Pin Me/Pay Me: The Value of Wins in Wrestling
by, 07-16-2013 at 02:58 AM (2579 Views)
Orton wins MitB! Everyone's mad!
For my last blog, I wrote about the value of titles in the modern era; today, I tackle wins and loses.
Let's start with the basics. I mean the basic basics. Grass roots stuff. Wrestling is a work. I just blew your mind, I know. It's common knowledge on the level of Santa not being real (spoilers). But as basic as it is, it's very easy to lose sight of. And it's once you begin to lose sight of that fact, you begin to take things personally. The person in the ring stops being a unique individual and starts becoming an extension of the viewer. You share in the joy of their victories and the anguish of their defeats. But how much do these things really matter.
I'm going to cut to the point, 99% of wins don't make stars. Also, 99% of losses don't bury wrestlers. Wins and losses, 99% of the time, only exist to segue between major events.
In the history of wrestling, how many matches have "made" stars? Hogan vs. Andre? Sure, it did elevate Hogan to a degree but he was already the face of the company. Hogan vs. Warrior? A benchmark in wrestling history but the fact of the matter is Warrior was the #2 star in the company entering the match and #2 star leaving it.
Even a match like Punk vs Cena (MitB), which helped catapult Punk to new heights, only meant as much as it did because of his ability to connect with the crowd. It's not the simple formula people try to make it out to be. Case and point would be a guy like Tensai. Tensai beat Cena (cleanish) in a match not long after his debut and the crowd could not have given fewer shits. Why? Because wins don't mean much if you can't connect with the crowd. HOWEVER, on the flip side, losses don't dent your armor if you can connect with the crowd. Case and point, a guy like Daniel Bryan.
No one in the wrestling world gets babied more by internet fans then DB. When he failed to capture the MitB briefcase (for the second time, mind you), you would have thought a puppy had just been drowned on live television. But did he need that win? Of course not. It's a gimmick match that a guy like DB should be considered to be above. In fact everyone in that match (save maybe Christian and Kane) were too big time for it. Any one of those top 5 guys could have come out on Raw, challenged Cena for the belt, and it wouldn't have felt out of place. Orton, being the Viper, is actually a strong choice to hold the briefcase. Does his character need it? No. But it adds a nice new dynamic to his "strike at any moment" persona.
I do understand the obsession with wins though. People look at a guy like John Cena, who loses 4-5 times a year, and think "of course he's the top star in the company, they just have him win all the time." Sorry, wrong answer. He's a star because, like it or not, he captivates a large percentage of the audience. And unlike a lot of people on this site, I stand up for kids cheering for what they like cause I've been a fan since I was 5 years old (check out a previous blog entry for more on that).
At the end of the day, it's not pin falls or submissions that make wrestlers stars, but the countless moments that take place before and after. If you don't believe me, ask Mr. 0-5 at Wrestlmania, Jeff Hardy, or Mr. 6-11, Shawn Michaels.
Thank you for Reading. Feel free to leave praise, constructive feedback, or troll. If you're going to troll though, please have some style.
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