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3.04.2008

Where Is Tha Love?

It's no secret that my love for professional wrestling is dwindling. Actually, that's not true. Let me rephrase that...my patience for watching WWE programming is wearing thin. Whose isn't right?

But never has this been more apparent to me than now. We are less than a month away from WrestleMania XXIV, WWE's - and for that matter, professional wrestling's - biggest event of the year. As Big Daddy Donnie alluded to on last week's edition of Tha O Show, we used to celebrate the day like it was Christmas Part Two. This year, however, I don't feel the exhilaration and anticipation that I used to feel.

And then, just yesterday, I realized that I was forced to make a decision. One that I have not felt compelled to make in over a decade!

Do I care to watch WrestleMania XXIV live this year or not?

The last time I remember missing the Grand Daddy Of Them All was when I was touring Canada to promote my first single "Dear Hip Hop" in March of 1997. I was in Timmins, Ontario looking up at a monitor over the bar in the venue I was about to perform in and said, "Oh shit, today's WrestleMania!".

Too busy working on (and for) my first love - music - I had to catch 'Mania days later on tape.

I feel like it's time to write "Dear Pro Wrestling" or something, 'cuz like hip-hop, I feel that there is a lot wrong with it that I'd like to see changed. But that's no reason to bypass the Super Bowl of wrestling right?

Well, this past weekend, I bought tickets to see The Roots perform live. Now, I've seen The Roots perform at least a dozen times and trust me, each show is worth the price of admission plus more. Arguably the best live performers in all of hip-hop, The Roots - for those who don't know - are a band complete with a drummer, a keyboardist, bass guitarists, emcees, beatboxers etc.

They, like indy wrestling is to its sport, are a key reason that I'm still so in love with the artform that is hip-hop. Their music saves me from the monotonous drudgery that is the commercialized crap that clogs the airwaves of today. (And that's me being nice).

At $40 a pop, it's a steal to get tickets to see them live (especially in comparison to the $175 some of my friends have shelled out to see Jay-Z and Mary J. Blige at the Air Canada Centre a few days later). The only problem? The Roots hit Toronto's Kool Haus on March 30th!

I didn't even think about this or realize it until I was watching "Raw" last night. Same day as WrestleMania!

"What do I do now?" I thought.

And to be honest, it didn't take long for me to decide. I'm sorry Donnie, I'm gonna miss the party this year. I'll be catching 'Mania sometime before Tha O Show hits the air that week. But with the way WWE has been presenting pro wrestling to me over the past few years, they have made this decision relatively easy.

Has it gotten that bad? My brother, who I grew up watching wrestling with, admitted to me the other day, that he couldn't even tell me who the champions were in the E. It's been so long since he's tuned in...AND HE WORKS FOR THE STATION WHO CARRIES BOTH "RAW" AND "SMACKDOWN!". (He correctly guessed Randy Orton and Edge, though. I think he still peaks in on the broadcasts).

Anyway, what would you do O-sters? I don't suspect that you're all fans of hip-hop, let alone The Roots. (Shame on you, by the way). But inject your own favourite group in the equation and ask yourself. Live concert or WrestleMania XXIV on pay-per-view?

Where does your love lie?


21 comments: on "Where Is Tha Love?"

B4 said...

I used to be the same way about Wrestlemania. I couldn't wait to see what would happen. I couldn't wait to see those Wrestlemania moments.

Sadly, the E has beaten the excitement and love for WM out of me. How many times can I watch Cena or HHH go over? Even during the days when I hated seeing Hogan at the top of the card, the undercard still drew me in. What is on the undercard this year that could draw people in enough to spend $50? The MITB is a fun match, but same shit different year. Finlay vs. JBL? Mayweather v. Show interests me LESS than the Sumo match Show had. Undertaker and Edge will probably have a decent match, but not $50 worth interesting. They've stunk up the joint with the Flair retirement angle, so even with him facing Michaels, I don't care. To be honest, the last WM I remember actually feeling like WM was 18. That's sad that it's been 6 years since Wrestlemania has felt "big" to me.

