A MATTER OF CREDIBILITY
Have you ever watched those WWF Attitude PSAs where the superstars of the day tell you "don't try this at home"? Sure you have. They're nicely done pieces that show that while wrestling is scripted, the injuries certainly aren't. I still remember Steve Austin looking into the camera on one of the spots and deadpanning, "I damn near broke my neck". The whole point with these PSAs is to make people realise that the warriors they see on WWF programming are human, but also highly trained professionals.
More and more, I'm not sure if that's necessarily true.
Every time I see Torrie Wilson and Stacy Keibler in what is being billed as a "wrestling match", I cringe. They miss their cues. They don't know how to take a back bump properly. In some cases, they are wrestling other women who also have minimal training.
There was a reason why Molly Holly started out against Ivory in that women's tag match on Raw.
They know how to wrestle.
I felt bad for Jacqueline when she had to wait for Torrie and Stacy (who had forgotten a cue) to come in and hit their spots. I also felt bad for Torrie and Stacy. They look like morons to a packed arena of fans who can obviously see that they don't know how to work a match, let alone a basic wrestling sequence.
Of course, if you put these non-trained women into tight, bright and shiny outfits, will anyone really care that they can't wrestle? Probably not. After all, this is North America and women working actual matches is as foreign a concept to wrestling fans as Occam's Razor is to a first grader. No sweat though, right? Everything's okay as is.
That is until Trish Stratus gets dropped on her head and paralyzed or Torrie Wilson falls incorrectly and breaks her tailbone.
Don't get me wrong. I know that the women who didn't go to a wrestling school receive training before they put them out there on a house show or Pay Per View. What I want to know is how much training do they get? In my opinion, they don't get nearly enough for what they are now being asked to do. If I'm Molly Holly, am I going to feel that great about being picked up for a body slam by Stacy Keibler? In 1997, Owen Hart, a well-trained professional, dropped Steve Austin on his head. Freak accidents do happen in this business, but there is something seriously wrong if you see the potential for serious injury in every match involving certain members of the roster.
Ask Bret Hart what can happen when you work a match with somebody with spotty training and experience.
Guys like Mick Foley and Jeff Hardy are the poster boys for the very backyard wrestling that they are now speaking out against. Sure, they did those things, but they at least had the brains to realise that if they wanted to do this for a living they had better get trained by somebody.
Garbage wrestling matches are used properly when TRAINED wrestlers like Austin or Foley use this style in a main event to help mask their injuries.
Garbage wrestling matches are used improperly when people like Shane McMahon or Trish Stratus are booked in them to mask their lack of wrestling ability or knowledge. While Shane is a great bump machine, he still has to be carried through a match by the likes of The Rock or Chris Benoit. That's not a knock on Shane's ability. The fact is, Shane knows how to bump very well, but since he wasn't *really* ever in a wrestling school, things like match psychology and chain wrestling are lost on him. If Shane takes a really bad bump one day and ends up in a wheelchair, who will get the blame?
All I'm asking is that everybody in the WWF who is booked into anything passed off as a wrestling match to have lots of solid, all-around training beforehand. I don't think that's too much to ask of a publicly traded company begging for legitimacy and acceptance from the rest of the marketplace. It would sure make those PSAs ring more true, that's for sure.
We already have enough "stupid human tricks" going on in the independent circuit; we shouldn't have to settle for that from the big leagues.