Dory Funk, Jr. did not win the NWA World Title from Gene Kiniski by flying off a top roe or using some form of an Attitude Adjustment to secure the win.
Cowboy Bill Watts used to just beat the hell out of his opponents and the Minnesota Wrecking Crew (Ole and Gene Anderson) used to punish their opponents by taking a body part and wearing it down and forcing the wrestler into submission. Those were the days of true professional wrestling – the days when the Iron Claw and the Texas Cloverleaf and the Thesz Press actually hurt and caused an opponent to fall to their feet. The days when wrestlers used the ropes to abuse their opponents and Buddy Rogers used a figure-four leg lock like it was supposed to be used.
The world of professional wrestling is so removed form that, it is hard to imagine that Ric Flair has not held a world title of any kind in over a decade and the last time we saw a Von Erich in the ring is almost 15 years ago.
The times have changed, our wrestling sensibilities have changed and our feelings toward the “business” and not the “sport” have grown weary that the product we see on a nightly basis. To make matters worse, the idea of a “true” wrestler in the WWE is about a possible right now as someone like Kurt Angle returning to the company that helped make him famous. Brock Lesnar does nothing to make this company think it is a true wrestling outfit.
The closest thing to a “true” professional is Antonio Cesaro and his mat skills – which make him the best the company has to offer as a wrestler. Hopefully, the company will see to it that the Swiss star can improve his positioning in the Elimination Chamber match later this month with five other wrestlers in the match.
Cesaro is the best overall talent in the company today, and in my opinion, that is not a stretch. His make skills, his Cloverleaf hold and his overall size and power brings to mind an Ole Anderson or a Jos LeDuc or even the Vachons from way back in the AWA and WWWF. If he were about 20 pounds heavier, the comparisons to Mad Dog Vachon would be undeniable.
Yes, he is that good. And yes, as a wrestling purest, it is good to see someone with that kind of talent prove he can survive with the “finishers” in the company of today.
Cesaro’s alliance with Jack Swagger and Zeb Coulter has been a brilliant move by the WWE – where to good talents have come together in a situation that allows them to remain relevant and has also made him a household name. Ever since he won the United States Title from Santino Marella, I personally have been waiting for him to do more.
His feud with Ryback as the “Big Hungry” was developing was probably the biggest and best test for him and made both he and Ryback relevant. Now that he has won a position in the six-man Elimination Chamber match, it remains to be seen if he can stand toe to toe with five other WWE superstars who have claimed WWE Gold.
Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71
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