Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wrestling Is About Everyone Wanting To Be The Best... Or It Should Be

It has been said by many people in the wrestling business that the one thing that is real is that World Championship Title. To be the Champion of a company in both storyline and in reality should mean that you are the number one person in that company. Wrestling has strayed away from that to some degree and it needs to get back to that way of thinking.

UFC is primarily all about their championships and few people, if any, become bigger than the belt itself. Even for those that do reach that level or status it is their drive and determination to be champion that keeps them motivated to continue to fight. This is both for the accomplishment that is to be considered the best and the money that comes from being in that position.

On an old episode of Tough Enough Triple H in a very passionate speech said that the goal of everyone in this company should be to be the champion and if that wasn’t your goal you were wasting your time and everyone else’s time as well.

I get the motivational speech but on some level Heath Slater knows he is never going to be WWE Champion. At some point a wrestler or talent find themselves placed into roles or positions on a card. It is not unlike an actor or actress being typecast for certain roles. Like your doing a romantic comedy well the girl for that is Jennifer Aniston, Action movie with lots of things blowing up is Bruce Willis still alive for Diehard 8?  You get the point of what I am saying. Even look at a couple wrestlers that have made their way to Hollywood. Stone Cold Steve Austin became a guy that was typecast into those action movies that fit an audience that was his core fan base. The Rock when he hit Hollywood was doing everything under the sun from playing a tooth fairy, to a gay bodyguard to very serious roles of real life stories being adapted to the big screen.  He was very much diversified.

Diversity is a word that is very vital in all forms of life these days. Very few people are fortunate enough to say I do this one thing so very well that this is all I have too do. It simply doesn’t work for most of us in modern times. The same holds true in the WWE when you look back at the most successful people in history. They have been not just great in a ring, but great on a microphone but beyond that been able to take their character to many different places. From emotions that range from serious to hilarious and all points in between.

A great wrestling character is one that we ourselves could put that character in a situation in our minds and have a pretty good idea of how they would react to it. Not saying that we want superstars to be one hundred percent predictable, but we want them to have some traits and tendencies that make us feel we know them.

It gets to this whole idea of connecting with the crowd. That is a major part of the connection, the familiarity a character creates. Things like ring music, the way they enter the ring, hand gestures to the audience and a million other little idiosyncrasies that make each character and person unique.  It’s a huge puzzle that is put together to make us react to a person in a positive or negative way to person.

People struggle to describe what makes some one great they fall back on a term like they have the “It Factor” which is not a reference to Bobby Roode. It is that something that a person has in there eye or inside of them that makes them different and stand out from the crowd. It is that magnetism that someone has when they enter a room that draws attention from everyone else. 

This whole cast of individuals make up a wrestling roster and via for our attention through their actions in and out of a ring. It creates a common goal and purpose for everyone with exception of one person with a different motivation. That one person is Superman or Batman or whichever cartoon hero you choose. All the rest are the ones trying to destroy the hero so that they can have the spotlight that he possesses along with the trophy that goes with it the championship belt. He already has our attention and his goal is to keep it and his championship at any cost.

The trophy or belt will out live all the superstars’ career and remains the symbol for who can say they were once the best in a company. They were at the top of their chosen profession and that is real and there is nothing fake about it. Sure he may not have won it solely based on his efforts in a ring but it is because of those efforts along with the character he has crafted and moulded to be is his own that allows people to have faith in him to hold that symbol of excellence.

This leads to a does the cart or horse come first argument about how the wrestling business should be going forward to succeed. It isn’t going back to days gone by and trying to use old things from the past entirely. It isn’t booking wrestling like it is some weekly soap opera or three ring circus all the time. It is mixing and marrying of the two things to form a product that can be as attractive to a large enough audience that is can have mass appeal.

I will finish by saying this in relationship to something Jim Ross is noted for saying. Jim says that in wrestling you need personal issues and that is what sells a feud. I agree that is needed always, but what also is required is a desire to be the best. C.M Punk connected with people on many levels but at the root of his issues was that he wanted to be the best. It was not his hatred of John Cena that fuelled him, it was his desire to be considered the best. How you do that, you become the Champion. While it is fine for characters to be side tracked for various reasons from that goal of being the best it always needs to go back to that.

Suddenly when it does, matches mean more because there is a competition for getting to something bigger than just this one match. Wins and losses will only matter as much as people and storylines make them matter. Make no mistake they do NEED to matter on some level.

Daniel Bryan is more over than just about anyone in wrestling. The fact is though the strongest champion in wrestling right now is Adam Cole because of how ROH treats their title as opposed to how WWE treats their belt. TNA we won’t even bother the company and their title are both lost causes.

Bryan goes through all he went through at Mania to become champion only to face Kane? Who re-debuts in his mask and wants to destroy Bryan based on being yelled at by Stephanie McMahon? That is his motivation and it has nothing to do with being the best at all does it. While in ROH Adam Cole has a different guy every night that is gunning for him because they want to be the champion and be the best.

ROH’s first PPV is called “Best in The World” and that is something that we need to get back to in wrestling with or without CM Punk. People wanting to be the BEST IN WORLD and the CHAMPION. That is the moment when fiction and reality meet. It is a magical and real moment that we all watch wrestling for and that will never change as a motivation to watch.