Thursday, December 22, 2011

On the Road


This is his dream, and of course I wish him well. The news is that Seth Rollins, 25, 6'1", 205#, will be touring with WWE the week after Christmas. Confirmed appearances include New York City (12/27), Pittsburgh (12/28), and Washington DC (12/29). WWE will evaluate Rollins' performance at these venues to determine the young star's future with the organization. The prospect of an eventual one-on-one showdown with CM Punk is the only silver lining I see for me as a fan. But for young wrestlers like Rollins, WWE is the only game in town, for money, for international exposure, so I fully understand why this could be a dream come true. I hope WWE does right by him. 

2 comments:

  1. This is great news for Rollins. It's not something that "could be a dream come true"--it is his dream coming true, the very reason he got into wrestling. Hell, he already wrestles for FCW, which isn't some fly-by-night indy fed but the WWE's wholly owned and operated developmental territory. A brief story ripped from the headlines of my own experiences illustrates what I mean.

    WWE taped an episode of Raw in my hometown a couple weeks ago. I got four free tickets through my company, so I invited two friends, one gay, one straight. My straight friend doesn't care about wrestling at all, but he has a 6 year old son who is fanatical about it, who naturally got the fourth ticket. During the show my gay bud did nothing but bitch and moan, complaining relentlessly about how the product sucked and certainly wasn't as good as it used to be, to the point of people around us turning around a shooting him/us dirty looks. After the show we're back in the lobby, and he really cuts loose while my straight friend is off taking his son around to look at the displays and talk to the wrestlers as they emerge from backstage to interact with the fans--dissing everything from the action to gear to the obviously homoerotic overtones that don't pay off and on and on.

    A moment later, my straight pal comes back with his son, who has a giant haul of posters, shirts, DVDs, magazines and even a giant fucking life sized cardboard John Cena signed by the man himself. Some of it was free swag, just for hanging out and being a kid who's obviously having the best time of his life, but, still... it was at least 500 bucks worth of stuff. At this moment, I turn to my friend and say, "There's my response to what you've been saying all night."

    The moral of the story is, good wrestling isn't mastering some variation of complicated moves and holds or holding up some implacable, Aristotelian "ideal" of what wrestling is--it's listening to the audience, figuring out what moves them, and giving it to them so effectively they pay to see it again and again. I mention it because I see this thing among gay wrestling fans where they ignore the wrestlers that draw the biggest sales or, worse, tear into those guys for not being what that one person, who often explains in detail why he'll never like that wrestler before he ever sees him wrestle, thinks he should be, all while not spending one significant dollar to support a single wrestler doing what that "fan" claims to like.

    People want to blame piracy whenever another gay wrestling company goes belly up. I say, bollocks--it's the people making the product not listening to the people who pay to see it. Always will be.

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  2. Josh, the problem with your argument is that that as a near monopoly with tendrils in other promotions' style, the fan isn't really offered any choice. We have to watch what the company has determined we want to watch or watch nothing at all, which I've done for long periods of time. In my youth and Joe's there was really choices available from a diversity of styles. There's some variety, still, but compared to its pre-WWE heyday, it just pales. The closest thing is true Indy promotions and international videos as seen on YouTube.

    I think there'd be an audience for something or hat than what's on offer, but we will likely never be given the chance to know.

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