WWE/TNA/Indys: Why Wrestling Would Benefit from Having a Show Like SportsCenter
As far as many fans are concerned, wrestling is a sport. Whether or not the winners and losers are predetermined is not the issue, but rather recognizing the physical prowess of the athletes and the competitive nature of the business.
Wrestling is often viewed by fans of so-called "legitimate" sports as being trashy and fake, which may be one of the reasons sports channels like ESPN and Fox Sports have shied away from ever covering the business unless something tragic or spectacular happens.
The Net Generation (or Generation Y) has made it possible for anyone with an Internet connection and an opinion to put out their own wrestling-based radio show, podcast, website, blog or YouTube show.
These things are all well and good, but none of them have the capability to be what SportsCenter is to the rest of the sports world, simply because they do not have the resources to do the same things ESPN does.
There is no single program which shows clips from all the wrestling shows, interviews with wrestlers or evaluates the talent involved in the matches to give insight into what the future could hold.
WWE has tried various shows in the past, all of which conformed to the WWE mold and failed to gain a reasonable audience. Remember WWE LiveWire? I didn't think so.
LiveWire was a show which would run down the events of the week as well as allow viewers to call in and comment or ask questions.
At first, the show was very popular and would receive numerous calls and letters from fans, but eventually viewership began to wane and the show was cancelled in 2001.
Would you watch a wrestling-based version of SportsCenter?
Having an independent show which does not belong to any of the major organizations putting on the wrestling events would give more credibility to the opinions being presented, especially since no one has to toe the company line.
I would love to see ESPN have a panel of guys like JBL, Larry Zybszko, Joe "Animal" Laurinaitis or any number of former wrestlers who no longer work for promotions share their insights on the current crop of talent.
A show like this would allow for TNA, ROH and WWE talents to be openly compared to the guys and gals in the Indy scene.
Giving more exposure to anyone in the business through a show like this would only serve to help everyone involved, especially those on the independent wrestling scene.
The days of several big promotions throughout the country are over and wrestlers have to starve on pay less than what it takes to fill up the tank in their car so they can get some experience and hopefully get noticed by someone in a bigger organization.
If they knew they were getting some press through a show which features all wrestling companies without abiding by a company agenda, then they may view the sacrifice as being more reasonable.
The only downside to something like this is knowing when to separate kayfabe from reality. Having the show be strictly a shoot would take away from the experience of watching wrestling, but having it be completely kayfabe would make it seem cheesy.
There would have to be a good balance, just like we have here at Bleacher Report. The wrestling writers here at Bleacher Report do an amazing job of blending reality with fiction when it comes to wrestling.
Within the same article, you will see real-life facts presented alongside storyline information, similar to how WWE actually presents its programs.
The SportsCenter-like show would need to be somewhere in this range to really appeal to the most potential viewers.
The possible benefits to a program like this are endless, but unless the major promotions are on board with an independent program showcasing their talents, it will not happen.
What do you think? Would a show similar to SportsCenter help the professional wrestling industry?
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