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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Appreciate What You Have Today
August 25, 2005 by Stephen Collins


As I trudge through OWW and many other sites one of the things that stands out the most to me is the amount of negativity. Now we are all entitled to bash someone who blows a spot or botches a finish. But have any of us ever stopped to appreciate what pro wrestling has given us today" Some of you spend all your time bashing WWE or TNA. Why" Because you don't like it" Well that's your opinion. And you're entitled to it. But what if HHH died in a car crash tomorrow, or Jeff Jarrett" Yes you bash them when they're alive but you still feel the loss. Why" Because however much you hate a particular performer, they gave something to the wrestling business. Why bash and moan when you can sit back and enjoy the god knows how many wrestling promotions that are out there" Imagine tomorrow if the US senate banned professional wrestling. Gone except for the internet and in other countries. Sure some of you would adapt. But to some of us this is one of the most important aspects of our lives. Wrestling is something we all take for granted like TV. But what if it went" What would we all do" Living in England it's not hard to get WWE, TNA and ROH. But if they got shut down I wouldn't have any alternatives. I would cry tears of blood. Yes there's Japan and others but still it's not the same.

Now a lot of you detest Hulk Hogan. And for good reasons. But we would probably all feel saddened by his passing. Why" Because here's a man who gave so much to the industry. I wouldn't say Elix Skipper is a huge face at the moment, but if he went into a steel cage and did that Hurracarana off the top and killed himself in the process we would all mourn. Even if you were bashing him the day before you'd still feel a sense of loss. These people put their careers, bodies and lives on the line every time they step into that ring. And what for" A pay check, yes. But also to entertain you. These people are practically killing themselves to entertain you. They don't have to but they do. And quite a few have paid the ultimate price. Candido, Hart, Spider, Malcolm Kirk. People who have died because of the business they love. So next time you sit down to write a column which bashes someone or something think. Instead of writing an "I hate HHH" column, why not go and watch some CZW. Why not break out ECW one night stand on DVD. Or go wrestle with your friend in his backyard. Or write a column about how great you think someone is. Or watch Impact! Over the web.

If you hate Smackdown!, why watch it" Go watch TNA. Hate TNA" Then instead of writing a long winded rant about it, stop watching and go watch something else. Just remember that nothing is certain and we could wake up to see the message RIP plastered over a wrestling site like this. Enjoy what these people have to offer, because no one lives forever. If Kurt Angle dies next week, I can take pride that I saw his last match at SummerSlam. And that I saw Wrestlemania 21. Stop worrying if these people are no sellers, or jerks. Just enjoy what they do while. In closing I would like to leave all you bashers and moaners with one simple phrase: "Appreciate what you have today, because it might not be there tomorrow."

by Stephen Collins ..


Tom McCarthy wrote:
I Just Wanted to drop a quick response to this column. It is great to see that in an age where everyone is so quick to bash wrestling, that there are still people who sensiable enough to realise that we should just sit back and enjoy the ride. Great piece.
Jack Malone wrote:
I'm sorry, but I totally disagree with this column. I do not follow the whole "don't like it, don't watch it" theory because, as a loyal WWF/E fan I feel I deserve better. After the quality of programming we were subject to just 5-8 years back, I feel cheated to see the lack of effort today. You see, I WANT WWE to get better. I don't want to see how bad it is, think "oh well" and switch over. I would rather watch a good wrestling show than avoid watching a crappy one, because at the end of the day, I am a wrestling fan. When I think back, I miss the days when WWF/E was pulling in huge ratings and provided cutting edge programming. Sure, there's still some good feuds here and there, but back in the day we'd have things going on across the card with feuds based around every title. This is a disappointment and many like to vent their frustrations on the issue by coming on the internet and sharing their thoughts with others, in the form of a rant. I see nothing wrong with that. If the IWC was constantly positive about wrestling it wouldn't be a particularly interesting thing to visit. In addition, I could say to you:

"If you don't like what you read on the internet, don't come on to talk about wrestling".

Your theory works both ways. As for comparing the criticism of WWE to the potential death of wrestlers, well that's just ridiculous and pretty disturbing. Of course, there's always an element of that in life, anyone can walk outside and get hit by a bus. Yet people don't consider that, they live for the moment. Hell, there are movie critics out there who slate new movies - they don't think twice about it, just because the actor tried hard or the director might pass away - they say exactly what they think. All we're doing is giving our opinions on wrestling, there is nothing wrong with that.
Jay Ingram wrote:
You have no idea what you are talking about.

The reason most people bash WWE is that WWE has basically taken away its only serious competition, WCW. Back during the Monday Night Wars, both shows had to be on the top of their game. Now, the WWE can sit back and force feed us drivel and expect us to like it.

