Is It Wrong To Nitpick or Criticize Pro Wrestling?
by, 07-24-2013 at 05:11 PM (4531 Views)
Let's clear the air on something. I am a nitpicker. It’s a double edge sword. Sometimes I say and do things that I end up regretting much later. But sometimes, I don’t. In fact, I’m happy I said it.
We as viewers give these wrestling promotions hours upon hours of our time on a weekly basis. We give pay them thousands upon thousands of our hard earned money each year for PPVs, wrestling events, PPVs, merchandise, and all other things related. We as the consumer have a right to critique and judge and criticize the product we are investing our time into. So if a wrestling promotion makes an audience member pay $35 or $50 or $60 or $70 for a show, they sit through the entire 3 hours, and the PPV fails to deliver and it sucks to the viewer, they have a RIGHT to criticize.
This is how I see it. It’s not the act of criticizing that’s wrong – it’s how often we do it and the reasons behind we do it. So the question begs, how far is too far? When is nitpicking or criticizing justified?
We have all run across those people who literally let the smallest errors ruin an entire show or ruin the build of a character. I know someone who said Daniel Bryan isn’t main event material cause of his T-Shirt, “Respect the beard.” Really? IT’S A FREAKIN T-SHIRT! It has absolutely nothing to do with the TV character. Divas get it more than anyone else in the wrestling business, just for being associated with the word “diva” and the bad booking they have endured for the last few years. So when they actually do something good, it gets ignored. These are examples of people crossing the line with criticism and nitpicks.
Let's be real. Every wrestling promotion has its problems. If you really try hard enough and look hard enough, you’re going to find issues with any product you watch. TNA’s shows and production can be considered modern day WCW rip-offs. ROH's production of their iPPVs were terrible. WWE treats their championship titles with little value. So on and so forth. And even if you don’t try, there are going to come times where you just don’t like a show. No matter whether it’s a wrestling match, a storyline, a character, or whatever, eventually you are going to come across some aspect of a wrestling show that just will not do it for you. And when it does not do it for you, you’re more likely to criticize it. To put it simply, we criticize things more that do not engage us. Is that wrong? Not in my eyes.
I think about Wrestlemania 17 and how HARDLY ANYBODY criticizes anything about the show because, well let’s see – it’s a show from the attitude era and, on top of that, it’s a GREAT SHOW from the attitude era. It’s held as the best Wrestlemania, if not the best PPV, of all time. Yeah, it has bad stuff like the gimmick battle royal, forgettable stuff like Tazz & APA vs. Right To Censor and Eddie Guerrero vs. Test, and so-so matches like Chyna and Ivory & William Regal vs. Chris Jericho. But it also has the TLC II with the Dudleyz, Hardyz, and E&C, Shane vs. Vince, Angle vs. Benoit, Taker vs. HHH, and The Rock vs. Stone Cold. Because of these phenomenal matches and how sucked in we were by the wrestlers, storylines, in-ring action, and excitement, we were willing to let the bad stuff slide.
Kevin Steen vs. El Generico in 2010. Many call it a five star match. Yet I don’t hear anyone criticizing how Kevin Steen can kick out of a brainbuster on an exposed turnbuckle. Come on! The man should be DEAD! If any other wrestling promotion would have done that, especially if it was John Cena taking the brainbuster to the exposed turnbuckle, they’d eat shit for it. But because it had an amazing series of events, great storytelling for an ENTIRE YEAR, crazy spots and moments, we don’t feel the need to question it. We did not criticize the Rock back then when he made us laugh with his catchphrases, cut raunchy but great promos, or had great matches, but fans do it more nowadays simply because he does not entertain us as much anymore. Mark Henry is no where CLOSE to being the best technical wrestler around, but we’re so drawn in by his intimidating presence and bad ass character that we do not feel the need to criticize him about it.
But then you think about people like John Cena or Garrett Bischoff from TNA. These people do not entertain you as much, do not draw us into their characters, don’t engage us as in-ring competitors most of the time, and quite frankly bore you have to death. It’s a lot easier to notice their problems and EVEN MORE easier to rip them apart for the inconsistencies in the characters, the mistakes they make inside the ring, and how awful they’re portrayed on TV. This concept can apply to anything. Hell, let’s talk movies. I love Disney movies, especially Aladdin and the Lion King. You can’t tell me anything about those movies. I Hate the Twilight saga! You can’t convince that any good can come from those movies. You will never hear me say anything bad about Disney movies, however I can go on for DAYS pointing out the flaws in a Twilight film.
When you think about it, the problem is not the fact that the wrestler or wrestling show has mistakes – it is the fact that you were not engaged enough to not be distracted by those mistakes. If the wrestling promotions altogether had more good characters, good wrestling, good storylines, and good feuds to distract the fans from the mistakes, they would not have to worry about fan criticizing them all the time. Now, that does not mean fans STILL WILL NOT criticize the shows, but I guarantee you there would be LESS of it. The more plot holes, inconsistencies, badly executed segments, and badly executed matches a wrestling show has, the more open it will be to criticism. At the end of the day, professional wrestling is a story being told with the human body. I hate the term male soap opera, although it’s true, but I prefer my own definition. The trick is to convince the viewer that an epic story is unfolding before their very eyes, so much so that they invest themselves into the story's events and, in the end, are more emotionally affected by the outcomes.
Wrestlers like CM Punk, Dolph Ziggler, and most of all Daniel Bryan do this for majority of the wrestling fans nowadays. Which is why, in my personal opinion, Daniel Bryan needs to win the WWE championship at Summerslam 2013. I think him beating John Cena is a HUGE possibility. No excuse why he shouldn't. Wrestling wise, he's the best talent on the roster inside the ring, cuts decent to good promos, and the most over character there is. Business wise, he sells shirts, other types of merchandise, and appeals to ALL AGES. Kids love him, females love him, males love him, INTERNET FANS (the hardest to please) love him, and his fanbase continues to grow every day. When you have someone who is THAT engaging and THAT entertaining, you should make the most out of him and make a run with him.
So let’s answer question. Is it good or bad to nitpick or criticize wrestling? Although nitpicking can be a fun pass time, the act of nitpicking or criticizing depends on solely on how the viewer uses it. If the purpose is to tear a wrestler or wrestling show down in hopes of no one watching it cause you don’t like him, that’s a horrible use of nitpicking. If the purpose is to create comedy and acknowledge ways on how to make the wrestling show better, then it’s a great use of nitpicking. But what we should realize is that the problems we are nitpicking are not really the problem, it is the fact that we are noticing them at all. It all comes down to how much a wrestling program can grab you and keep you invested. The better it is done, the more likely you are to praise the show and less likely to criticize or nitpick. The act of criticism is absolutely acceptable. It’s how often and the reasons behind why we do it that decide if it’s bad or good. As long you’re being constructive with the criticism, whether it’s through comic jabs or listing ways to make a show better, criticize and nitpick all you want. Laugh at it, say how much this guy or that guy sucks, get angry at it, or do whatever. Just be aware that there you’re not doing it cause a wrestling show has problems, it’s just that wrestling show did not have enough strong characters, situations, or stories for you to get lost in.
Don’t complain that the magic acts at a magic show is fake, complain that the magician did not make you believe hard enough that magic was real.
Thanks for reading. Comments are appreciated.