In 1988, I remember vividly watching my first major wrestling event.
I was 11 years old, and my friends and I all dressed up as our favourite wrestlers. I came as the Ultimate Warrior, and boy, did I look ridiculous.
But, as the Warrior beat the Honky Tonk Man in record time to end the longest running reign of Intercontinental champion, I swear, I was the Ultimate Warrior.
I do not recall if warnings came with the shows back then, but before, during, and after the match, we wrestled in a ring that nine friends had spent two weeks setting up in a back yard in Christchurch, New Zealand.
It is the fondest memory of my childhood.
It was also, on reflection, one of the great collections of wrestlers ever in a major event. Hulk Hogan and Randy Savage taking on Ted DiBiase and Andre the Giant. Three of the great tag teams in the Powers of Pain, Hart Foundation and Demolition. Jake Roberts, Big Boss Man and Rick Rude.
These men, this event, made me a fan for life.
Of late, my loyalty, my devotion, but worst of all, my intelligence has been savagely insulted.
I, like hundreds of thousands of fans around the world, am no idiot.
Pro Wrestling, in its most prevalent forms of the WWE and TNA is not real.
But for the sake of my enjoyment, I don’t repeat this like a mantra when I am watching. In fact, I take great enjoyment when I watch certain moves and high flying stunts – no matter how fake – would hurt the hell out of any individual.
But the events of WWE recently, has even had me enjoying TNA more than the WWE, which is and should be the premier “code” as it has a lot more money and credo.
It started many months ago when the Chairman, Vincent McMahon fell through the stage and “severely” injured himself. It has continued with “injuries” and more recently, the absolute disaster of scriptwriting with Jeff Hardy.
Of course, it has also permeated with Vickie Guerrero. Sure it’s controversial and we love yelling at her, but really, a General Manager with such obvious bias towards Edge? It has gotten insulting to us as viewers.
Again, I will state that I realise that it is all essentially a big act, a massively staged drama. But the inadequateness of the plot and writing is now just insulting.
The low point has now come.
I honestly find myself changing the channel during wrestling now. I am no longer being entertained.
Let us sum up the atrocious week.
First, we have Randy Orton smack up the Chairman.
I must for the record again make the statement; I know it is not real. But I still expect, nay, demand a higher level of basic believability in plot, if not acting.
Now, stories aside, Orton would never in theory been allowed to compete in the Rumble. If the Chairman was as injured as we would believe; quite simply, Orton would be sacked instantly or fired.
But oh no, he wins the Rumble (which we saw coming a million miles away).
And then I watch Raw. The worst single episode of WWE I have ever seen.
First, despite watching the Rumble, I expect to see more reactions and recaps based on the famous event (which, for the record, was one of the worst). But no, the WWE begins shamelessly promoting NO WAY OUT. For goodness sake, at least wait a week.
I then see, within the first hour, three replays of the Orton slap to the chairman, and a reply of the incident where Orton threatens legal action, blah blah. A replay despite this terribly staged piece taking over 10 minutes of the opening of the show.
I then see Kingston sunset flip Kane in the match, and despite not having his legs pinned (as they are traditional when such a move is executed) he loses despite physically dominating the entire match.
I will say, yet again...I know this is staged, but it still and should be entertainment.
I then watch the terrible ending.
As if the McMahons would let some wrestler who has committed physical assault on one of the most powerful men in entertainment threaten the entire brand. What a load of crap.
I watch Shane McMahon feather hit three well-built finely tuned athletes and “beat the crap” out of them. It had all of the crispness and execution of something left in the toilet.
I have watched wrestling for over 20 years.
I enjoy the plots, humour, high performance and getting worked up.
But honestly, WWE, do us all a favour and get with some form of program. You have millions of loyal fans. But they are not all dumb, and they are not all little kids. You have a large audience of people like me, loyal followers.
Finally, I, like everyone else know it is not real, but stop insulting me with poor fights, irrelevant plots, useless acting, and completely unfathomable side plots.
Because this is ceasing to be entertainment – it is a insult to years of loyalty.
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