Case in point: the WWE has recently told cruiserweights to tone down their in ring style. Do you think that order would have been given to the cruiserweights during the Monday Night Wars" No, it would not have. When did the WWE start becoming the No. 1 cable show on television" Answer; once WCW wasnt around to compete with them, and all the WCW fans tuned in to Raw to see if WCW wrestlers were being picked up by Raw, and by golly, VKM was just smart enough to know that.

Do you think HHH would have held the belt for as long as he has if WCW was around" No. A stale champ would never have went over with the competition out there. Heck, HHH was even handed the belt was he not" Ever hear of a storyline where someone was just handed a belt and declared the champ when there was competition around" No.

Have you noticed that the WWE is bringing up new wrestlers from OVW and their new Georgia promotion ( forgot the name of it) at a record pace" What does that get us" It gets us guys who, by no fault of their own, are not ready to be in the big leagues. Chris Masters, Mordecai, Carlito, MNM, Snitzky, Tomko, and others, all brought in waaaay before their time had/has come. For the love of God, Masters nearly killed Richards in his first Raw televised match, and he was put on display with that goofy full nelson, SO HE COULD BE TAUGHT TO WRESTLE IN THE MEANTIME!!! I live in Kentucky, not far from where OVW does their TV tapings. I plan to go to several of them, and whichever lumbering twit blows the most spots in one match, you can be assured he will be on Raw soon, as long as he is over 6'2" and 220 pounds.

Don't even try to tell me that ROH, TNA, and others are any kind of serious competition to WWE right now. The business of the WWE is to 1. Sell PPV's, 2. Sell tickets to live shows and 3. (The least realized by those not exposed to the business side of wrestling) SELL COMMERCIALS ON THEIR PROGRAMS. Right now, they are the only federation out there that can do it. If TNA had been doing it, they would never have had their contract with Fox lapse.

So, like I said before, there is no other federation around that can do what WWE does, and they no it, so there is no reason to push for a better product. The only light at the end of this tunnel is TNA's new TV contract, which may light a fire in the WWE. It remains to be seen.
Troy Tollison wrote:
Firstly I have to say that I really like this article and can strongly relate to it. As a matter of fact this pretty much sums up exactly my way of dealing with the frustrations of wrestling.

Now I must address the the above critiques because they claim that the author doesn't know what he's talking about when yet both the critics missed one of the main points of the article. That point is that WWE is not the only promotion out there and if you're not happy with it, try watching an alternative. It's that simple. Now I'm not trying to say that you shouldn't complain about WWE because you should. There's always room for improvement (especially now). But instead of just venting by pointing out the same obvious blunders that about 50 people before you have already posted all over the internet, instead take the time to check out the web sites of other promotions. Here's another idea. You could take a look at this sites main page and click on the advertisement for Clickwrestle. Doing that is way more constructive than giving a paraphrased analysis of why some wrestler is holding every newcomer down. After a while it goes from constructive criticism to just plain whining. What's trying to be said is that you shouldn't stop watching WWE if you love it, but don't watch it just because it's "the only thing out there" or "the only game in town" because that couldn't be farther from the truth.
ShawnCl wrote:
I not selling anything as competition. Im saying if you dont like TNA go watch WWE or Vise Verca. I state that these guys in the ring are killing themselves and destroying their bodies for you, so you could at least appreciate them and you all think Im trying to sell WWE or TNA as competiton to each other. I love WWE more than TNA and all the others. Its just all people psot on this website mostly and others is negative stuff about WWE or TNA. DOnt get me wrong the day Vinnie Mac buys TNA ill celebrate like its 1999. But every week theres somthing like HHH sucks or I hate Hulk Hogan. Good for you. Express your opinions. Im not trying to force you to write something positive, but it would make a decent change. Im just trying to say that instead of wasting time venting about WWE go do something else or just watch it or its competition. I believe thats called appreciating what you have. Im sorry if everyone thnks im an idiot but im expressing my viewpoints. I accept your critiscism. If you dont agree with what im saying then fine. Im just bringing up what I think is an importent point.
Andy Christopher wrote:
I find that I must agree with you, though I think you could have put just a tad bit more effort in your argument.

To those who disagree with Mr. Collins, shame on you. I have heard nothing but complaints about the WWE from hardcore wrestling fans ever since I started watching, and what do they do" Never miss an episode of RAW and Smackdown. Now you can say "I want WWE to get better" but the fact is that if people stopped watching these shows, guess what" They would try to do things differently.

