In one of our daily WWE conversations, my eight year old brother asked me, when exactly Chris Jericho was coming back... from his injury. I told him it would be a while. And hence this article.
As of late – possibly before that – there have been countless amounts of well written, and analytical dissections of the workings of the WWE. Ever since the world learned that WWE is scripted (storyline-wise) with the winner of matches being known well before the actual match up. People can predict who would win not because their pick was the better man, or his character was just stronger than everyone else’s. No. People can predict the WWE because they base their predictions on who has gotten the biggest push, or who has gotten the boss cross. Or worse, who won/lost the night before the upcoming PPV.
It is enough to make a grown man cry. But I am not a grown man.
After hearing the naivety in my brother’s voice when he pondered how long it would take Chris Jericho to recover from the devastating punt delivered by Randy Orton, I felt ashamed to say I knew the real truth. Chris Jericho wasn’t recovering from anything. He was out touring with his band Fozzy. The man who claims to be the best in the world at what he does, our own brash narcissist, WWE’s Chris Jericho was exactly that to my eight year old brother. To the rest of the world, he is Chris Jericho –the lead singer of Fozzy.
Personally, I too have fallen into the trap of predicting and at times scrutinizing WWE’s storylines (Kane and Undertaker come to mind), but it would taste a lie to say that I have never wished that even for one day I could look at WWE through the eyes of my brother. I will divulge even further by blatantly saying that I would give anything to see those WWE Superstars, and their larger-than-logic storylines for what they really are – characters in a play.
However, that’s only possible when I turn a blind eye – on a constant basis more or less– and I have come to accept it. For you see, I am an adult with an adult mind. I know for certain that Kane and The Undertaker are not monsters and demons. They’re Glenn Jacobs and Mark Calaway. They’re human beings. And after knowing that, I have yet to see an article (or any piece of information gate way) that does not treat what should be larger-than-life Superstars as mere human beings having a sword fight using wooden swords. That analogy comes straight from the problems I see in (and have with) many of those analytical dissections. All too often, the scalpel cuts the wrong spot.
Firstly, and most importantly, many of the people who write analytically sound, and documented articles about WWE’s short comings always forget the first rule of WWE: In order to watch anything of the WWE, you have to have a certain resolve. You have to be able to give up on logic, tap into your inner pretend, and just accept the fact that Kane and The Undertaker are brothers who lived in a family mortuary until it burnt down. Now, while I have admittedly stated that I will predict WWE from time to time, I for one am willing to throw away all logic through the window if it means me reacting to the WWE shows. It seems that many are not willing to do that. In fact, there are so many who are so unwilling that they’ve turned coat, tucked their tails between their legs, and ran off to become fans of TNA. That is just sad.
Secondly, actually, I will much rather discuss this later down.
Thirdly, the always-there, not-going-to-be-vanquished-anytime-soon cries for the return of the beloved Attitude Era. More precisely, a return based on opinionated slurs that the “A” Era is better than the PG Era that we are currently in.
Let me take this moment to remind everyone that both eras are part of the WWE. That said, once again I will put myself on the chopping block because in order to get a point across you have to lead by example. I loved the Attitude Era. Granted I don’t remember it in full detail (I was basically one year shy of twelve back then and to add, I practice selective memory storage), I remember the good of it ranging from Undertaker and Mankind, The Cerebral Assassin (back when he was Cerebral), Vince McMahon and The Alliance and of course the always memorable, Stone Cold vs The Rock. I remember those wonderful backstage brawls, interviews, and of course the exciting matches. However, as memorable as the Attitude Era was, and no matter how much it was loved, personally, it is not missed. Like everything in life, the Attitude Era had its bad and ugly. Watching men beat each other down was entertaining. It always is. However, the aftermath was disgusting. At the end of the popular matches, men were broken down, bleeding from places often not known to exist, and resembling something that had been in a high speed blender for an hour too long. At the end of a match, men of the Attitude Era earned respect... at the cost of broken body parts, early retirement and haunting injuries.
To add, the message Attitude Era sent was quite simply not a good one. If spelt out at liberty it would look something like this:
Always drink beer.
Have live sex.
Indulge yourself in occasional kidnapping.
Drugged a girl and then got her married to you in Vegas one night before she was set to marry someone else? There is no law out there that says you can’t.
The Average Male Guide On How To Go To Jail.
You wouldn’t attempt heroine so why attempt murder. Aim to commit it.
Call me old-fashioned. Call me high strung. But face it, you can’t call me incorrect. The Attitude Era was entertaining there is no denying that, however once the price of entertainment gets too high, then a beloved pastime will become nothing more than a distant memory. So my message to anyone who still believes that they should judge the PG Era by the “standards” of the Attitude Era is simply this: Get over yourselves. The PG Era is here now, and no one but the WWE Creative team has the right to use past eras as arsenal aimed at the current one. PG stands for “parental guidance”. It doesn’t – as many seem to believe – stand for “children only”. Or “general public”... focusing mainly on children. This era is necessary as the world makes its annual turnover of future adults. All those who lived during the Attitude Era used to be a part of the demographic WWE had been aiming for: grown adults. Now, it’s the next generation’s turn. And the PG Era is all geared up towards it. Contrary to popular belief, the PG Era is not all bad as it has proven to us that the mutilation of another human being is not necessary in order to make good entertainment. Hence the WM25 Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker match. Above all else, my brother can watch WWE without the expletives, nudity, live porn, and blood baths. Many say that it’s okay for children to see that because it’s in everything today. To those people I say it’s not okay to have children numb their minds to the ridiculous notion that you’re not a man unless you brutalize, maim , kidnap, and God-knows-what-else twenty four hours a day. And since “everything” is made of all the aforementioned, then all the more reason to keep watching WWE to get away from the mind-numbing tortures of the world because quite frankly not watching WWE in this day and age (where everything is made of porn, expletives and blood baths – sarcasm is heavy here) would be like willingly exposing yourself to radiation because it exudes pretty colours. If any comparison needs to be given, then I’ll gladly and contradictorily give my own:
The PG Era is better.
