Get Over It!By Drowgoddess · · 2 Comments
I held off on posting this article because news of the passing of Eddie “Umaga” Fatu was much more serious and important.
Yeah, you there. The pro wrestling fan.
Get over it!
Much has been made recently on a number of websites and forums of the complete inability of large numbers of wrestling fans to be happy with anything wrestling-related. I’m the last person who would lump all wrestling fans who just happen to use the medium of the internet to voice their thoughts (What other medium are people expected to use these days? Hand-written letters? Carrier pigeons? Runners with beads? Seriously!) into a single Borg-like “IWC,” but there is a marked tendency towards the negative here. Perhaps the safety of the anonymity of cyberspace encourages people to “hate” on everything. I don’t personally know. There are, however, a few specific points that have come to mind recently in the midst of the maelstrom of griping. These are the points that make me shake my head and want to shout, “Get over it!”
#1: New guys and their pushes: Complaints about a stale main event scene have intensified, and justifiably so. However, when we get them, it’s either the wrong guys, or the push isn’t being handled properly, or we like the guy in question but he isn’t really ready for it, or some other something that prevents satisfaction. In the immortal words of Gob Bluth, come on! A “new guy,” by definition, shouldn’t be 100% main event-ready. If he were, he would already be there. Why do we constantly demand fresh blood in the main event scene, and then criticize whoever it is when they finally get there?
So Sheamus is Triple H’s workout partner. Obviously, that gives him a leg up, and may have been the deciding factor in his push. Does that really matter? When he’s in the ring or on the mic, he has to deliver. Period. Sheamus is a flat-out beast, and he has certainly played his role well so far. He’s been completely written off by fans as far as his match with John Cena goes, and while I would agree in general, a tables match is about the only way that he could conceivably defeat Cena. If Sheamus actually does get the win over Cena, talk will likely turn to how badly the match was booked.
So Drew McIntyre is liked by both Shawn Michaels and Triple H. If you don’t think that the guy has “superstar” written all over him, you’re not paying attention. Pretend for a moment that no main-event backstage support exists. What doesn’t McIntyre have going for him? A good look? Check. Talking skills? Decent enough, but can improve with practice. Ring work? Check. The idea that John Morrison carried him in their match on this past “Smackdown” is laughable. An Intercontinental title feud between McIntyre and Morrison is money. Based on ring work alone, it’s a battle of athleticism and flash against power, aggression, and brutality. A McIntyre title win would mean that Morrison now has to chase him. Morrison is popular enough to get major heat on McIntyre. Given all this, what on Earth is there to complain about?
So Desmond Wolfe isn’t Nigel McGuinness anymore. He can’t be. At least he had input into his new name and persona. All the “wolf” puns are entertaining enough if you just go with them. Some of the same people who criticized Kurt Angle’s domination of TNA are now unsatisfied with a “new guy” coming in and literally taking it to Angle on his very first night in the company. Their matches have been fantastic, and Wolfe is definitely finding his groove. What’s wrong with this situation? I truly don’t see a problem with it just because Angle got the win on the last ppv.
Daniels. How often have we heard about Daniels needing to be in the main event? His verbal ability matches his in-ring skill, and his fans are right that he should have been in the World Heavyweight picture long ago. Now that he is, what happens? Oh, he hasn’t been built up as a credible threat to AJ Styles. Oh, he hasn’t really made a solid heel turn. Oh, the jealousy bit is ok, but it isn’t enough. Everything isn’t going to happen overnight! There’s a shocker, actually taking time to build something slowly. The Daniels/AJ split over jealousy issues is just step #1. Stop assuming that they’re going to vanish when Hogan comes in. Daniels will be a perfectly legitimate World Heavyweight Championship contender, but you have to be patient and let it play out.
#2: Piggie James: I’m a chick. If anyone should have been offended at the “Piggie James” bit, it should have been me. I wasn’t. It was stupid, but it wasn’t nearly the rallying cry to the unwashed masses to stand up and voice their collective distaste to the Empire of McMahon that some people think it was. Yes, women who don’t look like anorexic Barbie dolls don’t typically get hired by WWE. Wrestling, like acting, is a very cosmetic business, and Vince’s idea of what is cosmetically appealing has been made very clear. However, this example is less about what was done, and more about why it was done. People were up in arms that WWE was sending Mickie James a message to lose weight or lose her job, and public humiliation on national television was the chosen route. Really? To paraphrase Raven, the supposedly “smart fans” are the easiest to fool. This is one of those cases.
