I don?t think my columns are all that different from anyone else’s or that my week is that much different. I watch wrestling, research wrestling, and talk to people about wrestling and through whatever creative juices are left scratch out a column. While it may not be the easiest thing to do in the world, it’s still not rocket science either. Of course the payoff to that has always been your emails and I will be honest every column is not a homerun, and even the ones that I am proudest of don?t always go over well with you guys. Criticism is the life blood of everything in this world, I don?t care what you do; you will at some point be criticized for it by someone who probably can?t even fathom what it is that you do. We who fashion ourselves ?Wrestling Media? are no different; we are probably worse off when you think about it. We don?t get too much respect from those in the profession we cover and at the same time because the internet is so open to everyone we don?t have the same respect and merit that mainstream media enjoys because we carry the stigma with us that ours is a lot that anyone can fill. To some degree I won?t even argue with that sentiment. Everyone these days is a blogger, and everyone has an opinion. The thing that I like to think separates those on Wrestleview and other respected sites are that people care about our opinions. As much as some people think they could, trust me not everyone can do this gig. There is a reason why some of you are on message boards and others are on columns. This is not meant to be a jab at readers but merely the simple truth of life. If everyone who criticized something could do what they criticized others at then there would be no critics in this world.
Make no mistake about it ?Wrestling Rumblings? is, was and will always be an opinion piece. It is an opinion supported by fact; but nonetheless it still is an opinion. Unless you state something as a fact you can be neither right nor wrong in an opinion. You can be agreed or disagreed with and every week through emails I give all of you the opportunity to freely agree or disagree with me. I can?t speak for everyone else on Wrestleview or for that matter the rest of the IWC but I not only read every email that comes my way but I answer it also. Some of my replies are just as long as the columns I write here each and every week. Why do I do this? My mindset has always been if someone cares enough that they are passionate enough to write me to agree, disagree, or just to compliment then the least I could do is give them a well thought out reply. All I ever ask is that your emails are somewhat respectful and I ask this because respect is a two way street and some readers don?t realize the work every columnist puts into their pieces to entertain you the reader. Sure I admit there is some personal gratification to be given the platform that we are given but still at the end of the day it is all about you the reader. I have been doing columns for websites for about 5 years now and as you can imagine I get my fair share of negative email. That’s fine I?ve always said the best piece of advice I have ever received is ?You can please some of the people some of the time, and all of the people none of the time, so please yourself?. Not to mention that to be anything public in this world you have to have your share of thick skin to be successful. After all as mentioned previously; everyone is a critic. Earlier this week I got the most disrespectful email I have ever received in 5 years of doing this kind of work, from someone who had a lot of passion and fire but ignored each and every fact that I gave him in my piece and make no mistake about it, while it was an opinion last week’s piece was based mainly on facts. This person swore up and down in their own negative and vulgar way that I had it all wrong. That the Main Event Mafia was one of the best groups ever in wrestling, never mind TNA. They also insisted that TNA was in the midst of its best period ever and while calling for my head and telling me that they would never read this column again (if I had a nickel for every time someone has told me that and then read it again and again I probably would own TNA by now) said that I couldn?t see anything positive in TNA. Believe it or not I emailed this reader and I thanked him for his reading the column and this week whether he reads the column or not I will take his ?criticism? for lack of a better word as a challenge. This is for you…you?re reading “Wrestling Rumblings.”
I stand by everything that I wrote last week about the Main Event Mafia and where we stand a year later. I also concur that it was a negative piece, in my opinion (and this is MY column so it is my opinion) the Main Event Mafia will go down as one of the most poorly conceived stables in wrestling history, that still doesn?t mean TNA is without promise. Any company has the potential with the right workers, creative, timing and motivation to turn their situation around at any moment. It’s just a matter of accentuating your positives and hiding your negatives and in some cases; turning your negatives into positives. TNA is more than capable of this. If you will indulge me I will give you 7 people in TNA that can make me feel positive towards its future.
