This can be the new thread for rasslin’ fans to talk about their favorite and least favorite wrestlers, federations, storylines, and anything else relating to the squared circle. I know Chatelaine has some things to say, and I know we can’t be the only Dopers. I would be remiss if I didn’t set a few guidelines in advance, though:
If you don’t like wrestling, swell. Either come in and offer a rational explanation why you don’t, or don’t poop on our thread, jack.
We know it’s staged, so you don’t have to tell us. It isn’t “fake,” as the wrestlers train hard, stay in great physical shape, put their bodies on the line, and often get hurt. But it is scripted and practiced in advance with predetermined outcomes, we are all aware of that. We like it anyway.
With that out of the way…
I never watched wrestling as a kid, even though I grew up in the '80s at the height of Hulkamania and the WWF’s dominance. I didn’t start watching until 1998, when I was in college, and then it was the WCW that drew me in as a fan, thanks to Goldberg’s title reign. I would come to dislike Goldberg in later years when I became a “smark” (an informed fan who follows the backstage politics and behind-the-scenes aspects of the industry, usually through the Internet), but at the time, he was a huge, ass-kicking Jew and a good guy to boot, so I had someone to rally behind.
In recent years I’ve been pretty sick of the current WWE product, although I still follow the results online every week and watch occasionally. I think Vince McMahon and his son-in-law Triple H are running the company into the ground due to egomania, nepotism, one bad business decision after another, and generally being out of touch with what people want to see. I get so pissed when I think about how much fun WCW (and even WWF) were in the late '90s, and how far inferior the shows are now. The fact that WWE doesn’t have any real direct competition doesn’t help, either.
Anyway, how about something positive? My favorite WWE wrestlers are Hurricane, Paul London (this kid is amazing), Rey Mysterio, Chris Jericho, Eddie Guerrero, and Kurt Angle. I’m also very excited about the Mexican luchadores who just came to Smackdown to bolster its neglected Cruiserweight division: Juventud, Psicosis, and Super Crazy. I’m much more a fan of the smaller, gravity-defying cruiserweights, action-packed matches with lots of highspots, and lucha libre-style theatrics (preferably with masks and costumes). Most of these guys work their asses off putting on high-risk matches that the crowds love, but Vince McMahon has a “big man fetish,” and would much rather push the huge lumbering brutes who are, frankly, BORING wrestlers. The little guys will never get their due in Vince’s company, which is one more reason I prefer late-'90s WCW.
Meanwhile, I think John Cena’s raps are hilarious and his general personality is great, but he isn’t much of a wrestler. Chris Benoit is an amazing wrestler who doesn’t have much of a personality. Christian is fun (he has become so much better than that scumbag Edge), and Batista and Carlito have loads of potential. My LEAST-favorite wrestlers are JBL (who makes a great heel character, even though he is a locker room bully and he sucks in general), Undertaker, Triple H, Kane, Stone Cold Steve Austin (go away, please!), Big Show, and the other “hosses” like Matt Morgan. These guys are mostly old and entrenched, loyal to Vince and vice versa, and it seems like they’ll never release their stranglehold on the spotlight. Every time Triple H jobs (“loses”) to a younger guy, it’s a stunning accomplishment. Oh well, the joke is on me for continuing to tune in.
So who’s next, brother?