The Other Side: Wrestling's Biggest Problem

Chad PortoContributor IMay 31, 2010

It's not a hard question to answer.   Wrestling is often criticized for the wrestling, buy rates, story-lines and characters.  It's often a unique business that the fans often claim to know all about.


I've never read about fans of a Braodway musical claiming they know more then the director in how to run a show.


But yet wrestling fans will claim to the high heavens that they can book a show better then TNA and WWE.


Really?  Well go ahead and try.  First off, go start off your own promotion, get a start up capital, sign talent, advertise your product and when 25 people are showing up after 6 months, then you can sit here and tell me what does and doesn't work.


Wrestling's biggest problem isn't the product (though it's not always good) it's YOU! the fans.


Don't believe me?  Ask yourself this one question...have you ever commented on someone's article and claimed "you don't know what your talking about?".  Well lets' be honest, if you did, then all you really did was attempt to show someone up.  Unless they really got something wrong like claiming "Austin wrestled as Kane in 1998 making him the only wrestler to ever beat himself for a WWE championship".   Then I can understand if you did.


But intesd of that you hold up your "hero's" as gods who if they get fired or not hired at al, then you want to committ hara kiri.  God and go ahead, I won't stop you.


Wrestling fans are the biggest reasons why wrestling is struggling.  Correction, "real wrestling fans" are the problem. And by real, I mean the mass of dolts that come on here and say the same things over and over and over, like they are some what intelligent mass of people.  You aren't so please stop thinking that.


Here are the reasons why wrestling fans ERR...SMARKS are the biggest issues.


1) ECW as a mecca - ECW was a different, unique counter culture even that could never work ever again.  Think The Cure.  ECW was not, and will never be a financial company.  And I say will never be, due to the fact that they were forced to close their doors.  People hold ECW as this holy grail that never did any wrong.  That's just because prior to the WWE releasing the Rise and Fall DVD, no one cared.  ECW was the biggest punch line in wrestling.  The Sandman and New Jack were main eventers.  You put two of those type of wrestlers in any promotion in the world, and they get criticized by the IWC (internet wrestling community) as a joke of a promotion.  Did they produce some ORIGINAL talent?  Yes.  Taz, The Dudleys and Rob Van Dam all got their major start in that promotion.  Everyone else who's ever passed through?  A WCW/WWE "REJECT".  If TNA signs Matt Morgan or WWE signs Lance Hoyt and they get the term reject, then it has to apply to all forms of wrestling company.  I didn't write the rules, you did.

*editors note* - I for one do not ever use the term reject, unless I refer to block shots in basketball or a dude getting shot down by a hot chick with a cheesy one liner.


2) Paul Heyman as a booker - Did Heyman make up some good feuds?  He sure did.  But no one ever wants to look at the obvious.  His best work came when he worked for the WWE (it can't be denied, because his ECW product never was able to achieve a real main stream following.) and the ratings for Smackdown were at it's highest since the end of WCW. HOWEVER, Vince Russo helped get Raw it's highest ratings ever in 1999 when Raw was averaging high 6's and 7's on a weekly basis.  Does Vince Russo get all the glory for that?  No, because he had Vince McMahon.  However why does Paul Heyman get all the respect since we all know Vince has never changed when it comes to handling his writing staff?  Because people blame Russo for the death of WCW but no one blames Heyman for utterly ruining ECW. If ECW was less hardcore and counter culture it would have survived.  Oh .....and if Heyman had nothing to do with it.  

*editors note* - I do not like Paul Heyman, I believe he is the most overrated booker of all time. But only in the IWC can a man who ran a company in the ground and got fired from Smackdown's writing team and the new ECW's team be considered a "genius". 


3) People who think buy-rates and ratings still matter - People claim that wrestling has evolved since the mid 90's and that the audience has changed.  But yet they still hang on to ancient measuring sticks such as buy rates and Neilson ratings.  Ever since the internet got hot and everyone with a working knowledge of Google became an "expert" one thing has happened....Stream sites are a major player in the wrestling world.  If you look at things rationally, Raw is still getting constant 3's in the ratings and are usually on the mid to higher end of it.  Same as where they were in 2002 basically.  However more fans are watching wrestling now then ever before; just not on t.v.

