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Is Pro Wrestling Going to the Dogs?
By RAUL SMITH, MOP Squad Sports Staff Writer
Feb 2, 2008 - 3:39:29 AM

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WARNING: The following article you are about to read is an impassioned, emotional rant that is themed to the tune of the recent State of the Union address and the upcoming Westminster Dog Show that claims that wrestling may be going to the dogs, so to speak. The opinions expressed in this rant are not necessarily the opinions of anybody not named Raul Smith, and should be accepted as such and not actual fact, although facts will be provided to help bolster the argument.


You have been warned…thank you…


Hello, good day, and Buenos Dias. By now, I’m sure you are all aware of where exactly I stand with regards to competition in wrestling. But if not, let me briefly go over it once again.


I am in the firm belief that when there is competition in wrestling, meaning other major promotions not owned by somebody whose last name is McMahon, the storylines WWE has given us tend to be better historically than when they are the only dog in the big yard. However, I have a feeling that we may be getting ready to witness another Dark Age of Wrestling.


Recently, certain trends have been bothering me somewhat. So much so that I have gone out of my way to write a column a few weeks back entitled “Dixie Carter’s Wake-Up Call”. I still feel, have always felt, and will continue to feel until given a very good reason to do otherwise that TNA can still become a major power in professional wrestling. However, it’s looking less and less likely that anything is going to change in TNA anytime soon.


For starters, the storylines in TNA recently have been far worse than anything WWE has ever put out, with the exception of Katie Vick. First, here you have a tag team in TNA that is splitting apart because one member decided that he’d rather team up with his 70-something-year-old father than his 30-something-year-old tag team partner – a tag team partner that he’s been in countless matches with for more than a decade now – to try and win the TNA World Tag Team Championships. Then, you have a woman that probably weighs as much as Triple H carrying the Women’s Championship. You have a 20-time championship-winning tag team duo looking to exterminate the very division that put TNA on the map to begin with. On top of that, you have a regular curtain-jerker wrap himself up so much you’d think he was a mummy (in an attempt to mock the WWE’s recent string of injuries, no less), slip into a coma, and wake up from said coma channeling Stone Cold Steve Austin. Yeah, that wasn’t at all obvious.


And, of course, you have an over-the-hill, washed-up, steroid-using (allegedly), 40-something-year-old, broken-necked has-been, whose sole claim to fame outside wrestling circles is the two Olympic gold medals he won twelve years ago, carrying the TNA World Heavyweight Championship and seemingly calling all the shots.


At first, I was willing to give Kurt Angle the benefit of the doubt. You’d recall that in a column I wrote shortly after Angle left WWE to go to TNA, I was actually praising Angle. However, over a year has passed, and my opinion on the bald-headed champion has dramatically changed. It seems now, to me anyway, that Kurt Angle didn’t leave WWE because he was scared for his life, as he claimed. It seems to me that Kurt Angle left WWE because he knew that in TNA, he could be the top dog for several more years, whereas had he stayed in WWE, he would’ve continued to play second fiddle to the likes of Rob Van Dam, Bobby Lashley, Big Show, Sabu, CM Punk, and any other guys that he would’ve had to push in ECW. Kurt Angle would much rather be holding back the likes of Kaz, Samoa Joe, Christian Cage, and A.J. Styles than help push the next generation of talent, and make himself look good in the process. And apparently, with Dixie Carter’s full blessing.


So, since I’m through trying to talk some sense into Dixie Carter, and since I’m through trying to talk some sense into that performance-enhanced cranium of Kurt Angle’s, I’m sending this short message out to the only person in power in TNA that’s still sane:


Memo to Jeff Jarrett: I know you’re still grieving from the loss of your wife. I honestly cannot begin to imagine what you’re going through right now. But, if you’re not careful and don’t start taking back control of that little wrestling company your family started, the vision and dream your wife made into Total Nonstop Action Wrestling could very well end very soon. Clearly, if your locker room morale is so bad that Chris Harris, who has been there from Day One, decides to voluntarily jump ship to WWE, you know you have issues.


I hate to agree with Lance Storm on this one, but TNA programming lately has been nothing short of retarded. (With all due respect to the mentally-challenged, those were Lance Storm’s words, not mine.)


