Our automated society makes everything easier. We have easy access to travel, banking, eating, you name it today. I think back to wrestling in the past and how difficult it must have been compared to today.
I am on a plane, heading to Tampa for a Ring of Honor television taping in Lakeland, FL. I got an email with my flight information, checked in with my smartphone, paid for breakfast with a credit card and checked in for my return flight tomorrow with the same smartphone. My screaming-fast HP laptop allows me to write this article on the plane. Wi-Fi access allows me to email it in.
How would I have done this same thing just 30 years ago? If I didn’t already work for a territory, I would have gotten paper tickets in the mail after confirming my flight plans with the office over a phone. A landline telephone, mind you. Perhaps even a pay phone? While I still could have gone through a drive-thru for breakfast, it was “cash only” back then.
I would have needed a typewriter, an envelope and a stamp to mail my article in. And I would have had to send it to one of the Apter magazines, or perhaps a George Napolitano publication, hoping to eventually see it on a newsstand.
There was a time in this country where drive-thru’s, interstate highways and easy access to air travel didn’t exist and there was Professional Wrestling back then too. Segregation made life hell for African-American wrestlers. Television was viewed in black-and-white and so was the wrestling. You had “good” and “bad”, no shades of gray.
I write this not to show my age but to present perspective. We should appreciate everything we have today because no matter how littered the news is with doom and gloom, there is an amazing world at our fingertips.
Many of us (me included) bitch and moan about today’s wrestling and perhaps we need to take a step back and marvel at what we have.
If you pay $9.99 a month, you can view the WWE Network, seeing thousands of hours of wrestling history.
You have access to dozens of wrestling companies who present wrestling events online, including New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor and many others.
If you don’t want to pay, you can spend countless hours on YouTube, watching wrestling dating back to the 1920’s.
Fans get three hours of WWE on Monday, two hours of TNA on Wednesday and two hours of WWE on Friday on cable and if you live in a Sinclair station market, you get one hour of Ring of Honor. When I was a kid, on Saturday’s, I got one or two hours of Championship Wrestling From Florida, two hours of Georgia/World Championship Wrestling on TBS and an hour or two of each on Sunday’s.
I am thankful for the era I grew up in but I am more thankful for what I have today.
What are your memories of wrestling growing up? How has technology changed how you view wrestling?
WWE Hell in a Cell Thoughts
With Hell in a Cell on Sunday, I think about seeing that incredible steel structure hanging above the ring when I was in the WWE. It’s massive when you see it up close, scary to be inside of and career-changing to those who survive it. Mick Foley was never the same after the Hell in a Cell but it changed Shawn Michaels and The Undertaker as well.
Who should main event? I don’t think it matters. Remember, Steve Austin and Kane had to follow Mankind and the Undertaker in 1998. If Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose do what they want to do, no one will care if Cena/Orton went on last. It’s great that the former Shield members want to go on last but it’s who does something memorable that counts.
I hate “dangerous matches” like Hell in a Cell but they all are dangerous. Violent collisions are a part of life in the NFL, many fans watch NASCAR for the wrecks but to me, nothing is more dangerous or counter-intuitive to a healthy life than Pro Wrestling. Add an element like the Cell and it makes me squirm in my seat just imagining it.
You don’t “win” Hell in a Cell matches, you survive them. But the young men (and women) competing on Sunday know the risks and potential rewards. I wish them all good luck and long, productive careers and lives.
In your opinion, who should main event Sunday? Cena/Orton or Ambrose/Rollins? Tweet @RealKevinKelly and let me know what you think.