" No....it's because of backstage politics....and I don't need to read internet reports to figure that out.
Langdon Beck wrote:
First off, Ultimo Dragon's fluent in four or five languages, including English.

I agree with you; it IS just some of the net fans. There ARE some positive places out there - I visit several of them. There are many people who have their own opinion and won't let What The Internet Says ruin what they like. But they are overpowered by the Negativos, who impose their opinions on everyone else, ruthlessly mocking them if, for example, they like John Cena, Triple H, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels, AJ Styles etc etc etc.

And in case that leads to a response that that's what I'm doing, apologies if it looks like that, but it's not my intention.

I do use the internet: I regularly visit WWE.com, TNAwrestling.com, ROHWrestling.com, OVWrestling.com, Frontierwrestling.com and this fine site, as well as many official wrestler sites and a few forums.

I don't make it a point to read rumour sites (although I do look at taping results) but I admit to occasionally reading the occasional "news item" and taking it with a gigantic pinch of salt.

I seriously hope I am NOTHING like what I complained about in my article: I try my absolute best not to be negative unless I have to, I won't use "insider" terms unless out of necessity - give me 'move' over 'spot' any day - and so on.

Like I said in my article, there are things about wrestling I hate. But it's my opinion, I won't make any claims to the contrary. Well, except for the fact that there ARE fans like that out there - not everyone on the net, but they are there.

Being a robot isn't exactly that great either, but I take it as a challenge to try and expand their horizons. Because that's possible. It can be done, and they'll be better fans for it.
Anthony Tirado wrote:
I respect and in some ways support your opinion, but you said that the people would be great bookers. WRONG! Don't get me wrong, there may be a young, hungry person out there with the perserverance and wrestling/business intelligence of the one and only Vince McMahon, but people really only what's good and not good on a short term basis. Few people ever really know what's good for them in the long run, and even if they do, they may not follow ALL the steps. It's like telling someone to never fast food if they want to live another 5 to 10 years (chuckles).Think of it this way; Heidenreich, not because of his sudden face turn, has lately become kind of cool, maybe for about a month or two now, and that's because people are finally embracing his strange, twisted and unpredictably sadistic persona, but when you first laid eyes on him and saw him for the course of the next few weeks, would you have kept him around" No, you, and consequently millions of other fans, would have sent him back to OVW to work on another character, and even worse, fired this piece of talent, maybe even a future superstar, in the making.

Many more current superstars hold this same story; very few people can come into the business and already gain a presence with the fans, such as Sting did in the mid to late 80's. Other than his name, noone saw anything in Randy Orton when he came other than a body, and maybe a little of the superstar look was already too. But when he became unbaringly cocky and joined up with likes of Triple H and Ric Flair, he excelled, and everyone both loved him and loved to hate him. Similar stories come from the likes of Kane (debuted in WWE in Isaac Yenkem, to then be Fake Diesel and now Kane), same for Bradshaw, same for John Cena ( it was a while before he found the rapper gimmick he currently uses), same for Batista ( everyone knew he had the look but noone saw him, and many still dont, as being able to carry the world title for more than a quick month run), same for even The Rock (who would've really given the overexcited goody, goody Rocky Maivia more than 2 or years 'til he died out" Fans never expected 'The Rock' to arise from all their constant and blatant jeers) Yeah, fans can make or break a wrestler, but the say on each wrestler is definitley safer in the hands of someone who knows what the hell they're really doing and, if anything, has good luck with long-term plans. Back in ECW, fans pretty much had all the say, and who became world champion......Mikey Whipwreck! What the hell" 'Nuff said right there!
God of Gods wrote:
I think their is no way the internet has destroyed anything. Its desigened to give ppl background information on these great athletes and disscuss their oppions with other. If your finding stuff you dont like or approve of, then you shouldnt be reading it. These internet sites can be the heart and soul for future talent. Condeming this, is allmost like condeming the future talent. I belive that it has not detroyed wrestling, but only inhanced it further.
Jacob Kuhn wrote:
I can't say that I 100% understand the point that is trying to come across in this post and the subsequent replies. It seems to vary from internet to politics to booking. So, I'll try to address things correctly.

The internet changed the face of pro wrestling. I have been a fan since the early 80's and firsthand saw how these changes came about. The internet is partly responsible for the end of the Kayfabe era. Vince McMahon would be the other part with responsibility here. But the ending of the Kayfabe era has not ended wrestling. In fact, the sport was more popular during the Monday Night Wars than any time in its history. What the internet did is that it changed the way people talk about and view wrestling. Nowadays, we talk wrestling as if we were all bookers. And that's okay. It's not like when I was a kid, when we talked about whether Hulk Hogan could defeat Andre the Giant. Now we would say "Does Vince McMahon want Hogan to beat Andre"" So, more or less, our perception was what was changed.

Politics will always play a part in the business. Politics play a part in almost every business out there. As sad as that is, there doesn't really seem to be any way about it. To have politics at the company I work for yet not to expect them in wrestling would be foolish. Wrestling is a business and people are forever trying to get ahead in said business. So, many times, politics will get someone ahead for themselves and not for the enjoyment of the fans.

My last comment is about the booking ability of the fans. Fans talking about how they would book events is no different than arm chair quarterbacks talking about how they would coach a game. It's very easy for us to say we would be excellent bookers, especially since we don't have to deal with the reality and politics of the business. A booker has to deal with the egos of wrestlers, promoters while at the same time considering what the fans want. It can not be an easy job. And yes, they will make mistakes, but show me one person who doesn't make some sort of mistakes in their jobs.

Now, just based off my own opinion, Vince McMahon is not a wrestling genius and he does not do everything on his own. The man was fortunate enough to be born into a family where the business oppurtunity was there for him. I am sure there are many fans out there who could do a much better job than Vince, but they have not been given the oppurtunities and money that he has to do those things. Vince is a good showman, in the way that P.T. Barnum was. He is, however, out of touch with the hardcore wrestling fan base and that will ultimately be his undoing.
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