This close to WrestleMania I feel like I should be excited as a wrestling fan. I'm not. Far from it. Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of matches that should be very solid in ring performances. Pretty much the whole card other than Rock vs Cena has the ability to be a 4-star match. The problem is that I really just don't like wrestling anymore. It's not because the whole roster is made up of 6'1, 210 lb guys with short brown hair, weens and kick pads. It's not just because the whole show is centered around general managers and commentators. Ok, it's kind of because of those things, but more importantly it's because nothing matters anymore. Titles don't matter, storylines don't matter and wins don't matter.
How many times have we seen champions lose 4 non-title matches in a month on TV only to win the title match at the PPV? How many times have we seen someone lose a title on a Sunday and be smiling on Raw the next day? Okay, granted Rob Gronkowski doesn't have a problem partying the night after winning a championship. But this is something you would never see in legitimate sports. Winning is everything. Fuck all that 'win or lose, it's how you play the game' shit. You play to win or you don't play at all. What draws me to watch a Raw match between Jack Swagger and Kofi Kingston? I don't care who wins. Neither guy cares who wins. Because they'll both be in the same match next week and in a tag match the week after. There's no progression through the card. Remember how over Bobby Roode was during that whole points based series a few months back? He was over because he was winning and the wins actually meant something. You don't necessarily need points or even rankings (though I'm a huge mark for both) to make the wins mean something, you just need some semblance of rewarding wins and punishing losses.
Nobody likes GSP because he's a cool guy with a cool accent. People like him because he wins. They like him because he's dominant. They watch his fights to see if this next guy that has strung together a bunch of wins can actually take GSP out. The fights are long and uneventful but people are intrigued by the outcome of the match because it actually matters. Raw and Smackdown matches are like fall baseball games, they face the same guy over and over and over and none of the matches mean anything. We all know wrestling is a work and we all know that these outcomes are predetermined so at least reward us for watching a match by having the outcome have some meaning. If I'm John Cena why do I care if Kane interferes in my match against The Miz and I lose? I'm still main eventing WrestleMania. I'm still getting a title shot by the time summer rolls around. If I'm Daniel Bryan why do I care if I get myself DQed against Big Show this week in a non-title match? I'm still the champion. I'm still defending my belt at WrestleMania.
The worst part about this is that the outcomes of the matches mean nothing and they're hiring more and more guys who can't work a proper match. Either give me good in ring work or give me matches where the outcome actually means something. WCW really shined here, they had awesome talent to start the show, had some solid midcard feuds and the main event level guys won matches to win title shots. Goldberg's winning streak is a perfect example of making the outcome of the match relevant. Show me a guy who held a decent winning streak and I'll show you a guy who drew ratings.
The most memorable 'Mania matches of the past 5 years all belong to 'Taker. Except for Shawn vs Flair. The reason is that the streak matters therefore the outcome of the match matters. Shawn vs Flair mattered because the outcome of the match mattered. Sure we all knew Flair was losing and was going to retire but that doesn't matter, all that matters is that the outcome of the match was significant. Wrestling doesn't need guys with better workrates. It doesn't need more big men. It doesn't even need less John Cena. All wrestling needs is to find a way to make the outcome of each match be of some importance. Wrestling didn't need help in the 80s with this because so many people thought it was a shoot that the outcomes automatically were important to the fans. I don't know if it's a points system or a ladder ranking system or if its because titles are on guys that lose matches every week, but I know that I can't get into wrestling anymore because nothing matters anymore and there's really only 1 match every year has an outcome that has any significance.