I've written two articles so far with more to come and they all share a few things in common. Mainly my passion and enthusiasm (or obsession) for all things wrestling and what I hope is wide, varied and balanced knowledge and opinion of the wrestling business being another outsider looking in.
Yet as these last sentences intentionally show you...they're usually long reads, with a lot of opinions, a lot of talk which I know can be hard sometimes for people to follow or stay interested in. So I'm setting myself a challenge in this article and others with the "Thought In Five Minutes" title.
If I see something that really gets me thinking and something I really want to write about, I'll give into that impulse and just do it and neglect my university work in the procession...however, I limit myself to five minutes to try and write as much about the topic, my opinions on it, while covering all the major points in that limited time period. Tricky I hear you say? Yes it will be, especially for a long-winded blowhard like myself but you'll see.
Today I'm going to focus on the new series of Tough Enough after stumbling across a video from one of the series below. I'm going to try and write about how I think the Tough Enough concept could perhaps be used to help the wrestling industry in general and people's perspective of the wrestling. Starting in...five...four...three...two...one!
The video above shows Triple H during one of the seasons for Tough Enough talking to the contestants and belittles them because they have it so easy in training to be wrestlers and getting into the WWE. Whatever your opinion is on Triple H's wrestling skills, backstage influence or his married to the boss' daughter, (which could be a completely separate other article) it's hard to deny how much he loves the business. And however you feel about wresting in general you can't deny what he says...
Wrestlers are on the road the majority of the year living a two lives (one on the road and one at home), they work harder than any other athletes in turns of how they put their body's on the line night after night and sacrifice so much for the audience, whether it's 200 people in a crowd or two million on TV...yet most of us already knew that and some people are aware of it but many more don't consider wrestling as anything but the dreaded F word..."fake"...
And if the WWE wanted to do a reality show about contestants wanting to become wrestlers and bring the network and their own product big ratings...why not appeal to wrestling fans and non-wrestling fans alike by being a real reality show where we see not just these guys training to be wrestlers, but see the reality of the WWE from behind-the-scenes and wrestling in general?
Although I love old wrestling pundits and personalities like Jim Cornette and Jody "The Assassin" Hamilton, there are many old-timers out there who need to get over the fact that by the 1990s it wasn't just the Iron Curtain which had fallen. The curtain protecting the inner workings of the wrestling business fell and everyone knows the dirty little secret and the ins and outs, but as I'll address in my next full on article, that wasn't necessarily a bad thing.
As Triple H comments in the video show, wrestling is a hard career choice and there's a lot that goes on that the causal, the average and the non-fan knows so why not try to create a sense of appreciation for everything these guys do?
I might be idealistic here, but if some of those who mock wrestling see how hard these guys work then they will be educated enough to at least stop disrespecting wrestling and not make a stink about how it's fake, the image of the business as a whole would be in better shape. Likewise it would give the casual fan a knew appreciation for wrestling and maybe even turn some people to watching it full-time.
Do you think Tough Enough could help the wrestling business
It could backfire and alienate some fans, but if done right and respectful you won't rob the unknowing fan and in a sense replace the magic with some more important, like telling someone there's no Santa Claus, but still love behind the illusion is enough to justify the harsh reality.
Right, 20 seconds left and hand hurting...
The whole show doesn't need to be all about the behind-the-scenes stuff and shouldn't be, but if the show tries to portray a sense of respect, honour and love of the business, who knows who it will rub off on.