THE MAT POTATO III
Return of the Bride of the Son of the Mat Potato
Once again I want to thank my muse, Heather. I received a nice e-mail from her regarding my last column which she inspired.
The mail she sent asked me why it is that we columnists tend to dwell on the negatives, rather than accentuate the positive in the sport.
That got me to thinking about it. Perhaps it's the same reason that the news is filled with the tragedy of life, and very seldom do we ever see stories on the positives.
There must be something about the sport that we like, else why would we subject ourselves to it repeatedly? I know that CRZ isn't making any money off his reviews, and none of the columnists here are being paid. There must be something we like, other than bitching about what we don't like.
So, here is a list of things that are currently happening that I do like.
Chuck Palumbo - I am glad to see new blood being brought forth. It's always nice to see somebody new coming up. I have seen him a couple of times on Saturday nights and was impressed by him. Actually, before the Saturday night show went to the rehash mode, I always enjoyed watching some of the matches using the power plant guys. It sort of took me back a bit because there really isn't a story line I have to be concerned with, and I can just concentrate on the action. One of these days we'll be able to look back and remember where he (and several others) got their start.
The radicals wrestling each other. This is a rather bittersweet issue with me. I love the thought of these guys hooking it up as they are all blessed with great talent and put on a great show. I like the thought of them being a group, but it seems that the only people worthy of their talents, and who will put on a good exhibition with them are each other. Well, Y2J should also be put in the group of workers who will give them a good match.
Speaking of Y2J, his recent elevation to the upper reaches of the card is heartening in that it signals the willingness to allow the younger stars to rise up. How easy it is to let the current crop of headliners linger and hog the spotlight, without regard to the replacements. This allows the younger talent the opportunity to gain the much needed experience there, plus you have your replacements ready to go when your top performers aren't available.
The pending iron man match. OK, so I'm living in the past when hour long matches were the norm. When a championship match would often be a no time limit match with the participants going for over an hour before one finally managed to get the pin. However, if this goes off well, and the run-ins are kept to a minimum (zero being the minimum), let these guys go for it. I've read that there is serious doubt whether these two men can even last an hour. I think they can, and I think it can be an entertaining bout. Granted, there will be rest holds, lots of them, but that's what they're for, now isn't it. This one could turn out to be about ring strategy and bring back the concept of "ring generalship".
More wrestling, less "sports entertainment". The WWF seems to be moving in this direction, and it probably won't be long before the WCW does too. I have very limited exposure to ECW, but from what I read from those who write extensively about it, ECW has always had pure wrestlers. Jerry Lynn being the latest in a long line. For every "NuJack" there is a Dean Malenko. The pendulum seems to be swinging back toward the athletic side of the sport, for which I applaud it. There will always be a bit of "sports entertainment" with us, but it's role seems to be diminishing for now.
The whole McMahon family feud. Sure, it belongs on Jerry Springer, but it does allow a couple of angles that seem to resonate with me. First, the whole "evil corporate bastard" image. I work for a large corporation, and to be honest, I couldn't pick the president out of a line up. However, there are times that I'm just convinced that he is totally out of touch with what goes on at my level. I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this way, so seeing the boss portrayed as the heel is about right. After all, wrestling has a tradition of being morality plays, the heels are whatever group joe sixpack is aroused against. Today it just happens to be corporate America.
The other angle in the McMahon saga is the family feud. Why do you think all the soaps generally bring you the sordid lives of the ultra rich and chic? It's fun to know that even being rich and seemingly having it all isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Plus we always want to see those above us brought down a notch or two, even if it's all a work.
So as you can see, there is still plenty to like out there, if you look hard enough.