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  1. #1

    The New Event #6 - History Sucks!

    What's up, guys? Welcome to another edition of The New Event. Long introductions aren't really my thing, so let's get right to...




    THE OPENER


    - I read a funny story on the main page where Steve Austin was doing his podcast and talking about how he tried out marijuana. He was saying how marijuana was not for him and decided to go drink again after being clean for fourteen days. The fuck? Okay, so firstly I can't picture Stone Cold smoking a joint. He will always be the beer-drinking anti-hero to me. And secondly, how can you be proud of fourteen days without drinking? I mean, if you're an alcoholic then it's something to be proud of, but he deoesnt appear to be so that seemed kind of odd. Nevertheless, I doubt Stone Cold will be able to put down the liquor. He legit comes across as a blue collar guy so drinking is almost a part of our nature.

    - Is it just me or does it look like Angle wants to be a full time wrestler again? I know that is not the case but that's how it comes across to me. He's had two matches in four days, albeit short. I'm almost of the belief that Angle actually views himself as a week-to-week wrestler and not as just a character fulfilling a role on the show. If that truly is the case then WWE shouldn't enable him by letting him work matches. He looks absolutely broken in the ring and every time I see him wrestle it takes away some good memories I have of him wrestling in his prime. Please Kurt, don't wrestle anymore. We still love you as an on-air personality, though.

    - I'm a bit skeptical on Rousey vs Lynch at Survivor Series given WWE's track record of ruining a good thing. Becky is on the type of roll now that alot of male wrestlers couldn't reach and I would be absolutely heartbroken if WWE screws this up for Rousey. We all know that there is no way in hell Rousey is losing at Survivor Series so hopefully WWE can find a creative way to work around that. Even if they just do a cop out and do a double contout I would be more than happy with that. Anything but making Becky Lynch look weak. Besides, a double contout or screwy finish could be a catalyst for a match at Wrestlemania. Maybe I should just follow my theory below and not judge this match and what could happen based off WWE's past.

    Very slow news week we had as there wasn't anything really juicy to write about. So with that being said, I think it's time for...




    THE HEADLINER


    In my last column I was feeling very nostalgic as it was my birthday. And because it was my birthday I looked back at all the things I missed that I used to love, as I always tend to do. That column got me reminiscing about quite a few things; such as some of my favourite wrestlers of years gone by, wrestling not being PG and blood having an impact on wrestling matches (to name but a few).

    In the aftermath of that column I tried to find an answer as to why wrestling is not as enjoyable to me as it once was. Some of those things I've mentioned that I missed won't return in all likelihood. But to answer the question of why wrestling isn't as interesting to me as it once was turned out to be almost mind-bending.

    Should I chalk it up to me having grown up and wrestling not having as big a place in my heart as it once did? Is it because some of the things I miss are not likely to come back into play? A lack of interesting characters, maybe? What about WWE's creative team not actually being creative and too formulaic? I think it's safe to say that my lack of enthusiasm is probably a combination of all of the above.

    It's obvious that over time you tend to lose interest in something, especially if you've been watching for years and years and the writers don't do anything to freshen things up. Perhaps I wouldn't miss some of the older aspects of wrestling if WWE created newer tropes that I could latch onto. And an inherent lack of characters to keep things interesting can make things feel one dimensional, especially when this is the direct cause of WWE feeling too formulaic.

    In any event, the more I thought about yesteryear I began to realize something. I began to create a theory in my head as to why today's WWE is probably doomed to fail. My theory is that of nostalgia being the catalyst for WWE being perceived as uninspired. And because of the rich history of WWE, everything that follows is destined to fail unless they can create something magical.

    In essence, my theory is that past events in WWE shaped a certain viewpoint and because of that perception almost nothing in this day and age has the ability to be seen as truly great. Don't get me wrong, there have been many a moment after WWE's last boom period that gave you goosebumps. The most recent one I can think of is CM Punk's Pipebomb or even Daniel Bryan's Wrestlemania moment and what preceded it. It's that lightning in a bottle that we as fans yearn for but find it so difficult to capture.

    The thing is - in WWE and in any form of entertainment in general - historically there have been so many great moments that everything that comes after it is seemingly incapable of reaching that same level of greatness. The past gets so tremendously hyped up that everything put out afterward gets compared and eventually overshadowed. It's like the newer generation is competing with an unbeatable hype machine that it struggles to overcome.

