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Why we, the IWC. have hurt wrestling

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First and foremost, credit goes to 'alcrissam' for his post "why the internet hurts wrestling." While some may not have agreed with some of his points, the premise brings to light the consequential effect of internet reporting related to the wrestling industry.

There seems to have always existed an argument regarding pro wrestling and whether it was considered a sport, theater, or a marriage of both? I would assume that 'both' would be the popular answer, considering pro-wrestlers maintain their bodies similar to sports athletes, perform athletic feats, yet the matches they compete in are scripted.

I bring this point up because it is at the crux of the discussion as to whether internet reporting on pro-wrestling is taking away from the product we see on TV or in person. And it all comes back to what we perceive wrestling to be: Sport or theater.

If you notice, the way the internet reports wrestling is on par with how sports are covered on outlets such as ESPN. There are reports of wrestlers who signed or were let go of, incidents involving pro-wrestlers and so on. However, it's when the IWC and webmasters of sites such as this one begin to divulge future storylines known as "spoilers" pertaining to planed storyline plots for the future. While some will argue that it's up to each person to choose whether to read those stories or not, a bigger point is being lost here....

Do you want to know the ending to a movie before you see it? Would you prefer to know how a season of your favorite show will end after the first episode? You see, even the existence of these spoilers is pointless to why we watch wrestling. We want to be entertained. Pro-wrestling can only accomplish this through storylines, and it's pursuit of "surprising" it's audience. The NBA, NFL, MLB have the unplanned nature of their sport which is what drives us to watch them. If we knew information about how a basketball game would end, how intrigued would we be to watch the game? Less. No, not totally turned off from watching it, but much less interested.
Pro-wrestling isn't afforded this unscripted, reality tv type of entertainment. Again, they depend on their stories to drive in audiences.

I ask you, for those of you who do read storyline "spoilers," what satisfaction do you get from knowing what WWE plans to do for a main event at SummerSlam, or next years Wrestlemania? How does the product benefit from storyline leaks?

It doesn't, and as a matter of fact, it hurts the product well beyond just simply spoiling storylines....

In their struggle to stay ahead of the curve, the WWE, TNA and other major wrestling promotions have become so aware of the IWC, that as a unintended consequence, they have began to alter their planned storylines. Storylines that would have been good for wrestling and it's audience had it been kept from being spoiled. Example below.

Chris Jericho being brought in to feud with CM Punk. For most of the IWC, we wanted this, we looked forward to it. But once the "news" broke that Jericho was indeed signed to come back to WWE, the excitement and surprise dwindled. When Jericho came out on Raw, instead of jumping out of our seats, we yawned. That initial moment, when I new or returning star is introduced is the most crucial to the continuing of that storyline. If that falls flat, the rest will follow. Then the Royal Rumble happened. And instead of seeing a Randy Orton or the aforementioned Jericho win, we get the Great White Bore winning, done IMO not so much to "get Sheamus over" but rather to throw off the IWC who predicted Orton or Jericho would be victorious.

We all complain about how wrestling isn't as exciting was years ago. We beg the WWE to do something to entertain us, yet in our own hypocrisy, we want to know everything behind the scenes from who they are bringing in to what they plan on doing. It annoys me that WWE has to concentrate not only on developing new wrestlers and storylines, but also worry about a writer going to a wrestling news site and spilling the beans on whats going to happen down the road.

The long and short of it is we, the IWC, in our desire for over information, have had a helping hand in dwindling the pro-wrestling product. Our desires to know what's going to happen have set the stage for disappointing Raws, Smackdowns and Pay-per-views. Whether you choose to click on the spoilers or not, the fact that they exist are the problem. Wrestling is not a sport. It is a show. But I ask you again, name me a show on TV or a movie in the theater that is better to watch when you know what's going to happen? I'm sorry guys, but I can't. And I am just as guilty of wanting to be over-informed as anyone in the IWC, but in reflecting on why the wrestling product has been so porous over the past years, I found a part of the problem: Me. We need help from ourselves sometimes, and perhaps letting "them" surprise us is more important than the temptation to know what's going to happen.

IMO.

I appreciate your time reading this, and am eager to hear YOUR opinion on this topic, whether it's agreeing or disagreeing. We are all fans no matter what, and here's hoping to a better product sooner than later.

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Updated 05-17-2012 at 07:17 PM by Frank

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  1. DK Wrestling Savior's Avatar
    I couldn't agree more. You nailed it right on the head...which is why most of the time, I don't read those reports, and I NEVER take them as fact. It drives me nuts when I blog about something, and then I get hardcore IWC'ers trying to invalidate my opinions because of reports of why this or that happened. Drives me insane.

    Great Blog.
  2. Phillyraines's Avatar
    excellent blog! couldnt agree with you more -i've been saying this for a few years. I too avoid the spoilers and news as much as I can.
  3. TheLegendaryIcon's Avatar
    How often do these spoilers actually happen, except in the case of taped show coverage? I'd say a vast majority of the things I've read as spoiler reports have turned out to be false. This is mainly due to the fact they they keep several branching revisions of scripts ready to go and once something has been reported, usually long-term plans, they will generally change script to negate that.

    I believe that last bit all goes back to the Tony Schiavone world title incident. Where WWF had the title changing hands on a "canned goods" RAW while Nitro was live that night. Vince should've known better than to do a major title change on a taped show. He learned his lesson and it's part of the reason WWE does business as they do now. For example, Smackdown won't have any major events occur unless it's a live show. Superstars never has anything "good" happen, because it's always taped.

    If TNA ever became a real fly in WWE's ointment, they would Schiavone them. Hard to protect against when you don't do live shows and even go so far as to tape your shows 2 weeks out. Though as it said on the front page they're going live weekly. This is probably one of the major reasons for them moving forward on such a thing. And to counter? WWE is putting a third hour on RAW, their already live show. (Side note: Nice to finally see them doing business against each other rather than simply stealing gimmicks.)

    As for the taped shows, it's your choice to look at the coverage/spoilers or not. If you do and don't like the show afterward, that's your own fault. Though I use the spoilers to simply skip over the parts in the now 3 hour show that doesn't interest me when I watch it on Tuesday.
  4. alcrissam's Avatar
    Excellent blog. You enhanced my point with logical points of your own, and I thank you. I agree with everything you said. Keep blogging.
  5. Taneel's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by TheLegendaryIcon
    How often do these spoilers actually happen, except in the case of taped show coverage? I'd say a vast majority of the things I've read as spoiler reports have turned out to be false.
    That is the problem. When their original plans get leaked, they move to plan B, and on occasions, plan C. That is why it isn't as good as it could have been
  6. Mikeyboy7777777's Avatar
    this blog is a good reason for me to try not to read all the spoilersXD
  7. Marx's Avatar
    It's a snake biting it's own tail. I get bummed out by the negativity. The companies can't do anything without the IWC moaning, not in a 'they could have done that better'-kinda way, but in a 'wrestling is dead that was shit I hope Orton/Cena/insert name curls up and dies'.

    I like a lot of thing WWE and TNA are doing right now, and dislike a lot, and like to read other people's opinion about it. And I am very interested in the workings of the business, I like the autobiographies and 'looking-back' dvd's.

    To keep up, I read the news, read the blogs. On the other side: the negativity bums me out and spoils my fun. But I read anyway, because it's a habit that's hard to kick.
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