CRIS CARTER vs SKIP BAYLESS
Anyone catch the heated argument between former NFL player Cris Carter and ESPN analyst Skip Bayless on "First Take" yesterday? If not, let me give you the quick recap in a nutshell: Cris and Skip disagreed on an issue (pretty sure it involved Tim Tebow and how good he really is or isn't) – Cris felt he was more credible in the argument because he's a former player and Skip has never stepped on a football field.
Sound familiar? It should. Wrestlers have said the exact same thing about writers and wrestling media for years. Most of them feel their opinions are validated due to their years spent in the ring. If you haven't laced up a pair of boots and taken a bump, according to the majority of pro wrestlers, you have no right to critique their business.
While the logic behind all of this makes sense, it's still wrong. In MOST cases. The one exception, in my opinion, and the thing I fully side with the wrestlers on – no fan or so-called "expert" has the right to grade a wrestling match if they've never wrestled. My opinion of a 4-star match holds no water next to Ole Anderson's opinion of a 4-star match. Skip Bayless has no right telling Tim Tebow how to play the Quarterback position.
However, take the creative aspect of the pro wrestling business – being a wrestler doesn't make you a good "booker" or "writer" of pro wrestling. It doesn't make you CREATIVE. In fact, I'm willing to bet that in most cases, it hinders your ability to be an effective booker due to bias and personal agendas. I'm pretty sure Paul Heyman isn't Lou Thesz and he's considered by many to be the best of all time. Cornette. Bischoff. VINCE (..McMahon)!
Each of those four examples were good at what they did because they "sold" the business the way "they" felt was best. They understand the business. They understand the fans. That's all you need. Most movie producers aren't actors. Most movie critics aren't actors. I'm pretty sure it would be pointless if they were. Why is it any different in pro wrestling?
History in the business and the experience gained from it certainly makes anyone BETTER and that is the argument wrestlers should be making. However, to say a guy like Dave Meltzer (by far, the best example that can be used) doesn't know what he's talking about at all is arrogant and ludicrous. He shouldn't be rating matches, but he has enough stats, numbers, and experience covering the sport to know what works and doesn't work in nearly every other aspect.
In conclusion, you can tell me that my opinions are wrong – many of you do – but you can't tell me they're not credible!
Okay, yes you can. And many of you do.
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