|Chad meets Delirious|
It’s been a few days since The Rock made his return to a WWE ring. In the time between Raw going off the air and me sitting down to type this, I’ve surfed the web reading message board post after post and watching various YouTube videos of people talking about The Rock. After reading and hearing all these comments I’ve come to the conclusion I really am on the outside of the wrestling fan bubble.
While I think The Rock is entertaining and it’s nice to see him come back to where his career started, I don’t think it’s the greatest moment in wrestling history. First off, I was never a huge fan of The Rock’s. Yes I found him entertaining on the mic, but felt his wrestling skills were slightly above average at best. The way he would oversell moves, especially the Stonecold Stunner, was annoying and would take me out of the match. I know in today’s wrestling landscape actual wrestling skill is in the lower top five qualities needed to be successful, but I’m old school. I got interested in wrestling before it was 95% about personality and charisma so I still prefer to see a good 15 minute wrestling match instead of a good 15 minute promo. And that’s why I’m not as into The Rock’s return as others apparently are.
As I said in the last blog, Rock more than likely will not be wrestling at Wrestlemania so people who order the pay per view, or attend the show live simply because of The Rock are doing so to hear him repeat catchphrases and insult other wrestlers. I can’t understand spending $50 or more for that purpose. But I’m getting off topic. This wasn’t supposed to be about The Rock’s return as it was supposed to be about moments in wrestling that had you jumping out of your seat cheering and simply being a fan.
I’ve been a fan of wrestling for about 28 years. In that time I’ve seen just about every storyline and angle that keep getting recycled and reused. I’ve been an internet wrestling fan for about 15 years. I think that has led me to become very cynical and jaded towards the current wrestling product. When you read stories of behind the scenes power plays and manipulations it taints your view as a fan. If the Internet had been around in the 80s, would Hulk Hogan have gotten as much hatred typed at him as Triple H has gotten because of allegedly refusing to put over other talent? Getting back on topic. Due to web cynicism, it’s hard to truly get excited for events because nine times out of ten, I know they’re going to happen before they happen.
Had I not read The Rock was contender for the Wrestlemania host, or read his comments that he and Vince McMahon were working on something big and it would happen sooner rather than later, I would have probably been more excited when The Rock’s theme music played on Monday night. But because I knew the chances were good he was going to appear, when his music hit, my reaction was, at least it isn’t Justin Bieber.
Going back to comments and videos made in the past three days, I tried to think of the last big moments that had me excited and made me forget about being a smark. I could think of moments during the Monday Night Wars and the first appearance of WCW in WWF. But I have a hard time thinking of anything in the last five years. I can’t recall any spontaneous “anything can happen” moment.
I remember sitting at Wrestlemania 25 watching the crowd come unglued for the Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker match and my reaction was, this is a standard indy match formula. I couldn’t enjoy the match like the other 60,000 people because I couldn’t let the fun side of my brain overpower the logical side. The same thing happens whenever I watch a John Cena match. Something inside me says no matter what happens, Cena will be standing tall at the end, and therefore I can’t enjoy the match.
We’re six weeks from Wrestlemania. I will be there with Kevin and Travis and while the projected card doesn’t look all that stellar, I am going to try and watch the show not as a jaded, cynical wrestling critic, but as a fan. Can I rewire my thinking and remember what it was like when I watched Wrestlemania 1 live and actually cheered for Hulk Hogan and Mr. T.? I’ll let you know on April 4.