I was watching WWE’s Legends of Mid-South DVD, and the thought begs: How can WWE, with limitless resources, have a lesser product than Mid-South did? How did Bill Watts script so many different story ideas while the McMahons can only come up with one: Evil boss against noble employees?
When Ric Flair came to Mid-South for a world title match with Ted DiBiase, Watts turned three guys in the same angle and kept all of them strong. The McMahons, meanwhile, neuter their most over guy again and again.
Now WWE is going to bring back Batista. He will look the same, talk the same, and do the same things. Good body, though. That’s all that matters.
The word out of WWE and TNA is that both think they are onto something good with their current direction. I can’t imagine why they would possibly think that. I can’t isolate anything either company is doing that could be money.
But that’s how fake wrestling works now. It’s not what the fans think, it’s what “the powers that be” think the fans should think.
Speaking of that incredibly lame angle, Vince Russo pioneered a certain phenomenon while he was booking WCW: When ratings would dip, Russo would insist that the show was good and the fans were wrong. That’s absurd. The fans are never wrong. It either works, or doesn’t. It either draws, or doesn’t. But Russo would spew that idiocy, and the execs would believe him.
The boys know, especially the veterans. But in WCW, the boys didn’t opine on what was good or bad because there was no upside to it. It was much more likely that you’d get screwed for being a crap disturber than it was that your ideas would be listened to and considered. If you had good ideas, it was even worse. It’s the same way now, I’m sure. As I’ve often stated, the last thing somebody who runs a wrestling company wants around is someone who knows more than they do.
Wrestling used to be about what would draw. It was that simple, because it was your livelihood. Politics mattered, but if politics took you down the wrong path and it showed up on the ledger balance, things would change. Now politics and personal preference are 90 percent of what determines what gets on TV.
I’m not going to write a 40-part review of the Mid-South DVD like some lazy hillbillies I know. But the stars of Mid-South all talked different. Ted DiBiase, Junkyard Dog, Jake Roberts, Bill Watts, Jim Cornette, Mr. Wrestling II – their personalities emerged because they didn’t all sound the same. That’s still what I hate most about WWE. Listen to the interviews on Raw. I mean, really listen. The speech patterns are identical. Many of the same words get used. It’s so stupid.
And now, some questions:
*Does anybody really think Batista’s return to WWE solves anything?
*Does anybody really think A.J. Styles isn’t going back to TNA?
*Does anybody really care whether or not Samoa Joe is welcome back in ROH?
*Does anybody disagree that pro wrestling announcing is at an all-time worst?
*When I wrote that fake wrestling needs to create some new top guys, TNA didn’t really think I meant Magnus, did they?
Magnus is TNA champ because he got help from the company’s heel administration. Hmmm, sounds familiar.
I keep coming back to the dying notion that fake wrestling is supposed to imitate real sport. A fix within the fix doesn’t exactly enhance credibility. The dumbest example thereof was when Eric Bischoff joined the nWo. Eric already ran WCW. Why would he join a group that was trying to take over WCW? I’m not sure wanting to be a cool heel and ride a motorcycle on TV was a good enough reason.
It’s OK to bend logic once in a while. You shouldn’t sodomize it, then throw it off a cliff.
Follow Mark on Twitter: @MarkMaddenX
AJ StylesBatistamark maddenmid-south-pro-wrestlingRic FlairROHsamoa joeted dibiaseTNAvince russoWCWWWEHave a news tip? Attended an event and want to send a live report?