Fourthly, we come to the later part of this article. The last and the second points accrue to become one major, and standout analytical dissection that has missed its target by a whopping mile. And that is falsifying a relation between scripted storylines and actual wrestling. I cannot count how many articles, forums, tweets, commentaries, video blogs I’ve seen that don’t talk about, revolve around or mention how “WWE is fake”. Fake, by the way, is used in that context to imply that the entirety of the WWE is fake. From the storylines, to the characters, to the people in the arena, to the arenas themselves and of course to the wrestling action. Now, first off – I won’t even go into the utter stupidity of even suggesting that the arena and the fans in the arena are all created thanks to CG – WWE is a show. It is scripted like Grey’s Anatomy, CSI, Shutter Island, or like any other movie/show that you’ve ever seen in your life. And like every other show/movie WWE has characters. John Cena is a character. He portrays a man who lives by the words Hustle, Loyalty and Respect. He portrays himself to be a superman of some sorts. The Dead Man is a character as the name so blatantly suggests. The Viper – Randy Orton – is a character. He is not a real schizophrenic who hears voices. And yes, even Michael Cole is a character. He doesn’t enjoy taking the piss out of people (as the British would say) on a day to day basis.
For some reason, those two facts (again I refuse to acknowledge the thought of computer graphic arenas and people) have spilled over to the action in WWE. Trailing back momentarily to the third point, we all know that the realness of action (or better the realness of wrestling) was never a topic so widely discussed back in the days of the Attitude Era. People seemed to be okay with it all back then because once blood spilt it must be real. Randy Orton’s head cracked open at No Way Out last year but did anyone simply sit back and enjoy? No. Many people frankly stated that he used a razor to cut himself. I for one did not know that Randy Orton was such a stealthy character to be able to slice open his head with cameras blaring right at him and most of us not seeing it. It makes me want to go see a doctor about glasses.
But let’s just cut to the chase. The action in WWE is quite real – unfortunately to those who believe otherwise. Yes. I saw those steel steps miss Shane’s ankle right as Randy was dropping it. However, for what price would you all be willing to pay to lose a foot just because a couple million people – many of whom you have never and will never meet in your lifetime – are cheering for you. I don’t see any hands raised. The fact is WWE moderates its action. When Rey Mysterio lands on Chris Jericho once gravity takes effect, he lands on Chris Jericho. When The Undertaker throws Shawn Michaels to the mat, Shawn Michaels hits the mat with full force. When The Big Show slaps Heath Slater in the back with a steel chair, guess what... the chair hits Slater square in the back. However, all the wrestlers train to be able to take pain, dish out pain, and of course recover quickly from pain. Fighting almost every day of the week, every week, takes a tremendous toll on the human body. It is all you can expect really when you inflict daily pain onto yourself and halve your recovery time just to make it to another show and do it all over again.
I am sure many of you saw Jeff Hardy (a member of the TNA tuck-tails) push himself way past his limits by getting up after hitting CM Punk with a leg drop from sixteen feet up in the air. I am also sure that many of you don’t see Stone Cold wrestle anymore, and have all been informed that Shawn Michaels will never be returning to the world of wrestling because both men appreciate the simple act of being able to walk. Injuries pile up because like it or not WWE Superstars take many of the effects of a move head on – especially when outside forces (like gravity) interfere. And unlike many of us, they are trained to simply know how to lessen the impact of a move in order to make it to one more match for the sake of all of the fans.
Note, this truth isn’t slated to just the PG Era, the Attitude Era, or even WWE alone. It is generally slated to any wrestling program that ever made it a point to earn money from the business of entertainment. Yes. I mean you TNA. And you, UFC. But I digress. To simplify everything, WWE is scripted on paper alone. What happens in the ring is spelt out, yes, but it doesn’t make a move hurt any less. It does not make being slammed into floors, leg locked by the best, pile driven into solid, uncovered steel, knocked in the throat with the point of a sledgehammer, thrown through the windshield of a car, or flogged to death with a steel chain hurt any less.
So for all those quitters, tuck-tails, general people-who-loved-the-Attitude-Era-so-much-that-once-it-ended-they-decided-to-never-again-support-the-company-that-gave-them-their-beloved-era-in-the-first-place, and the remaining WWE fans who are either accepting facts, or (still) fighting against them I urge you all to follow the views of my eight year old brother.
Just believe that Chris Jericho is currently out of the WWE because of an injury already, and be happy.
RKO FOR LIFE!!!!!