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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Most Wanted Volume 2
October 18, 2005 by Langdon Beck


Some of you may remember a column I wrote here a while ago called 'Most Wanted, Vol. I' in which I complained about certain wrestling fans on the internet and they way they appear to hate just about everything about something they supposedly love. It was... a little controversial. I got a heck of a lot of feedback - some positive, some negative.

I had always intended to write Vol. II with the same structure as Vol. I, with a list of wrestlers that fans on the internet tend to hate and the ridiculous reasons why, with intent to expose some of the inherent hypocrisy of these fools' opinions. I'd even started planning it by taking note of which wrestlers are currently not in favour with the general internet consensus, and of course, who weren't already in Vol. I. Rob Van Dam, Matt Hardy, Paul Burchill, Paul Heyman, Low Ki, Shelton Benjamin, Chris Jericho, and Chris Benoit were just some of those who would be included. But when it came to doing the damn thing, I couldn't. Y'see, writing Vol. I allowed me to vent my frustration. I just wasn't pissed off enough to write an angry column.

Now I'm pissed again. Why" Because of one fan who seemed to embody every negative stereotype about internet fans. He seemed to hate EVERYTHING. Here are a few choice excerpts that will hopefully show you just how big an idiot this guy is. I'd use stronger language, but for fear it would offend someone.

On Brian Pillman - "Needn't speak ill of the deceased. It's bad manners, not to mention karma."

On Bryan Danielson - ""American Dragon"" More like "American Monitor Lizard." Don't you just love this guy's "SmackDown!" psychology" Pretty spots and impossible quickness do not make you a "good" wrestler. Each and every time I see you enter a ring, I know I'll be getting essentially the same match I saw you participate in the week prior. How many enzugiris, roll-ups and top-rope maneuvers must I endure before you get the hint" It's not how the moves are executed (although, it helps), but how they're utilized in context to and, ultimately, with the match. You don't put someone in a modified figure four one moment and then slap on a "Strangle-hold Gamma" for the submission. It's just not acceptable in my book. You just keep doing what you're doing, Bryan. Keep executing those planchas, those variations of every other cruiserweight move in the book, whatever. But you'd better believe, A.G., that when you come to my town, you WON'T see me at your beloved event. If anything, the whole place will tire of your redundancy and jeer you from here to Azerbaijian."

On Chris Benoit - "He [has] the charisma of a rotting corpse...recently, his work ethic...[has] left me with a feeling of deep disgust...his many "epic" matches against Kurt Angle left much to be desired."

On Eddie Guerrero - "[He is] a shell of his former self... wrestling in tired, predictable title matches at sub-par Pay-Per-Views that couldn't draw flies if the arena was smeared with excrement."

On John Cena - "Oh, John Anthony Felix Cena, what have you done with yourself" Why do you feel the incessant need to erode Mark Wahlberg's legacy as perhaps the most hated, despised poseur this side of Vanilla Ice" Your shtick has been seen, and executed, by more talented (on the microphone, at least) wrestlers such as Dwayne Johnson, Shawn Michaels....hell, any cocky crankshift who's oozing braggadocio has done it better than you. I urge you, give it up...[your moves are] as flaccid as my grandfather skinny-dipping in a cold, icy lake in the mountains of Vermont. "

And it went on like that. Believe me, after reading this, I was in a raging fury. "What a ******************" and so on. I don't care if you agree or disagree, what in the blue hell gives this guy the right to talk like that" So I decided I would write another rant about internet fans. But before I continue with the angry unstructured outburst, which is what I'm sure this will turn out as, a word or two of warning: This does not apply to every fan on the internet, nor is what I'm about to say be taken as undisputed fact. It's my opinion, and if you agree, great, it's nice to see I'm not the only one annoyed by these people. If you don't agree...that's to be expected.

One thing I'll never understand about fans on the internet is the irrational hatred of TNA. There seem to be a variety of 'reasons' for this, which I just don't get. The average fan on the internet has an intense dislike for most of what WWE does most of the time, so you'd think that The Only Potential Alternative To WWE Currently On National US Television would be universally supported by the internet. But it's not. Instead, it's hailed as "the new WCW" and fans talk about when it will die, and how happy they will be when that happens. First, I'll address the supposedly imminent death of the promotion. I lose track of how many times it has been proclaimed, but I do remember it being prophesised for sometime in 2005 (actual dates vary). It confounds me as to exactly why the end of TNA is a good thing. Then there's that "new WCW" moniker. It's odd, because presumably the intended response is that TNA is dross that deserves an abrupt and painful demise. But the real oddity is that the fans that refer to TNA with this name - the most cynical of internet fans - are pretty much the only fans that seem to praise WCW and its endeavours. It is not a little confusing.

