Today I am going to shoot on Sports Entertainment that I like to call Pro Wrestling. One of the greatest misconceptions of the Modern Era is that wrestling has evolved, yes it has improved tremendously when it comes to athleticism and presentation but by the same token character building and believability has taken a back seat.
The astounding acceptance of the Attitude Era demonstrated the fact that sports entertainment/pro wrestling is more about characters than athletes. Today I will reflect on the characters and gimmicks which were a mere reflection of their inner self, individuals that were real to the core and helped reignite feuds and regenerate ratings.
Rowdy Roddy Piper:
Without a doubt, Late Roddy Piper will go down as on one of the most polished heels in the history books, whether it was his matches or promos, he knew how to get into the nerves of both the viewers and the talent which made him generate heat with hostility. Piper’s temper was always fragile and throughout his life, he spoke his mind and kept picking fights in and outside the ring. The promo he cut against Vince Russo or the confrontation he had with Mr T early on, it was all Piper and not the delusional drama that we are used to witnessing these days. In Today’s wrestling environment where heels like to be cool, Piper is the prime example of how a methodical hot head can take a feud mainstream and make money.
To put in the simple context. Sheik was a maniac. He was a ribbing machine ready to pounce on anyone and everyone. What got him over was his uncanny ability to entertain the crowd with his sheer arrogance and ignorance. Till date, he believes that he is an Olympian and a professional athlete in his prime. Iron Sheik was a legit act that turned into a comical one because the guy was outright funny with a sense of tuning and timing. His promos, appearance, physical prowess and the body of work which was different from others made him a hot commodity across all territories in those days. Sheik will go down as one of the most entertaining personalities in the wrestling world and he still hasn’t lost it, just get a hold of him in Georgia and you’ll be in for a fun Ride.
This guy is a heat magnet and can create Havoc in Heaven. Jim is the only old-school character you can find now because all others have accepted that the Wrestling has changed and thus became civilized. Jim is still living in that chaotic era where the Rock and Roll express took on the Midnight and Express and tore the house down literally. His promos were so cunning and irritating that it could stir the sanest minds. Whether it was the tennis racket put into motion or the heel acts that would anger and agitate the crowds wanting his head, Jimmy was just being Jimmy. He has mended fences with the office in recent times but still, Jim Cornette remains as one of the most contemplating and contradicting minds in the business
Punk has been a Rebel throughout his life. His Attitude has invited backlash and received appreciation according to the perception of the people around him. Punk has the ability to be both immaculate and indecisive which creates a feeling of frustration for us as fans. Punk never backed down from the office and that was the main reason for his push but it also resulted in his burial and exit from the company. ridiculing the writers, taking on the hierarchy and going solo was not going to work in the long run, especially in this era where everything is tight and there is no scope for innovation. Punk was an innovator but more than that he was an initiator, He always took initiative and fought for the talent he cared about, he not only spoke his mind but displayed it through his actions in and outside the ring. He is among the very few of us who can really say that I have lived life on my terms and for that achievement alone he deserves to be appreciated
Bret was excellent in executing his plan on an Elite level which was the Best thing that could happen to Wrestling in those testing times. His style was convincing, his move set was authentic and his promos were direct. With Bret came Legitimacy and leadership that oozed intensity to certify a business which was losing its Entity, Bret’s matches were a piece of art in storytelling yet they were so realistic and rendering in their presentation that you always got an element of shoot in the angle(Pity his career ended in an incident which shot us down).Bret for me stabilized and reestablish the promotion which was losing its believability in that cartoonish era where gimmicks became gullible and personalities became pirated
The Beast has been the best-booked star on a consistent basis and the main reason for that is the fact that he has been presented as a monstrous fighter right from his Ohio valley wrestling (OVW) days, his debut where he took out the hardcore division with such venom to the current scenario where he shows whenever he wants to. Brock is pretty much the same in real life, he is a fighter who hunts and farms without engaging in unnecessary mingling and marketing antics. You’ll seldom see Brock blabbering in WWE ring or outside. His promos are his actions which are unleashed during a contest inside an arena. Brock is a prime example of how booking, backing, and managing can fill the small voids in a superstar without hindering his character and personality.
Stone Cold Steve Austin:
Probably the most popular Figure in Sports Entertainment, when Stunning Steve got released from the Ring Master, he found himself Stone Cold that would actually take him to the heights which no superstar has seen before or after. Steve was always a good worker but when he got pushed to the wall time and again, he brought out his cold side which unleashed the blue-collar Texan in him. Whether it was in the ring or in the creative meetings Steve pushed his ideas in a strong and loud manner which got the attention of everyone involved in the office. Steve was relentless and that displayed in his brawling style which he adopted after that horrendous neck injury. His promos depicted a true Texan tightening his territory and terrorizing the accountability. I might be exaggerating but much like we started to believe in Connor Mcgregor putting on a contest against Floyd Mayweather, the aura was similar when Steve confronted Tyson. The toughest Sob against the baddest man on the Planet felt Legit(at least to me). Steve will go down as the most impactful personalities in Pro Wrestling but to be honest, he was just being himself, an outcast trying to take on a civilized World, boy don’t we love these stories
I want to mention Samoa Joe too but I am waiting for WWE to finally show some great balls of fire and preserve the potential of Joe.
So Being Yourself at work can actually bring out the best in you but it is more about depicting and demonstrating your inner abilities rather than whining and complaining about push and opportunities. These individuals because of their personalities have had differences which have also resulted in their downfall but they gave us so many memorable moments that can never be out-shined or replicated in today’s fabricated wrestling environment where nothing sells and yet they want you to buy more