WWE | Pro Wrestling

The Art of Squashing Performers on the Regular

Maybe the most puzzling problem I find with professional wrestling is the way performers are at the top of the food chain on Monday and jobbing for upcoming stars the next. Back in the 1980s when Hulkamania was running wild and Ric Flair was at the top of Space Mountain – there was no doubt who was the best in the business.

Now, those images are skewed and because of the blurred vision of the Dixie Carters and Vince McMahons of “today’s wrestling,” what may have been good say three weeks ago has not place in wrestling script today.

I am not sure if that is because of sensibilities or because the writing was piss-poor and did not work at all. It appears writers in this profession are a dime a dozen and the idea that someone like Eric Embry, Dusty Rhodes or Eddie Graham could be that masterful in writing a spot that is so engulfing is beyond the scope of the fans today.

While this blog seems like it is a ramble of sorts, there really is a point to this – wrestling has lost its way with wrestlers who look the part, act the part, find some success in the promotion and then for some reason – poof, they vanish from the wrestling’s main stream. That is possibly why the WWE has come up with the “Andre the Giant Memorial” Battle Royal.

The concept is much like the Royal Rumble, but it focuses on the mid-level talent in the company and makes more wrestlers more prominent in WrestleMania 30 this year. It could also be the launch pad for wrestlers like Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston and Big Show to get another push toward the top of the food chain. The only fault I see with this how will the company deal with another push by the WWE of another wrestler when the main event room is already full? There are too many chiefs at the top and not enough Indians, so to speak.

Back in the 1980s in the WWE’s height of popularity, there were roles to be played and rules to be followed. Vince McMahon for years thought (and still does think) that the big, strong, muscle-bound gym rat was the one who should carry the title and carry the WWE on his shoulders. The fact not many could stand toe to toe with Hulk Hogan and his massive size, his massive charisma and his massive ego was a blessing and curse for the company.

If McMahon was rejected by Hogan and he used his second plan to go with Jimmy Snuka as the leader of the new WWF initiative, then more wrestlers like R-Truth, Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan may have worn WWE gold sooner rather than later and it is possible that more minorities would have a more prominent place in the WWE title picture today. That is a thought, but it could also be a reality.

The same can be said if multi-time champion Sting had been able to bring fans to the stands, we may have seen other champions besides Flair and the likes of Arn Anderson, Ricky Morton, and Bob Orton, Jr. and Roddy Piper could have changed the course of wrestling history. Promoters and scripts and fan sensibilities took care of that and in the end, wrestling’s belief in promoting wrestlers instead of allowing the gate to decide things in a short amount of time has led to today’s shuffling of characters.

This has hurt the Kofi Kingston’s and Cody Rhodes’ of today’s wrestling era.

Disclaimer: For the next 30 days, this will be an ongoing series of stories as we move down the Road to WrestleMania. Follow Camel Clutch Blog writer/blogger David M. Levin as he talks about the history, the pageantry and the success and failures of the past when it comes to wrestling’s biggest events. The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of Camel Clutch Blog, and this series is intended to ramp up the excitement that is associated with WrestleMania XXX and the Crescent City of New Orleans. Please enjoy this new feature and any comments are most welcome.

Follow David on Twitter @davidlevin71

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