    Think about it in other forms of entertainment. In movies, before the year 2000, there was an abundance of classic movies that were put above all others. How many movies after the year 2000 can you say is considered a classic amongst fans and critics? Not many, that's for sure. Famous movie lines have been referenced for decades, but you hardly hear any movie references from after 2000. Oh, and I fucking loved the Star Wars prequel (Hayden Christensen's acting notwithstanding but nonetheless tolerable), but because of how great the original Star Wars trilogy was the prequel got shit on.

    Hey, Michael Jordan was so great so let's not even bother looking for someone who can even shine his Jordans. Tiger Woods was such a great golfer that we'll never see such a great attraction in the sport again. Sir Alex Ferguson was the greatest manager in English Premier League history and Manchester United will never reach their former heights again. The Attitude Era was so amazing that this watered down product we are getting now is pure shit... I think you guys know where I'm going with this.

    That line of thinking right there is why history is crippling the entertainment industry and more importantly, to us, World Wrestling Entertainment.

    I think we all need to realize that the past success of WWE is just that; the past. Unfortunately, WWE goes back to that history well way too many times for us to permanently relinquish the great memories of the past. But don't get me wrong, we should never forget our favourite moments and matches because that's what made us fans in the first place. It's just that the past has been used as a measuring stick so much that it has become detrimental to the WWE's current endeavours. It's the past that we hype so much that virtually destroys any semblance of hope WWE has to put on an enjoyable product.

    Don't get me wrong, though. I'm not saying that it's just the great memories of years gone by that set up the current product for failure. The inconsistency of the booking of almost all the wrestlers on the roster has been shoddy to say the least. It's those inconsistencies that prevent WWE from moving forward toward a more balanced product in terms of character build and the way that feuds are executed. But what I'm trying to say is that if you are constantly throwing shade at what's currently happening in WWE based off of previous triumphs then you are only shooting yourself in the foot.

    Eminem is the perfect example to use in my theory. His first three albums were considered such classics that alot of his older fans cannot accept that he's different now and therefore can't seem to find any enjoyment in his current work. This is an exact correlation to WWE fans who feel like the Hulkamania and Attitude Eras produced such greatness that everything WWE puts forth now just pales in comparison.

    Therefore, I think it's time for us to look beyond the past and see that there are still times that entertainment in these modern times can still be good. If you put your historical expectations aside you will see that Eminem still puts out some damn good music. And in our precious WWE you will start to see that there are still alot of good things to look forward to. Sure, the execution may be off but the potential is certainly there.

    Rollins and Ambrose might never live up to Hart/Michaels or Rock/HHH but I'll be damned if their story hasn't been amazing thus far. There will never be another Kane or Undertaker but Braun Strowman definitely comes close and he's doing things in a way that's unique to him. Hell yeah we will never have another fantastic anti-hero like Stone Cold Steve Austin but dammit if Becky Lynch isn't playing that role to perfection and erasing any misconception of how popular women wrestlers can be. Oh, and let's not forget that the actual in-ring talent that WWE currently has is better than it's ever been.

    In conclusion, my theory suggests that history has the potential to negate any enjoyment we might get from WWE. Yes; past events have raised the bar extremely high, but perhaps if we view the current product without any semblance of historical comparisons we might just allow the current crop of talent to raise the bar that has been set so high.




    BONUS MATCH


    Sometimes it feels like we are frozen in time. Let it go, WWE, let it go.

    The topic of older wrestlers passed their prime still working matches for the sake of nostalgia is not a new one. This topic has been done to death so I didn't want to write an entire column about it. Instead, I'll just touch on it here. To get to the point, my opinion on this matter lies with the opinions of most everybody. It's more than time for the WWE to retire the older generation for good. Attitude Era stars should not be involved in anything significant in this day and age and they sure as hell shouldn't be wrestling.

    We all know how these former stars come in, take the spot of a regular and effectively stunt their growth. That should never be the case. If you want to use them then at the very least use them to put over a star that's going to be in WWE for years to come. Most of us have already seen these guys wrestle against each other in their prime so why the hell would we want to see them wrestle against each other now that their bodies are all but broken? That silliness just tarnishes their legacy.

    But at least there is a silver lining. And that silver lining is that these guys cannot wrestle forever. As much as WWE would want that, their bodies just won't co-operate. So I guess I've just got to preach patience. I don't doubt that we'll still be seeing these part-timers at next year's Showcase Of The Immortals. But perhaps 2020? Maybe that's the year that former stars will realize that their bodies just won't allow them to wrestle anymore. I know this should happen now, but this is WWE we are talking about here. They are like a jealous ex-girlfriend who just cannot let go. But it's so true that now's the time. In fact, it's damn true.

