-The First Shot-
Hello everyone and welcome to your Ecto Cooler deprived edition of The Shoot! I am your gracious host as always for this 14th edition of your favorite column (and mine!). Another busy week for me here as I just wrapped up my final class for college and now all that stands between me and my degree is an internship and I currently have an application with Electronic Arts to satisfy that portion of my degree. With any luck, I?ll be shooting my way through the gaming industry! See what I did there? A play on words, baby! Yeah? you?re right? that was horrid. *ahem* QUICK SHOTS! (Nice save!)
First it was Ric Flair. Then it was Bret Hart. If that didn?t get you to drive up to Canada, then how about Lance Storm coming back to active competition for that weekend in ROH!? I almost jumped out of my chair and screeched like a little school girl. Lance Storm and Bryan Danielson was a tremendous match and even though I would like to see a rematch between the two, I would also love to see him vs Chris Hero and vs Davey Richards. Those would both be tremendous matches. Sadly, I would have shat myself if it was Storm vs McGuinness, but Nigel is injured and asking for him to do that match wouldn?t be right. Either way, I am super excited to hear about the events coming up for ROH in Canada as I think those will be memorable shows without a doubt.
So TNA wants to do a TNA Past vs TNA Present for Slammiversary this year. Honestly? I like that idea? a lot. If they can get the talent, there would be some very very interesting match ups there that could fill out the card. They?ve already began working on bringing Amazing Red back to TNA. I wonder if Erik Watts will show up. There’s The Harris Twins? hell, even bring Ken Shamrock. There’s a lot of interesting combinations you can do. I heard Raven might even be a person interested in returning and being a big fan of Raven in the past, I approve this as well.
And right after Shoot #13 went up, Manabu Nakanishi is your NEW International Wrestling Grand Prix Heavyweight Champion! Like much of the wrestling world, I was shocked that they took the title off of Hiroshi Tanahashi so quickly, but Nakanishi has some great credentials. He was the 1999 G1 Climax winner, the Young Lion Cup Winner of 1995, a 3-time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champion, and under the name of Kurasawa, was a member of the WCW Roster where, if I remember correctly, he was managed by Colonel Robert Parker who was better known to the wrestling world as Tennessee Lee. At 41 years of age, Nakanishi became IWGP Champion and my hat’s off to him. Now what do we have to do to get the belt around Liger’s waist before he retires?
-The Big Shot: Is Wrestling a Sport?-
So this week’s main topic stems from a conversation that I had with a friend of mine during my weekly anime night. For the longest time, the question of whether or not wrestling was fake was being asked. Back in the old days many believed that wrestling was real. When we grew up as little kids watching wrestling, we believed it was real, but when we grew up, we couldn?t be fooled anymore. It was like learning the truth behind Santa Claus. We all realized that wrestling was ?fake? and was just a form of entertainment like going to watch a movie, a live play, etc.
With that issue aside, a new issue and a new question had risen from the ashes. The question of whether or not pro-wrestling is an actual sport is now making its rounds through the internet. There are some companies like Ring of Honor, that like to promote wrestling as a sport and then there are those like World Wrestling Entertainment who like to promote is a form of a soap opera or a drama because they realize that it is entertainment.
Last week, I talked about how characters and stories are what really sell tickets in the wrestling business and that is very much true. This would tend to make people believe that wrestling is not a sport and just a form of entertainment. I mean, there is a very solid argument to be made here. Television shows are entertainment. Live shows are also entertainment. Pro-Wrestling is both at the same time. You have characters, you have compelling stories, you have comedy, you have drama, suspense, and pretty much else under the sun all rolled into one package.
In fact, as I sit here and type this column, I just watched Santina vs Beth Phoenix on Monday Night Raw and that right there is entertainment in its purest form. You could say everything about the WWE is entertainment in its purest form, but to that, I have a question.
What about the fans that are entertained by the wrestling in the ring?
I only ask because while I can appreciate a good storyline, a goofy character, or pyrotechnics and video packages, I am also a fan of in-ring action. I am entertained by the story told in the ring through submission holds, anger, fist exchanges, suplexes, games of ?can you top this?? and so forth. In order to pull off these moves, one needs to be in top physical condition. You needs to spend days in a gym, hours per session, and craft your body. You have to go to a dungy gym and do 1000 hindu squats, running in place, sit ups, and exercises and train your body to be in its top physical form.
