Since this is my first article, i’m going to try to be as cynical as possible. I’m not going to introduce you to what i like about wrestling, i’m going to let you know what aggravates me. So here, in no particular order are my biggest pet peeves in the wrestling business.
1) WHY DO THE HEELS LIKE EACH OTHER?
The contrast between the babyfaces and heels in wrestling is soooo black and white. The babyfaces are supposed to be good guys. They shake hands, they smile, they wrestle for the fans and thank them for their support, they’re humble, they help out others in times of need, and they protect other babyfaces from the evils of the heels.
The heels are the worst people you can imagine. They attack from behind, they fight two on one, they hate the fans, they can’t be trusted, they dispise the actions of the babyfaces, they cheat regularly, and they’ll stab you in the back. Why in the world would they like each other? Seriously, are bad guys organized into some sort of union to stop the cause of good? I’ve always been from the school of booking that wrestlers actions should be driven by character development, not by whether or not they’ve been placed in one of two categories: heel or babyface. A good heel should be UNIVERSALLY hated, and that would include being disliked by the other heels. To put this into a real world perspective, in the NFL Terrell Owens is probably the most hated player in the league, with Randy Moss a close second. If pro football was writen by the rules of pro wrestling, these two would like each other, when the reality is that they’re competing for the same goals and are way too egomaniacal to think that each other was on the same level. Even though the world dislikes them, they still dislike each other. I like booking where you’re not limited by wrestling’s rules, and that every competitor, whether heel or baby, should show a level of contempt for one another. Take two wrestlers, put them in situations, let them react based on what their characters would do, and let the fans decide who they should cheer or boo, then book accordingly.
2) BOOKING GUYS TO LOOK LIKE MORONS
Wrestling has been around for so long and angles have been done so many times, that sometimes i refer to wrestilng as rerun t.v. The angles are the same, only the names have changed. Because the angles have been done so many times, even the fans know what’s coming next. So if the whole world knows what’s coming next, why doesn’t the guy in the angle know? Why? Because he must be a moron.
Basic Example. Wrestler A’s partner was sent to the hospital the night before by the heel tag team. Wrestler A has an in-ring promo to talk about how he’s going to get back at the heel tag team. Sure enough, the heel tag team hits the ring, from behind, of course, and beats up poor ol’ unsuspecting wrestler A. Is that heat? No, because wrestler A has got to be a moron to get in the ring by himself unarmed and unprotected. Doesn’t he know that when you’re all alone you’re a sitting duck for the heels? How often does it happen? 99 percent of the time? Actually, it’s closer to 100 percent of the time.
For once, i’d like to see wrestler A in the ring by himself, the heels hit, wrestler A pulls out a can of mace, sprays ’em, grabs a chair and beats the hell out of them. I contest it would get a really good pop because, for once, a wrestler was smart enough to arm himself when he’s going to be in a vulnerable situation. Wrestling fans don’t like supporting morons.
During a nitro in denver one night, the NWO Wolfpack went out, i think it was Luger, Hall, Nash, and Macho, and cut a promo about how they were going to take out the NWO black and white. Luger went out and wrestled a singles match later in the show and the NWO black and white came out and gave him a beatdown. The rest of the Wolfpack stayed in the back and didn’t come out to save him. I remember Bischoff came to the back and asked Nash what he was going to say in his promo later, and Nash said he wasn’t going to do it. When asked why, Nash was like, “What am i supposed to say? You made us look like assholes.” It was little things like that that caused the crumble of WCW, but i’ll get into that in more detail in a future article.
3) IGNORING REALITY
Vince Russo told me once about when he was booking in WWE after the Bret Hart swerve in Montreal, that later that week when they were booking the show, that Vince Mcmahon wanted to just ignore it and move on, and Russo was like, “This is the only thing people are talking about. We gotta run with this!” Vince Mcmahon’s heel character emerged and the rest is history.
There’s been other instances when ignoring reality has caused them to miss out on a huge opportunity. For the life of me, I don’t know why they haven’t really pursued the real life drama of HHH marrying into the company. It’s a great storyline that doesn’t stray from reality. The champ marries the boss’s daughter. The champ gets a huge push and is basically running the company. The champ’s friends get taken care of, and the champ’s detractors can only quietly complain about his tyrannical rule. If you can’t write a wrestling show around that theme, then you just don’t know how to tell a story. Hell, you can write ANY t.v. show around that theme. But the WWE still blurs the suspension of disbelief by approaching the reality of the situation half ass.
The most recent opportunity is being missed out. The steroid issue is huge right now. Why can’t it be approached in wrestling? Instead of opening the doors to discuss it and use it as a thread in the show, it’s being ignored and kayfabed. I thought wrestling was based on two guys fighting. In UFC and boxing when a guy gets caught for steroids he’s disqualified and suspended. How good would promos be if you could accuse the guy that beat you of being on the gas? Every other sport talks about the subject during their games and pregame shows, yet i haven’t seen it mentioned much on our weekly wrestling broadcasts. I don’t think you should insult the viewers intelligence and ignore it. Not to mention the fact that if it was discussed more on the show it would be discussed and criticized more in the media, which creates free controversy and advertising for the show. What does controversy and advertising equal? Ratings. Not the most difficult formula in the world.
To conclude, there are other things that get on my nerves, but these are the most glaring. Maybe in my next article i’ll tell you about what i like in wrestling these days, but i need to write an article, not a sentence.
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