In the rush to blame WWE in general and Vince McMahon in particular for the “Piggie James” segment, one has to remember several points. Michelle McCool and Laya are heels. They had been going after Mickie James in a variety of ways for some time prior to this. Neither Michelle McCool nor Layla are very GOOD heels. WWE’s writers have never viewed female wrestlers as very competent or possessing much depth (despite the repeated assertions of Divas being “smart, sexy, and powerful”), as history has shown. Apparently, all women hate each other, and can only demonstrate that hatred through vocabulary and actions that would make most junior high students hang their heads in shame. “You’re a loser because you’re fat! Mickie is a piggie!” Jeebus, is this truly how the writers believe that grown women behave? The massive rallying to Mickie James’s defense is precisely what WWE wants. Sure, it would be better if fans hated Michelle McCool and Layla rather than Vince, but the end result is pretty much the same. All of you who imagine that you’re so far beyond being played by the wrestling business should step back and take another look. If you were offended and outraged on Mickie’s behalf, then congratulations. You just gave the WWE exactly what it wanted.
#3: Announcers/Commentators: Yes, Jesse Ventura was the best guest host RAW has had, and his promos and commentary were outstanding. Yes, Jesse made most of the WWE roster (on all shows) and pretty much all announcers except for Matt Striker look terrible by comparison. However, to all the people clamoring to bring Jesse back and have him and Vince to commentary all the time – You’re forgetting the main point. Jesse isn’t scripted to death.
Jesse was and is able to utilize a persona that he created for himself, an aspect of his own personality cranked up to 20 on the dial. Though Vince doubtless had some say over what went on with Jesse, there’s simply no way that Jesse was under the level of control that binds most of the WWE roster. I’ve said it many times, and I’ll keep saying it until it comes to pass. Wrestlers must learn solid improvisation skills. Good improvisation helps a performer create a strong persona that suits him, frees him to take that character in any direction required, and prevents him from falling flat when confronted with the unexpected. Jesse did not have Vince or some other high-ranking person screaming into his headset, telling him every word and sentence to say and how to say it. If the announcers and wrestlers were simply allowed to do their own things, a 2009 version of Jesse Ventura could be on WWE tv right now.
Vince doesn’t want a wrestling show. He wants an entertainment show. Fine. Look at “Saturday Night Live.” There have been great seasons, horribly lame seasons, and everything in between over the years. The performers rehearse to a degree, and then just go with it. We can all name specific skits that were fantastic because of where they went, and skits that were disasters. The show is still running, even after all the bad skits. Clearly, a few bad performances isn’t enough to ruin a show. If Vince and the WWE power structure would just allow the rest of the roster the same freedom that Jesse had to either soar or crash and burn on his own, the WWE Universe might be a better place for it.
#4: CM Punk’s new “Straight-Edge Savior” gimmick: Why are so many people uncomfortable with or offended by this? Why is a backlash expected and predicted? I have trouble believing that every person who has commented on this is a devout Christian who would take issue with anyone on tv calling himself a savior. For those who are, you are the exception to this portion of the article, and it makes total sense that you would have a problem with it. Everyone else, however, is making much ado about nothing.
Didn’t CM Punk’s title loss to Undertaker result in huge numbers of complaints that Punk was being punished and shoved aside? Weren’t people angry that the guy who had worked so hard to get to the top wasn’t even on tv much anymore? He’s definitely on tv again now, an dgetting lots of time. Punk is one of the best heels working today, and part of that is his brilliant use of psychology. Human psychology. The guy knows how to push buttons and anger people to the point that they hate him for real. This is precisely what he is doing now. Since no one these days seems to want to suspend disbelief and enjoy the magic of wrestling, they criticize the gimmick. That the person with the gimmick has managed to get under their skin enough to cause said criticism proves that something is going well.
Punk’s current role could fairly be compared to Raven’s Flock or Kevin Sullivan’s groups (minus the devil parts), and could actually build into something really neat. There really is nothing scarier than a group of people with the power of self-righteousness and a charismatic leader directing them. There’s nothing offensive about this.
Get over it!!!
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