Feature: Steve Anderson Shoots! Well, Not Really…

WrestleZone


Letâ<80><99>s talk about shoots. Letâ<80><99>s shoot on shoots.

No, not â<80><9c>shootâ<80> like a gun or a euphemism for a scatological curse word. Shooting in wrestling equates to a level of reality above the fantasy. It can happen in the ring between two wrestlers who are not following the plan. It can happen in a television promo when a performer deviates from the script. Shoot interviews are popular fodder for wrestling fans building up their DVD collection.

The shoot is pointless, meaningless and, for all intents and purposes, extinct.

There was a time when a shoot meant something. Iâ<80><99>ve seen indy shows where things donâ<80><99>t got to plan.

As an aside, many years ago, I witnessed an MTC Bus Driver Battle Royal as part of a local wrestling card. Area bus drivers were allowed their own â<80><9c>fantasy campâ<80> of sorts. They formed tag teams and got to tussle around the ring before allowing the pre-selected winners to take the victory.

Problem was, during the match, others decided they wanted to win. Things got out of hand. Not violent, per se. Just a lot of out-of-shape bus drivers lumbering around the ring, huffing and puffing and refusing to be thrown out. The promoter finally ran out, yelled at them, demanded that the bell be rung, and called it a â<80><9c>draw.â<80>

A more high-profile shoot occurred when Fabulous â<80><9c>The Spiderâ<80> Moolah pinned Wendi Richter for the womenâ<80><99>s strap. Cyndi Lauperâ<80><99>s best friend had no idea what was happening. Moolah, a wily veteran, knew what to do to keep Richter on the mat for the fast three-count.

Then came the â<80><9c>Montreal Screwjob.â<80> Have I told you how much I hate that term? Many still question whether it was a true shoot when Vince McMahon â<80><9c>screwedâ<80> Bret Hart. At first I did, but over time, I have come to realize that it is probably a rare, authentic moment on live television.

That turned the shoot toâ<80>¦well, to go with the scatological euphemismâ<80>¦shoot.

Shoots have become, by and large, worked shoots after Montreal. That was lighting in a bottle. A significant and historical event that WILL NEVER BE REPLICATED NO MATTER HOW MANY PROMOTERS TRY.

A worked shoot looks like a shoot. Sounds like a shoot. But its not. Mike Adamle walking out of ECW (perchance to dream) seemed to be the latest shoot-like occurrence. There have been others. TNAâ<80><99>s Vince Russo is mighty fond of the worked-shoot.

Professional wrestling used to be a suspension of disbelief. When we were kids, we wondered if it was real. When we found out it was scripted sports entertainment, we still accepted it and enjoyed it. Sure, reality crept in from time to time, but that happens in the advent of live television.

The fictional fantasy is what makes wrestling wrestling. Mainstream fans do not care about the behind-the-scenes goings-on. They get confused when the fourth wall is torn down by a so-called real event. No matter how much they may dispute it, insider fans that obsess over the backstage maneuverings represent a small minority. They are not an audience from which to build. They will be there, no matter how much they threaten to quit watching.

So, stop the shootingâ<80>¦or the worked shooting. It has been done to death. It has become twisted into this recurring water torture that we must endure. Instead of gasping in shock, we roll our eyes. Instead of waiting for the next episode that may include another shoot, we shrug our shoulders and maybe change the channel.

Seriously, when a wrestler such as Owen Hart or Chris Benoit dies and fans think its part of the show, we need to rethink the worked-shoot.

You may wonder if the only remaining true shoot is the popular shoot interviews. No. Shoot interviews are not shoots. They are a wrestlerâ<80><99>s reflections of their career from their point of view. If a shoot has an underlying truth to it, then the ramblings of a current star or has-been is not based in any form of reality. It is based on their recollection, rife with biases and delusions. Itâ<80><99>s fodder for an autobiography. Call it a book on video.

For myself, I consider the constant barrage of shoots over the past ten years or so akin to beating the proverbial dead horse.

Or shooting on it.

No, not that â<80><9c>shoot.â<80>

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