Saturday, April 5, 2014

Wrestlemania Thoughts: Change, Dreams and Respect

We clearly are at a point in wrestling where it feels like a transition is about on the verge of taking place. I touched on this on the IWC Podcast when talking with Jimmy Korderas. I think fans are ready for a changing of the guard, some out with the old and in with the new. As much as people love Daniel Bryan, the so called "Yes Movement" is more a movement for change. In a world that changes so fast wrestling has not in terms of the people that have been at the top of the food chain.

Wrestling is always thought to be a microcosm of society, or in simpler terms a reflection of it. Well when you look at pop culture today it doesn’t take a lot to be famous. People more than ever do not have to count on the tradition means of determining that fame either. Social media has a stronger and more powerful voice that weakens what traditional forms of media have had compared to the past.

You can truly get yourself noticed just on the internet and through all these various forms of social media. Zack Ryder a few years back proved how someone can take this and truly turn it into something real and tangible.  The problem was by the time he got to where he wanted to be he wasn’t ready for it and the fact he kind of forced his way in wasn’t going to leave much margin for error.

Daniel Bryan in a much more slow and methodical way has risen to the top of the largest wrestling company in the world. He always had the talent to back up the growing and growing base of fans that pushed for his success. Zack Ryder got a fan base that pushed for him but they had bought into the hype that lacked any real substance.

The level of competition to make it to the WWE and have a shot may never be greater than it is right now. You have 75-100 guys and gals at a performance center that are chomping at the bit to be one the WWE Main roster. You have already on that roster, guys like Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Seth Rollins, Cesaro and many others just waiting and hoping to get that ball to run with it.

 You have a group of established talent that does not wish to lose their spot or get pushed aside. The truth is very view guys are like CM Punk in the sense of having the courage or guts to just walk away. It is easy to be out of sight and out of mind in the wrestling business. Look at where Dolph Ziggler was a year ago compared to where he is now. He never left the company but he has been placed in such a poor position that he really has become an after thought. Sometimes you are given a moment and what happens in that moment can make or break your career. Punk took his moment and ran with it to the point that he doesn’t need to be concerned about certain things. He picked the right times to be aggressive in his desire to get to the top and once he got there made his career for life to some extent. Ziggler due to an unfortunate injury watched his moment pass him by while being able to do nothing about it. Who is to say he ever gets another one.

Outside of the WWE you have many talented and great performers like Kevin Steen, Adam Cole, and Mike Bennett all knocking on the door of being already established to make that next leap to the WWE. You have guys like A.J Styles, Chris Hero, Samoa Joe, Chris Daniels and others that once were the same and never walked through that door to be on WWE.

These are just names most wrestling fans have heard of there are hundreds if not thousands more working on little independent companies all with the same dream of one day being that big star on the biggest stage of a Wrestlemania. WWE is the ballgame now and TNA is more of an after thought, while ROH has become in a sense the WWE’s main minor league system outside of their own to draw from.

The truth is the odds to make the NBA, NFL, MLB or NHL all are better than they are to be a professional wrestler on the highest level. The odds to be a champion on that level are greater as well.

The drive and determination it takes just to have a shot in the WWE let alone Main Event a Wrestlemania are staggeringly long. It is easy for us to sit back and say that this person sucks or that guy is full of himself. This other guy is washed up and should just quit and move on.

Very few people have the courage and are willing to make the sacrifices it takes to achieve their dreams. Even fewer actually get the breaks, luck and good fortune it takes to make those dreams a reality. If it was easy everyone would do it but it isn’t easy at all. You put your body through a meat grinder all for hoping it holds up and allows you to be healthy at that time you need it to be when your break comes your way.

I at the end of the day respect professional wrestlers for having the guts to do what they do and reach for their dreams. Wrestlemania is where a lot of those dreams begin as small children. The ones that actually take that childhood dream and run with it deserve respect no matter how far they get. For every guy that succeeds there are hundreds more like thousands that don’t.

Triple H talked about a reality era while as they say over in the UFC this is as real as it gets. The odds are long and road can be longer. This makes for a tremendous story that is far from fake when anyone reaches that magical moment like Daniel Bryan is likely to do on Sunday.