EXCLUSIVE: The Enduring Lesson of Old School

The Enduring Lesson of Old School

By Kevin Kelly

Michael Cole is, was and always will be Jim Ross’ bitch. Never so evident was this the case than on Old School Raw. One is a phony in a suit, spewing lines fed to him with callous disregard of which he speaks while the other is passionate, knowledgeable and just knows what’s right.

That was the theme for me… my takeaway from the emotionally stirring Raw this past week was the difference between “feeling it” and “being told what to do”. Sgt. Slaughter is north of 60 but he had to lead Alberto Del Rio around the ring like Sarge did when he worked with Warrior twenty years ago. So much of what I see today are guys who just “play wrestling”, while the old timers spent their careers trying to convince audiences it was real.

The athletes of today are remarkable… they fly and jump and do things that others their size only dream about. But I don’t worry about what Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis runs the 40-yard dash in because his passion drives him to stop the back in the hole and run sideline to sideline to prevent a first down. Give me a roster of wrestlers who play with passion and they’ll bring back lost fans.

Why did fans enjoy Old School Raw so much? Because they cared about the wrestlers. Nobody’s pining for the Heartthrobs or the good old days of Snitsky because those talented athletes were never put in a position to get people to care for them. Indy wrestling is suffering now because of the guys who died from drugs and the soul-crushing creative teams that has made so few new stars.