Now I agree that there isn't really serious competition out there, and some people would rather watch crappy wrestling then no wrestling at all, but let me remind you all who spend your time snarling and snapping at Vince McMahan for being such a bastard (he is, but I don't think that's the point), the WWE is a BUSINESS. A business has only one obligation. TO MAKE MONEY. If the WWE decides tomorrow that dressing Heidenreich in a chicken suit for the rest of his career makes money, that's fine. It's up to the consumers to decide that it doesn't work by saying, "I'm not going to pay money to see this in a PPV" which is where the WWE gets most of it's revenues.

I am sick to death of these arrogant and sanctimonious snobs bashing the state of wrestling today while still watching their shows and buying their ppv's at the same time. It's hypocracy and nothing but. Now I won't deny that wrestling is not what it was eight or nine years ago, and I will be the first to say that there needs to be serious competition to up the quality of the programming. But the WWE wouldn't have it's godawful monopoly on wrestling if it didn't do such fantastic business to get it there in the first place, and it could not do that without PEOPLE GIVING IT MONEY.

Wrestling has been around a long time, and it's never going to go away. And for all those who yearn for "the good old days", newsflash, they ain't coming back. Wrestling goes through many changes and vicissitudes and I think it's unfair to hold wrestling of today to standards of 1985. The times were different, the methods were different, the talent were different. So grow up!

As long as you nutcases keep feeding the beast, nothing will be the same. So stop bitching and put your money where your mouth is!!!!!
Stephen Mitchell wrote in reference to Jay Ingram and Jack Malone,:
I think that you guys feel that the WWE owes you something when in fact they don't. I have been a long time wrestling fan and try to ignore smarks as really all you guys are is fans who feel that because they might know what will happen on next weeks Raw or that a certain wrestler is getting backstage heat that you have the knowledge to comment on what is going on in the wrestling industry. (Please note I never used the word business as that is an insider term and just like you two I am not an insider.) How can either of you guys possibly tell anyone what direction the WWE is going in" Have either of you been to a board meeting when they talk about what direction the company is going in" I don't think you have. The major problem with wrestling today in my opinion is not the product which is still entertaining but the internet. It is easier to be critical than it is to be positive about something when you are trying to provoke a reaction and trying to look like you know what you are talking about. Most smarks I find are wrestling fans that have been watching wrestling for many years and have fallen slightly out of love with the sport but newsflash guys perhaps it is just because you are getting a bit older, not because the product is any worse. Love it or leave it. Posting messages on the internet saying how unhappy you are not going to change anything.
Jay Ingram wrote:
I am NOT trying to troll or start fights here, I just want to reinterate something to you.

1. Yes, there are other wrestling federations out there. Hoever, unless you have one of those cable /dish systems that will pick up local channels from all over the country, you are not going to see those feds on TV. Right now, WWE is the only fed that is shown on nationwide TV.

2. When there is no competition, the product suffers. Why is that" VKM is smart enought to know that once TNA gets back on the air nationwide in OCtober, he will have to step up his game. The request for the cruiserweights to tone down their ring style served this purpose in this way. most of the cruiserweights should be healthy and injury free in October, then they can possibly start putting on better show of skill, to compete with TNA, because TNA will show guys like Williams and Styles doing the same thing.

3. I dont have the figures in front of me, the I would contend that most of WWE revenue comes from commercail time sold during the weekly broadcasts, not PPV's. I could easily be proven wrong about this, but I am going to assume its true till someone shows me the figures.

4. If I am to truly appreciate what I have, lets turn the analogy around. I want you to truly appreciate your car. Dont ever put new rims, stereo, or graphics on it. If you dont like the way your car looks, go get another one. Oh yeah, the only other cars that are available are in a remote county in northern Idaho, and you cant get there from here, but look, here is their website, see all the other cars" I know you've never seen a comercial for these cars, but see there they are.

5. MOST IMPORTANTLY: WWE is presently not letting talent do what they can do. That has always been my main complaint about the company. For example; got to Shane Helm's website and look at his videos of his favorite wrestling moves. The man has a huge supply of technical moves, and he isnt allowed to use them. That is what is so frustrating about WWE. Its like taking major league baseball talent and making them play T-Ball.

And why has WWE come to make the decisions listed abve: because regardless of out many feds are out there, THEY ARE NOT COMPETITION FOR THE NATIONWIDE AUDIENCE THAT WWE IS. PLAIN AND SIMPLE. Again,right now, no other federation in the country can do what the WWE does. If there was, they WOULD BE ON NATIONWIDE TV. I made that point in my first response, then someone responded to mine and said, "Go watch another fed." But there is no other fed with nationwide coverage like the WWE.
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