Some have asked me why I’m watching pro wrestling if I write so many negative things about it. I’m not the only one thats been hit with this and I’ve seen some respond to it. This time, it’s the Shark’s turn. I love pro wrestling. I grew up on it. I watched it since I was 5-6 years old when Hulk Hogan was finishing a rivalry with Andre. I’ve watched a lot of things come and go and new eras started. I love pro wrestling and the art form of it. What I hate and can’t stand is what it’s become. I can’t stand what has become nothing less than a de-evolution of pro wrestling itself.
To say that the WWE has lost its identity would be putting it mildly. Somewhere in the midst of them trying so hard to label themselves as “Sports Entertainment,” they have either forgotten their roots or deny them entirely. Take a look at them now and how Vince himself is so obsessed with trying to turn away the very word “pro wrestling” from his company name and product. According to reports, he’s even going as far as to not only not refer to the roster as either wrestlers or superstars, but to refer to them as entertainers. Are you kidding me? Then you also have TNA who is trying to change their image and call themselves simply “Impact Wrestling.” The only thing that brings an impact with that change is how laughable an idea that is. Instead of changing their names, why don’t try changing their damn product?
TNA used to be known because of how they stood out, because how they were unique compared to the WWE. You had the six sided ring, six sides of steel, king of the mountain, ultimate X, The X-Division, etc. Then somewhere along the way, they decided that what they needed to do to succeed was copy the WWE and snag whoever the WWE tossed out. In the process of doing that, they ignore the stars that they do have. TNA never seemed to get that through their head, not even when they had a triple threat main event between Samoa Joe, “The Fallen Angel” Christopher Daniels, and “The Phenomenal” AJ Styles. They did that at two different PPVs where the 3 best that the X-Division had to offer headlined one of their PPVs and both were amazing. Now, TNA is looking too much like WWE with the old WCW Thunder stage and with the X-Division flatlining itself and barely existent. Kazarian is the X-Division Champ but when was the last time anyone recognized him having it?
WWE no matter what name or what they think of themselves as, it’s still wrestling whether Vinny Mac likes it or not. And no matter what name he gives anything or anyone in his company, when you compare it to the way things were years ago, they’re still doing a lazy and half-assed job of what they once were. At least in the days of the Attitude Era, the WWE was not afraid to go full throttle. When they bought out WCW, they saw no reason to keep going that route. They had nobody to oppose or stand up to them. Vince and the WWE became obsessed with Linda McMahon’s attempted political career, being PG, and instead of giving the fans what they wanted, Vince decided to just take what he wanted and shove it down the fans’ throats whether we liked it or not.
Let me go into what I miss with wrestling today. I miss the d ays where championships actually carried prestige with them. There were only 3-4 belts at most and it never got to the point where there were 9-10 of them like the WWE once did at one point. There were also rivalries that told a story and lasted more than a month sometimes. Look at the one in ECW between Tommy Dreamer & Raven. That one lasted two years before Dreamer finally beat Raven. Look at the indy circuit/Ring of Honor with Chris Hero & Eddie Kingston. These two had feud that transcended from place to place for four years. There was energy, emotion in the promos. Any promo where you saw Kingston talking about Hero, he hated him and wanted nothing more than to beat him not just by pin, but beat the living crap out of him. Tna had a 2 year long rivalry between Triple X and America’s Most Wanted. Kevin Steen & El Generico carried their feud and the story with it for a solid year and ended in one the best matches and best street fights I’ve seen in my years as a wrestling fan.
So yes, generally I have a negative opinion about certain things in pro wrestling. But I write that way because a part of me wishes that both TNA and WWE start to wake up and actually get better. I want the WWE to start actually giving an effort and taking pride into their product. I want TNA to stop trying to copy the WWE and just be their own thing again. Now this doesn’t mean I want a second coming of the Attitude Era. Far from it. I want wrestling in general to take the next step forward instead of a step backwards. We’ve seen wrestling with different era take it to a new level and raise the bar higher. Instead, we’ve suffered for years of keeping the bar where it was, even lowering it. Maybe the name changes have to do with that neither the WWE or TNA believes in their own product anymore. And if they don’t, then why the hell should the rest of us? We take pride in being fans of pro wrestling, not sports entertainment, but pro wrestling. I take pride in being a wrestling fan. The only problem is that what most of pro wrestling has devolved to with some exceptions is not pro wrestling anymore. I’m still a fan of pro wrestling and I’m proud of it. In the case of the WWE and TNA, I would just like to actually SEE some pro wrestling happen.
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