You need to build your stamina, know how to control your breathing so you don?t gas out too quickly. You need power, agility, speed, and, guess what? Athletic prowess. The very nature of those necessities to hang inside the ring with some of the best in the business earn wrestlers the title of athlete. They train harder, work harder, and take little to no time off than your pro football, baseball, basketball, hockey, or any other player from any professional sport. They put their bodies on the line, suffer and work through more injuries than many professional athletes in ?real? sports.
There are wrestling companies in the United States, Japan, and all over the world that will actually push wrestlers based on their work rate because there is a niche base of fans that actually like to see wrestling matches versus storylines and characters. While I will wholeheartedly agree that being in business for that reason will really prevent your company from growing into a major corporation like the WWE or to a lesser extent, TNA, sometimes a company will stay small to have that alternative appeal to those niche fans.
To those fans, wrestling is a sport. Those fans hold within them, a deep appreciation for the moves and holds that are applied inside the square circle for their own entertainment. And if by using the words ?entertainment through wrestling? means that it disqualifies wrestling from being a sport, then what about the people who are entertained by their favorite football team winning? I?m entertained when I watch my New England Patriots tear it up on the grid iron. Does that mean football isn?t a sport because I?m entertained by it?
While I do make a strong argument that the physicality of professional wrestling could make it a sport, that belief is borderlined because while there is evidence to support that claim, there is just as much evidence to disprove it as well.
Sadly, this isn?t a clear cut case like the fake issue with professional wrestling. While the mere utterance of the word makes some wrestling ?purists? cringe? one much thank Vince McMahon for bringing the term Sports Entertainment into our daily lives because this is as close to defining wrestling as you?re going to get. Under this term wrestling is both a sport and entertainment and, honestly, that is exactly what it is, but despite this label, you know that there will always and forever be the eternal argument to prove wrestling if it’s purely entertainment or truly a sport.
-Feedback Question of the Week-
What is your opinion on wrestling? Do you think it is a sport? Purely entertainment? Or do you think Sports Entertainment is the clear cut, be-all-to-end-all definition of pro-wrestling?
Suzanne checks in again with some weekly rants
I think bringing in Brett is a good idea although I don’t quite understand brining in Ric Flair in Canada. I would have brought in Lance Storm or someone else from Canada if Brett Hart wouldn’t do the second date.
I have mixed feelings on the Hart Foundation 2.0 now WWE took care of one of my problems last week on RAW when they said that the Colons could defend their WWE Unified World Tag Team Championships on all WWE TV Shows. I still think that all the tag teams should be on one show but this is the second best option. However there is still the matter of Natalya being on a show without a Women’s Championship. I am currious if they will even be allowed to call themselves the Hart Foundation 2.0 since Teddy Hart and Jack Evans are using the name in AAA. I wouldn’t be shocked if he blocks WWE from using the name.
-The Big Shot: ROH’s Transition from DVD to Television-
I would disagree with you that ROH doesn’t have storylines or characters they are just more simple and straight forward then in WWE. Much more like the Original ECW and Territory Days in wrestling.
I agree that being on TV you have to have some shorter matches but you do not need to change the in ring product just because you are on TV to cater to casual fans. That is the mistake TNA is making, If you stick to what works for you evenually it will catch on. Whixh is why being on a small network like is a advantage because on HDNet you have time to grow.
I agree that personalities are important but they should not be the only that should matter. Work rate should matter just as much. As far as A Double goes I don’t think they are going far enough with him. Since he is a heel and is pretty much playing The Austin Star gimmick then he should be wearing the outfit to really piss off the ROH faithful.
I think they need to put The Briscoes in either matching tights or trunks to look more professional. Claudio Castagnoli I would have his look more like the look of HHH when he debuted in WWE or when he was in WCW before that when he was wrestling as Jean-Paul Levesque. Those charecters were pretty much the same charecter that Claudio is doing. Chris Hero I think needs to go back to his old look when he was wrestling in more of a Super Hero costume. Brian Danielson is someone that I think could do a change to his look without changing him too much. I would either have him come to the ring in his old school American Dragon masked look then remove the mask before he wrestles or just wear tights like Ricky Steamboat wore at WrestleMania. I would have the American Wolves change what they wear to a copy of what the British Bulldogs wore back in the day with the obvious difference been the American Flag would be on their ass instead of the British flag.
-The Final Shot-
That will do it for me this week. As always, if you wish to discuss wrestling, the swine flu, why I think that ?I shoot little girls for fun? is the best line I?ve heard in an anime, send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org. Next week we will look at the mating rituals of dolphins and why Paul London and Bryan Danielson are a pod product of such rituals! BZZZZZ!
Because I can!