How does one quantify pro wrestling? A good question, and not one easily answered. Pro Wrestling means a lot of things to a lot of people. Take me, for example. Wrestling is my life blood. My passion, when I step between those ropes, all things seem to disappear. I have not a care in the world aside from giving my fans or my haters a show like they have never seen before. In the immortal words of Shawn Michaels “Why? Because I can.” There is something about it that is almost therapeutic in a way. Some could ague that I have been dropped on my head too much or taken one to many chair shots. No I don't think so. When you live with this kind of passion in you, the fires of hell aren't hot enough to burn it away.
So as I look at the landscape of Professional Wrestling today, I am saddened. It looks like a post apocalyptic world clinging to hope. I am not referring to the Indy Scene. That lush jungle and wealth of amazement lies just beneath the surface. I am referring to what the most common denominator thinks is Professional Wrestling, and that leaves just one key player, the WWE. Don't get me wrong TNA has talent, and so does ROH, but when you say pro wrestling, people go “oh yeah WWE.”
To truly understand how the WWE is killing the world of wrestling you need to know a few facts. Fact number one: the WWE claims to be sports entertainment not wrestling. Fact two: They have ran off or fired anyone who has disagreed with The McMahons way of product building. Fact three: They lack the ability to enter into a partnership with anyone and not throw their weight around. Fact four: Just because you are an amazing talent doesn’t mean you will be a star.
Okay. So WWE claims to be sports entertainment. News flash, asshats, your employees are wrestlers. You host, or attempt to host, a wrestling show twice a week. A wrestling show comprised of wrestlers…WHO ARE NOT FUCKING WRESTLING. You have them talking without any signs of shutting up. You have them guest commentate the matches that you bury under commercial and pointless pan overs to the guest hosts or celebs at ringside. Your run time is constantly over three hours because you have so much crap going on that you can't fit it all in. Your stars, save a handful, know jack shit about pacing. Most of time their matches run way over and end on a stupid, pointless finish. You recycle and regurgitate the same useless crap over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, each time expecting a different result. Okay WWE, so Sports Entertainment is making a mockery of the Sport of Professional Wrestling, by making wrestlers not wrestle, but act like trained monkeys in a badly scripted circus side show.
Now to clarify fact two. The WWE is run by the McMahons. It has been widely documented that they do practically what ever the hell they choose. This is not only irresponsible, but very bad for business. I first noticed with the turn over rate of talent towards the middle and end of The Attitude Era. When they ran off Jim Cornette I knew there was an issue. The man has forgotten more about running a wrestling show then they ever will learn about. The moment they passed Vice Presidency of Creative to Stephanie it went to hell in a hand basket. She began to outing the people who opposed her and surrounded her self with yes men and woman. Prime example of this: How the hell do think Dave Batista had a title reign let only multiple title reigns. Batista was slated to be shit canned before he began hanging out and working out with Triple H. They were going to release him back to OVW because deacon Batista wasn't cutting it. However all of sudden he is in evolution. All the while being prone to injury. This frail fucking demon who doesn't know a wrist lock from a wrist watch and lacks the ability to have a great match, somehow becomes an overnight superstar. He isn't just getting pushed, he is getting slammed over. Yet they bury guys like Nick Dinsmore under gimmicks.
WWE has never had a successful developmental program that lasted longer then five years. Short of OVW, the only partner of WWE to make money was Les Thatcher out of Cincinnati Ohio. Now to clear the air and set the record straight in the beginning WWE didn't own OVW or their library. It was owned by Danny Davis. They contracted them to provide and train talent. It worked fine until WWE upper management started mucking things up. When Jim Ross left the Talent office it pretty much sealed OVW and WWE's partnership up. I could go into all the shit that the new head of talent John Laurinaitis and others did to make this happen but, I will spare you the details. When you as a company want such shit talent, you have to open your own school so that you can teach them how to wrestle for your organization, there is an issue.
The thing that pains me the most is good ole fact four, that no matter how good you are, if you don't play office ball, you ain't getting big. You could be the greatest talent on that roster. You could go out and half kill yourself every night. You could make the fans blow the roof off that bitch, but if the boys in the office don't like you, you’re fucked. Don't believe me? Look at Nick Dinsmore, quite possibly the best OVW had to offer. He was more technically sound then Randy Orton. Had Mic Skills on par and better in some respects to CM punk. Worked as hard as John Cena, and could have a better match than Batista. Yet the office didn't like him and gave him a gimmick that has killed his wrestling career. He will never get the stink of Eugene off of him. Hell this company has fired Daniel Bryan once before. I mean it shows they have no clue what makes a talent great or what the fans want. They would rather go back to the tired ass well then to come up with a new angle. Thus why Summer Slam was a crap show. They don't care about long term. They already have enough money to live for a hundred life times. They don't care if we hate it or not. The McMahon family runs the WWE like a dollhouse. It is theirs no one else and they don't give a shit if we like or not. Everyone is expendable from champ to chump.
There you have it: in my opinion why The WWE is killing Big Stage Pro Wrestling. I know some may agree, some might not. All I have to back me on this is my knowledge of the workings of the business. I have been in the squared circle, I have won titles, I have lost titles. I have fallen off ladders and been hit in the head with tea kettles. I also got a first rate education on how to run a wrestling business from someone who has only ever known the wrestling business. So I wouldn't say I have all the answers, but I damn sure know what not to do. So take my opinion with a grain of salt: if the WWE doesn’t change its course drastically it will go the way of The NWA and WCW. The WWE itself even proved, a giant can be beaten.
|Or cannibalized. -Ed|