“Well you listen to the Beatles
Cause that what you?re told to do”
-Two Cow Garage
9/9/09. I pulled my body out of bed, saw my wife out the door and took the dog for a walk. Coffee. Hopped in my car I can?t afford and headed back to the grind. I turned on the radio for some company. Greg and Melissa were talking about Beatles Re-Mastered. Greg said something that not a lot of people have the nerve/ignorance (depending on your opinion) to say: The Beatles suck. He said they were overrated and really were never that good. The calls, emails and texts came flooding in. Some agreed, others foamed at the mouth. One caller claimed the Beatles paved the way for many great musicians while Greg shot back that music would be not different without them ever existing. I listened to them go back and forth some more, then pulled my bones out of the car for another day of work.
That radio show stuck with me all day. I myself never was a huge Beatles fan, but I never thought they sucked because you just don?t say that about the Beatles. To do so would demonstrate sheer ignorance and stupidity. However, the same people who stand behind the Beatles are bound to overlook something else in this world, bound to take something else for granted. It is not just music, but film, sports, family, friends, and to us wrestling fans, certain dimensions of professional wrestling. My thoughts went to a song by Two Cow Garage where they talk about being to like the Beatles. And the end of the verse the singer says ?Don?t question Mr. Lennon, boy, cause he gave his life for you.? After hearing that segment on the radio and thinking about that song, I began thinking about wrestling history and what we overlook.
Ask someone to name a professional wrestler. Most people will say Hulk Hogan. There is no denying that Hogan was successful in the business. You simply cannot say otherwise without cracking a smile or being full of it. As far as being a good wrestler, people will debate that. Hogan was by no means a technically savvy worker who could outwrestle Bret Hart or Kurt Angle and he didn?t have to in order to be successful. Hogan had a style that made him look more like a hero than a wrestler and that is part of why he was so successful. He didn?t need to go out and put people in a Boston Crab because he brought fans to their feet in so many other ways. Yet critics can?t stand Hogan’s style of wrestling. He was a guy with a handful of moves and they couldn?t stand watching him. To them, Hogan sucked.
Ric Flair. If there is one wrestler in the history of the sport whom up and comers aspire to be like, it is Ric Flair. Who wouldn?t want to be like him? He led a crazy and fun party life outside of the ring, and was the greatest worker in it. While Hogan was using punches and kicks and tearing off his shirt, Flair was wrestling sixty minute classics. Ric Flair and Bret Hart have had a war of words in the past few years with each accusing the other of having the same old tired routine in the ring. As Flair grew older, fans began to wonder why he was still hanging on and his routine and age may have played a role against him in how current fans judge him.
This isn?t just Hogan and Flair, but many more and not just wrestlers, but matches, styles, and promotions. This generation already has its share of ignorance’s about the history of the sport, but what about the next generation? What if people only watch footage of Flair because they were told he was good and come to the conclusion themselves that he wasn?t? I can?t imagine the day when people no longer find Flair’s matches with Rickey Steamboat to be okay or mediocre. They may think that Hogan’s epic encounters with the likes of Andre the Giant, Ultimate Worrier, and The Rock were pointless timewasters and their place in wrestling history should not be honored but downplayed. Our current stars like John Cena and Randy Orton may be completely laughable to them .Future fans of overseas wrestling may end up the same way with little appreciation of Antonio Inoki or even Mitsuhara Misawa.
Last but not least, WE will also be judged by a future generation. If future fans do not appreciate what we do now, what will they think about the people who cheered them on? The 93,000 fans who watched Hogan slam Andre could become a joke to fans that laugh at our taste in wrestling and our gullibility to fall into such a trap by Vince McMahon’s marketing. The people who still chant E-C-W to this day may be seen as an embarrassment to the business as they cheered on the barbarity of the sport.
Then again none of that may happen. Fans may appreciate everything we do and then some. They may delve deeper into wrestling history and learn more about the sport than we ever could imagine. Maybe, just maybe, there is nothing to worry about. After all, at that point it will be their history to judge, not ours. Wonder what they?ll think of the Beatles.