The Wrestling Genius: You Sent’em, I Responded
This week I thought I’d turn the column over to you guys in the form of answering your emails. Now some of these I’ve already responded to directly but they raised a good enough point, question, or concern that I thought I’d share them with the class.
“You are right, people do tend to trash new guys and the new era, but they don’t see that it’s the creative part of WWE that they need to be trashing. The Miz, Morrison, Shameus, and Barrett are all very talented. There’s nothing they don’t have that Austin or Rock does or did have. The only thing lacking is seasoning which comes with time. I think if creative would let guys be more themselves and let them adlib things a little more, they might be surprised. Hulk Hogan had a very limited move set and his matches were predictable. However, like him or not (and I don’t) he could cut a promo and get little children excited about watching WWE. He knew how to dance with the moves he had so to speak. That’s what the young guys have to learn and people have to give them time. Now, the creative team could do better and I think that’s where people’s frustration is projected on to the PG Era or the young guys. Hell, even the Attitude Era had bad creative decisions like turning Austin heel when he just had a rejuvenation in popularity or the watered down WCW invasion which was horrible, yet nobody brings that up do they?”
JG: Like I said in the column everyone feels the need to push aside the new era as not as good as the old. We forget the angles that don’t work and we only remember Mick Foley being thrown off the top of the Cell, or we only remember The Undertaker for his awesome matches and forget what a terrible angle the whole Stephanie McMahon on a crucifix angle really was. We gloss over what we love because we love it so much and we want to believe that things use to be better because it’s easier to complain then it is to build up. People are just that way and I find myself guilty of it from time to time.
“This is ill relevant, but I am a African American. Now I am not a pro black-anti white, type of person. I never use the race card in any area of life. I believe a person’s actions and soul is the true definition of ones self. But I’ve noticed a few things which leads me to my question, does it matter if your black or white? I know you saw R-Truth’s heel turn on Raw. No I’m excited that they made this heel turn, cause its the beginning of growth in that character. Ric Flair said it best, ‘some of the greatest wrestlers all worked heel’ I believe in this philosophy, but the last time a black character turned heel, it didn’t go over at all. That being Shad Gaspard. I’m not gonna point fingers and play the blame game, cause its as much the wrestler’s fault at times, so maybe Shad was a bad example. Lashley is another case where I blame the wrestler and not the company. But Shelton Benjamin is a one of my cases of ‘what happened there?’”
-Diesel (the name given, but isn’t Diesel from WWE obviously)
JG: This has been a subject I’ve wanted to talk to someone about for a while now but as a white person it’s a hard subject to approach. My feeling is, is that the WWE is run by a bunch of white guys who think they know black culture but they really don’t. Crime Time, the new R-truth, just to name a few were talented black wrestlers who were/are saddled with caricatures of the ‘hood’ society. Then you have Kofi Kingston who keeps getting a few pushes but then gets stopped for no real apparent reason. The WWE seems to want to push black stars but only so far. TNA cutting Jay Lethal was more of a political thing because he rubbed a lot of the writers the wrong way, especially after Creed left to join the WWE. I have hope for the future for guys like Big Zeek, Kofi, Benjamin (who just resigned with the WWE), and a few others. It’s just hard for me to believe that the WWE can’t find and push one charismatic black star. Percy Watson has the potential, dumb gimmick right now but he has the potential to be a star. As for R-Truth I like the heel turn if they don’t make it too over the top, I liked the smoking segment, I dig the edge he’s bringing to the character now. That’s just my feelings on the subject.
“This is the last time today I’m gonna bother you. But since I have a true blue wrestling fan, I gotta ask this. Where do you stand with Chris Benoit? What I mean is, should he be written out of wrestling history just because of what he did? I know this is old news to yourself, but trust me, I mention Benoit I hear “who?” “the short guy missing teeth?” These are word for word testimonies. Yes what happened was horrible and disturbing. We all wish Benoit would’ve found another way to deal with his demons, much like Eddie did by coming out and getting help. But I’m one of those people who can’t forget the impact on this business he’s had. Most of my favorite matches involve Benoit, (royal rumble 2000 vs Angle, the best of seven series vs Booker T almost anything vs Eddie/Jericho/Malenko, the Pillman tribute show vs Regal, and the end of WM 20). Benoit contributed alot to professional wrestling. So because of what happened should we forget him all together. Oops I also forgot behind the only other man to win the royal rumble from number one. Just wanna hear you thoughts.”
JG: Personally I think we treat him the way we treat a monster like OJ Simpson. We all agree that he was an amazing football player, deserving of all the praise he gets, and all the accolades he won over the years. However we accept that he is a terrible person so we treat him as such. With Benoit I think the WWE needs to stop removing him from videos, need to stop pretending he wasn’t one of the greatest in ring performers of all time. He was a monster outside of the ring but that doesn’t mean we can forget his contribution to the business. He brought joy to millions of people with his matches, and while he was a terrible human, I don’t think we should forget him. He was a warhorse, we all liked. We don’t know what caused him to do the things he did and we shouldn’t be looking for reasons to justify what he did, but that doesn’t mean we pretend he never existed. Sorry if that came off as rambling but I personally feel they need a dvd on Benoit, and give 100% of the proceeds to battered women foundations or something like that. That way we get to see a guy we grew to appreciate in the ring, and help people who are hurting outside of the ring.
“Why are you an idiot that is essentially wrong about everything you say?”
JG: Well Nick because I have my own column and I can be wrong about everything I say. It’s worked for me so far.
“At Wrestlemania, when Cena and Miz match started there wasn’t much time left I thought the timing management for me was badly organized and the rock wasn’t shocking and surprising.
Question now is how much of the rock are we going to see between now and Wrestlemania.I think he should be involved with at least summer slam and survivor series and be in matches maybe be part of a 10 man tag he needs to wrestle before wrestlemania 28 .
Shawn Michae obviously had and awful injury in 98 but when he came back he looked like he was never injured. Steve Austin has had all sorts of injuries but now with him not having had a match for a long time has he healed and in good shape like Michaels was in 2002 whats the odds of him coming back (against the miz?)”
JG: Stone Cold looks like he’s in great shape, but from what I’ve read he has two disks fused in his neck, and two in his back. The likelihood of permanent paralysis is too high for him so I don’t think we’ll ever see him in another match but who knows anything is possible. I think The Rock probably won’t be back for a major push until around Royal Rumble, but that’s just speculation on my part. I mean he will be back in a few weeks but who knows what will happen after that. Like I said my guess is he comes back around Royal Rumble and makes the push then. Vince and the creative team know that with The Rock they can build the anticipation very quickly and wont need The Rock there to build the story. We are already excited one year out, and I don’t think that excitement will disappear.
I’m going to sum up some the emails I got in regards to my Edge column last week. I’m glad so many of you appreciated it as much as you did. That means a lot to me, and some of you brought up some great points I missed on. A few things you guys were I wouldn’t say upset, but very vocal about that I missed was the fact that Edge was a huge wrestling fan before he was even in the WWE. To that, I say, you are correct he was, but so was the majority of the guys who are in this business. There aren’t a lot of guys in the business who didn’t love the business as a kid. Wrestling is a passion that millions share but so few get to actually act it out. So it was really cool to see one of our own ‘make it’ but in reality most of these guys were us as kids. They watched the same matches we watched and those matches shaped their lives the same way they shaped ours.
Thanks again for reading and if you want to get in contact with me you can do so by emailing me here: email@example.com or you can bug me via twitter @JaredGebhardt. As always, I try to get to every single email and tweet I get.
The Wrestling Genius: Jared Gebhardt
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