    Instead of relying on these former stars, why does WWE not get their nostalgia fix by reviewing what went wrong in some of their older gimmicks that was destined to succeed but because of poor booking was not able to? There's so many things on the WWE Network that WWE can rehash and make better to suit the modern times we live in.

    Use the past to influence greatness. Don't let the past influence a lacklustre view of their product.

    Just let it go.

    .
    .
    .

    And that does it for this edition of The New Event. What do you guys think about my theory of the view on today's product having a negative influence due to past success? Would it be a good idea to rehash past ideas and make it suitable for the current product? Please feel free to leave a comment in the black box below. Any and all feedback is much appreciated. But until next time...

    This is Don Franc signing out.

  2. #2
    I half-agree with you. I think WWE does catch lightning in a bottle sometimes, intentionally or not(Women's revolution, Becky, Punk, Bryan, The Shield). But how they follow up after that is the problem. Because those successes were flukes or forced upon them:

    Women's Revolution - A bunch of uber-talented women pushing one another in developmental, far from the poison touch of WWE Creative
    Becky - In particular, the heel-run-that-isn't has made her even more popular than ever, in part because the crowd is in full rebellion against what they're being told to think
    Punk - See Pipebomb
    Bryan - Pushed to the moon because he was the only other cool thing when Punk left
    The Shield - Forced themselves to be noticed and pushed because they were super-talented, and no matter how much sway you have in the locker room, three guys can still kick your ass. Or just shout over you, after out-working you in the ring

    So WWE keeps getting lucky but doesn't know what to do once they've caught the car, because they're dumb dogs. That's why we get these amazing short bursts...right up until WWE Creative finally takes over and screws it all up.
    (the two exceptions being The Shield and Daniel Bryan, because The Shield are the best self-advocates ever, and Bryan is too popular to ignore).

  3. #3
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    There's a lot to be said on the comparisons of how music and wrestling have evolved. Certainly from my perspective as a rock fan. I barely even know any bands that have come out this century, the majority of bands I listen to are either from or have their roots in the 70s and 80s - i.e. the heyday of rock.

    Compare that to wrestling, and the biggest stars have their roots in wrestling's heydays, i.e. the 80s and 90s.

    There is probably a good column in investigating the end of wrestling's territorial era in comparison to the emergence of manufactured pop music.

  4. #4
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    A couple of things, firstly from your opening I suddenly had the realistion that Rhonda should lose at Survivor Series. So far she has had no true adversity to overcome and heroes are best when they have to overcome something and a loss would actually set her up for even greater popularity. It won't happen because Vince loves his heroes as the all conquering Supermen who have no faults and always get the last laugh. Still that is my thought.

    From the main part I would say part of the problem is that the WWE does two things that prevent it from reaching those levels. Mainly it talks about they current product like it is the biggest and best thing ever but the problem is they talk about EVERYTHING like it is the biggest and best thing ever and it just comes of as disingenuous and forced. For greatness to exist there has to be things that are less grate and the WWE propaganda machine wont allow that.

    Secondly whenever push comes to shove the WWE puts those past generations as greater than the current generation. Remember the New Day getting sacrificed so Foley, Austin & HBK could have a moment at Mania 32. Perfect example of the most popular trio at the time being made to seem lesser than three old dudes. More recently the Super Show and Crown Jewel were headlined by past generations and the propaganda machine made it seem like they were the most important guys on the card. Point being that while the WWE may talk at times like the current generation is great the congnative dissonance is too great given how they are actually presented in comparison to the past.

    Great stuff though Don. You are producing things at a rate of knotts.



    @Sir_Samuel

  5. #5
    @Burn - You so right dude. Catching lightning in a bottle is one thing, but being able to create a thunderstorm out of it is where WWE should at. But this guys in creative just don't seem able.

    The is for the read and feed!

    @Dyno - Yeah man, that was my whole theory. Nothing is as good as it once was and it takes so much to even get it close to that level. And when they actually get close they can't capitalize.

    I Don't know much about the territories but that definitely sounds like I column I would read.

    Thanks for the read and feed!

    @Sammy - I also feel as Ronda should lose, but mainly because I love Becky. However, your point remains valid that faces are at their beat when they have adversity to overcome.

    Yeah, everything is apparently great. It's like watching WWE in the hyperbole time chamber. They will never admit on live tv if somethi g was less than stellar.

    Vince loves the old stars way too much. Yes, they made his company super popular but he does t owe them anything and it's time for him to finally force the generation of yesterday to hang up their boots permanently.

    Glad you liked this. Thanks for the read and feed!