What will I be doing WM Sunday? Probably coming back from visiting my Girlfriend (she's two hours away)and then catching up on my DVR. I miss the real Wrestlemania.

Anonymous said...

Dan-E-O couldn't beat P.N. News in a battle.

Dan-e-o said...

True. Cuz wrestling's a work.

Robert said...

I'm 100% with you, bro. It's hard to shell out the money, but it's also hard to walk away from the one PPV that I buy every year. I can remember at one time that I bought them all.

The simple fact is that I don't care as much, I still want to see if because you know the boys are going to put it all on the line, but a lot of my love just isn't there anymore.

My guaranteed purchase every year, btw, has gone from Wrestlemania to lockdown.

D.J.B. said...

I'll be watching WrestleMania, I can't help it and I can't fight it. As much as I can't stand what the E is doing to wrestling right now, wrestling will always be one of my major loves.

The only thing that could make me miss mania would be the SuperBowl so thank God they are in different months.

I also don't have to worry about spending the money because there's always a group of us watching and we split the bill so at most I'll be paying about $15

MutaBusa said...

I've never been a fed mark. My first exposure to wrestling was World Class Championship Wrestling and AWA which were shown interchangeably on ESPN back in the mid-late 1980s. I've always been a mark for the #2 or #3, cuz like the Avis motto goes, they try harder. WCCW, NWA, ECW, and Japanese Feds, pretty much in that order has been what I've focused on as a fan of wrestling. I like the in ring show-me-you're-a-good-worker style of match rather than garbage storyline and squash WWE style matches.

That being said, and hearing on the show many times that Dan-E-O grew up a fed mark, I must give him props for this article. For breaking away from every other wrestling journalist and not being a shit-eating WWE Apologist. Sure they may be the biggest and only game in town, but that doesn't mean their product isn't absolute horse shit.

In my entire life I've bought 2 WWE PPVs. One Night Stand I & II. I bought several ECW PPVs back in the day. The best way I can put how shitty WWE PPVs are into perspective. Back in the Wednesday night PPV days of TNA I'd order every weekly TNA PPV for $10 and was much mroe entertained by those 4 PPVs than anything the WWE could come with for their PPV by the end of the month.

In those days my thoughts were: let's see.. I can watch a 140 year old Undertaker squash Jeff Hardy on a PPV and get 1 PPV, or I can get 4 kick-ass PPVs where AJ Styles and Low Ki tear each other apart, amongst others like Amazing Red, The SAT, AMW.. ahh the good ol' days of TNA.

I hope we'll get something along those lines again, if not from TNA from some other company. It saddens me that Indy workers dream of going to the fed and wrestle an overly watered-down boring match style, rather than aspiring to be part of a crop of wrestlers who joins/forms a rival promotion that eventually takes over the #1 spot when fans realize great in ring matches beat the crap out of the stagnation that the WWE has been for decades.

Take Dan-E-O, lifetime fed mark, while he's not at the point of not buying the PPV, he is at the crossroads of a realization of disappointment, voicing his disappointment by choosing not to show up live this year.

And bro, if you do want to do a "Dear Wrestling" I've got ample verse-fuel to throw on that fire.

Mike Washington said...

Seriously, I don't pay for WWE or TNA anymore. If I can find a stream or a Boston Pizza I'll watch the PPVs but if not, no big deal. It's sad because it's not that WWE is mainstream. It's not because they put limitations on their workers. To be perfectly honest I think the "WWE style" is a great idea and it works well. It really sets it apart from indy wrestling which along with the finacial backing and professional presentation makes it seem above the rest. Great. They have a great formula, how the fuck does creative and the entire booking commitee fuck shit up consistantly? I think of problems with the WWE, the biggest is that they've gone from being a 'wrestling business' to an 'entertainment business'. Watching WWE and now even TNA is like watching a wrestling movie like Ready To Rumble. And trust that I NEVER spent money to watch that.

To bring it back to what Kanyon said, you have to have someone who loves the wrestling business run the company. Instead of merging wrestling, entertainment and business into one clusterfuck ball, leave them somewhat seperate. Run a wrestling show that has pieces of entertainment in it and let that take care of the business. So what John Cena sells merch? If WWE sold absolutely no merch, would they not still be making millions in profit each year? Of course they would. If you properly book the #1 wrestling company in the world, there is no reason and no way you would ever lose money. From a business standpoint, if you're not making millions every quarter as the #1 wrestling company worldwide and there are indies pulling in decent profits every show, it's not the product that needs to be changed it's the guy in charge. Am I saying Vince is a bad business man? Fuck no. Am I saying he doesn't know how to run a successful and entertaining WRESTLING show? No. What I am saying is that he's paid, he never has to work for the rest of his life... he's on a power trip, he feels like he can produce anything and people will watch it and he's right. And that along with becoming just plain lazy as a promoter is diminishing his product. At least that's what I see... Ya dig?

Anonymous said...

It's been said millions of times before in every aspect of business, wrestling, hell alomost anything in life, without competition you get complacent. Workers get praised for having the ability to make a person look like a legit threat. In other words, producing competition for otherwise "dry spots". The WWE needs a legit threat in order to produce quaility on a regular basis. If you look back on those past Wrestlemanias, the E had that out of the ass with ECW, WCW, WCCW, and AWA nipping ever so lightly on their heels. Just saying that maybe Vince should put more into the brand divide and maybe something good will come of it. Like a good worker, create you're competition.

- Mr. Del Negro

Anonymous said...

Go to the concert - leave your wrestling guilt at home. Fuck Wrestlemania - it's just a glorified whore like Raw - just wears better make-up and cost a fuck of a lot more.

BigDaddy said...

Why can't you just be honest and tell everyone you're kayfabin Mania to go see a Justin Timberlake / LOverboy concert.

Dante Ross said...

I like your comparison between seeing a live show and watching WM. With a live show you feel like youre actually participating. You can feel the damned bass beating against your heart. It makes you feel alive. The last time I felt that was a De La Soul concert at the House of Blues on Sunset. That shit was fantastic!

On the other side, if you miss WM you can find out what happened a few minutes after its over. No one can describe a Roots concert to you. They cant just say "They played this, this, and that and it was fucking dope!" Its not the same. With wrestling you can hear what happened and find high lights online or read about it and still get the same feeling.

Like I said before, I used to bust my ass to get to see a PPV. Now I can honestly just wait. The feeling of missing out is long gone and wont be back until spoliers vanish and there arent PPVs every damned month.

Fatter Than Fronte said...

Don't worry about 'Mania brother. Go to your concert and then catch RAW on Monday night where you'll probably see most of 'Mania's matches anyways for free!!! They seem to always have the 'Mania rematches the next day!

Dan-e-o said...

I'll find a way to catch 'Mania. The mark in me refuses to not see it at all.

As Dante mentioned thought, I can't pass up a live concert for what I can see on tape later that night.

I used to HAVE to see it live but it just isn't worth it these days. Dante, me and you both bro, De La is practically my all time fave.

D.J.B. said...

Donnie, Donnie, Donnie I'm disapointed in you.

You know Dan cant go to the Timberlake/Loverboy concert, Fatty bought all the tickets so he'd have them to himself.

Dan-e-o said...

Who's Loverboy?

D.J.B. said...

I thought it was Kanyon....

Skitlez said...

$40's is a damn good deal for tickets. I almost payed $200+ to see Kanye West live.

On the topic of WM, I'm starting to feel the same way. I've been trying to be more of a mark but it's not working. Somehow, I'll convince myself to order it, but it won't have the same feeling.

BigDaddy Donnie said...

The thing that makes me laugh is - Dan-e-o is kayfabin Mania to WATCH a concert ... but he has said for years that if he won a JUNO he'd kayfabe their awards night!!

Dude Johnson said...

Dude Johnson will be beating off that night to the sight of John Cena winning the title.

D.J.B. said...

Skitlez...please be kayfabin. $200 to see Kanye? You serious? I like Kanye, and I have all his stuff, but no way in hell I'd pay more than $60 to see him live. But then again, I see most of my concerts free...connections, but thats a whole different story.

Anonymous said...

I would totally skip 'Mania for a Justin Timberlake concert.