Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Season 1 Finale: Why I Don't Watch Wrestling Anymore

The other night my good friend Folden came over and we decided to do something that we hadn’t done in a long time; watch WWE Monday Night RAW. Years ago Folden and I were the perennial scholars of professional wrestling at our school. We were two dudes whose fandom could only be rivaled by each other, and it created a bond between us. We were fans before the wrestling boom in the late 90’s and we were fans after the WWE’s (formerly the WWF) popularity had faded. We appreciated the athleticism that was involved and the entertainment the storylines provided. We stuck with it, even when the show became a shadow of its former self.

Eventually watching the show that we loved so much became a burden. The storylines became cheesy, the top wrestlers were unimpressive, and the over all tackiness became too much for us to bear. For the first time we were actually embarrassed to admit we liked professional wrestling, and that is when we knew that we had finally outgrown it. For a few years we would check the websites to see if anything interesting had happened, but we refused to turn on the TV and watch the show.

The other night we were watching a horribly depressing film called A Home of Our Own, and I needed some mind numbing entertainment to get over the emotional roller coaster I was on. I was checking my email during the movie and out of curiosity I ended up on a wrestling spoiler website. While there I learned that RAW was going to be a three hour event, with all 3 world titles on the line. The card had actually made me interested enough to suggest we watch the show. Folden, who was intrigued at the prospect of re-living “the good old days”, agreed with the proposed idea. With that we tuned in to our first Monday Night RAW together in years, and over the course of 3 hours we were reminded exactly why we stopped watching it.

Before I continue a few things need to be explained. For those of you who don’t watch wrestling you need to understand that RAW is just one of four shows the WWE puts on every week. The other shows are Friday Night Smackdown!, ECW on Tuesday nights, and Superstars on Thursdays. RAW, Smackdown!, and ECW each have their own roster of wrestlers that appear solely on their shows, while Superstars is a compilation show that is pre-taped at events and has no real significance when dealing with storylines or titles. The three main shows each have their own set of champions; RAW has the WWE Title, Smackdown! the World Heavyweight Title, and ECW has the ECW title.

Confused yet? Don't worry it gets worse.

Now even though they are supposed to be thought of as separate entities that are independent of each other, they all fly under the WWE banner which Vince McMahon is the chairman of.

Because of this cross promotion is a normal and completely expected thing to occur. With monthly Pay Per Views and the occasional super show, such as last nights RAW, wrestlers from different brands usually interact and compete against each other.

Last night WWE’s Chairman Vince McMahon came out on the show and reported that he was selling RAW to Donald Trump. Not WWE as a whole, but only RAW.

I'll repeat that: Vince McMahon said he was selling Monday Night RAW to Donald Trump.

Do you see the problem here?

RAW is not an independent company or franchise. It is a show that is owned by a bigger corporation…a PUBLICLY TRADED corporation.

Do you see the problem?

Do you?

You cannot sell Monday Night RAW to an outside conglomerate and still have the other shows advertise it. For this storyline to work RAW would no longer be a WWE property. That means no mention of RAW activities on the WWE website, no inclusion of RAW on WWE’s monthly PPV’s, and no more RAW matches on the compilation show Superstars. It would have to become COMPLETELY independent of WWE and its affiliated programs.

Do you see the problem yet?

Do you?


This storyline doesn’t have a leg to stand on. Forget the fact that it includes Donald “where is my self respect” Trump and go by the specific structure of the story they are trying to tell. It makes no sense. Why would WWE create a story that is so clearly full of plot holes and expect it to work?

It’s because Vince McMahon has absolutely zero respect for his audience’s intelligence and assumes they are all retarded.

Before I continue there is something you need to understand about me. I’m not someone that is quick to anger. I usually give everything the benefit of the doubt, and can let most things roll off my back, but one thing I can’t stand is when I feel genuinely disrespected. This is a very big issue for me, and I am willing to let friendships die if I feel disrespected by someone. First I let you know I feel wronged, and then I shut you out until you apologize. And, I don’t just ignore you when you talk to me, I DO NOT ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR EXISTENCE. There are plenty of people I don’t talk to this day because they couldn’t simply apologize for their behavior. And, don’t call it stubbornness because it’s not… its righteous anger.

That being said I feel like Vince McMahon has disrespected me. But, he didn't just disrespect me, he blatantly insulted my intelligence. He is being more than shunned...he has officially made my bucket list of people I’d like to see killed by a herd of charging rhinos.

I survived through a lot of the shit WWE has put me through. I played along with the Invasion storyline, I shook my head during the Kane/Katie Vick fiasco, and I almost swallowed my own tongue during The Great Kahli's title reign...but this is officially too much. It's too much because I genuinely feel insulted. Vince McMahon has basically confirmed why people think wrestling fans are low brow idiots who eat mayonnaise sandwiches and go to NASCAR events. If he believes he can throw out a plot that is this insulting to his fans intelligence than he obviously thinks they are stupid enough to believe it.

And, the sad truth is that most of the fan base ARE stupid enough to believe it. You know who else is stupid enough to believe it? THE WWE STOCK HOLDERS.

I'm done. I'm officially 100% out from this point on. I will no longer visit the spoiler websites to find out what's going on backstage, I won't watch the occasional PPV...I'M OUT. I'm an adult now and I don't have to be insulted like this by a man who thinks faking his own death on TV is a good idea. It's a shame because a lot of the workers are extremely talented guys who I've been watching since I was in middle school. I'll miss Jericho, Edge, Mysterio, and Christian. I hate to say goodbye to the Hardy Boys and the Big Show, but I simply can't take the lack of respect that McMahon shows to his fans. The only way I would ever watch wrestling again is if I got a job offer to write it, and even then it would have to be for a lot of money. And, I’m talking like, clearly fabricated large amounts of money. Like a gazillion dollars. Plus health benefits…and dental.

Who am I kidding, I’d do it for 20 bucks….I’m such a whore.

On a side note I’m taking the summer off from the blog to spend more time on some writing projects I’ve been working on. I don’t like staying inside on the computer too much during the summer months, and the time I do spend on the computer I want to work on other stuff. Don’t worry though loyal readers, I’ll be back in September. Consider this the end of Season 1. Season 2 will begin sometime in September 2009 and will be on a weekly format. Until then feel free to email, or facebook me with any suggestions for new articles, comments, or hate mail.

God, I love hate mail.

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