Thursday, April 10, 2008

Random commentary

Hey guys - between being sick (see for the explanation) - and my still-kaput satellite (ie, not exactly prime TNA watching tonight, or ECW on Tuesday, or Raw on Monday as already discussed), I've been out of the wrestling loop moreso than I'd like this week, and therefore not posting as often (or, more to the point, as in-depth) as I would like. But I would like to mention a few of the things that have been bandied around on the internet newswaves of late, with some thoughts:

  1. The new TNA video game: with both Kurt Angle AND Samoa Joe hyping the new TNA video game as superior to Raw vs. Smackdown 2008 - universally seen as one of the best wrestling video games of all time, and very cutting edge - it had better be good! TNA unfortunately has developed a rep for hyperbole, with its overeager, overloud announce team of Mike Tenay and Don West, with Kurt Angle developing a reputation as a Hulk Hogan-esque, kayfabe artist truth stretcher, and a lot of blind eyes being turned to discontent in the locker room, TNA should stick to setting reasonable expectations for its product. That way, if those expectations are exceeded (ie, with their women's division) it is a pleasant and fascinating surprise. If not, it is generally understood that it is a young and growing company - however, if they are trying to pass themselves off as genuine competition to WWE (and perhaps even their better), they are going to be held to that standard and - I'm sorry - found wanting. It's been said before but it bears repeating: whatever else, you cannot out-WWE the WWE. You can focus on the wrestling product, target a different demo, do any number of things - but what they do, they do the best. Success for TNA lies in differentiating, not copying and comparing, the original.
  2. The Rock and what he owes the wrestling world: I tend to agree with those who say he doesn't owe it anything. The reality is he is resented by wrestlers because he had the talent, gumption and intelligence to do what they all wish they could do: make more money, working less, at a less physically demanding job. I mean, let's face it - what does Vince McMahon say about his wrestlers? That he makes movies, and they are action stars. Well, then, the Rock really is still doing the same job right? Making more money for fewer hours and less strain on his body. Other than a real lifer like Ric Flair with a real specific love for the business, he is only doing what every other wrestler who is honest with themselves would do as they get older and have a family, etc. Those who say otherwise, simply put, are jealous, or simply not that bright. Having said that - IS wrestling where the Rock comes from, and should he be grateful for that? Yes. It would be NICE for him to make more WWE appearances, and so on - but he isn't OBLIGATED to, is my point. To me, he does a service for wrestling every time he goes out there to promote a movie or do interviews: everyone knows his original job was as a pro wrestler, and he is a talented and well-spoken individual who it is public knowledge was a part of this industry. He is a gold nugget of PR for a business that sorely needs one.
  3. The drugs found in the former home of Mike Knox and 3 other wrestlers - I understand in light of the Benoit tragedy, the steroid bust earlier which saw ten wrestlers suspended etc., that this is news. But meanwhile, does the mainstream media know that on the acclaimed "Idol Gives Back" program last night, four wrestlers appeared to shill for charity? That the WWE goes to Iraq every Christmas? That they had 50 Make-a-Wish kids in the audience at Wrestlemania 24, one of their best pay-per-views in months, if not years? Oh! Right! No. They're too busy talking about the pyro accident which mildly injured a few fans in the nosebleeds. Not saying those stories, or Andrew "Test" Martin's DUI arrest this week, aren't newsworthy. But wrestling is not all evil, either - that's like suggesting every pop singer is Britney Spears, or every supermodel is Naomi Campbell. While their are ills in those industries which must be addressed, it is simply not true and I'd love to see the day a feel-good piece was written about the good the WWE does, alongside all the smut and tragedy.
And that's it folks! I'll hopefully have my TV back tomorrow and be back w/my comments on Smackdown - if not, I'll be back with a plea for a report. ;) Cheers for now then.


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