What Happened to Wrestling?

The following is not a review or commentary…it is a rant.

After watching “Monday Night Raw” this past week, three words came out of my mouth:

“What the funk?”

No, Too Cold Scorpio did not make a comeback as his dancing alter-ego, the show was simply horrible.

Having no real competition for as long as they have has hurt them over the past few years, resulting in what can only be classified by comedian Brian Regan:

The epitome of hyperbole.

The coolest thing about professional wrestling back in the mid to late ’90s was that the characters and story lines mirrored reality. Stone Cold Steve Austin was a hero because everyone wanted to stick it to their boss the same way Rey Mysterio was a crowd favorite because of his desire, which more than made up for his lack of size. On top of that, the athleticism exhibited in matches was insane and even if you knew the stuff was fake, you didn’t want to be on the receiving end of a “Rock-Bottom” from Dewayne Johnson or a powerbomb from Sid Vicious.

With that being said, this week’s “Raw” not only featured terrible matches, with horrible pacing and no suspense, there were barely any moves being used at all.

Case in point- Ted Dibiase’s match with John Morrison was an utter joke, especially considering they are two of the best young stars in the business. Aside from a few headlocks and leg lariats from Morrison, Dibiase’s finisher was the only real move in the contest. The result? Crap.

Unmistakable crap.

The same thing that goes for the rest of the contests, none of which lasted for any significant amount of time and failed to captivate at all.

Over a decade ago, you’d see things like Chris Benoit jumping off the top of a steel cage or the World Championship trading hands on Cable TV. Now all you get is weekly filibustering to a monthly pay per view, that, too, lacks the same charisma as the house shows of the late ’90s.

What happened to this “sport?”

What happened to seeing great story lines and moves that made you cringe?

Wrestlers and their promoters got smart and lazy, that’s what happened.

Sick and tired of putting their bodies on the line and seeing their stars get injured, wrestling, mainly the WWE [You can still see tons of great matches thanks to companies like Ring of Honor and sometimes TNA, when they remember what got them their fan base in the first place] realized that they can still make a ton of cash pushing an inferior product.

Like a smart drug dealer, Vince McMahon and other promoters, of course, chose to save their athletes’ bodies, minds and has tried to save the sport after the death of Benoit and a few others nearly tarnished it forever.

Nevertheless, as a result, something has been lost over the past few years, something the sport needs if it is ever going to thrive again:

Passion.

As for now, the only way for a real fan of this “sport” to get their fix is to watch their favorite matches on DVD.

Because, at this current moment, the greatest days of professional wrestling are in its past.

And that’s the bottom line, because there is no new Stone Cold or anyone else with this slightest bit of personality [or front office person with the marbles to let the real stars of this business shine] to say anything different.

About Patrick Hickey Jr. 9000 Articles
Patrick Hickey Jr. is the Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Master Jedi and Grand Pooh-bah of ReviewFix.com and is the author of the book, "The Minds Behind the Games: Interviews with Cult and Classic Video Game Developers," from leading academic and non-fiction publisher McFarland and Company. He is currently the Assistant Director of the Journalism Program at Kingsborough Community College and is a former News Editor at NBC Local Integrated Media and a National Video Games Writer at the late Examiner.com. He has also had articles and photos published in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, Complex and The Syracuse Post-Standard. Love him. Read him.

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