If you go to Ustream, or any other site that streams wrestling and you go on during a Monday, Thursday or a PPV Sunday, you'll see tens of thousands of people watching wrestling.  On this past Thursday, 5 channels averaged at least 500 viewers, with 3 of them having more then 1000.  Ustream?  6, with 400, with one topping at 3000.  The estimated number of total viewers were in the 20,000 when I did the math.  And that's just for those two sites.  Don't think that takes away ratings?  But that's not just a TNA or Superstars thing, that's a Raw/Smackdown/UFC and ppv thing.  There was a time when the only way to watch a ppv "for free" was if you had a black box.  Times have changed people.  It's time to stop judging today's product by yesteryear's methods. 


4) Utter Disrespect  - Most IWC die hards are jack asses.  Not even going to sugar coat this.  Notice I said "die hards".  This would intail the group of people that constantly bitch and moan about the fact their ideas and beliefs are the only ones that matter.  They will be rude and don't care if they come off as blunt as long as they prove their "point".  Even if their "point" is just some variation of "you're a jackass and don't know what your talking about".  This is not to say that if your an IWC fan, that classifies you as a jackass.  In fact most real wrestling fans have taken to the internet and joined myspace wrestling pages, facebook fan pages, forums and the like.  They just take their fandom online thanks to the popularity of social networking sites.  And by the simple term of INTERENT WRESTLING COMMUNITY: meaning if your a wrestling fan online, you fall into this group.  However only Die Hard fans are rude and pathetic enough to challenge someone's ideals based off of opionion.

I will make a statement and people will bash me for it.  All of this is proven facts, with my opionions.  The facts fall under the ratings, and common sense.  I.E.  Paul Heyman was fired from being a writer on Smackdown.  Opionion: He was fired probably because he rubbed the McMahons the wrong way.  But people will bash me for saying he was fired.  Because they will go to the opionion side of things and go "see he is a genius."  And let me put that to rest now, no if the WWE was so convinced that Heyman was a genius, they wouldn't of gotten rid of him.  Because if he really made the WWE that much money, they'd put up with his crap.  See Rey Mysterio bitching for 5 years and still getting pushed if you don't believe me.


5) Take things to seriously. - I do a wrestling radio show.  I used to post news and write for a wrestling web site.  I have never once though stopped being a fan of wrestling.  I still watch TNA religously. I watch all the old school WCW I can find.  And on the off chance something in the WWE happens that catches my attetion, I'll check it out.  But I rarley if ever let something in wrestling ruin my fandom.  One of my all time faveorites killing his family and then himself...yeah that'll rock my world.  TNA pushing Orlando Jordan?  I don't see why that'd effect me.  Because one way or another I'll enjoy it.  Either he won't make it and will get cut, or he'll become entertaining and I'll enjoy it.  Either way I'll be happy because I'm watching wrestling.

Does this mean I watch all wrestling?  No, the WWE has very few wrestlers I enjoy watching.  Does this mean the product is bad?  Maybe, I have watched more wrestling in my 23 years then most 1000 people will have in their life time.  I better then anyone understand the marketability ideals and wrestling talent.  So if I watch Raw and decide that they have the most uninteresting characters save for John Cena in wrestling today, I'm saying this with absolute certainty. None of them have back storys or history as to why they behave the way they do.  That's why men like Rock/Austin/Sting/Ric Flair were so succesful.  And why men like Samoa Joe and Randy Orton (while popular) will never advance past their current roles in wrestling history with out more character diving.


Conclusion.  We are all entitled to our opionions.  We are all allowed to have our favorites.  We are all allowed to judge.  However that does not make your opionions any more righteous then anyone elses.   You can rant and rave all day that the PG era is ruining the WWE legacy or that TNA needs to do this and that to survive, but unless you work for either company....your really only voicing your opionions and have no idea how to run a wrestling company.  Am I guilty of doing this? Yes.  I did this before and will again.  But the only difference is, I just give suggestions that could. I never state that my ideas are the only ideas that could work.  Are their people out there like me?  Of coarse there are.  But this column isn't towards the 4/5's of those people.  It's to the finite minority that consider themselves elitests.  You have no real insite. None more then anyone else on the internet.


To those of you who didn't hate this column or it's opionions, feel free to check out Lords Of Evolutoin Wrestling Radio every Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST at


We use our show to talk about our thoughts and opionions on wrestling, as well as salute all the great wrestlers who have ever graced us.  Do we state our opionions?  Yes we do, and quite frequently.  But they are, as always, just our opionions.