Random Thoughts: Belts ARE Props (Part One)

Wrestlezone

Glenn Gilbertti is back on Wrestlezone.com with an exclusive two-part column regarding wrestling belts being props.

Glenn GilbertiBoxer Antonio Margarito and his trainer were suspended for a year for using a foreign plasterlike substance on his hand wraps.  When I see that happen, I imagine it’s very difficult for wrestling fans to suspend disbelief when the "sport" of pro wrestling never suspends anyone for anything, including their constant abuse of officials and use of foreign objects. Wrestling is not real, and as long as the UFC continues to gain popularity, the suspension of disbelief is going to be far more difficult to accept.
 
Mark Madden wrote an article recently which claims that since wrestling belts have been devalued so much, wrestling seems more fake.  What does that mean?  More fake?  Because the belts that they’re fake fighting for don’t mean much?

The reason wrestling seems as fake as it does these days is because the wrestlers themselves don’t know how to make it look real.  Back in the Buddy Rogers-Bruno days, fans went to the matches because they thought the two guys were actually fighting.  Well, as soon as the secrets of the biz were exposed many many moons ago, the trickle down effect has seen the youth of America growing up with no belief whatsoever that wrestling matches are real fights.  And why should they?  They can watch UFC and see world class fighters kick each other’s butts for real.

Jim Cornette told me one time that the UFC is the new professional wrestling.  Two guys with 1-3 months of buildup preparing to fight for a belt that actully means that you’re the better man. That’s the way pro wrestling used to be.

Mark Madden is trying to use Bruno’s 8 year championship reign as a reason that the belt meant so much.  But didn’t he also recently write that Bruno didn’t draw??  So let me get this right.  Vince Russo devalued championship belts writing wrestling during a time when business was at it’s highest point.  Bruno kept the belt credible but didn’t draw. Ok.
 
Let’s face the facts.  The belt should be put on the best all-around performer.  Someone that can cut an exceptional promo and can wrestle decently enough to have a match that doesn’t elicit any "You F’ed Up" chants.  That person needs a credible challenger that can also cut a decent enough promo.  Unfortunately, the business hasn’t seen anything on that level since Rock/Austin.  And from what I’ve seen lately, there isn’t anyone in this business that isn’t in their forties that’s even close to that level right now.
 
Part 2 Coming soon.

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