My debut article.
Somehow, I always felt that my first real wrestling article would be something praising the business I love so much, and have loved since I was nine years old. But, unfortunately, it's not. My first piece deals with exactly what's slowly eating away at my love for a once great industry.
Where's the quality? As a man who is currently without cable, I was forced to watch last night's Survivor Series 2009 PPV online. That wasn't my issue, I've been reduced to that option many times before. My option was that it was a huge waste of time and I can't even honestly say that I would have ordered it, had my cable been working.
I remember not that long ago, when Survivor Series was a PPV you could look forward to. Even with WWE's sagging quality in its shows, Survivor Series never really disappointed me. I've always loved the concept of the traditional Survivor Series 10 man elimination matches. So, what happened last night?
None of the matches were made to look important in the slightest. The only one worth mentioning was Team Kingston vs Team Orton and that lies squarely on the shoulders of Kofi and Randy, who did pretty much all of the work leading into that match while the teammates of both respective captains just stood there and filled positions. Honorable mentions go to Punk and Christian for doing their job—but why couldn't everyone else?
The saddest part of the mix is that Legacy, MVP, Mark Henry, R Truth, William Regal, all of these guys bring something special to the table or they wouldn't still be employed (yes, even sluggish Mark Henry for you snail bashers out there).
So, let's push R Truth by having him work with CM Punk. Fair enough. Let's push R Truth by having Punk squash him at Survivor Series. I understand it adds more fuel to the fire but rarely does a squash benefit both people involved in it.
Moving on. Let's push Punk, who capped off getting killed by Undertaker in a Cell match by feuding with a referee. Let's push Legacy, who for no reason at all, were nowhere to be found when Kofi annihilated Randy Orton on RAW.
The booking is frustrating at best and every time I see WWE put the ball in the court of capable people, they rip it back for no reason. Before I get off topic, now that I've shared my obligatory writer's opinion with you all, let's get to the headline of the article.
Does anyone else miss the Monday Night Wars? Seriously. No, don't laugh at me. Close the second tab you have open and stop looking at the WrestleZone pictures of Trish Stratus in yoga spandex and pay attention. Monday Night Wars. Do they ring a bell?
When WCW, who most people didn't take seriously, stepped up and kicked the ever living out of the then-WWF for what, 83 weeks? That's more than a year straight of unmerciful ass kickings for Vince McMahon. Although WCW ultimately died and self-destructed, does anyone remember who was at the forefront of the company when it was red hot and squashing WWF?
Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff. The booking those two used was ruthless and they didn't follow any of the traditional rules of war. They broke kayfabe and used every unethical tactic in the book and you know what? It worked. Vince McMahon barred no holds and fought back, giving us the Attitude Era. Now, despite the fact that I grew up with that, and am an ardent fan of it, I don't think we need another Attitude Era.
Just like The Rock, just like Stone Cold Steve Austin, the Attitude Era can't be recreated and it would be stupid to try. But I do feel that Vince McMahon needs serious competition. He's lowered his standards, and I am one of many who feels that the WWE have given us mediocre product at best for the last several years. And why shouldn't they'?
Why should the creative team kill themselves coming up with amazing storylines and good solid television when they don't need to? The WWE gets away with lackluster programming because the fans have lowered their standards and accepted it and because there is not one company out there, including TNA and ROH (Sorry Internet Wrestling Community) that can stop them, or even challenge their authority.
Enter Hogan and Bischoff to TNA Wrestling. I've stopped watching their programming. I haven't watched for months because the booking frustrates me to no end. They have literally, millions of dollars worth of talent, working for less pay and not being used properly because TNA actually has a worse booking staff than WWE.
While WWE goes up and down with their booking, TNA goes inside out, sideways, backwards and loops back around again (insert a "Fire Russo" chant here).
I'm not speaking for smarks. I'm not speaking for the IWC. I'm speaking as a fan who has been watching wrestling for ten years and actually walked away from a PPV, happy that I didn't pay money for it. That's not a point any "true" wrestling fan should be at. We pay money to go to these events for a reason.
By the grace of some wrestling gods (no, not JBL), Hogan and Bischoff have a second chance. They have lots of money, they have creative control and they won't make the same lethal mistakes twice. If they can steer the creative team in the correct direction, WWE might just have to start recognizing a slight threat.
As a fan, for the sake of my viewership and everyone else's, I hope it happens.
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