What really grinds my gears? Episode 12 - Vanilla Midgets
by, 08-09-2013 at 10:06 AM (4874 Views)
625488_400350853399824_1626032927_n.jpgUsually I would go into a Peter Griffin style rant here, over the particular subject matter, and have some fun for the sake of having a lighthearted beginning to my blogs.
Episode 12 - Vanilla Midgets
However this time I am not in the mood. This subject has somehow slipped through my thought process til just recently, after reading some typical.. cynical wrestling fans comments.
I always try my best to look at other people's points of view, so much that I try to make sense of some truly outrageous perspectives. However this time, it really does grind my gears. It makes me want to slap somebody through my computer screen. It makes me want to wield my mighty sledgehammer, and go out into the world a true keyboard warrior, seeking out the idiocy and stubbornness, so I can smash all their computers into dust.
This blog is all about Vanilla Midgets. What the hell is a Vanilla Midget you ask?? And what does a cool looking Kevin Nash have to do with anything?
Well, let me explain.
Vanilla Midgets, is a term created by Kevin Nash, and was popularized by him and the Klique to describe workers who were good technical wrestlers but believed to be too small and/or boring to ever succeed on a large stage (Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Lance Storm.). Signs of a wrestler being a vanilla midget are small stature, good technical wrestling, poor mic skills, and a rabid stubborn internet fandom.
Although in the past I have admitted to seeing Big Daddy Cools way of thinking to be acceptable, I feel like his logic is flawed.
- First of all, labeling anybody in such a manner is detrimental all around. It constitutes to a form of bullying, as any wrestler under the height of 6 Foot is definitely not a midget. Those wrestlers are of average size for most males, and it would be naive to assume in any sport that the biggest men win everything.
- Being Vanilla is a funny one. On one hand, you could be a wrestler who is technically gifted, and you entertain the fans in the ring. However on the other hand, people say they are boring because of how they talk or look. Just like any fighting sport across the world, whether it is boxing or martial arts, you never see fighters cutting an epic promo to get themselves over. If they are athletic enough, and win continuously, then they will get over. In "Sports Entertainment", it seems like wrestlers are required to have graduated from acting school before attempting. It's funny, because wrestling used to entertain people enough just by having two guys in a ring. Now we need fireworks, and tables, and hot divas, and epic promos, and muscular guys who can show their strength. Apparently in this world, being an athlete is "Vanilla"??
- Many wrestlers, past and present, who were 6 foot or less (real heights) have gone on to become World Champions: Eddie Guerrero, Chris Benoit, Rey Mysterio, Shawn Michaels, Ric Flair, Chris Jericho, CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Kurt Angle, Bret Hart, Christian, The Miz, Dolph Ziggler, John Morrison, Matt Hardy, Rob Van Dam, Austin Aries, AJ Styles, Jerry Lynn, Raven, Rhino, Taz and the list goes on and on.
- Nash is amongst the list of the tallest wrestlers ever. Unlike smaller wrestlers, the most popular of the taller wrestlers are normally used as an attraction (like a circus), displaying their power. There are some exceptions to the rule, there are some big guys who can wrestle and be popular. Big guys include: The Undertaker, The Big Show, Andre The Giant, Giant Baba, Kane, Akebono, Giant Haystacks, Sid Vicious, Big John Studd, Kevin Nash and Abyss.
You can see the sheer numbers confirm that the majority of World Champions were not the size of Kevin Nash. Even wrestlers such as The Undertaker, Big Show and Kane were never known as "The Man" like a Ric Flair or a Steve Austin.
Now we look at the current World Champions in WWE and TNA. John Cena, Alberto Del Rio and Chris Sabin. None of them are "big", and if any big guys did challenge them (like Mark Henry or Big Show), nine times out of ten, you would see the smaller guy win.
- Kevin Nash has never been a good wrestler. However he is a great heel, and in wrestling, telling the story is just as important as a good match. However, can anybody say .. "Hey! Do you remember that epic match with Kevin Nash and so-and-so??". More than likely, people would remember the finger poke of death moment, and Nash burying the entire WCW roster before remembering any of his matches
Do people remember the matches first? Or the classic moments? A true legend in the business makes you remember both. A true legend notices the heart and determination of other wrestlers, and praises them no matter how big or small they are.
However, Kevin Nash probably never meant it to be as much of an insult as it appeared. He does respect smaller guys who can entertain (like his buddies HBK and X-Pac) but he was pointing out that the wrestling business had always put the main titles on the "most over" star at the time. He is referring to the most entertaining guys who could legitimately hold a World "Heavyweight" title, walk down a street, and garner all the attention from passers by.
However, the world changed. Wrestling changed dramatically after the 90s. The industry changed, the world changed, and wrestling was focused on less and less. The wrestling industry was already going down well before Benoit and Guerrero were champions, and it was mostly due to the lack of competition, and the loss of the biggest stars of The Attitude Era.
When Eddie came back from rehab and working the independents, he showed his wrestling talent and charisma, and he was getting more over every single week. He earned the right to become World Champion, because of the sheer support by fans. The fans got behind Eddie Guerrero a lot more then they ever got behind Kevin Nash, and the same goes for Chris Benoit.
Whether you like Benoit or not, he spent over twenty years of his career putting on some of the greatest and most memorable matches, and I can guarantee that any wrestling fan who wants to watch an old classic, would much rather see a Benoit vs "Vanilla Midget", then a "Big slow man" vs "Big slow man" strength fest.
