I have had a lot of people and workers ask me this question, “whats wrong with wrestling these day’?” Well honestly there is not enough room in this blog to answer that question nor is there enough time! To be honest it is a question that is subjective, everyone has their own opinion on this. If you were to ask some veterans and by that I mean guys who have actually made a living in this business and worked in and for the big companies, they would give you a dissertation on this subject.
One of the answers I always get and I agree with is, the lack of respect for the business. There is a lack of respect for the veterans in the business, there is a lack of respect for the art of wrestling in general. No one wants to accept their role and do what they have to do in order for the entire show to be good. For example most of the young guys when they get the opportunity to be a heel, they want to be a tuff unbeatable heel! Gone is the heel that begged for his life in the ring to get the face to let his guard down so that the heel could get in his cheap shot. Gone is the spot where the heel turns the face from the ref and shows the crowd that he is going to give him a shot to the throat! No one rakes the eyes across the top rope anymore or simply puts a thumb to the eye or uses an eye gouge. I can’t tell you the last time I saw a heel on his knees in the ring begging for the face not to hit him anymore. Everyone wants to be big and bad and cheat and use a gimmick to win a match or just be so over powering they crush their opponent in the ring. What’s wrong with that you may ask? Well for one thing it in no way builds the face in anyway shape or form. It gives no credibility to the face so the fans can get behind them and support them! It in no way builds any sympathy for the face, no one ever feels sorry for the face anymore, the sympathy factor is a tool in the arsenal of a promotion and it is a strong tool to be used to build a face. Knowing how to be a heel, who that person is and why he or she is a heel, what made them a heel. Most guys think, oh I am a heel tonight and that means I cheat to win, I make faces at the kids in the crowd and tell the old ladies to shut up and sit down. There is just so much more to being the heel than that, like I mentioned before one of your jobs as the heel is to build the face and make him or her the hero. But again we could spend hours on this so I guess it would be best if I would have just said there is a lack of psychology in general in the business today.
Another problem I personally have seen is the lack of a booker for promotions. To be honest there are very few good bookers around and there are even less bookers coming up learning what it takes to book a match. Everyone wants to be or have a writer in their promotion, or the owner is the booker and champion in the promotion. Booking at the independent level of professional wrestling at a promotion that does not have a TV show is very simple. Heel VS Face, heel goes over 90% of the time to keep the crowd coming back to see the face get his revenge. If you keep the ego’s in check and book the matches this way it is really easy to work out and your crowd will keep coming back. The problem in this area is most of the guys do not understand what a work is. If they don’t go over every night they get upset because they don’t look like the hero, tough guy in front of their girl friend or wife! Come on guys it is a work, your acting and telling a story and if you can’t keep that straight in your own mind then stop wrestling.
The lack of dedication to the business is another problem. Guys think that they are dedicated because the show up every Saturday night. To some extent that is dedicated but to whom? I see very few dedicated enough to show up several hours before the matches and practice in the ring with their opponent to get their spots right. Very few promoters open their buildings during the week and let the guys practice. At the sometime very few guys will show up during the week and practice and train, training is something that should continue through out your career no matter how many years you have been in the business. Look at a pro baseball player or any sport as far as that goes, the veterans practice and participate in practice just like a first year guy. Tom Brady the Quarterback for the New England Patriots has a private coach he works with during the off season. So training is very important and keeps you sharp in the ring. Young guy’s just because you have been trained does not mean you have nothing else to learn or that you now know all you need to know. Working on your craft and learning from others will keep you sharp and gives you knowledge that you would not normally pick up. Most of the veterans I know would love to be able to work with a young guy especially someone who is honestly wanting to learn and respects the years of knowledge that they have to share with them.
Lack of training and training facilities is another factor in whats wrong. I can’t tell you how many workers I met that told me their trainers were…and there would be multiple guys and not one would be someone I have heard of or ever saw work, and that would be from the area I am in! I have met workers who because they went to a promotion one Saturday evening and one of the guys got them into the ring and taught them how to lock up and take a bump, consider themselves trained! Or guys who have told me the received on the job in the ring training! Then when they get into the ring and the match looks like two guys climbed out of the crowd and got into the ring and fought like girls they wonder why they don’t get a pop! I have watched matches that the crowd never cheered or booed one time for either worker. They “marks” in the crowd called spots and made fun of the guys in the ring, that gives this business a bad name and even less credibility than it has at this time. If you have never been trained at a professional training facility by someone who has a reputation as a professional wrestler, then you should never get in the ring, your dangerous and will get someone hurt or worse.
So in this brief write up you can see that the biggest problem or what I think is wrong with professional wrestling is just a lack of respect for a business that great men and women gave their blood and bodies and lives for. To step in the ring is an honor in its self, and if you do anything to bring disgrace or disrespect the legacy of professional wrestling in anyway then YOU ARE WHAT’S WRONG with the business!
Frank(Big Money) Martin.