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These days as we approach 2018 - TWENTY-EIGHTEEN!!! There is still a lot of chatter about certain wrestlers "exposing the business". The usual suspects are guys like the Young Bucks and Joey Ryan. Omega and Okada were also accused of this from people who saw a .gif file of their entire 45 minute match that they never bothered to watch the rest of.
Recently this whole "the current generation is exposing the business" bullshit came up when wrestling fan and UFC'er, Daniel Cormier tweeted about how he didn't like a particular spot from the recent Ring Of Honor Final Battle PPV that involved Adam Page & The Young Bucks and Dragon Lee, Flip Gordon and Titán countering moves with flips and dropkicks in what was clearly a very choreographed spot.
Well, there you have it. Mark your calendars. December 15, 2017 the business was exposed as a work because of this spot.
Give me a break.
Vince Russo who refers to himself in 3rd person I assume to make him feel like other people are talking about him to give him a false sense of relevance in 2017 took to twitter to bitch about this spot in the most baffling way possible.
He said,"US Wrestling is about Ring Psychology, Storylines and Characters. It has been for decades. If you're going to change the very foundation to gymnastics and acrobatics, then just call it something else."
Interesting. Nick Jackson of the 'Bucks had what I thought was a perfect response with: "The guy who created Viagra on a Pole match is talking to me about ring psychology."
Yeah, no shit, right? Ya know who else that guy is? He's the same guy who says no one cares about actual matches and the only thing that matters is angles and gimmicks that's why he had a habit of loading every match and segment with as many angles, gimmicks and stipulations as possible. All the sudden Russo gives a flying f*** about RING PSYCHOLOGY?! God damn. Not only would Russo not understand psychology if Dr. Phil bit him on the dick but he's the last person to be preaching stuff like he's suddenly some sort of wrestling purist and traditionalist.
Jim Cornette is another guy who beats this drum whenever spots like this go viral on social media. While I have much more respect for Cornette's wrestling IQ than I do for Russo's, I still don't always agree with all of his takes. A common complaint I hear when guys like Cornette and some fans say when they see these flippy, acrobatic spots that have extended counter sequences is "you'd never see that in a real fight, so it looks too fake".
What? To me that's the most ridiculous argument. It's wrestling. Tell me when it looked real. Please do. Did the Young Bucks do anything on Friday that exposed the business anymore than the People's Elbow did 20 years ago? How about when Mick Foley was winning matches with a sock puppet? How about when Hulk Hogan was taking down giants with a leg drop? How about when 5'8" 170 pound Scotty 2 Hotty would do the W-O-R-M to the f***ing Big Show and Show would sell the damn move like he got shot in the chest? Please tell me when wrestling was "real".
The answer is, it never was. For every fan in their mid 30's or older who wants to say "back in my day", they should pause and think for a second. The only difference between high spots and comedy spots in "their day" and today is that back in their day they were too young to really get worked up about it and accepted spots like the WORM because they were over. The Young Bucks have gotten over with their audience doing what they do and a guy like Joey Ryan has gotten over doing his spot with his dick. You don't need to like it, but that's a fact and no one pays to watch them work a body part and slap on a headlock for 30 minutes.
Like I said, you don't need to like the changes, but if that's the direction the business is going in, there's nothing you can do about it. With that said and before the entire comments section is dedicated to questioning my sexuality and why I would defend Joey Ryan's penis spot... I'm not saying I like the spot, but that's a matter of opinion. Audiences do react to it though, regardless of how I may feel about it. What is a matter of fact is that that one spot is making him a living and he's going to do it and not one person is going to think less of the wrestling business because some guy on the indies does a comedy spot like that, as if it's the first comedy spot in wrestling history. The WWE has done comedy spots plenty of times on national television with millions of people watching around the world. Is that any more or less damaging to the overall perception of pro-wrestling? Should this fantasy world never have any light-hearted elements and just always be serious? Come on... In a business with thousands of good or even great wrestlers out there cutting their teeth, it takes more to stand out and these guys are standing out by being different and offering something that people are willing to pay to see. You're not going to make much a living in wrestling if you're just going to be a cookie cut example of what some old guy says "this is what wrestling was like in the 70's and how it shall forever always be, so go out there, be Mr. Red Trunks, get the heat on Mr. Blue Trunks and call it a day".
The reason why this "you'd never see this in a real fight" argument is just the dumbest thing ever is because you can go back and look at any wrestling match from any promotion in history and you're going to find moves that you'd never see in a real fight. Any match with an Irish whip. Any match with a swinging neck breaker. Any match where the guy turns his back to his opponent to get heat from the crowd. Any match where they do the 10 punch in the corner. Any match where a guy took a shot from a foreign object that would send most people to the hospital or... the grave even, and at the end of the match they are celebrating and posing to the crowd.
To further drive me point home and if you still don't buy what I'm saying, if you think some underground indy spot is killing the business, let me ask you this. Did you ever think The Undertaker was killing the business? The guy whose gimmick was that he's DEAD? A guy who would no-sell big spots to put over this "fact"? How about his 'brother' Kane? Remember when he and Kane were first feuding and during promo segments they would summon lightning and fire and shoot it at each other? Did you ever think back then as a kid -- why are they having wrestling matches when they have the ability to cast elemental spells like a couple of black mages in Final Fantasy? Or... during more innocent years did you just accept that pro-wrestling is just a show and if they want to have certain characters do over the top things like shoot fire out the palm of their hands like Super Mario then so be it because wrestling is a spectacle and we're just along for the ride.
There's my thoughts on the latest wave of people pissing and moaning about a single spot "exposing the business". As wrestling fans there's plenty of gripes us hardcore old standby's can latch on to and dig deep into, but this is one that is just ridiculous every time I hear it.
If heavily choreographed acrobatic spots aren't your thing, that's ok... I'm not telling you that you have to enjoy everything about today's wrestling landscape, but the Young Bucks haven't done anything in 2017 to "expose the business" that all of the cartoony and over-the-top shit we saw in the 80's and 90's didn't already do on national television, mind you.
In wrestling whether we are young fans with innocent minds or old fans who think they've seen it all, we want to suspend our disbelief. When I was a young kid, I knew wrestling was a work before I ever even watched my first show. I just always knew because "wrestling is fake" is common knowledge. Did that stop me from becoming a fan? Clearly not. Any flippy-doo spot fest you see on the indies isn't any less realistic or "exposing" than when I was a kid watching Sgt. Slaughter do a back rake and watch the guy sell it like a lion just attacked him or any time you've seen a dramatic submission hold and the guy is selling it for 5 minutes when in a ~REAL FIGHT~ he probably would have tapped out about 4 minutes and 50 seconds earlier.
Thanks for reading everyone. Be sure to leave a comment below. Follow me on Twitter. If you want to talk about wrestling or music or whatever, I'm always up for that. Also, check out my acoustic cover of Gangrel's entrance theme: