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Deeply Discussing..... Wrestling?

I hope nobody minds, but since the bros took a week off their usual steez, I figured I would too. Not to be a copycat, but just because I haven't had a chance to write my Dexter piece and I've been thinking a lot about wrestling lately. Like most wrestling fans I've lately been in a real strange place with my relationship with wrestling itself. I'm really falling out of love with it and I'm trying to figure out why. I've tried ROH, I've tried Vintage Collection and it's really not working. I fast forward everything wrestling and I think I've figured it out. So I thought I'd share my conclusion with the Nation of O and see if I can't offer an insight into why you may also be losing touch with the sport you also once loved.

A good heel can still be a good heel in today's business. All the points in JBL's blog () about being a good heel are all completely valid in wrestling today. Very few guys stray from being the 'cool' heel, but the guys who do draw heat and really do a good job at being a legit heel are still missing something. It has nothing to do with how good he is at being a heel. It has nothing to do with how good of a worker he is.

The fact of the matter is that the crowd is supposed to HATE this heel. Whether or not this heel is intentionally being booked as a heel or if he has the John Cena effect and even as a face he gets booed is completely irrelevant in regards to the point I'm going to make. Think of some of the wrestlers you hate right now. Whether it be The Miz because you're Big Daddy Donnie, or it's R-Truth because he's greasy as fuck or if it's Cena because he's shit and can't wrestle. The point is you hate this guy and he's a heel; to you at least.

For rest of the article I'll use Cena as our 'heel' because let's face it, most people over the age of 8 are not Cena fans. As a viewer, what do you want to happen to this Cena? We want to see him off our TV screen because we hate him. We want him to be edgier and do freestyles again because we liked that. But we hate him because he's always on our screen, he has annoying theme music that we hate and he won't go back to being cool and likable. Exactly the type of response the you wants from a heel. The problem lies within what us, as the viewers want as a solution to our hatred towards this heel. We want him gone. We don't want to see him lose, we don't want to see him get beat down. We want him gone. This is the problem with wrestling.

I'm not laying the blame on the company or the fans or the workers themselves, because it doesn't matter whose fault it is. But why do we want him gone instead of beaten up or to see him lose his matches? Let's jump to other facets of life to figure this out. Take two sports teams that hate each other, being a football fan I'll use the Packers and the Bears (but you use whatever sport you're familiar with). Packers and Bears want to pound on each other every chance they get. They want to see the other team get hit hard and get hurt and just get abused. They also want to see the other team lose as many games in a season as possible. Every loss for the Packers is a win for the Bears and vice versa. And as a fan of one of those teams how would you feel if the NFL just got rid of the opposing team that you've hated since you began watching the sport?

Now let me use one more example. Let's use the UFC. There has to be a fighter that you can't fucking stand. Josh Koscheck, Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Chael Sonnen, Rashad Evans, take your pick. I'll use Koscheck because I think he's a piece of shit. So the UFC announces GSP vs. Koscheck 3. As a viewer, what are my thoughts? Are they, "Fuck, I hate Koscheck. I don't even wanna see him fight, I wish Dana would fire him and put GSP in with Jason Miller"? Probably not. I'm probably thinking more along the lines of, "Tremendous. I get to watch GSP pound this douchebag's face again."

Herein lies the problem with wrestling. We don't feel about our wrestling villains(again, intentional villains or not doesn't matter) the same way we feel about our MMA villains, our sports villains, our movie villains or even our real life villains. We're supposed to want to see the villain fail. Lose. Get beat. Get beaten up. Get a taste of his own medicine. Get humiliated. Instead we want to see him just disappear.

This article already went much longer than I had expected so I'll stop here and I'll come with a part 2 where I'll get into what I think the reasons, factors and possible solutions are. As always I love to hear what everybody thinks. Everyone still in love with wrestling, everyone who's already fallen out of love with wrestling and those like me who're still weighing the pros and cons of divorcing wrestling. Let me know what you think.

3 comments: on "Deeply Discussing..... Wrestling?"

Anonymous said...

At a couple or recent Chikara shows there were a couple of heels that people wanted to see get beat up. One was Claudio who was determined to put down the rebellion of Sara Del Ray in his heel group. People wanted to see Claudio lose not only because of his dastardly past deeds but also because the match was part of a round robin tournament to crown a federation champion.

The other heel was Icarus who has gotten tremendous heat with the crowd with his pretentious back tattoo and and his overall sliminess. He fought Greg Irons with the idea that he was going to prove that Greg did not have CP.

Although Chikara is a family friendly promotion, they are still able to have heels do dastardly enough deeds to get heat. The main reasons why they are good that way is that they tell story lines over the course of years, the baby faces are represented as heroes who obey the rules, and matches have direct consequences in getting title shots.

WWE has many problems trying to make actual heels. The biggest problem is that a true heel does not sell merchandise so no one would want to be one. The next biggest problem is that WWE is not booked as a wrestling promotion. The only action that has consequences is lifting weights with HHH. You can't be a heel if there are no rules to break. You can't be a heel if the attention span of the show is four weeks. And, the final problem that the WWE has is that their audience is too big. What makes a heel in one market makes a face in another market and gets no reaction in a third.

Victor Wildcat said...

I agree the WWE has no concept of how to build a proper heel anymore. With the exception of a few guys at a time here and there over a year. I'd say they handle maybe 2 heels well for about 3 or 4 months at a time. I don't get it.

But the main point of wanting to see heels lose is that like you said, the match has to mean something. The win has to be important, the loss has to be important. The WWE doesn't convey that. I don't know if it's really possible to when you have a show every week. Alas, we all have our ideas on how to 'fix' wrestling but all I'll say is that there has to be a proper consequence to the heel's comeuppance.

Whether that means his eventual big loss rattles him and hurts him to his core or whether it means his beating that he gets puts him in bandages or off TV or what have you, there just have to be rewards for the face-loving fans. And really, when was the last time we saw that on WWE TV?

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