Try watching Big Daddy vs Giant Haystacks. I am English and my mother told me all the stories about World of Sport back in the day. People went nuts over these two huge men, but seriously, try watching a match right now. I dare you.
I showed this video to some on the Facebook page, and some of the Americans couldn't understand it. They said it was absolutely terrible, and they just didn't get it. Back in those days, the suspension of disbelief was very high, and the old grannies and grandads truly thought wrestling was legit, so to see these two huge mammoths go at it was extremely entertaining. This is where I can see Nash's comments as being right, because back in those days, you would never expect a Chris Sabin to stand a chance against one of those guys, he would have been flattened within seconds.
So what about today's wrestling?
When the internet really kicked off, the old statement of "Wrestling isn't real", became a much more widespread message. Of course, not saying people before the internet didn't know it wasn't real, but I can guarantee you that a lot of people felt that wrestling was either a sport, or just didn't think about it. You didn't have the chance to micro analyze every single little thing after a show, because there was no internet, no blogs, no Facebook, no nothing. The only way you could talk about wrestling was with your friends, and that was always about "the good stuff", not the botches and slip ups.
This led to wrestling fans becoming a lot more knowledgeable about how moves are performed, sequences in matches, spots, how promos work and so on. They became a lot more interested in seeing competitive matches, and the illusion that power triumphs over all was completely shattered.
Fans turned to guys like Daniel Bryan, Austin Aries, CM Punk, AJ Styles and many other smaller wrestlers competing in TNA, ROH and the Independents. Wrestlers were made famous down to their pure athleticism and being able to put on a good match with anybody over who could cut the best promo. This is what some fans may refer to as the real sport of wrestling. Just like Ballet (but a hell of a lot more manly), wrestling requires pure teamwork, trust, chemistry, and the ability to get the audience connected to what you are doing.
These wrestlers do that so well. Since Eddie and Benoit broke that glass ceiling, we have seen the true athletes rise to the top. People are hoping that Daniel Bryan will be the next WWE Champion, and not just because he will take the belt off Cena, but because he is a true Wrestler.
People are tired of sports entertainment, they want to see epic matches, they want a match that will grip them for 15-30 minutes, instead of a squash match that lasts a minute. This leads me to the biggest reason why I wrote this blog ...... Chris Sabin.
Ok, what seriously angers me, is seeing fans comments over Chris Sabin. I am not sure whether these idiots are just TNA haters or what, but I see these kinds of comments.
"Chris Sabin is boring, he does not deserve to be champion."
"He is tiny, why can't someone like Jeff Hardy or AJ Styles be the Champ?"
"He is made to look so weak, he won't hold it for long."
I have to say that these types of comments hit a nerve with me for many reasons. Chris Sabin is a 13 year pro, and was one of the main pioneers (and most successful) of the X-Divison, winning the title six times and holding it longer than anyone.
He also competed in the first Ultimate X, and won the Super X Cup, and two World X Cups. Also with Alex Shelley, they put on some of the greatest tag team matches ever against Beer Money, which can be regarded as (arguably) the greatest tag team feud in recent memory.
He has worked all over the world, and although he may be a "Vanilla Midget", he has been very successful, and continues to be at the age of 31. To come back to full time wrestling after spending two years on the sidelines from two separate knee injuries, to win the World title from one of the most hated guys in the business, to have people say he "doesn't deserve it"???
Are people smoking crack or something? Sabin has defeated Bully Ray many times before, well before he changed his persona. When AJ Styles was champion for ages, did people complain and say he couldn't cut a decent promo to save his life? There may have been the odd person who did, but overall, people embraced AJ Styles as Champion. Now we have a true TNA original as Champion, after people complained and complained and complained that TNA were only pushing former WWE guys (Angle, Hardy, RVD, Bully Ray etc), so they put the belt on Sabin and people ain't happy about that?
Also Jeff Hardy, he is one of the worst when it comes to promos. However his "look" and unique offense is what the girls (and guys, but mostly girls) love. He is called "The Charismatic Enigma", because of the way he looks, rather then the things that he says.
Personally, whenever I see someone like Chris Sabin, Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, Austin Aries and Dolph Ziggler, that is when I pay any real interest to the products, because you know that they are going to be putting on the best wrestling you can see today, and as a wrestling fan ... one would assume that I tune in to watch wrestling??
I do have to admit though. The way Sabin won the title was pretty weak, and is continued to be billed as the underdog. The stipulation that Bully will never get another world title shot if he loses stacks the deck against him even more. To be honest, TNA must be doing the right thing with Sabin, they have given him the ball, they are giving him a chance to show us what he can do with it. Let's see how it all plays out before we criticize the little man.
Who would go nuts if Daniel Bryan defeats Cena at Summerslam? I know I will. Just because he deserves to be the number one man. Just because one little word, coming out of one little man, sends an entire audience into a frenzy. It's never about the size of the dog, it's about the size of the fight.
With as much "charisma" as a snail entertaining the bottom of your shoe, the vanilla midgets will continue to pick up those World titles, and that is because they entertain between the ropes. That's all anyone should really care about.
Wrestling needs your help! Stop being an idiot, show respect, and give credit where credit is due. Until next time.. don't forget to give me a nice rating and a comment, because I too, am a Vanilla Midget!
YES! YES! YES!
LIE! CHEAT! STEAL!
Y2J! Y2J! Y2J!
HBK! HBK! HBK!
CM PUNK! CM PUNK!
AUSTIN ARIES! *Clap Clap Clap*
LET'S GO ZIGGLER! *Clap Clap Clap*
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