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Darkside Ron Garvin

How to regain a loyal fan

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Seeing as how this is the first time I have blogged about ANYTHING, I figured I would make my first blog about something I have been passionate about for years. I am a loyal fan to the Wrestling Industry. I depict my view this way because I am not simply about wrestling from the view of living in the past eras, nor do I agree with calling things “brands”. I simply enjoy wrestling. From the first time I watched AWA with my grandfather. The first VHS tapes I bought (WrestleMania 3 and Starcade 86’: Night of the Sky Walkers). The first tape I traded for (it was for a very well put together ECW compilation). I grew up around a bunch of Texans that spoke as if every member of the Von Erich family as if they could break your face if you looked at them the wrong way. My attraction to the art came from watching wrestlers who could tell stories with their matches even if they weren’t “the top guy.” I loved watching the athleticism of athletes that could go for 15 minutes without the hint of being blown up. I loved watching the death defying feats of the high flying risk takers, and the viciousness of the brawlers. The feeling you get when you notice that hint of greatness in the hungry up and comers. In short, I loved all aspects of the industry.

Now with all this having been said, I must admit that I miss the wrestling industry. It has been replaced by the wrestling business. Much like Shane Douglas in his infamous speech said, I believe that wrestling as an industry is dead, RIP. Yes, we still make a market value for the business, but the business (or sports entertainment) itself is not what I personally care to watch. There are splashes of greatness in the likes of ROH, NOAH, and on occasions inside the 2 bigger companies. But those moments are fewer and further between. The Indies run fewer shows which grant them a better chance at putting together successful programs, but the 2 bigger companies rarely showcase the potential of half the athletes on their respective rosters. I believe in the industry and that it will soon make its return to the greatness that I know is there, but I would like to take a moment to acknowledge why it isn’t where I feel it could/should be.

Writers get blamed for everything. Unfortunately, this is always what is going to be pointed at first. In the IWC, it is common to hear that “the writers aren’t using The Miz right”, or that “the Dolph Ziggler should be on top but creative isn’t pushing him like they should.” I respect writers and the fact that they create a “living” script that has to be refreshed each and every day virtually, but there is a simple fact that I feel as though some fans forget. While Sting, The Rock, Y2J, Cena were becoming the headliners of their companies battling for the mid-card titles, using them as the “stepping stones” they were intended to be, they had veterans that were carrying the company at the time. This is something that the likes of CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Randy Orton, and numerous others don’t have. I see the overflowing potential of these guys and I do think that they deserve to be world champions. I do not, however, think that they should be multiple time world champions.

Let me explain why I believe to be this true. Before HHH became the World Champion that had the credibility he has, he was battling over the IC championship. It was in those matches that he gained respect from so many who saw that this man is a future World Heavy Weight Champion. Some of Bret Hart’s best work was battling for the same title. HBK made his name as a singles wrestler by showcasing himself in matches for the IC belt. The difference is that these guys weren’t “needed” to carry the company’s top title(s). There were veterans that could hold the belt for an extended time period and give the younger guys time to develop. The youth of the business are now being forced into a spot they should not have to be in. Yes, creative gets crazy and gives people the belt the moment there is a whisper about how good a character is coming across, but who else are they going to give it to?

The likes of Y2J haven’t been there full time for a while. The tragedies that took away two of the potential greatest in the business not only affected the industry at the time, but it robbed these younger guys of much needed time to get audiences to invest into their formulating characters. The ones who jumped ship (Brock, Angle, ect.) have prevented these people from getting the audience tuned into who they truly are as a talent. The newest generation is going through perhaps the toughest transition. No more Undertaker who can credibly carry that belt and no one would question it. No more Edge to hold it long enough to buy these guys time to polish up. As much as I feel many people hate Hogan and others for not relinquishing their spot, the one good thing about them doing so is that it made me care more about the younger guys who I knew, once they had their chance, would take the ball and never let me down.

If this is a blog about how to get an old fan back, the first thing I will tell you that I want to see is that you give my younger guys time to develop before you throw them down my throat for 2-4 months and then set them on the back burner to just become lost in the crowd. I know that WWE can’t control what happens with the tragedies like Eddie and Chris. I know that they can’t help when injuries force UT and Edge out of the limelight. They can, however, control the title changes and make the mid-card titles matter again. They can make angles play out longer than 3 weeks in between Pay per Views. Should they go overboard with a full year’s build-up? I don't necessarily think so but, if done right, yes. It has to be done with the careful thought, and precision planning in which it used to occur. It has to be done in a way to make me care about the angle. The build up to the match is just as important as the match itself. I find myself sounding as if I am repetitious with my statements all around the IWC, but that is because I am passionate about this industry.

This is my first blog, so I encourage constructive criticism. I encourage you to tell me if you even care to hear another one from me. But my final statement is this. To me, this is not just a business in which money is to be made. This is heritage. This is what I grew up talking about at Sunday dinner. This is a bond I shared with my closest family members. This is industry is what I have dedicated my “fandom” to. Some people follow their football team religiously. Some follow their favorite bands on tour. I follow wrestling. I am proud to say that, but I am tired of having to explain to people that the WWE (and to an extent, TNA) is the wrestling business. I want them to be one in the same again. The hopes I see in a Jon Moxley, or the prospect of a Kings of Wrestling tag team reunion, the idea of a Kevin Steen getting the shot to be developed the right way are the small hopes that I am living on that one day, I will be able to have that again.

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  1. nothingmusic42's Avatar
    i agree with a lot of what you wrote. i grew up in the 80's era of wrestling, and watching guys like Honky-Tonk Man, Ultimate Warrior, Macho-Man, and Jake the Snake (one of my all-time favorites) battle for the mid-card belts often gave us fans a better match than the main-eventers. Hulk Hogan vs. Iron Sheik for the 15th time was cool, but Macho Man vs Jake Roberts was a hell of a lot more fun!
    i also feel that a lack of a strong tag-team division is hurting WWE right now. guys like Edge, Jeff Hardy, Christian and many more first got their national attention in tag-teams, then transitioned into mid-card singles wrestlers, then finally main-event status. Combined with the proper manager/ valet, tag-teams were as well-respected as main-eventers. hell, The Rockers vs The Hart Foundation have given fans a damned near 20 year feud between Brett and Shawn.
    finally, and this is something you touched on, but i think that having a monthly PPV has been bad for the industry. story lines and feud simply aren't given enough time to generate buzz before the participants are fighting in a Steel Cage/ Ladder Match/ name-your-gimmick at a PPV. Razor Ramon vs Shawn Micheals in a Ladder Match for the IC Title was the culmination of several months of feuding, so when it occurred, the fans had become emotionally invested in the outcome.
    sorry for the rambling, but this was an excellent blog that discussed several things that have bothered me about the industry as well.
  2. monctonvike's Avatar
    awesome blog. Very well said, look forward to some more great blogs from you in the future. I think you have a great perspective on your topic, and I couldn't have articulated your point better than that. great job
  3. The Next Big Thing's Avatar
    I think this is a brilliant blog, and I couldn't agree with you more. Keep em up.

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