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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. Bagg's Avatar
    I just want to say man, REALLY well written blog. Now regarding the writers changing things on the fly to dupe the IWC, I dont think we can necessarily be blamed for this. I think this whole heartedly rests on the company. Just because some bloggers think that Kharma is coming in to take the title from the Bellas, doesnt mean they have to do a 180 and put leyla out there, to a DEAD reaction, as an example. They back themselves into a huge corner doing things like this because they make it so nothing makes sense.

    I agree with you to an extent on not wanting to know when things are happening and how things end, ever since jericho showed up on raw the first time and i thought "what if i was sitting there, with NO idea, and that titantron lit up with his name, I may have had a stroke". So it certainly changed a lot of things but i wouldnt necessarily say its all for the worse. Case in point, we all had a pretty good idea lesnar was showing up on raw. So....I watched it. I knew from spoilers that Antonio Cesaro was debuting on smackdown a few weeks back, so.....I watched it. I knew in the lesnar/big show match years ago on smackdown that the ring "collapsed" in their match....so...I watched it. I may not have

    So in short, i agree on some of your points, but i think others really help out. I mean, one of the best angles of the last decade, something with real emotion and soul, Edge vs. Matt hardy, evolved from something that WE knew. Otherwise, if it wasnt for the internet, the case could be made that Hardy would never have come back and we wouldnt have gotten that sick feud. While you cant harness talent, i think the IWC had a lot to do with the recent pushes of Punk and Daniel Bryan. And this whole King Mo situation in TNA, i have no idea who the guy is. But ill tell you what ill do, ill youtube this guy and find out a ton more about him, so ill know more when he does show up. Theres a lot of plusses and a lot of minuses but for me, im happy with where things are.
  2. willy316's Avatar
    Will say this. With the way WWE is churning out crappy programs and poor story lines, it saves time to read and find out about the crap rather than actually sit and waste 2 hours of our time watching the crap they dish out.
    Good blog mate !!
  3. Lucas Chapel's Avatar
    I completely agree. Dirtsheets have ruined so many big supprises for me in the past. Now I make sure I don't look at any dirtsheets when I'm watching an up-and-coming wrestlin event.
    Anyother thing the IWC ruins is people's oppinions of wrestlers. So many times I've noticed my opinion of a wrestler effected by what others say online. You know what? I think Lord Tensai and Mason Ryan are fuckin' brilliant I couldn't care less what anyone else has to say.

    Imagine if the IWC would have been around during the Hogan era... He'd be just as hated as Cena is now. Imagine when Undertaker debuted.... Everyone would have bee crying out at the silly zombie gimmick! Now we're all linked up to each other's opinions, our own ones are watered down.

    Note - TNA did a brilliant job of keeping Angle's signing a secret from the dirtsheets, I remember actually being shocked when he debuted. Same goes for Nash and Booker-T's returns to WWE in 2011.

    Reading wrestling spoilers, for me unfortunatly has become something of a foul addiction...
  4. ComingToCinemas's Avatar
    I stopped reading spoilers and news a while back now, I simply use this site to blog on Raw every Monday.

    I completely agree the IWC ruins sports entertainment. If you find out the results you take away half of the entertainment value (the retained half being that of the athletic feats). You wouldn't watch a football match after finding out the result unless you heard there was some kind of superhuman feat involved, and the same goes for pro-wrestling.

    Also, a large majority of the IWC are partly responsible for the rise to TV of Zack Ryder - point made.
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