There are many petty, pedantic reasons why the haters don't watch TNA, and I won't bother going into them here. I will make mention of the one that seems to crop up time again; "I hate TNA because it's full of wrestlers who weren't good enough to make it in WWE". Now, I've addressed and silenced people who claim this simply by listing some of the many TNA wrestlers who could never be called WWE rejects, but I'll take a different approach here. Looking at the TNA roster, it'd be stupid to deny that there aren't former WWE wrestlers there. It's that 'they weren't good enough for WWE, therefore TNA must be awful' philosophy I have trouble with. Not good enough" I had not idea that leaving WWE meant you no longer had any talent. Someone had better tell Jerry Lynn...all those classic matches he's had in the past few years must have just been in his imagination...he's a WWE reject, he can't be a good wrestler! All those great promos and hardcore matches Raven's had since 2003 mustn't have happened either...he's just a WWE reject, he can't do anything worthwhile. As for the likes of Ron Killings, Sean Waltman and Rhino - they'll have to be informed that their career rejuvenations have never happened, because they weren't good enough for WWE and logically can't be good at all. Now I come to think of it, it's a pretty good thing those fans who have never watched TNA but feel inclined to pass negative judgement on it nonetheless made the 'argument' they did. Wrestling would be so much better off if everyone who left WWE went into permanent retirement immediately after...

The next point of contention for me is the plethora of 'insider terms' unnecessarily used by the average internet fan every day. I've never understood what using these words and phrases accomplishes. I assume it's to impress other fans or to show that because one uses them, one must have intimate, exhaustive knowledge of the wrestling business and all its inner workings. Right"

There are some of these words I don't have a problem with using. I understand that saying 'good guy' and 'bad guy' when talking about wrestling does sound a little childish, and there's no real alternative than to use 'babyface' or 'heel'. Those are terms that can be found in everyday use anyway. I remember a friend saying to me after having an angry confrontation with someone else, "I felt like such a heel," and they'd never watched any wrestling in their life, much less had knowledge of 'insider' terms. There's the occasional other word with no feasible alternative, such as 'kayfabe' or 'bump'. But there are two terms in particular that I read and just think "huh" What the [blank] does that accomplish""

The first is 'worker', meaning 'wrestler', as in 'my favourite worker is the Undertaker'. What I'd love to know is, what the hell is so damned wrong with saying 'wrestler'" Okay, it's two letters longer, so it'd be reasonable to think that it takes a fraction of a second longer to type out. Using 'worker' would save time if this was the case, allowing you to say more with however long you are on the internet for. To discover whether this was indeed the case, I found a stopwatch and timed how long it took to type 'worker', and then 'wrestler,' allowing, of course, for keyboard-to-start/stop-button time before and after each word. Turns out that it takes approximately 0.9 seconds to type the word 'worker', whereas typing the word 'wrestler' takes about 0.8 seconds. So it can't be convenience. It has to be the sounding clever thing. If you say 'worker' instead of 'wrestler', people must think you're in the wrestling business. Wrestlers...I mean, workers, sorry...Workers who actually wrest...no, my mistake...Workers who actually work say 'work' and 'worker' so naturally any real fan would use them too. Makes sense. I wonder how many film fans use movie jargon when talking to other film fans" All I know is, next time someone asks who the world's best worker is, I'm gonna say what I really think; Jim from accounting. Shows up on time every day, never comes back late from lunch or a break, sometimes stays late, does what he's told, gets the job done. Jim's an excellent worker.

The second is 'spot', instead of 'move'. Now this one I am really at a total loss to attempt to explain. Why is it better to say 'spot' instead of 'move'" I just don't get it!

I don't think I'm alone in disliking this over-reliance on 'insider terms' from internet fans. A lot of wrestlers aren't keen on it either. For example, in his ROH shoot interview, Steve Corino talked about how if he was at a show, and one fan in the front row was yelling things like "I paid to see you juice! When are you gonna get colour!" and another was yelling things like "Homicide's gonna kill you!" which fan is he going to respond to"

Call me stupid, but I think that you can be a knowledgeable and intelligent wrestling fan without having to depend on 'insider terms'.

