Is pro wrestling coming back? An even better question is: where did it even go? Did it go anywhere after all? The stigma that sticks upon professional wrestling is a rotten and odorous parasite that ceases to give up life. Wrestling it seems from the outset was doomed.
Doomed to be the bastard child of the entertainment industry and complete blacklister of the entertainment realm. As much as wrestling gets big every so often, at the end of the day the non-wrestling fans fart at it. They see the glitz and the pageantry that accompanies this medium that they totally ignore the incredible feats of athleticism happening inside the ropes. With the recent direction that WWE has gone, the inarguable leader of the industry, it seems that wrestling is quite slowly progressing. For some they may scoff and go “Bah, this wrestling stuff again?!” but to me it’s been an art that has transcended generations and tragedies.
For me wrestling’s always been a part of my life. From the beginning of my memories as a child, wrestling was a big part of those. The days of being 8 and ravaging Mankind action figures with our aluminum baseball bats. How we’d just squeal in immature glee as the plastic appendages flew every which way. Of course now we all look stupid, seeing the same figures sold for hundreds of dollars. Even memories of sneaking in the backyard of the neighbor’s house to read WWF Magazine’s Swimsuit issues with Sunny and Sable (oh the 90‘s..).
Today’s wrestling landscape is both bittersweet and incredibly exciting. Everyday it seems a new star emerges from the internet independent wrestling realm to make all of us wrestling fans think about what could be. Also however, a star of the present is pushed downward on the card in favor of perhaps a more redundant and bland name. As the years have gone by I’ve sadly comprehended this fiendish practice of doing business in wrestling, simply “it is what it is” as a lot of the personalities say. For the wrestler, it’s about drawing money even if it means tarnishing your own personal image in the process. Countless times this has occurred and almost every situation finds the subject in a big money angle. Wrestling is the art of perception but also the art of deception. This to me is the biggest lost art, guys today don’t try and deceive. To many they have the belief that the business has already been exposed so much, why fight the trend? As logical as that may seem, to me it’s a challenge. A challenge in my mind WWE has taken into account.
Kevin Nash’s appearance at SummerSlam 2011 and the subsequent RAW the next night is a prime example of this. In just 5 seconds, the art of deception returned in mainstream wrestling. As much as TNA has tried for years to pull of the successful worked shoot, WWE did two in two months. Undoubtedly, the CM Punk/ John Cena story line leading into SummerSlam is easily the most compelling wrestling TV of the year hands down however Nash’s attack on Punk has potential to rival that piece of business. I give the haters this much, Kevin Nash IS old news. The last time Kevin Nash was booked as a credible, big money main eventer was 2003 however we’ve seen WWE make stars out of the most unlikely of individuals (Ultimate Warrior anyone?). For me it’s a great mix of everything, a strong technical worker to carry the work rate in Punk, two amazing mic men and a story that is easy to relate to. Punk notices that his employer and his friends are beginning to do shady things to him and he doesn’t like it therefore he retaliates. It’s simple good against bad, but done in a modern way. I’m a fan and yes, I do admit that tomorrow WWE could completely shit all over this idea but until then, I remain interested and watching.
As for TNA, I threw in the towel. I know, I know the age old wrestling credo of never say never but to me this is a lost cause product. Weekly it shifts from one extreme to the next, a guy turning good or bad seemingly at the drop of a dime and finishes to matches that just completely water down any strong story that led up to it. From Jeff Jarrett blatantly making fun of Mexicans to Sting walking around doing his worst Heath Ledger impression, it’s like National Lampoon’s Wrestling Company.
I commend TNA for trying but really, to me it’s a lost cause. I hate dogging TNA when so many of my favorite guys work there from the Machine Guns to Samoa Joe and AJ Styles but I can’t ignore it. So simply, instead of spend a whole article talking shit on TNA, instead a fraction…sue me, I’d rather just be blissfully ignorant to the going ons of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.