Couple all of this with the recent financial struggles that Ring of Honor is experiencing, and it’s the perfect storm to set WWE up to perhaps be the only big dog in the wrestling yard for the rest of Vincent Kennedy McMahon’s life. And the worst part of it all is I think Vince knows this.


Why else would he give out falsified information regarding John Cena’s injuries, to make the fans think that Cena would not be back until after Wrestlemania 24? Yeah, either that or he’d appear in two PPV main events before Wrestlemania 24. Oh, and to all you Cena fans, save your noise about how that’s not the case, that Cena just busted his ass to get back to WWE. You’d better pray that’s not the case, because if it is, it sounds a lot to me like he had a little help from a dirty friend that other wrestlers know very well who just goes by his initials: HGH.


Why else would Vince McMahon put unwatchable, untalented hacks like Big Daddy V and Mark Henry in main events time and time again? I understand wanting to put Randy Orton or Edge in a main event week after week. As I’ve said on many an occasion, love them or hate them, the former Rated RKO teammates are two of the most physically-gifted performers in the industry today. But Big Daddy V and Mark Henry? Hell, I’d even take the Great Khali over those two any day of the week and twice on Fridays. And you all know how I feel about Khali.


But, more importantly, why else would Vince McMahon continue to pursue an incest angle? If he couldn’t pull one off with his own daughter, he’ll just stick the reprehensible gimmick on somebody else, bring in a (I’m assuming) hot chick to pretend she’s the unfortunate soul’s sister, and have them make out. Which is apparently what they plan on doing with Paul Burchill; yes, that Paul Burchill. The man who was last seen on WWE programming imitating Captain Jack Sparrow. But, give WWE a little bit of credit where it’s due…at least they won’t put that garbage on SmackDown! to be ridiculed on network television.


Now, contrary to what you may think, I’m not opposed to the Colin Delaney storyline on ECW. For those unaware of what that’s about, Colin Delaney is this scrawny kid that came from nowhere to get his ass handed to him on a silver platter by the likes of Shelton Benjamin, Mark Henry, Big Daddy V, and Kane, among others. And week after week, beating after brutal beating, Colin Delaney shows up with some new bandages on a different part of his body to add to what he already had. Hmmm…that sounds familiar. I’m willing to bet they still think so, but I don’t think TNA mocking WWE’s recent string of injuries by dressing Sharkboy as the Shark Mummy was worth it.


Hell, to make matters worse for Vince McMahon’s ego, even other forms of entertainment, such as other TV shows, are taken off the air because of the writers’ strike. Something else we didn’t need is even less competition from the other genres of entertainment on television.


I understand that wrestling can never witness something as great as the old Monday Night Wars. That right there is pretty much a given. But, would it be too much to ask that Vince McMahon keep Katie Vick V2.0 in his back pocket…permanently?


After all, there are still plenty of options for us wrestling fans other than what’s on television.


A.)     There’s reading. I’m halfway into a book I received for Christmas: Eric Bischoff’s book entitled Controversy Creates Cash. I’m here to tell you there is so much information in that book that I never even knew about or maybe had forgotten. Keep in mind I grew up in Utah, so my options for watching professional wrestling were limited at best. For instance, did you know Bischoff’s wrestling career actually started in the old AWA when it was run by Verne Gagne? Very interesting read and I’m only now getting to the part where he made the decision to bring in Hall and Nash to WCW.

B.)     We could always play video games. You’d be mightily surprised how time consuming creating a wrestler from scratch can be these days.

C.)     There’s old wrestling tapes or DVDs.

D.)     You could always exercise during that time frame. Two hours a night can be very beneficial for those New Year’s Resolutions that half of you probably already have broken.


What I’m saying – or trying to say – is that Vince McMahon needs to keep in mind that he can try and try with all his might, but he’ll never be the be-all-and-all of entertainment in this country.


That designation actually is reserved for the NFL.


Welcome to the Dog Days of Professional Wrestling. (No pun intended.)


To the many that have fallen before this day, God Bless you all, and may you be in a much better place today than you were here. Your memories will live on, though you are gone.

Copyright 2007 - MOP Squad Sports

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