I’m definitely not one for drifting into the past. I hate to say it, but look back to 1999 and think about now. Changed hasn’t it? For one, we no longer see Degeneration X shoving there crotches at a television camera, nor do we see Steve Austin opening up a can of “whoop ass” on Vince McMahon. Granted, I liked it then, but, we have moved on since then and unfortunately, wrestling, in particular WWE, has hit the reality television bug.
Take a look at Smackdown last week and this week. The shows, for me, will stand out for its opening segments. Things are improving there, but for me, the opening segments changed a few things in my eyes.
The seven wannabe WWE superstars in the new Tough Enough series look like a great bunch of athletes. All seven look like they are enjoying themselves and they all have a fair chance to win the $1 million dollar prize and a WWE contract.
Now, I just want to touch off Tough Enough for a minute. I have just finished reading Exist 2 Inspire by the Hardy Boyz, Matt and Jeff Hardy. The book was a great piece of writing by both relatively experienced wrestlers. It wasn’t the best book I have read but at the same time, it was still a very good piece. In the book, both Matt and Jeff give a detailed account of there rise to the top, the goals they set and the colourful OMEGA promotion. There was, however, a great few chapters about Matt Hardy’s training of a few superstars.
Now, I’ll admit, I am a huge “mark” for Matt Hardy and I am a fan of Jeff. I think both of them are great but during the routine training of a few superstars, I learnt that those boys were tough as hell before they hit the big time. Matt lead the training routines while Shane Helms helped out and Jeff watched on. As the chapter states, people used to laugh at these guys because “wrestling was fake”. They ran a few training sessions and everything went really well. That was until the OMEGA boys heard about the trainees basically laughing behind there back because the training was “simple”. After that, the trainees got the piss beat out of them. As Jeff Hardy states “no one was going to leave thinking wrestling was fake, so they beat the living hell out of the new trainees. They break you down and make you a man”” as Matt Hardy talks about a friend he states that “we beat the sh*t out of him…he came back every Sunday. And every Sunday, we beat the sh*t out of him” “. In another story, Matt and Jeff basically talk about a kid who didn’t have the money to pay for his lesson. They decided to let him run the ropes a bit, and then he got the complete piss beat out of him. They took his head off with clotheslines and then, after a vicious clothesline by Matt, the guy breaks his ankle. “What the matter boy? Does your foot hurt? Get up you pussy” he scream at him. It’s later revealed that the bone had actually came through the skin and the guy was in a lot of pain. After about an hour of nursing his wound, the guys take the kid back to Matt’s car and they get ready to drive him home. The pain is etched on the face of the kid and he is struggling to move freely. The kid turns to Matt and says “Thanks guys. I’ll try and make it back next week”.
A very interesting story indeed. I also relate to what a number of guys like Bob Holly and Bill DeMott have said in the past. The fact is, these guys used to sleep in there cars just to make a living. They used to make 600 mile trips to an event where they weren’t even breaking “even” financially. It’s not just Holly and DeMott, this has happened to many people. I then relate to the wrestlers of today. Some guys are still suffering the unfortunate circumstances of sleeping in there car and travelling 1,000+ miles a week. Which are massive tasks and a horrible way to support your family.
The Tough Enough guys have it easy. If I was told that I could potentially earn $1 million dollars and win a WWE contract, the Big Show could slam me as much as he wanted. If I heard about this, I wouldn’t run 15 miles and complain that I couldn’t do it; I would run 100 miles and smile every step of the way, even if it was killing me. If I was about to win $1 million dollars and a contract, I would gladly appreciate the likes of Al Snow and crew beating the piss out of me until I couldn’t walk for a week because I was so damn hurt. If I was on the verge of a contract, I would gladly have Bob Holly “shoot” on me and take me down. Why? Because I respect this business too damn much to get my dream given to me in a reality television show. In Tough Enough 1, the likes of Darryl complained about doing a 5 mile run in mud covered clothes. Now I hate to burst his bubble, but I run 2 miles a day just to get to school. I’m not saying I am “Mr. Mighty” or anything, but maybe if Darryl thought about what Bob Holly or Tazz had to go through 10 years ago, then maybe he would re-consider his actions. Linda Miles, from Tough Enough 2, has argued with officials at OVW for months. She has basically laughed her way through a WWE contract. When I hear about her child-like behaviour, and I think of indie wrestlers like Ruckus and Chris Hero, who have sacrificed a hell of a lot, it makes me mad. She has pissed on every single indie star by treating her time in WWE as a joke. Maven from Tough Enough 1 was welcomed into WWE by having his bags tied to the ceiling, but is this paying dues? Matt Cappotelli got the crap beaten out of him by Bob Holly, but isn’t this what so many stars have been treated like and have witnessed before? It’s about time these kids paid there dues the right way, instead of getting title shots in there first years as a wrestler.
Frankly, I don’t want to see another reality television star. Christy Hemme’s appearances on RAW alone, mean that, even if she was fired from WWE today, she would still get a few jobs on the indie scene and a few model shoots. It make me sick. Whilst guys like Rico, Johnny Stamboli and Test recuperate there earnings and get ready for a difficult road on the indies, superstars such as Matt Morgan and Johnny Nitro are being called to the Smackdown roster. It’s an interesting topic indeed but from now, just think about starting your career sleeping in your car and eating out of a tin for a month. Then think about starting with a million dollar contract in the WWE on the table. That’s exactly what separates the Bill DeMott’s and Bob Holly’s of this world from the Johnny Nitro’s and the Matt Morgan’s. That’s why I respect the hell out of guys like Holly, Test, Stamboli and such. I know, for one, that these kids have paid nothing, absolutely nothing, as far as dues go and as they continue to get title shots, I will continue to turn off my television screen and view the superstars who I love to watch. For there sake, it’s about time they got the recognition they deserve, after years battling against the odds.
Got any thoughts? What did you think of the Tough Enough segments? What should WWE do now with these youngsters? E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Quiz – Who Am I?
I would like to remind all readers who take part in the quiz to send there name to the address. There is still some people who send me the correct answer but don’t give me there name. Unfortunately, I don’t give out readers’ e-mail addresses on my columns, so if you don’t give me a name, nickname or username after your answer, I’m sorry but I can’t put you on the list. Also, please make sure you spell your names correct!
I would also like to say “Hey” to Stately Wayne Manor, who in his last column for PowerSlam magazine adopted a rhyming piece similar to my quiz. You know where you saw it first folks!
Now on to this week’s quiz!
The talk on the town is out
Who Am I? -E-Mail email@example.com
I would like to thank you all for reading and I hope you all have a great Halloween. It’s been a great few days for me personally, and I am hoping to have a number of interviews up in a few weeks. I am also looking to expand greatly, so if you would like me to write for you site, please get in touch. I appreciate all the feedback set to me and I read every piece, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
My last column was taken off many sites because of redesigning. If you would like to check out my last column, please check out the WrestleZone archived columns
Finally, I would just like to wish you guys all the best and please, take care.
Have a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?