1. AJ Styles- Again I stand by everything that I wrote last week. I don?t think AJ’s push to the title was handled in the best way possible. I still think he could?ve been made stronger and I still feel even as of this writing that he has not been portrayed in the best light possible. Bear in mind that as I write this particular column I have just witnessed the best TNA TV match I have ever seen between AJ and Kurt Angle. A 20 minute draw that would?ve been spectacular except AJ was booked to be put in a position where it looked as if he was saved by the bell. That’s not how I would?ve done any of this however I can see where we can go in a positive light from here. One thing you have to say about AJ Styles is that he is where he is not because of TNA but because of his fans, as far as TNA goes he has one of the strongest fanbases out there in spite of his irregular pushes at times. You know what that shows me? It shows me that everyone really wants AJ to succeed and will give him more than enough chances to watch him do so. Even though he has had 3 prior reigns as the top dog in the company you guys will give him a fourth chance and treat it as if it’s the first. It’s not often that a company has an act that fans are willing to be patient for, in order to see it succeed. This is what TNA has in AJ Styles. I wholeheartedly believe that he can play the role of the underdog for now?just for now. If TNA puts there muscle behind them, the fans can and more than likely will do the rest because they care about him. It took 7 years for TNA to really realize it but fans care about AJ Styles which is really what you want as a booker you want your fans to care and react to your babyface. If AJ beats Sting and goes onto be the proverbial dragon slayer in TNA he can cement his status as a big time player for the rest of his career and potentially be what Jeff Hardy was to WWE before his departure.
2. Hernandez- Wrestling is more than just moves. I hate it when people have arguments as to who is the best wrestler in the world? Think about it; what are you really arguing over? Which guy fake fights better than the other? It’s kind of comical when you think about it. Hernandez is not what you would consider the most polished worker but he doesn?t have to be. After all was Hulk Hogan in his heyday the greatest ring technician? Of course he wasn?t but he was still the biggest draw in the business, do you know why? Because he had charisma that’s why. Sure he was a great promo and that helped things and no I am not saying Hernandez is going to be the next Hogan but sometimes all you need is for fans to just get with a guy. Look at Batista, earlier on he was probably a worse worker in the ring than Hernandez is right now and to be honest promos weren?t his strong suit either but he got over. Do you know why? He had charisma and he had that look. Think about it: A big strong guy who just comes out there with little to say and kicks ass, what’s not to like? That’s just what you have in Hernandez and yes at some point he has to get better in the ring but in the meantime TNA can hide his weaknesses while he works on them and accentuate his positives. When you take into account that he is Hispanic and Hispanics are the fastest rising demographic in this country and take into account that out of all ethnicities there is really none that take to wrestling more than Hispanics and the sky is really the limit with him. I don?t know if he has what it takes to be a world champion but he can keep climbing the card and that is great for the company and is something to look forward to.
3. Homicide- More often than not tag teams break up and one guy sort of just fades into the ether never to be seen or heard from again. Many people, myself included were confused when TNA broke up LAX and were even more confused to see that TNA chose to forego the Hernandez vs. Homicide feud (for now anyway). It just may very well be the best thing that could have happened to Homicide. In my opinion (there goes that word again MY opinion) one of the reasons why a wrestler gets buried after a tag team break up is because when you do the feud you automatically subliminally tell your audience what management thinks of the team and who management wants you to invest your energy in. When a tag team feuds and a star goes over you never tend to think of that other guy as being on the same level or higher than his former partner and it all stems from that earlier feud. By not rushing into the Hernandez feud TNA has allowed Homicide to create an identity for himself independent of his partner where if and when the feud does happen Homicide will still have longevity as a character because people now like Homicide the character instead of Homicide the guy who was from LAX and then lost to Hernandez. WWE has done something very similar to this with John Morrison and the Miz and it is why both wrestlers have been somewhat successful and will still be relevant to their respective brands even after their upcoming match at Bragging Rights. The same thing will hopefully happen if and when Hernandez and Homicide mix it up. Homicide is a good solid wrestler, a decent promo and again another guy who can tap into that growing Hispanic market. I look forward to see what 2010 holds for him.
