by Writer Team | March 20, 2005 10:00 pm
They say Professional Wrestling these days is on a downtrend. Well, that’s just dandy, because that’s when it gets good!
I love it when the doomsayers come out like starving jackals. When the numbers start to spiral downward. When actions reek of desperation and survival is the best you can hope for.
Why? It weeds out the weak-minded real fast.
As a devout wrestling fan of over two decades, I’ve watched the little mini-recession the business in currently suffering from with more than a hint of intrigue. I’ve read countless enfeebled Tuesday morning bookers rant on the net about how the product has grown stale, how the industry is in dire trouble, and of course, THEIR little recipes for renewing fan interest by pushing certain vertically challenged, charisma-less luchadores to the top.
Quite frankly these people are idiots at best, and in actuality, are maddeningly ignorant of history. They point to the declining ratings and house show figures while comparing today’s WWE landscape to the ill-fated WCW.
“There’s a glass ceiling!” they will cry to all who will listen. “What about the cruiserweights?”
Fools. They just don’t get it do they?
Any casual observer of pro wrestling can easily deduce that it is a cyclical business, subject to what amounts to a natural inhalation/ exhalation process that usually turns over about once a decade.
And quite frankly, it’s those exhalation periods that can be the most engaging. Need proof?
Twenty years ago, when I was first sneaking into my Grandmother’s living room to watch wrestling on WWOR Channel 9, Bob Backlund was the reigning WWF champion. Now let me assure you, this is hardly remembered as a golden age in the business. Fans that once clamored for the heroic Bruno Sammartino or the fiery Pedro Morales turned away in droves. Backlund, despite his impressive NCAA credentials and All-American image, had all the luster of moldy bread.
A dark period? Maybe to some. But look beneath the surface, or at the very least, the middle of the card, and you’ll find signs of life.
At that very same time, Jimmy Snuka was honing a daredevil aerial style that would revolutionize the business and strongly inspire the Rob Van Dams and Sabus of the world. The globetrotting Andre the Giant was battling evildoers and filling territories’ coffers to the bursting point. And a young, well muscled journeyman named Terry Bollea was honing his craft against grizzled veterans like Antonio Inoki and Abdullah the Butcher, all the while taking notes on how to main event and draw the big money.
I don’t think I need to tell you what happened shortly after.
So what does all this mean? Simple. The “Wrestling Recession” is a valuable, and I would daresay necessary, process. It is during this period that risks are taken, bars are raised, and marginal players suddenly hit on the right formulas. Related sites:Women Wrestling
Let the doomsayers creep out. History is on our side.
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