Should the WWE Embrace Physical Limitations to Enhance Matches?
In the past, the mystical world of professional wrestling was a place where anything could happen and the impossible was purely a challenge that had not been conquered. The achievements of these characters only compared to the feats of the mythical heroes of ancient Rome and Greece.
The world of WWE was a fairytale place created with its own boundaries that didn't necessarily correspond with the real world.
Things could not be more different in the modern WWE, where the influence of the outside world has filtered through to such an extent that fantasy elements no longer fit well with the atmosphere.
As a result, wrestlers' achievements are no longer compared with the might of legendary heroes. Instead their physicality is grounded in the real world and seen in context with the great athletes of other sports.
Attempts to confound the audience with displays of superhuman strength or agility are either quantified or patronised, and this often leads to the talent in question being dismissed. Sin Cara, and the flying entrance he originally used, is a classic example of something being quickly quantified and then made fun of even though it was designed to emphasize the intangibles Mistico had in Mexico.
One element lost in the transition between the mythical and the real world is the natural physical limits that different body types offer.
For instance a heavily muscular person like Ryback may hold huge amounts of power and destructive force, but over a few minutes that extra body mass will start to cause fatigue.
This tiredness can affect anything from technique to decision making, and the real world consequences of this effect have been seen in the MMA cage where many favourites have received shock losses due to exhaustion-related mistakes.
The classic example is former WWE wrestler Bobby Lashley, who gassed badly against the unknown Chad Griggs leading to Lashley's corner eventually throwing in the towel.
If physical limitations were taken more into account in WWE matches, smaller or more naturally athletic wrestlers would suddenly have a new winning strategy open to them against stronger opponents. With this method they could use their endurance to battle for longer without fatiguing as badly, and they would be able to capitalise on their opponent's mistakes instead of relying on the much used tactics of either landing multiple finishers or using outside help.
This has certainly worked for the WWE in the past, as Shawn Michaels made a career out of outlasting opponents and his example is a great prototype for fatigue induced matchups.
Adding this to WWE matches would alter the way matches were called, as it would open up the possibility of an upset. Too much showboating or failing to get a hold of a smaller opponent could cost the bigger guys far more than it does now, as they could gas out and get picked apart.
Instigating such a policy would also add value to other attributes in the WWE that are much spoken about but have little practical use. John Cena's heart is often talked about, but it would be far better shown if he had to use it to dig deep and fight off the effects of tiredness as well as overwhelming odds.
Devastating finishers would also become more important, as the potential to finish a match in an instant would allow some top wrestlers to have wars and still come out on top even though they came across as exhausted.
Another potential advantage is the increased emotional investment that tiredness can bring. Hall of Fame matches like Undertaker vs. Triple H or Shawn Michaels vs. Ric Flair were full of exhausted souls in the middle of the ring who had given their last ounce to defeat the other.
Showing the trials and tribulations in every match on a weekly basis would only help these moments become even more special, and fans would have a better idea of how far these men and women have to push their bodies to entertain us.
Of course this means a fundamental change to the way WWE matches are worked, and some fans would rather not have more real world issues invade the stories that play out in front of them. Fatigue would have minimal effect on episodes of Raw and SmackDown, where many of the matches go for less than five minutes.
Yet the potential of having another method for matches to finish, or at least a way to help smaller talent overcome bigger guys, is worth considering.
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