For as long as I can remember I have been a pro-wrestling fan …
and whilst most grow out of it in their teens, it is a love affair that I have flirted with since my childhood. My journey began with stars like Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage and the Ultimate Warrior heading the WWF company. I remember staying up late to watch PPVs on Sky Sports when I was in High School and paying for PPVs when I lived on my own around 5 years ago.
Recently World Wrestling Entertainment (@WWE) have been pushing a character called CM Punk (@CMPunk), pictured above, with a unique storyline. This fresh approach has been to call the management and the status quo on the actions that have led to a decline in interest in wrestling from older and more passionate wrestling fans. Many of whom have since transferred their viewing pleasure to TNA (or Total Non-Stop Action) because of their stylistic differences with WWE and because of their choice of talent on the roster.
TNA unfortunately fell into the same trap as WCW (or World Championship Wrestling), who WWE now own and made defunct; in using old and veteran talent like Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Sting, Ric Flair and others. What made them different (Samoa Joe, AJ Styles, Christopher Daniels and many more) have been suffocated by a wrestling that does not exist any more.
WWE’s monopoly of the wrestling market signalled their success but also suffocated the desire to be fresh and competitive with the way they delivered their product. They had no-one to push them, and so were able to focus on what only they wanted to do. They created stars like John Cena, Batista, Bobby Lashley and Brock Lesnar in this time and many real fans won’t give you great reaction about them. These guys may have been buff but were no way the right leaders of the company.
CM Punk’s promotion to main event status, and priority storyline, signals to us old wrestling fans that maybe we’ll get wrestling back rather than the sports entertainment crap that propelled Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson (@TheRock) into such great films as The Tooth Fairy, ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin (@SteveAustinBSR) into The Condemned, Triple H into The Chaperone and the Big Show into Knucklehead. As a fan for over 20 years this is the guy to lead the next generation of WWE superstar talent.
With this week’s RAW show it looks like WWE want to become one big brand again, rather than the separated RAW and SmackDown brands, which may be one good step to ensuring that WWE becomes good wrestling again. The company has identified who the premiere brand is and who the talent they want to push are, and for some fans they’ll watch one show or the other. Having a wealth of good main event talent means that they aren’t looking to pin the title on either John Cena or Randy Orton, and that they can have a good Tag Team divison rather than Otunga and Hennig’s son forced together.
Whatever does happen I know I want to see more real wrestling. The WWE cannot compete for entertainment because it’s not that kind of show. IT needs to stick to what it is a world leader in. Wrestling.
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