As if using these words at every opportunity wasn't enough, a minority of internet fans will refer to wrestlers by their real names only. Chris Jericho" No, it's Chris Irvine. AJ Styles" Who" Oh, you're talking about Allen Jones. I don't think I can even put into words how totally ludicrous and downright stupid this is. Can you imagine a filmgoer asking a friend what their favourite Jerome Silberman movie is" Or a music fan talking about how Chaim Witz is the best frontman in rock history"

I can kind of grasp the appeal of using 'insider terms' - makes you feel like you're part of 'the business', talking like the wrestlers. That appeal simply does not exist with real names. Why" Lance Storm can explain. "...We get offended when fans use our real names. We don't even half the time. Unless I know them extremely well or knew them before, I use their work names. I call The Undertaker, Taker and HHH Hunter." Lance has also stated that Sabu will not speak to someone unless they call him Sabu.

Wrestlers who also work for their promotion in a non-wrestling role are a natural target for the wrath of the internet fan. Triple H was almost universally hated. I say 'was' because there seems to have been an unprecedented change in opinion recently. I'd like to think that people came to a realisation that he actually brought something really good to RAW every week, but it might have just been because they missed having someone to bitch about. Now he's actually hated for being a 'heel', it seems, but not in the intended way. Weird. Of course, there's Jeff Jarrett, perhaps hated now more than ever, and in the UK, Alex Shane, no longer a full-time booker but supposedly still hated for it. But there was one guy who had always managed to avoid that - maybe just because he's not known by the majority of fans on the internet - Mitsuharu Misawa of Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan. He was universally admired by all the Japanese wrestling fans on the web...until recently. Many have now turned on him after "news" surfaced about Misawa not wanting to lose a match in July. The fact that the match in question was damned good, and regardless of the many hours of entertainment each fan has been given by Misawa, all he is now is a selfish bastard. Nobody's safe from the random turnings-on of the internet. (Actually, while I'm mentioning Japan, one thing that's always confused me is this - how come when the Undertaker acts like his opponent's offence has no effect, it's something terrible to be bemoaned and criticised, but when someone like Kenta Kobashi does it, it's enjoyed and celebrated")

I was going to go further at this point. I have plenty of stuff left to complain about, including, but not limited to: Fans on the internet turning on wrestlers the moment they debut or are signed by WWE no matter how much they may have been liked up to that point, other seemingly random turns on previously-well-liked wrestlers, complaints about storylines being 'too fake' followed by complaints by the same people about storylines based on reality, fans trying to act 'smart' at live events rather than just enjoying the show, the desire to know EVERYTHING and then complaining that things aren't as unpredictable as they used to be (solution: stop reading "news" sites! I did in July when I decided I didn't want to know if Matt Hardy was supposed to be turning up on RAW, and since then the shows have somehow seemed better!), chants like 'You Fucked Up' (if you went to a Led Zeppelin concert and Jimmy Page played one wrong note during a solo, would you chant it at him"), the apparent obsession with 'botches', and certain things indy fans have tendencies to do.

Like I said, a ton of stuff left I want to rant about. But the anger I had when I started this column has, at this time, gone. It has faded away, and for some reason I'm not pissed off anymore. And if I don't care about what I'm writing about, it usually doesn't turn out well.

So this is an abrupt stop to Most Wanted, Vol II. Maybe I'll take up my rant again in six months' time...

by Langdon Beck --- [View Langdon Beck's Column Index]..


