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At 18 years old, I'm not really that old, but I have been watching wrestling for more than half of my life. For the past 10 years, I have been pretty entertained by this business. But recently, I have been sorta pissed off at some of the things that the World Wrestling Federation has been doing. To me, it seems like they have sold out a bit. Please, let me explain.

Like I said before, I've been watching wrestling for 10 years now, and I've been following some of the behind-the-scenes type stuff on the Internet for about 4 or 5 years. Compared to a lot of people on the ‘net, I'm still just a newcomer. And you know what? I can respect that. I am in awe of some of these people that have been following the business since the days of Antonio Inoki, Buddy Rogers, and the AWA. But I really have a hard time comprehending the fact that there are actually some people out there watching wrestling today that haven't even been around as long as I have.

It's quite annoying, actually. These are the same kinds of people that were around during the wrestling boom of the 80s. They just watch wrestling because it's a fad. For the most part, all these mainstream fans aren't watching the shows for the wrestling as much as they're watching for the showmanship and storylines. Now don't get me wrong, I enjoy those things as much as the next guy, but without the wrestling, well, what the hell is pro wrestling all about?

And that's one of my biggest gripes about the business. Starting with the WWF, it has become less pro wrestling and more sports entertainment. I know, Vince McMahon came up with the term to avoid having to follow certain regulations for sporting events, but the label has gone much farther than that. Thankfully, the WWF appears to be putting some more wrestling back into their shows, but I think the damage has been done. RAW is WAR's 20-minute-long show-opening interview segments have become a requisite for almost all WWF programming now. If this kind of trend continues, we're going to get to the point where a WWF Superstar (that's right, they're called Superstars now, not wrestlers) won't even have to know a lick of wrestling to make it big.

Now, why do I say the WWF has sold out? Simple. That company was started on the basis of wrestling. I mean, without wrestling, the WWF would just be the World Federation. But when they started noticing how more fans were drawn to the non-wrestling aspects of their shows, they gave a big "fuck you" to the wrestling fans and went where the money was. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, seeing as how they've been begging for mainstream attention for so long now. You ask a non-wrestling fan to watch a wrestling show, you better have something besides wrestling on your show to entertain him. But what about the rest of us? What about the faithful that have been supporting the WWF for so many years now? We came for the wrestling, and goddammit, we want some wrestling. To this day, I have not witnessed anything on television as sickening as the 30-minute-long piece of sports entertainment garbage that was the Rocky Maivia birthday special. If you put Mick Foley and The Rock on my television for 30 minutes, their asses better be in the ring.

Everything the WWF is doing is taking it more and more away from the sports side of the business and closer to the entertainment side. I knew I was going to be in for some disappointing television as soon as the parent company changed her name from Titan Sports to World Wrestling Federation Entertainment. Dammit, can't you entertain us with in-ring action? It's not like you don't have the talent to do it! Hardy Boyz, Edge, Rocky Maivia, HHH, Chris Benoit, Essa Rios, Tazz. The list goes on forever. My greatest fear is that by this time next year, the biggest sports action coming out of WWFE will be the XFL.

Just a couple of weeks ago I heard something on WWF television that just made me sick to my stomach. During a broadcast of Sunday Night Heat, Edge and Christian were lighting up the commentary with some wisecracking remarks about the Dudley Boyz. They even went as far as to compare them to our old friends, the Bushwhackers. To hear them talk about a team I hadn't seen for so long definitely made me crack a smile, but that smile immediately left my face when I heard Kevin Kelly and Dok Hendrix explain to the fans who the Bushwhackers were. Dammit, it's not like they retired in the 70s! The damn team was on WWF television less than 10 years ago. But the WWF knows that they have a ton of viewers that weren't watching their shows 3 years ago, so they have to explain to the little babies what's going on. It's just pathetic.

If you conducted a poll of all wrestling fans today, how many do you think have been watching for more than 5 years? I doubt it's even 25 percent. Today's wrestling fan was either brought in by all the T&A on wrestling television, Stone Cold Steve Austin's foul mouth, or, well, all the T&A on wrestling television. A ton of die-hard wrestling fans have stopped watching because there just wasn't enough wrestling in today's sports entertainment product.

The WWF isn't the only wrestling company out there doing this, though. I know that ECW and WCW have been following suit, but that's just it: they've been copying what the WWF has been doing. Now, I haven't been watching ECW that long since none of my local stations carried their syndicated show, but for the longest time, WCW tried to hold their own with their own brand of wrestling. Sure the ratings sucked, but I'll be damned if you didn't see some wrestling on WCW shows. You don't even have to go back 3 years to see some excellent action featuring Dean Malenko, Chris Benoit, Eddy Guerrero, Blitzkrieg, Rey Mysterio, Bret Hart, Booker T, and a ton of other wrestlers. Go back a little further and you get some cross-promotion between WCW and some big names in Japan and Mexico, places where workrate has always been king. But while WCW has been built on a lot of tradition and is filled with people that have been around for the long haul, its parent company, Time Warner, is not a wrestling company, and it is in the wrestling business purely for money. They let WCW continue doing what it wanted to do with the product for quite awhile. It even had a very successful run for a few years when the nWo concept began, but when the WWF began spewing this sports entertainment nonsense all over the planet, Time Warner took notice and told WCW to shape up or ship out. Ever since then, WCW has had to put wrestling on the back burner. Right now, their main priority is to be competitive again. Hopefully, that's when I'll get my luche libre back.

WCW and ECW aren't the only places where you see the WWF's influence these days. If you look at the online wrestling scene, things have changed quite a bit from a few years back. Today, unless you're checking out,,., or one of the other big websites, you're in for a rude awakening. Every single 12-year-old and his brother that has been sucked in by sports entertainment is polluting the web with his own brand of wrestling "news." It's all a bunch of horseshit. How many of those little kids would be on the Web ruining things for the rest of us if the WWF and WCW stuck to wrestling? Do you think any of those horny prepubescent losers would be posting "TONS OF NUDE PICTURES OF CHRIS JERICHO!!!!!" (ugh, what a sick thought). If the WWF hadn't provided the Sables and the poontang pies and the Oh Hell Yeahs, the wrestling world would be a lot more mature. I could go on and on about how shitty things have become online, but I think Jon Farrer did much better than I ever could in his rant on

In the end, we all have to understand that the WWF, WCW, ECW, AJPW, NJPW, and all those other wrestling companies out there are just that: companies. They are in it for the money. If they cater to these new fans more than they cater to the die-hards, it's because there aren't that many die-hards left. Personally, I am disappointed that they decided they didn't need wrestling in their wrestling companies to make a profit. I think they are just setting themselves up for failure in the long run because all of these sports entertainment fans are just watching the shows because it's the latest fad. But, as betrayed as I feel, I think I'll still stick to wrestling. I just can't help myself.


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