  6. #6
    The Brain
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    Don, this is maybe your best since coming back! You've been on a real hot streak here.

    On the meat of the column, I'll just say for the record that I love wrestling history and it doesn't suck! It's actually awesome. That said, I totally get where you're coming from with this. There are a lot of fans who get hung up on a certain period and can't seem to get into anything new, and that's a big problem. I think you're also right that WWE is doing themselves no favors in this department by and large, though there are definitely some exceptions to this. What worked for me was to look outside the WWE sphere, I've discovered new products like Lucha Underground that I like even more than a lot of the classic wrestling that first drew me in. That may not work for everyone, but I think remembering the impressive variety that exists in wrestling if you look below the surface can help shake us out of a rut. I was ready to give up on wrestling around 2013 but by making the jump to Impact and then from there to other promotions, I've never loved wrestling more!

    I'm right there with you when talking about the older wrestlers we see too much of these days. I will put one caveat on that though, I don't mind it half so much if the older guys are there to rub shoulders with and, hopefully, put over the younger guys. I'm no Triple H fan, but I give him some credit for at least trying to give some members of the current generation a bigger spotlight (though sometimes his methods seem counterproductive).

    And I am the damn captain of the Angle Retirement Team. He's looked like death on two legs for about 5 years now, but I've got no doubt he's got Ric Flair disease where in his mind he thinks he could wrestle 6 days a week still. The sooner WWE stops putting him in the ring, the sooner I'll get to stop wondering about how badly he's going to hurt himself one of these days.

    Good stuff here man, for sure!

  7. #7
    @Mizzie - Thanks for the compliment my man. And yeah, of course you would say history doesn't suck lol. But hey, there is a lot of great things historically. Those periods that WWE gets stuck in really causes problem because they aren't able to move away from that which has a detrimental effect on the product. Unlucky for me, though, that other alternatives are not that easily accessible I my country.

    Totally agree that if an old star returns to put over a new star then by all means they are most welcome l but if they are here to settle old scores from 20 years ago the they can fuck right off. As for Angle, I do not want to see a wrestler die in the ring. These older stars should atop trying to hold onto the glory that they once had and just learn to let it go.

    Glad you liked this, Miz.

  8. #8
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    To your point about them never wanting to admit something was 'less than'. I remember at Mania when AJ v Nakamura finished and it was so obvious they had underwhelmed Michael Cole was going on about how it was one of tee best matches ever and it just grated so hard against what the true reaction in the arena was.



    @Sir_Samuel

  9. #9
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    Another thing that makes a long time fan jaded is the quality of WWEs video packages. I mean you can skip the weekly product and its no problem, because WWEs production team puts together these epic intro packages that feel like motion picture taglines for their ppvs. The same is applied to its history. These video packages, movies, dvds, books all paint such a rosey picture of the past, leaving out all the imperfections of the time. No period of time was without its flaws. We see current product and see the ugly too. In 20 years video packages will make 2018 WWE look majestic.


    The other thing is, as kids, we were new to the product. They are running a lot of similar angles and outcomes that they did back then too, but now it is recycled to us. To a kid now though, it's interesting to them- like it was to us. New eyes versus old eyes.


    I wrote a series called Layers Of Love back in I think February? That I would invite you to check out if the board hadnt been reset since then. It was literally me going through this exact crisis as a fan. Which is one of the reasons why this column felt compelling to me. You are right, we have to let the past go for the most part. At least in regards to comparison. It was great for what it was, but holding it up now wont help anything. There is some good in 2018 though. You just gotta squint at times to find it lol.


    And if anyone wanna smoke a joint with old Stone Cold give me a hell yeah! Lol


    Good column, Don. Happy Birthday, and I already said this, but it is nice to see you back.
    Last edited by Kleckamania; 5 Days Ago at 10:44 AM.


  10. #10
    @Sammy - That is a prime example of how they shot on their fans. I understand that they want to make as though there shows are the best, but alot of the time it just comes across as forced.

    @Kleck - Totally agree about the video packages. I remember back when I first started watching there were at least 4 video packages on the show and they brilliant, especially for the last match where they had the theme son playing in the background. Also agree that the video packages that they make today about the past they leave out all the crappy parts to make even young fans think that everything back in the day was the shit.

    Good point you make about WWE recycling past tropes. I supposed we have seen it all. And what goes on now is just different versions of the same characters and stories that we have already seen.

    Layers of Love does sound familiar. But WWE really does need to let go. We shouldn't have to squint to see the good in WWE.

    I still find it hard to picture Stone Cold smoking a joint, especially after his comments lol.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this and thanks for the birthday wish!

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