YIN AND YANG
The Yin and Yang of Forgetfullness: My e-mail address recently changed, and I forgot to ask CRZ to change the "Mail the Author" link to the correct address until recently. So, if you sent me feedback and are wondering why I didn't respond, now you know (and knowing's half the battle, according to G.I. Joe), and I apolgize. So, whether you praised or berated, fear not - Your Olympic Site Owner, Commander Zimmerman, has done away with the evil forces of the Society of Wrong E-mail Links (or 'SWEL'), and peace has returned to the bustling metropolis of slashwrestling.com. Tune in next week as.....
Brew Recommends: If you have a PS2 (and, of course, are old enough to comply with the "Mature" rating - haaa haaa haaa), do yourself a favor and immediately purchase Grand Theft Auto 3. It is the funniest and most addictive game I've ever played. Those of you who've played it may ask: "But Mr. Guy, the game has fake radio commercials which berate wrestling and it's fans!!" And I would respond: "Yes, this is true. But, when you can take a bat to the head of a guy who just told you that you drive like a pussy, steal his car, run him over with it, and make tire tracks with his blood, IT'S ALL GOOD."
Greetings, salutations, and howarya? Welcome to The Yin and Yang; the column that grabs hold of an issue and beats the heck out of it - from both sides. As always:
The Yin is the bad. The Yang is the good.
The Yin is pessimism. The Yang is optimism.
The Yin is a glass half empty.The Yang is a glass half full.
The Yin is why I don't like it. The Yang is why I do.
Call 'em Cruiserweights, call 'em Light-Heavyweights, call 'em Luchas, call 'em whatever you'd like. But they're there. You may not notice them all the time - but they're there. Light-Heavyweights (herein referred to as LH's) are some of the most talented wrestlers in the business. But the LH division of the WWF has never really taken off, and it's hard to say why. So, let's have a look at the Yin and Yang of LH's, shall we? Yes, lets.
Wendy, they can FLY!
LH's (in general) are among the most athleticly gifted wrestlers around. The moves they pull off seem to defy gravity sometimes. I remember watching in awe as Tajiri dove over the top rope from the ring to the outside to splash the Dudleys on the oustide. His body NEVER TOUCHED THE TOP ROPE. How high are is the top rope, anyway? 5 feet or so? And that's just one small example. 450 Splashes, Missile Dropkicks, Shooting Star Presses, Hurricanranas, and planchas o' plenty are just some of the arcobatics LH's can pull off. All moves which demand attention - moves that simply cannot be ignored. These moves almost always illicit decent pops from the crowd. And guys like Jeff Hardy, Billy Kidman, Rey Mysterio Jr., Chavo and Eddie Guerrero, and X-Pac are some of the best in the world, not to mention the Mexican Lucha Libre wrestlers who make a mockery of physics on a consistant basis.
Wendy, they can WRESTLE
LH's (again, in general) also seem to be among the most technically sound wrestlers in the business as well. Look at a guy like Dean Malenko. Among his monikers are "The Professor" and "The Man of 1001 Holds", His moves are carried out with a surgeon's precision, and he'll show you submission holds you've never even heard of. Scott Steiner (before each muscle in his body quadrupled in size) used to execute the Frankensteiner Hurricanrara with scalpel-like precision. And again, that's just a couple of examples. You'll usually see a lot of different wrestling holds, submissions, and pinning combinations in a LH match - lots of false finishes that get the crowd going. In short, it's pretty rare that I find myself not enjoying a LH match.
But Wendy, they can't PUNCH
LH matches seem to be laden with high spots and technical wrestling, and that's not a bad thing - that's a good thing. But when it comes to making a good match a great match, you have to be able to do some down-to-earth slobberknockin'. A solid punch is usually a more effective storytelling device than a hurricanrana. You don't see many punch exchanges in LH matches, and when you do, it looks so horrible that it destroys the flow of the match. In fact, it seems to be getting to the point where the crowd is so used to the LH's pulling off high-flying moves, that they aren't as nearly impressed as they used to be. The bottom line here is storytelling, and until LH can incorporate some solid looking scraps, it's going to be tough for them to be considered a top contender.
Size does matter
When it comes to wide-spread credability, a wrestling champion HAS to be a big guy - especially now that the WWF had more mainstream acceptance than ever before. Nobody would say that The Rock is more talented in technical wrestling than Dean Malenko or Billy Kidman, but nobody would say that Billy Kidman should be wrestling for the WWF Title, either. An interesting quandry, don't you think? The marks have to be happy with what they're seeing, and they have to have a champion that by just LOOKING at him, you know that he could defeat everybody else. It's awfully tough to do that when you're looking at a smaller guy.
Just does LH fit into the big picture?
Well, I don't have the answer, but I DO know the following:
a) When X-Pac was the 1-2-3 Kid way back when, before he hurt his neck, he was my favorite wrestler. He flew around the ring, he took VICIOUS bumps from guys much bigger than he, he was faster than the blink of an eye, and the crowd seemed to cheer everything he did. He played the "babyface underdog" role perfectly, and for me at the time, was the #1 WWF guy.
b) Chris Jericho is the WCW Champion, and he could be considered a Light Heavyweight.
c) The only reason I watched WCW at all was for Rey Mysterio Jr.
d) Anything can happen in the WWF! Ok, that's cliche, but it's generally true.
Hey, you tell me! 'Till next time!
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