The ability to draw: Taking risks and opportunities
by, 09-14-2012 at 11:18 PM (3593 Views)
In the awe-inspiring world of professional wrestling, the wrestling business strives off of having the desire to succeed. It's something that's separates the wrestlers who are in this business for the love and respect of it to the wrestlers who use wrestling as a stepping-stone to achieve another career in entertainment (this isn't a shot at The Rock but at wrestlers who don't have a care for the business). Week in and week out, wrestlers who are new to the business and would take any opportunity they can get is the same attitude that can establish top draws in professional wrestling. It's the willingness to learn and study the pychology of the wrestling business which creates opportunities. Taking opportunities is also something that can get you ahead in this business and judging by the draws that took the opportunity to do what they love to do, I have cogent points to prove so.
Let's face it, wrestling is a cut-throat business. Every man is in it for themselves and will love nothing more than to throw someone under the bus just to get ahead in the cards. Some wrestlers just love competing in a wrestling ring no matter how they are booked on the card but most people want to be the top draw in professional wrestling. Backstage politics is something that has been in this business for a LONG time and will continue to be because like I said, everybody wants the opportunity of being the top drawer of their respective company. Shawn Michaels and Hulk Hogan are two good examples of backstage politics getting you ahead in this business. While I do not agree with throwing your respective peers under the bus and causing someone their jobs, you have to protect yourself in order to get ahead. You have to build up your self-importance because if you don't feel like you are great enough to carry the ball when given to you, then the bookers/promoters won't either. Sure, it'll rub people off the wrong way and can come off as a little chesty but eh, it's about getting over in this business and that's what really matters. The whole "I'm just happy to be here!" nice guy act isn't going to cut it and isn't something that can help create opportunities for you. Sometimes, people need to be arrogant every now and than as well as being humbled.
When it comes to wrestling companies, the more there is, the more it gives other wrestlers an opportunity to succeed and to do what they love to do. Just like wrestling territories from back in the day as well as companies like the WWE, WCW, and ECW in the 90's, we have WWE, TNA, developmental wrestling schools, and Indy promotions such as ROH. Let's not forget major wrestling promotions overseas. I can't stand it when people say they want Vince to buy out these companies. I get it that some people may not like companies such as TNA and have been watching WWE all their lives but we need more companies so that other wrestlers can get paid more and have more wrestling ogranizations to compete elsewhere.
It's pretty known that in order to get opportunities, you must take chances with your career. This could mean jumping ship to another wrestling promotion that you feel can benefit your career so that you can be used to your full potential. For instance, lets take a look at the Kenny King and ROH situation. Kenny King made a gamble to compete in an X-Division qualifying match in TNA even though ROH did not want him to compete in TNA which violated their hand-shake agreement. Although Kenny King did tell ROH that he wasn't going to wrestle for another company without their request which is kinda wrong on Kenny King's part, you certainly can't blame him for wanting to take an opportunity to be show-cased in the second biggest wrestling promotion in America today. Kenny King seen a chance to compete in a bigger company fly at him and took it, just like any other person would do. This move was smart on his part and it now gives him a new opportunity in succeeding in TNA.
Another example of a wrestler jumping ship to find more opportunities is none other than Chris Jericho. Y2J traveled all over the world to perfect his craft and study different wrestling styles to work with. Jericho went to ECW and had some pretty impressive matches there. He then jumped to WCW in which he got their attention with his impressive matches in ECW. He found amazing success being in the WCW Cruiserweights division and became one of the top heels in WCW. However, he still wasn't used to his full potential and was only seen as a mid-carder rather than a guy who can work main event matches if given a chance. This motivated Jericho to jump ship to the WWE to find more success and the rest is history. Y2J's debut in the WWE will go down as one of the best WWE debuts in history and also one of the best decisions he ever made seeing as he became the first ever WWE Undisputed champion along with the other success he has had in the WWE and also since he left before WCW went out of business.
One more example of wrestlers jumping ship to find more opportunities is one word; Radicalz. Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn left WCW as a unit to find more success in the WWE. This was one of the most shocking debuts in wrestling history and was one of the reasons WCW went downhill. They lost all four of their top talent due to not doing anything with the four of these talented wrestlers. They jumped ship in the WWE in 2000 which was the best year of the Attitude Era for me personally. They got to wrestle the likes of The Rock, Stone Cold, Triple H, Rikishi & Too Cool, The Hardys, Chris Jericho, and Kurt Angle. All of these guys were phenomenal wrestlers and were given the chance to give us amazing matches and also become a WWE World champion (Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero). At the end of the day, you have to make a decision on what you think is best for your career and it'll pay off well.
Paul Heyman has always been about taking chances and opportunities to do something more with his product when he was the promoter of ECW. His vision of ECW was to take risks and bring something new to the table. He didn't want to settle for just being a little wrestling promotion. He did everything he could to get ECW on television and to give them PPVs for their loyal fans. Heyman knew that if he didn't take any risks, ECW wouldn't have brought anything new to the table and the reason why ECW was able to last longer than they did was because he took risks and gave his talent exposure. Paul Heyman was indeed a bad businessman but one thing he didn't do was play safe with his ECW promotion. ECW is now owned by WWE but the fact that you still here ECW chants and people like CM Punk praise Paul Heyman of having an intelligent mind for wrestling is exactly why taking a chance worked in Heyman's favor. Without ECW, we wouldn't have the Attitude Era, simple as.
Speaking of the Attitude Era, that brings me to the man who was known for taking risks during the Attitude Era, Vince Mcmahon. In 1995, the wrestling business was in serious danger, especially in the WWE. Nothing was drawing in more fans and the WWE was actually losing money. Then WCW started to grew bigger and bigger with the NWO angle in full swing which put Vince on panic mode. The final straw was when an epsiode of Raw scored one of the lowest ratings for a Raw episode. Vince Mcmahon decided to make his promotion more edgy and controversial to brighten his product a little more instead of his product continuing to be black and white. With Stone Cold's rise to the top, the Montreal Screwjob, D-Generation X, The Rock and Nation of Domination, and Mike Tyson, this gave Vince the opportunity to do something new and fresh with his product and beat Ted Turner and WCW. All Vince needed to do was go outside of the box and get in touch with the audience who wanted to see something new from the WWE and it made the WWE the #1wrestling promotion yet again. Do I think Vince Mcmahon is a genius? Not really but he is indeed a risk-taker and an opportunity seeker just like Paul Heyman and that's the best quality to have as a wrestling promoter.
In conclusion, I'm not trying to come off as Mr. know-it-all or a smark who thinks he knows everything about what makes a successful wrestling company but I'm merely seeing opportunities and risk-taking as being an importance to pro wrestling. I hope you guys enjoyed my blog. Take care blog-readers.