Yes – “Google It” – Stop Being Helpless Marks

O’Shea Jackson Jr. Actor, rapper, and Ice Cube’s son. He is also apparently upset at the slew of CMLL talent (among other one-offs) brought on AEW television without any backstory. When wrestler X debuts with no video package or backstory, it seems that a vocal minority of the online wrestling fan base simply can’t figure out what to do next. It’s as if their life depends on an easily accessible stream of information, and when the stream is blocked, and their dopamine fix is threatened, well, now that’s when they get angry (Shout out to Jumpin’ Jeff Farmer)!

So myself, and others; logical folks, offer a solution:

“Dude, just Google it.”

And all hell breaks loose on the internet. This includes the aforementioned O’Shea Jackson Jr., who was called out for his expectation that every new wrestler should come with some level of a prologue.

Now to some extent, I agree. 

In fact, looking at the work of @tigerstyIepro, who O’Shea himself endorses, Tony Khan should very much utilize the concise and short video packages seen on his X page. There is nothing wrong with a short 30-second clip of a debuting talent. It only helps hype up them up.

But I must ask a bigger question: Does it really matter? For your bigger talents, sure, vignettes and interviews are the norm in both major promotions. But as for the talents on loan from New Japan, CMLL, or even a signed talent on the low-card: Does every single new wrestler need their life story and intent laid out for you? Can’t a wrestler just go out and wrestle, and if you like what they do, you like them going forward?

It used to be that way, you know…


Not Every Debuting Wrestler Had a “Hype” Package


I don’t recall WCW or WWF doing countless video packages for debuting wrestlers during the Attitude Era. Sure, the important talents were hyped up prior to a debut, but not everyone. When Ultimo Dragon debuted for WCW at Hog Wild 1996 against Rey Mysterio Jr., I don’t remember a hype package (correct me if I’m wrong). They just went out there and put on one hell of a match. In fact, in that very match, it was Mike Tenay who gave a very brief backstory on Dragon during the action.

Much like Excalibur does with current CMLL and New Japan talents. 

Wrestling history repeats this. Many wrestlers made their debuts on television without much fanfare or hype. They just went out there and wrestled — and in some cases, the fans chose them and took to them. Historically, this is how most wrestlers have gotten over. They show up, fans like what they do, and then the promotion creates bigger plans for them.

Just check out the link to this June 18, 1988 WWF Superstars episode. Both The Big Bossman and The Rockers made their debuts. No hype videos, no backstory — they just showed up and wrestled.

And let’s remind ourselves that this is during the “Golden Era” of the WWF. They were nearly unstoppable at this time. This happened time and time again for decades and decades. But now since Tony Khan is bringing in new talent from around the world (something he’s done since AEW’s inception), now this is suddenly an issue?


Not Every Match Needs a “Reason” (Especially in the Attitude Era)

Sometimes stuff just happened…

Go back and watch some of the Nitro/Attitude Era during the late 90s. Do you know how many matches were booked without a notable reason? Sure, a storyline may start from any particular random match; or it might even be a squash to put another rising talent over — but watching some old AE episodes should be a refresher for many.

(In fact, the AE resembles AEW more than modern-day WWE, but that’s for another article)

Rarely was the card announced in advance. Often, you would get hardcore/gimmick matches between talents for no apparent reason. I have found a stretch where two Lumberjack Matches were booked with different wrestlers, two weeks in a row.

Wrestlers sometimes just debuted — and that was it. They just debuted and wrestled. You had a few main storylines, but mostly, random crazy shit just happened on a weekly basis outside of your main stories.

Yet, it was good enough for the extreme number of casual fans that tuned in to watch weekly — in record numbers. A lot from this era has not aged well. However, this was the peak of popularity for both WCW and WWF. So it was good enough then, but now it’s suddenly not?

Now we need to be spoon-fed our storylines and told who to care about and why? Did we forget to think for ourselves? Or perhaps dishonest fans care more about watching through the lens of an “expert” than trying to enjoy the product for what it is.

Sometimes stuff just happened on Raw and Smackdown, which led to other things happening. It’s how this pro wrestling thing works…


You Are Not Helpless


Imagine if we had smartphones during the 90s. The need for tape-trading wouldn’t exist. ECW, AJPW, CMLL, hell, even FMW — all at our fingertips aside from WCW and WWF. Do you think we would complain about a lack of “hype” packages or spoon-fed stories on repeat? Do you think you would want to find out more about new types of wrestling and wrestlers from around the world? I know I did.

Be it WWE or AEW, the important talents usually get some level of introduction. This is in the form of vignettes, interviews, or even a short backstory via Excalibur when it comes to AEW in particular. But hey, not all talents are going to be AEW mainstays. Not all wrestlers from New Japan or CMLL are going to be on the roster; and will just appear for a show or two. This form of talent exchange is literally how the wrestling world has functioned since the 1940s, even through WWE’s Monopoly Era (2002-2019).

You are not helpless. If you see a wrestler you aren’t familiar with, yes, just “Google it.” For many of these self-proclaimed “wrestling” fans, they sure seem to be too lazy to even want to learn more about the craft they already put so much time into. Taking one minute out of your life to look up a wrestler for a brief backstory, especially when that talent is only making a one or two-time appearance, is not that difficult. Dishonest fans are acting like this is a weekly occurrence in AEW when it’s not.

It would take you less time to look up an unknown wrestler up and get a quick backstory than it would to complain about it on the internet like a lazy mark. If you don’t want to look it up, here’s an idea: Just watch the match. Do what every other wrestling fan has done for decades.


Have We Become This Lazy?


Usually when we get into a hobby or a fandom, there’s an urge to learn more. When I started playing video games at a young age, I wanted to play as much as I could. As a young teenager, when I started getting into horror movies, death metal, or even pro wrestling,  I wanted to see what else was out there in those mediums.

Why do so many online fans spend more energy complaining about a wrestler they don’t know instead of simply finding out more about them? Is it a simple case of dishonesty among anti-Indies/AEW fans?

Or has WWE truly conditioned a generation of fans to expect everything served to them in a neat, easily digestible package, where they’re told who to cheer for and what to think?

Look, when AEW/Indies fans like myself tell others to “Google it”, we aren’t doing it to be a dick. If I was unfamiliar with a new NXT or WWE talent, I would simply look them up.  This helps, as I don’t really follow the WWE brand as a whole. So if I do check in, I can catch up pretty quick.

It’s just not that hard. Some fans act like AEW TV is just endless streams of random matches with no story. However, nothing could be further from the truth. But you actually have to watch and not rely solely on YouTube clips for disingenuous online fans and “expert” analysts.

In conclusion. Stop being an entitled child. Use your critical thinking ability. If you missed something; look it up (or just watch the match). But trust me when I say that AEW is doing nothing different from major wrestling promoters over the last 80 years. It worked then. It worked during the 90s wrestling boom, and it still works now.


I have a Twitter now. This should go well…