Art They Once Called Wrestling - How mainstream media,
society and one man's proven power have changed the
grappling scene, by Harald Hofer
Yes, two man go one on one, trying to beat each other
up with a variety of moves, weakening each other and
trying to pin the opponents' shoulders to the canvas
for the three count or make him submit with bonecrushing
submission holds. In the heat of battle someone can
be disqualified, counted out... The history and destiny
of the sport always put warriors to the test, who
either portrayed good or evil. That's classic wrestling,
aaaahhh the memories.
on, fellas, wake up!! Is it still the same? Let's
go inside and think about it for a minute... Well,
good vs. evil still is what it's all about, but can
you testify from the cheers who is the good guy and
who's the bad? If your are not used to today's storylines
the WWE is dishing out, you surely gonna have some
changed, folks, just like everything in our world.
Just watch the news, can you tell me who is on the
good side of the fence, and who's not? Not always
an easy task. I don't want to be a badmouthing pessimistic,
but the world is corrupt. You all know the Bin Ladens,
the Saddam Husseins and the El Qaida.. You know, that
those are the bad, but can you tell me, who's good??
George W. Bush? The European Community?? Arnold Schwarzenegger
(my fellow countryman)?? You'd certainly root for
them, but the borders have disappeared and there are
many times, when you cheer the wrong guy! Many times,
you can compare politics with wrestling and the people,
who play a big part in the game which has been modified
to Sports Entertainment many years ago..
that's, where our fun society is heading to. There
are no rules anymore, there is no level, when the
people just say, STOP! Today's "educated"
society has got a job, earns money and is in the position
to spend the money. And for the well earned money,
they want every single penny well invested for the
entertainment, their heart beats.
talking about entertainment in the squared circle
you will automatically talk about one of those "yankee"
promoters at one point of time. Vincent K. McMahon
jr., the godfather of wrestling, the maestro of sports
entertainment, the mate with the thick bank account?
Really? Right now, I can hear the boos from avid wrestling
fans, who want to piledrive me into next week for
those praises! Some people will cry FOUL when hearing
McMahon's name. True?
put some light on the story. Back until the early
80's, wrestling was divided into many territories,
each one had his head honcho, and of course local
heroes, enhancement talent and it's own fan base.
It was cool to watch the grapplers from the Portland
region, Mid South or Mid Atlantic. It was hip to attend
cards in St. Louis or Florida. But those folks lived
on borrowed time, because the wrath of wrestling came
straight up from New York. The WWWF and Capitol Wrestling
were under the tutelage of Vince McMahon sr., who
realized in the early 80's, that his days were numbered,
so he sold great parts of his company to his son,
Vince McMahon jr. The young announcer had his own
visions, and as we all know, they came true in record
time. It was a win or lose situation for him, and
he went out with full steam, getting rid of the competition
and he ended the old school way of territory wrestling
faster, than Dave Hebner can count to three. So it
was bell time for a lot of folks, who just "didn't
have the balls" to face the upcoming McMahon.
First get the boss and then get a hold of his talent
he once had under contract.
the smoke cleared, and it was a thick wall of smoke,
McMahon put his own stamp of approval to his new toy
called "changing the wrestling world forever".
After his success with Wrestlemania I, he went out
tooth and nail and slowly but surely took the magic
out of the sport. Rumors were coming up, that wrestling
is fake, well how can you blame the people. When referring
yourself as the "simple excellence in sports
entertainment", you knew, that something was
fishy here. Just watch his boys. It was not enough
to enter the ring in trunks, no, you had to portray
a certain character. The more colorful, the better.
Sometimes really ridiculous. OK, now you had entertainment.
The matches became drastically shortened, the variety
of moves decreased and the secret of Kayfabe was exposed
to the public in record time. Now, why call it entertainment?
To please the wrestling fans? No, simply to save the
piece of the cake, that wanted to have the athletic
state commission. Ah, there you go. We don't beat
each other up to bloody pulps for nothing, the matches
are choreographed and the wrestlers are involved in
so-called storylines, that tell you, that wrestler
A is fighting wrestler B and why they are doing that..
But hey, he fans are not dumbfounded! If the matches
are pre-determined, let's give 'em more of the action.
They don't want those 60-minutes broadways, they want
fast paced actions. Who the hell needs a cradle suples
or an old fashioned back breaker, when your boss is
easing up the rulebook and allows you to smash your
opponent through some tables, or whack him silly with
a steel rod? Remember the good old days, when wrestler
A would hit wrestler B with a chair with the ref paying
attention. Ring-a-ding, bell time. "Ladies and
gentlemen, the winner, as a result of a disqualification..."
Yeah, you name it.
that's another part, where the modern society has
great influence in wrestling. In the past, you tried
whatever you could to achieve your goals with hard
and often clear cut work. You did everything which
was in the rule book to earn your spot. Nowadays,
it's just the opposite. You charge your rivals, in
any shape or form. Hey, who cares about doing it the
right and legal way?? "Win" is the name
of the game, and if you can't win fair, cheat!! That's
why the world has been getting colder and colder,
and that's why former idols have lost the value. We
need speed, we need determination and a good portion
of evilness inside to climb the ladder of success.
Same goes for wrestling! Who needs the old timers?
Come on, we want action! Bring on guys, who can amaze
today's sick society. Are you interested in the clean
cut guy?? Good question. The faster, the better. Do
you love it, when a guy sails down a 15-foot high
steel cage and breaks his teeth and back? No, but
it is so awesome to watch. Plus, it makes up for superb
ratings and media coverage throughout the world.
let's not forget, the green is growing, and nothing's
better than the sound of counting cash... We all have
left the good old roots, we all succumb to the fast
paced action, but we all get terrified when something
bad happens. Remember the death of Owen Hart? Yes?
Sad story, right? Has wrestling changed since that
tragic night in the Kemper Arena in Kansas City? Yes?
But it certainly has not changed for the better, it
has become worse. Reading those stories of wrestlers,
who died those past 2 years makes me shiver. Many
were once under contract with the WWF/E! Many did
not reach the age of 50! They did everything they
could to please the fans, they put their bodies to
the ultimate test. They wrestled many matches, endured
many feuds, but were ordered to heaven way too soon.
that's also sad and a point which declassifies our
modern society. People get a kick out of other's people
miseries. You can market the dead very well these
days, you can earn money with it. You don't want to
hear the full story, but something is telling you
to listen carefully.
McMahon, the godfather of wrestling? I have great
doubts on that one. Yes, he changed the whole sport,
he took the art out of it and compensated the loss
of art with ridiculous angles, overdoses of sexuality
and sheer brutality. Is there something he could fear
in the business? No, because he already took out the
competition and singlehandedly eliminated his opponents.
Is the famous yankee promoter fake? No, he's as real
as a phenom can be plus a precisely tuned marketing
machine! Do I like him? That's not the case, but you
have been an avid wrestling fan for many years, but
I don't watch it anymore. Why? Again, the decision
is all yours. Make up your mind on that one, too.
Money means power, but for what. What's the difference
between being great and a legend? Can a legend break
or be broken? You decide!
for my part have taken a decision, and that's not
supporting the mat scene any longer. The reasons are
explained above, just read between the lines. How
will you handle your private gusto for wrestling?
I'd certainly like to know that and I am eager to
read your responses!
note: Media Man Australia continues to publish what
others will not. Hard hitting, factual, real and thought
stimulating work. Wrestling was, and still is, an
art form. It shouldn't be about a body count. Will
the fans realise that the wrestlers can only push
their bodies too far before they break! Will the fans
still support a wrestling product that is more about
wrestling, less about a stunt show, and will the wrestling
promoters take the gamble to present a product that
is Professional Wrestling aka Sports Entertainment?
Great Yankee Promoters, by Greg Tingle
Great Aussie Promoters, by Greg Tingle
Promoters Down Under, by Greg Tingle
- Media Man Australia: Vince McMahon profile
Man Australia: Sports
Man Australia: Entertainment