If you're sitting back enjoying your product—but you wish to quickly fall into a pit of depression and negativity towards professional wrestling—never fear, this slide show will teach you how.
A little bit tongue in cheek—a little bit fact—and a little bit of venting towards all the things that make the internet wrestling community completely intolerable at times.
Welcome students, to "Smarkism 101—An introduction to becoming a Smark."
Lesson 1—The glorification of Extreme Championship Wrestling.
Forget work rate, psychology & natural talent. ECW gave us tables, ladders & chairs—among other things.
If working for WWE is to wrestling what playing in the NFL is to Football—ECW was somewhere between playing on the High school Varsity Team and in the Canadian Football League—that's if you weren't lucky enough to get a College Scholarship.
Every now-great wrestler to work in the ECW ring quickly moved on—a stepping stone for young talent to break into the business.
Alas—these small periods when Chris Jericho, Rey Mysterio Jr., Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero and Steve Austin all worked for ECW—became the basis for every true Smark's argument as to why "ECW was soooooooo great!"
Outside of these names, and notably a few others—Rob Van Dam, The Dudleyz & Taz—most proved when it came to actually working a match later in the WWE—let alone wrestling a match—they couldn't.
Nor could they get over.
In summary—ECW was " counter-culture " oh.... and..."extreme!" That's why Extreme Championship Wrestling was soooooooo great!
Lesson 2—The glorification of Ring of Honor.
Where Extreme Championship Wrestling left off—Ring of Honor picked up offering an alternative to mainstream professional wrestling.
Athletic ability replaced the brawling and violence while spot wrestling replaced the chair shots and thumb tacks.
An Honor Code was implemented as ROH was presented as a contest of true sportsmanship as competitors shook hands before and after matches.
In time, Ring of Honor became a game of—"Whatever you can do, I can do better! " Wrestlers began competing show after show in a game of one upping each other with spots and displays of athletic ability.
Meanwhile, the all-important factors—psychology, charisma and character development—were quickly forgotten.
At the same time, the early generation of Ring of Honor fans became the most self righteous and pretentious in the business, almost demanding to be "impressed."
Like ECW—every now-great wrestler to spend time in Ring of Honor has become the core argument supporting ROH's glorification. From CM Punk to Samoa Joe. From AJ Styles to Christopher Daniels—yep, only four now-great talents—and never that's debatable.
In summary—ROH is an "alternative " to mainstream wrestling and the breeding ground for all the decent spot monkeys under 220 pounds. That's why it's soooooooo great!
Lesson 3—The gospel according to Lance Storm.
Lance Storm worked for ECW, winning it's tag team championship three times. He won the WCW United States championship, thus completing the entire collection of then completely useless championships.
He then followed it up mid-carding for WWE for the remainder of his boring career.
His greatest accomplishments include being buddies with the likes of Chris Jericho, Edge, Chris Benoit & Christian and—being trained in the Hart Brothers Wrestling Camp—so, he knows Bret Hart as well.
Lance Storm is what Rikishi is to the Anoa'i wrestling family—the nephew of The Wild Samoans. His brothers are The Tonga Kid & Umaga. Somewhere along the line of the Anoa'i & Maivia family trees, Rikishi is either related to or connected to Yokozuna, Rocky Johnson, Peter Maivia and of course— The Rock.
My God!—That makes Rikishi's opinions on wrestling a lot more credible—yet Rikishi never feels a need to comment, does he?
Either way Lance Storm comments on everything from—how TNA should be ran to offering his ' endorsement ' to independent talent. From commenting on the demise of WCW. To commenting on the success of ECW—including how he contributed so much.
Then let's not forget commenting on his friends' super-successful WWE careers and his hand in helping them, followed by—ironically, why he was held back.
In summary—reading Lance Storm's commentary is up there with reading the Bible for a Christian. It's a fantastic tool in convincing young members of the online community into believing, if you give up size, power, charisma, likability & marketability—you can still be a successful wrestler.
Lesson 4—The teachings of Jim Cornette.
Jim Cornette has done it all—manager, promoter, announcer, and booker.
Besides doing it all—Cornette knows it all and hates everything in the process.
A firm believer in "old-school" territorial wrestling. Cornette hates modern professional wrestling or "sports entertainment" in general.
He also hates Jim Herd, former head of WCW and left the company in 1990 as a result.