Luis Malave (pronounced Lou-wis Muh-la-vay) wrote:
I'm sure you're going to get more responses that hate on you rather than appreciated responses, but I'm not going to do either. I will say, however, that the write-up was good and held my attention, which is what a columnist is supposed to do. It ran a little long for my taste, but as said, it is a good write-up. You make some valid points, but you make them on a seemingly biased scale; which is fine. You're entitled to your opinion, and if you don't like the way certain people come off, be it online, in person, out of space, whatever...you're certainly able to voice that. But in that same respect, what you may or may not like doesn't mean everyone else has to like it either. But eh. You already know that. Anyway, to finish off this reply, I will once again repeat that it was a good piece and will be looking forward to your next work, that is, if there ever is a third volume [my choice of word would be, "installment", but, whatever floats your boat] of, "Most Wanted." Keep up the good work.
milly48 wrote:
You took the words out of my head and onto the Internet. Thank you! I agree with everything you say in your column (the use of 'worker' has always pi$$ed me off too. I'm sick of the Internet negativity and I am glad someone had the courage to say that they disagreed, keep up the good work.
Stuart Busby wrote:
Langdon I agree with you on the TNA section of your column. I was talking to one of my friends about WWE & TNA and he said TNA is crap because its cheap. Also the guys in TNA could never have great matches like his favourite Kurt Angle. Well speaking as a wrestler in the UK, the guys in TNA (AJ, Abyss, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and others) are all great wrestlers capable of having world calibre matches (and this is coming from a big WWE fan/mark). TNA is slowly growing on me and I really hope it gets bigger. Now in my opinion, the only reason Angle has great matches (and no disrespect to him whatsoever) is because he wrestles great opponents (Benoit, Jericho, HBK a few to name). he needs a good opponent to push him to the limit and bring out the best in him. If someone like him just wrestled jobbers he wouldn't get any good. Like they say "on one can have a great wrestling match with themselves".
quiksilver wrote:
Mr. Beck, you have no idea how much I agree with your column here. I have a friend that is the biggest smark (I think that's what they're called) in the whole world, he reads different columns and listens to wrestling observer and then tries to make everyone think he knows everything about wrestling by quoting stuff he heard or read by others. I honestly hardly ever look at the news on the internet, I look at the ratings and I read some columns, but other than that, I dont want to know what's going to happen in the future, and I enjoy wrestling more than anyone else i know of. The internet is what is hurting wrestling so much, so many 'fans' think they know everything and everyone has to be a critic these days, and it makes me sick. I still get excited when my favorite wrestler wins a match, when others will say "oh, I knew he was gonna win". True wrestling fans that don't try to run things from their computer desk are hard to find these days and im glad to be one of them.
Mr Taylor (pause)(pause) TAYLOR! wrote:
Holy Sh*t, you're speaking so much of the truth. I feel the only people killing the interest in pro wrestling nowadays are the fans, themselves. I didn't have access to a computer or the Internet during the end of 1999 - end of 2001 and You know what happened during those years....those were the BEST years of pro wrestling I have ever seen (besides my kid years with Hogan and Warrior) When I look back on it, its not the best years because of the success of The Rock, HHH, Y2J, etc., its because I didn't have the Internet to ruin things for me. I wasn't tempted to go to "News" sites and click on the "Smackdown Spoilers." Grant it, you should be able to control yourself if you don't want to read the spoilers but seriously, if you just keep looking around the site, the spoilers are all around even before you click anywhere and if you go into any chat room about wrestling, Im sure the topic of the day is the spoiler of smackdown or how bad WWE is currently. I get tired of people complaining about how bad WWE is. Only reason fans feel WWE is bad is because the spoilers and "news" sites are giving way too much information, too soon and ruining the surprise of most storylines. Can you imagine how the NBA and NFL would be if they had spoilers. No one would ever watch again and just complain. I don't want to continue to rant because I could go all day.

On the whole lingo topic, I think people talk like their an insider because they have complained SO MUCH that they feel they are more than just a casual fan but now part of the actual WWE company. People also like to analyze WWE because they know they have nothing else better to do than to worry about WWE's next move...get a girlfriend/boyfriend....get a hobby and stop b*tching.

In closing, The fans, themselves, are killing off pro wrestling along with "news" sites.
Jim Rush wrote:
I thought columns on this site were to be "edited, edited, and re-edited". While I agree with some of your points (mostly on the "insider terms" and real names which for the most part I find pointless as well) I had to scroll back up on multiple occasions just to try and read where the article was going. Maybe next time write it up in 2-3 different columns so its not all just clumped together and a difficult read.
Laurie B. wrote:
I can see where you're coming from exactly. I'm saddened to hear people are turning on the legend that is Mitsuharu Misawa for not wanting to lose a match. This guy has given his life to the business and seeing his classics with Kobashi has opened up a whole new world of wrestling to me. From what I've seen on The Wrestling Channel, Pro Wrestling NOAH is MY alternative to WWE.

Taker and Kobashi do no-sell a lot but that's to be expected. It suits them. Having said that they do often get their asses kicked, so they don't dish out the offensive all the time.

I'd like to express some of my frustration myself on something that internet fans claim far too often, and that is "Bill Goldberg can't wrestle and only does 5 moves". Yeah, Regal outwrestled him, but Goldberg wasn't wrestling in carnivals in his early days, he was only trained by the power plant for christ's sake. I highly doubt their training entails amateur wrestling to the extent of Regal's skill. And Bill Goldberg doesn't just do 4 or 5 moves. If you actually went back and watched his WCW matches you'd see he does a lot more than his noted signature moves.