4. Matt Morgan- Many people don?t like this guy, but it’s still hard to look at him and not see the potential for money. Before people were applauding Tough Enough for producing Melina, Morrison and The Miz we were all waiting for the day ?The Blueprint? would rise to prominence that day could be closer than we all think. My only problem with his character was that at one point I found it to be too similar to Batista and even his angle with the Main Event Mafia initially bore some similarity to Dave’s deal in Evolution. I don?t want to see Matt Morgan be the next Dave Batista, I want to see him become the first Matt Morgan. Those in TNA creative need to see to it that Matt doesn?t fill a role but blaze his own trail. The more he gets out there the more comfortable he can become and then we can see if he does indeed have ?The Blueprint? for wrestling stardom. I can easily see a day in the future where we have a Matt Morgan vs. AJ Styles feud that grabs our attention for all the right reasons.
5. Daniels- I knocked the guy last week, but again I will say it, he is my favorite wrestler to watch pound for pound in the world and has been so for years. He hasn?t had that much steam about him since he has returned from playing hooded gimmicks but maybe just maybe TNA can make that work for them. I?m of the belief that wrestling fans no matter how smart they can be at times can be conditioned over time if persistent. I still see the potential for a Daniels who maybe can?t win the world title but can still find himself in the main event at times. As a matter of fact if TNA was to maybe use the fact that he has played second fiddle to AJ Styles the whole time they have co existed in TNA and maybe even went out of their way to ‘shoot? with the fans and have him acknowledge his time as Curry Man and his lack of opportunity in TNA he could have all the justification in the world to maybe turn heel and have a meaningful feud with AJ Styles and establish himself as a top player in TNA. If booked right it can happen because wrestling fans have proven time and time again that they are willing to forget things if you can give them an entertaining reason to do so. I am begging those at TNA to do it as it will definitely be one of the most exciting main events you could give fans in today’s age of wrestling from both a storyline and in ring perspective.
6. Lacey Von Erich- No I don?t foresee the next coming of Trish Sratus here and I am not going to put Lacey over in that sense. Anything can happen in the future but I don?t see that happening. I don?t even feel she has the charisma to become a sought after star in the business but what she does have is heat. Tons and tons of heat and in the spirit of turning a negative into a positive maybe I can make that a good thing. A famous person once said ?I don?t care if they talk bad about me or if they talk good, as long as they talk about me? and that’s exactly what we got with Lacey Von Erich. Can you recall the last time there was so much talk in a negative manner over someone who just literally broke into the business? I can?t either and I say if we are going to have Lacey in the company let’s make use of her bad publicity and utilize it somehow. Some of the best gimmicks and angles all started as shoots of some kind. I won?t sparkle hope and say that this can be the start of something big because well I?d be lying but it can be something interesting and different that can help spice things up a bit and well that’s a positive if you ask me.
7. Dixie Carter- It’s her company and after years of being a figurehead she is finally ready to take the bull by the horns. One thing that everyone always says that’s a plus with the WWE is that you always know where the buck stops and that’s Vince McMahon. With TNA it has been a bit more complex than that for pretty much its whole existence as even early on there was power struggles between the Jarrett’s for the company. Dixie has finally put her foot down and maybe with that being done we can finally get a clear cut direction for the company and that’s something to be happy about. Maybe she isn?t the right person to run a company but the truth of the matter is it is her company and she needs to step up, learn the business and make the tough decisions. As she grows in the business so will TNA.
Let me wrap up the column this week on this note: I love your feedback, and I enjoy debating with anyone. ?Wrestling Rumblings? and any other column you read on Wrestleview should be likened to talking wrestling with your friends. How many of you talk wrestling to your friends and before you know it a debate ensues? I could sit here and give you the name of that person who wrote that email and put him down from here till tomorrow but that would do me no good. I?m not out to silence voices and I am not full of myself to think that I am here to enlighten the masses either. I?m here to give an insight, my insight and with it spark intrigue, discussion and in some cases debate. So let your voices be heard, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and well that’s it for this week, next week I will try to do better, and until then I am out.