He hates Vince Russo—but so does every one. Cornette was removed from the WWF's creative team because the two couldn't get along—then when Russo returned to TNA, they again butted heads over an angle in WCW.
Speaking of which. Vince Russo hates Ed Ferrara. And as a result left TNA because he couldn't or wouldn't support the creative team of Russo & Ferrara.
Suspended for several weeks in May 2005 as a result of a backstage altercation with Santino Marella, he was later released from the WWE in July 2005 due to another incident shortly after, which means Jim Cornette hates Santino Marella.
Considering all this, he really hates Vince McMahon—the most successful promoter in the history of modern professional wrestling who has made billions of dollars and single-handedly destroyed the National Wrestling Alliance, the territorial system, "old-school" wrestling, every company Jim Cornette has worked for outside of the WWE and everything Cornette stands for—Wow! When you put it that way....
In summary—if you require an opposing argument as to why modern professional wrestling is great—look no further than the rantings of Jim Cornette.
Reading from the gospel of Lance Storm—if you give up size, power, charisma, likability & marketability—you can still be a successful wrestler.
The difference between Bryan Danielson today and Lance Storm 10 years ago—Danielson has likability on his side.
Alas, four.. five releases or whatever from the WWE in 10 years without any significant success says—maybe, he's not that well liked as compared to someone like Hardcore Holly—a jobber who still remained under contract for years, yet never delivered on anything worth mentioning while becoming notorious for working stiff on young talent and establishing himself as a locker room bully.
Danielson's biggest success came in the form of the ROH World Championship—once.
Considered a founding father in Ring of Honor—along with buddies Christopher Daniels and Low Ki, Bryan Danielson is also an acquaintance of —Samoa Joe, CM Punk, Brian Kendrick & Paul London.
Initially trained at the Texas Wrestling Academy, then continuing his training with Memphis Championship Wrestling as part of his first WWF development deal means—Bryan Danielson knows Shawn Michaels & William Regal.
Like Lance Storm in the year 2000—things looked bright for Bryan Danielson in 2010. Independent God and internet darling. Standout performer initially as part of WWE NXT Season 1. Following was a series of matches that put him in the ring with Chris Jericho, CM Punk & The Miz, among others.
In a world where it's " hip " to hate on WWE and what is required to be a WWE Superstar—Danielson has become the working example for all the anti-WWE alarmists to push their cause.
In summary—Putting natural talent and skill aside, again the lack of size, power, charisma, likability & marketability—can make someone a good wrestler, just not a successful one.
For anti-WWE alarmists the date June 27, 2002, was the beginning of the end. If you didn't know it from the mass amounts of rantings online, it was the day the first lines of Skynet code were written.
April 3, 2005—Judgment Day. John Cena wins the WWE Championship at Wrestlemania 21.
Some like to call a small brief period in time from some where in 2002 to 2007—The Ruthless Aggression era.
2002 to 2005 is probably more in tune with the "ruthless aggression" philosophy. Either way, I like to call these three years—When WWE really sucked.
Today and for the last five years the WWE has been much more exciting than it was for the brief few years in the early part of this decade.
At the time the WWE suffered dramatically—poor story lines, poor wrestling, poor pushes, and even poorer character development.
John Cena winning the World Championship and becoming the iconic brand he is today sparked a change in the WWE.
In the years, that followed Edge became the Rated R Superstar—the two would engage in the epic back-and-forth war for much of the remaining decade, cementing Edge was the Superstar he is today.
Randy Orton would become the incredible anti-hero character. Something only possible with the establishment of the clean-cut, all round good guy—John Cena.
He made ECW One Night Stand the show it was—something no other man in WWE could.
The entire NXT roster owes John Cena for beginning their careers. Again not one man in the WWE could deliver what John Cena did that fateful night.
The reaction to the angle proving John Cena is the only true franchise player and the true talent that most make out he isn't.
John Cena as it all—charisma, loads and loads of it. Wrestling skill—he may not do much, but he does it smoothly, safely and most importantly has a better mind for psychology and story telling than more than most of guys to win the WWE Championship.
In summary—size, power, charisma, likability & marketability. Every thing that makes or breaks a WWE Superstar's career.
Christ, when he's got it all... he's just too easy to hate and we're reading from the book of Lance Storm, John Cena is just too easy to blame for everything that's wrong with WWE.