And if I have to hear one more time that "oh, but he concussed the Hitman and ended his career" I'm going to punch something. Now I love Bret Hart, but unfortunately accidents do happen. And I don't hear anyone slamming D-Lo Brown all the time for breaking Droz' neck and ending his career or Chris Benoit for breaking Sabu's neck, do I" No" Thought not.
Evan B. wrote:
Good afternoon fellow wrestling aficionados, and to Langdon Beck, I just read your Most Wanted Vol II. Rant and I must say, I agree with you. I have been a wrestling fan for close to 30 years, and it seems to me that ever since the advent of the internet, the general populace has decided to take it upon themselves to become so "smart" in terms of their knowledge of the inner workings of the business, that they have allowed it to pollute their minds in terms of actually enjoying wrestling for what it is (or what I find it to be at least): an hour to several hours of relaxing, athletic, seemingly mind numbing entertainment. I remember back to days when Sting was being attacked by a mysterious wrestler known only as "The Black Scorpion." Perfect example of how the internet would have ruined a perfectly good angle in this day in age. Back then, people could only suspect that it was Ric Flair behind that mask. But it easily could have been The Great Muta, or some other wrestler that was trying to be brought along to make an impact. In the year 2005, you better believe the second that first contest between Sting and the Black Scorpion was over, hell, the second the first voice altered promo appeared, the internet would have has "the inside scoop" on who was really beneath the mask, which would have ruined for me what was at the time a very enjoyable angle.

I also have to agree about the overuse of terminology by the IWC. Ok, so we all know the lingo front to back. Great. Grand. Wonderful. So, why is it so important on a seemingly daily basis to prove to the rest of the world that we are so "in"" If someone asks me about wrestling, I admit it, I turn into a little kid again. I tell them about the first time I saw Hogan live. Or about when Andre came to my hometown and took on 3 men at once. Or about watching Steamboat versus Savage for the first time. Or even more recently, the sheer awe of watching Mankind go flying off the top of the Cell, and then, as a seemingly indestructible force, getting back up and going back for more of the best The Undertaker can dish out. I don't try to impress these people with how "in the know" I am. I simply get pleasure out of remembering my favorite moments for what they were: True athletes going above and beyond to entertain me and whoever else was watching at the time. I don't care that someone blading is called "juicing" as much as I appreciate that in order for them to make me feel more enthralled by the action that they would do it in the first place. Come on everyone. Relax and return to reality.

Facts are facts: AJ Styles, The Fallen Angel, Samoa Joe and on down the line, these guys are stars because they work their asses off to put on great matches. I don't care if the made it to the WWF or not. I watch, and they entertain me.

TNA will not be the next WCW, even if it fails. It will be the first TNA.

I would have to say the best worker in my office is my father, and he couldn't even take a chop from a midget wrestler. ;-)

My belief is, maybe if people stopped trying so hard to be the most up to date information gatherer, and the guy who "knows what's going to happen next", and enjoyed the athleticism and entertainment more, the internet wouldn't become such a pain in the butt place when it comes to wrestling.

Great column Langdon, hope I didn't go off on to big of my own rant...

p.s. Ironic, isn't it, that the only place we can vent about the anal retentive natures of internet wrestling fans is on the web"
Stuart Busby wrote:
Langdon I agree with you on the TNA section of your column. I was talking to one of my friends about WWE & TNA and he said TNA is crap because its cheap. Also the guys in TNA could never have great matches like his favourite Kurt Angle. Well speaking as a wrestler in the UK, the guys in TNA (AJ, Abyss, Christopher Daniels, Samoa Joe and others) are all great wrestlers capable of having world calibre matches (and this is coming from a big WWE fan/mark). TNA is slowly growing on me and I really hope it gets bigger. Now in my opinion, the only reason Angle has great matches (and no disrespect to him whatsoever) is because he wrestles great opponents (Benoit, Jericho, HBK a few to name). he needs a good opponent to push him to the limit and bring out the best in him. If someone like him just wrestled jobbers he wouldn't get any good. Like they say "on one can have a great wrestling match with themselves".
flamingtiger wrote:
I agree with some of your critisim about internet fans. There can be a tendency to focus on the negative and overlook some of the finer points of the wrestling buisness. I myself have done so now and again. I believe a fan sometimes should just sit back and enjoy the product. However I do have a few problems with your dislike of the chant "you fucked up." Granted the fans do not have the skill to step in the ring (that's why we're behind the barrier) but it's not a Led Zeppelin concert, it's wrestling. Just the fact that the fans ineract is a good thing. I was watching some "world of sport," the other day and the fans were dead silent and I was thinking to myself "God I wish the fans were more into this." Chants are just a way for the fans to interact and let the wrestler now he's got their attention and at the end of the day it doesn't matter if you got one or two "you fucked up chants," as long as you put on a good match even if there were a few messed up spots. The last thing I would like to comment on is just a small mistake you made. The word "spot," doesn't mean move, it is a squence of moves. Alot of spots are planned but a few are made up in the ring. Just thought I'd let you know. Good article.
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