I was talking with Nigel McGuinness this past weekend about the Wrestling Cares project with which he is involved. Cool concept with most falls/submissions in a certain time limit wins. No punches, etc. Different…
Should pro wrestling be “different”? Or should wrestling stay with the same formula that has worked for it for a hundred years but clearly is in decline?
Pro wrestling match structure during the 20’s and 30’s was much different than in the 80’s and 90’s, for example but should that evolution continue? Do matches need “good guys” and “bad guys” or is the audience too smart for that today? Basic matches seem to follow the tried-and-true formula… in other words, wash, rinse, repeat.
Or is it fair to say that wrestling fans view pro wrestling on TV as comfort food? Just like the meatloaf in any diner in the US, wrestling works because you know what you get when you turn it on.
I have a theory that any style will work, as long as it’s done with conviction by the wrestler/performer and I know I’m not alone in that belief. I think a new style can work and a new concept can be appreciated/accepted by the fans but the “old standards” can work too.
Boxing isn’t in a huge slump because of the action in the ring and therefore a different presentation of boxing (times for the rounds, glove size, etc.) isn’t going to make it more or less successful. It’s about how it’s promoted.
And that’s the problem in wrestling. No company today does enough to promote.
If every wrestling company today would invest in promotions, the industry could get off its ass. There are thousands of wrestlers and few promoters. Those two should be inverted.
Concussions and Wrestling
So I read that Dolph Ziggler got a concussion and it made me think about Ring of Honor’s response to Paul London and what happened at Border Wars.
After being away for ten years, Paul came back to Ring of Honor this past weekend as a replacement for the injured Marufuji to face Davey Richards. During the match, London got knocked out for a few seconds after Davey did a double stomp that rode up from Paul’s midsection and kicked London in the jaw.
The action paused for a few seconds while referee Paul Turner checked on London. It was clear that Paul had regained consciousness but was still woozy. They finished the match with Richards winning and both men shook hands and spoke to the crowd following the final bell.
Immediately after the main event, Nigel McGuinness and I spoke to London and right away we knew that London’s match for Sunday needed to be reconsidered. One conversation and that was that…
Did Paul London suffer a concussion? I don’t know… I’m not a doctor but if you get knocked out, even for a few seconds, that’s says “concussion” to me. No sense taking chances so London’s Sunday match versus Michael Elgin will be rescheduled.
Paul London said he felt fine the next day and wanted to wrestle Elgin because he didn’t want to disappoint he fans. The knowledge we now have about concussions made sure that London would be told “no”.
It’s in its infancy and far from perfect but pro wrestling’s growth in concussion awareness is growing. And that’s a good thing…
Thoughts? @RealKevinKelly on Twitter