The internet wrestling community spends most of its time complaining. I have been known to indulge in my share of that complaining, because really, other people doing things that are terrible is a fun area to mine for comedy. On the other hand, people who buy/watch/whatever a product just to complain about it annoy the crap out of me, which resulted in thinking about finding positives. So here are some decidedly terrible aspects of wrestling today that I’ve dug around to find the positives of.
Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler’s Neverending Feud
Why People Complain: Jerry “The King” Lawler, while undeniably a legend of wrestling, is 61 years old. Michael Cole is not a trained wrestler, and also does his best every week to make WWE television unwatchable. Their feud has gotten at least 15 minutes on RAW for MONTHS now, pissing away time that could be used to build up young wrestlers or at least establish an actual midcard on the WWE’s flagship show.
It Could Be Worse: On last night’s (Monday, May 16th) episode of RAW, Jerry Lawler put over Jack Swagger as a former champion with high-level skill being held back by Cole’s douchebaggery. Swagger might come out of this feud as the big winner, with renewed relevance. Also, Cole’s singlet allows us to see his hilariously awful tattoos while not having to see much else of his “physique.” Could you imagine having to watch him parade around in the traditional speedo-style trunks? I would have bleached my optical nerves by now.
Christian is World Heavyweight Champion… for Five Days
Why People Complain: After carrying TNA’s main event scene as the NWA World Heavyweight Champion and 17 years of putting on consistently high-quality matches, Christian finally won the big one in the big leagues, with his best friend at ringside. Internet fangasms galore at the thought of Christian getting a run at the top of the card. Then the spoilers come out and it’s revealed that Christian loses the belt to Randy Orton in his first title defence. Fans go berserk.
It Could Be Worse: Christian and Orton had a very good match, then followed it up with an excellent tag team contest against Sheamus and Mark Henry. While Orton is boring as fuck, he’s decent enough in the ring that a guy like Christian (or CM Punk in recent months) can drag good matches out of him, and Christian will be able to carry the feud on the mic while Orton stares intently at nothing while trying to remember what he’s supposed to say next. The feud also means that Christian might regain the WHC at some point down the road. And, above all else, at least Randy Orton and John Cena have been separated so we don’t have to see them main event the other 17 or so PPVs WWE will be putting on this year.
TNA Becomes Impact Wrestling, No Other Changes Are Made
Why People Complain: TNA’s roster features a strong base of young, talented wrestlers capable of amazing feats of athleticism and top-shelf matches. Under the Hogan/Bischoff regime (and before that, but especially so now), these guys have been swept aside in favour of twenty minute promos that accomplish nothing but to set up medicore-at-best matches with screwy finishes featuring a revolving door of past-their-expiration-date former stars and WWE cast-offs. AJ Styles? Feuding with Tommy Dreamer. Samoa Joe? Not even on pay-per-view. Oh, and their Heavyweight Champion was a raging drug addict who showed up to work a match while nearly comatose. On pay-per-view.
It Could Be Worse: While Vince Russo being in charge of creative and Hogan and Bischoff turning TNA into the clusterfuck that killed WCW seems like as bad as it can get, it could be worse. Vince Russo could be on TV and integral to storylines. While most people have blocked it from their memory, he used to have long promo segments, often involving building a mostly pointless faction that includes half of the roster. Now, to be fair, that’s basically what Immortal was, except with Hogan and Bischoff at the head, but I contend that those two knuckleheads are marginally more desireable than listening to Vince Russo spout wrestling insider terms laced with the attitude that he’s the edgiest motherfucker on the planet and that worked shoots are the pinnacle of storytelling. And the best news is that whoever is pumping money into this disaster of a company will decide to pull the plug, allowing the young talent to either move on to the WWE or hit the North American indy scene with a much healthier bank account and be made to look like the stars they are in Ring of Honor or somewhere.