Ten Things I Hate About You, Professional WrestlingBy Drowgoddess · · 4 Comments
As much as we all love the art form that is professional wrestling (And you know that you do, else why are you here, reading this article?), certain aspects of it drive us to near-psychosis, complete with the tearing out of hair, gnashing of teeth, and shouting “Turnip!” in very loud voices. Or maybe that’s just me. In any case, in no particular order and in no way federation-specific, here are “Ten Things I Hate About You, Professional Wrestling.”
10. Promos beginning with “You know,” “You know something,” “Well, you know,” “Let me tell you something,” or any variation thereof.
Why, yes. Yes, I do know something. Several somethings, in fact. Some wrestlers are not good talkers to start with, and beginning promos like this buys them time to think. Others repeat what has been done in the past, thinking that it must be good if it worked before. No promo should begin with any form of these words. It’s lazy, it’s boring, and the really good promo guys never do it. Think about it.
9. Fans who chant “You fucked up!”
Aside from the fact that this is crass and rude beyond belief, do you (the chanters) honestly think that the wrestlers in question don’t know that? Chances are, they knew that something was wrong before you saw enough to begin chanting, and the fact that most wrestlers are able to either cover or keep going when mistakes happen proves that they know what they are doing. No one deserves to have this chanted at him, and it’s purely masturbatory ego gratification for supposed “fans” who could never even attempt to do what wrestlers do in the first place.
8. Lame finishing moves that do not actually finish the match.
A move should not be used as a finishing move if it can’t believably finish the match. The Olympic/Angle Slam, the Stroke, the FU/Attitude Adjustment, and similar moves don’t look like they do enough damage to an opponent to really end a match. Finishers don’t have to be big and flashy. They can be very simple as long as they realistically prevent the opponent from continuing to fight. Raven’s Evenflow DDT could end a match out of anywhere, as could the RKO. No one would ever dream of arguing that the Undertaker’s Tombstone Piledriver wouldn’t end any match. Nigel McGuinness used a LARIAT to win a considerable portion of his matches, and because of how it was done, people totally bought into it. Don’t insult us with stupid finishing moves.
7. Wrestlers not leaving their feet after being kicked in the head/face.
If you get super-kicked in the head, you’re falling down. Period. The cartoony staggering around the ring while waiting for another kick or two to the head looks ridiculous, as does shaking off something like that. I’m as willing to overlook the laws of physics and reality as the next fan (Hey, the Canadian Destroyer is just amazingly fun to watch!), but some things should not be compromised. You get kicked in the head, you leave your feet. That doesn’t mean you need to be completely prone, but at least drop to a knee. Seriously.
6. The lack of effective managers, particularly male ones.
We remember Classy Freddie Blassie, Captain Lou Albano, Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, James Mitchell, and Prince Nana because they added to the act of their respective managees, not detracted from it. Even those who filled more of a valet function, like Miss Elizabeth, Dawn Marie, Allison Danger, and Terri Runnels, were able to contribute something to the emotional investment of fans, either positively or negatively. As good of a wrestler as James Gibson is, he was never more over in any of his WWE runs than when he was paired up with Nidia. That duo was gold! Some wrestlers are fine in the ring and just need a mouthpiece. Some aren’t ready to stand on their own, and need a “partner,” of sorts. Some people don’t have the right look or physical capability to be a wrestler, but they are excellent talkers and have excellent minds for the business. Add all that together and give me a valid reason why managers aren’t badly needed in wrestling today. “Vince doesn’t like them” doesn’t count.
5. Moves that take far too long to set up.
Watching one wrestler (usually a younger and more physically able wrestler) standing in the ring, bent over and waiting for the finishing move of another (usually a bigger name wrestler), is painful. Why doesn’t he just get out of the way? If a move that once came out of nowhere can now be seen coming from a mile away, that move has got to be set up in a different way. Booker T’s axe kick and Rey Mysterio’s 619 are examples of this. Nothing screams “I’m doing the job!” more loudly than watching a wrestler wait to get hit with another’s move.
4. Almost every pin attempt in every circumstance getting a two-count.
One! Two! Up! We can and do all count along. Knowing that in advance is boring. Shake things up a bit, with more one-counts and not-even-one-counts.
3. Submission holds being used by wrestlers who do not understand how to properly apply them.
A good submission hold looks like it really hurts. Many of them actually DO really hurt, as my brother happily demonstrated to me when we were younger. Sloppy submission holds that don’t even get the positioning right, or look like the victim is just lying there, are embarrassing. Some companies prefer power moves as finishers, and view “tapping out” as beneath their performers, and that’s fine. However, if those companies want to start utilizing submission moves, those within the company who actually have experience with submission holds need to be consulted and their advice actually followed. If a submission hold can’t be properly done because the victim is not physically capable of being put in the hold, the match should not be taking place at all.
2. Ref bumps.
They are terribly overused as it is, and some referees (Earl Hebner, I’m looking in YOUR direction!) will go unconscious for ten minutes after being breathed on heavily by some wrestler or other. A ref bump is the laziest, cheapest way to screw a face out of a match, and there are certainly cleverer and more creative ways to do the same thing. On rare occasion, they are actually done well, but those are the exceptions to the rule. I would be perfectly happy never to see another ref bump again.
1. Weak use of foreign objects, like title belts and chairs.
I’m not a big fan of using foreign objects in the majority of wrestling matches anyway, as it waters down the effect when they do need to be used. I also absolutely agree with unprotected shots to the head not being necessary to a good wrestling show. That being said, if you’re going to hit someone with a title belt or a chair, don’t just tap him on the back with it and have him drop like a ton of bricks! Either don’t use the foreign objects at all and find another way to make your point, or use the object with enough force to be believable, however you strike with it. You can’t have it both ways.
And one more for good measure.
Big name wrestlers who “don’t do” house shows.
Sure, everyone can’t do every house show tour, nor should they. Nonetheless, more people would attend house shows if they truly believed that “anything could happen” and that they would see something amazing. House shows are usually cheaper to attend than televised shows, so the idea that a house show is “beneath” the top stars isn’t surprising. However, if you are one of the major names in a wrestling promotion, you receive the largest paychecks, and you enjoy the most freedom and perks, then by God, you should be doing house shows to help promote the company that so generously rewards you. If you don’t have the time or the physical ability to appear and wrestle at non-televised shows to promote your own company, then you should not hold a spot at the top of the card. Everyone who has been in the business for decades is not automatically a legend, and entitlement do doing as little as you can get away with is most definitely not the sign of a person worthy of the fans’ time and money.
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