We’re in a very interesting and precarious time in the world we live in. There is a genuine question as to if the news that we’re receiving is legitimate or “fake”. Now, more than ever, news is readily available faster and from more sources than ever. And as usual, reality is mirrored in our little safe haven we call wrestling.
I don’t have to tell you guys reading how weird of an entity professional wrestling is. The athletes are playing a character doing choreographed moves with a script and determined winners. Yet in the past 20 years, what’s going on behind the scenes of the machine has almost become more interesting than the action in the ring. Surely this is a byproduct of Vince McMahon’s, and subsequently all of wrestling’s, admittance that the product is in fact scripted. This opened up a brand new door at a very familiar house. “Why did this wrestler win?” “How was that wrestler picked to have a ‘push’?” “Why aren’t you doing what I want you to do???”
Obviously, I want to be as respectful as I can on this topic because I in fact work for a wrestling news site, so attacking the very medium I am tied to is very hypocritical and quite frankly incompetent. Still, I have to address how wrestling news, and the way it’s presented, can affect your perception and opinion of what you’re seeing. And that conversation starts with Dave Meltzer, the most popular and accomplished wrestling journalist in the world.
Meltzer, of the Wrestling Observer, has created his own niche in the market of wrestling news and journalism. He’s found a way to not only be successful, but he’s also found a way for his word to be more believable than what is often times shown on screen, which can be a dangerous notion. If he reports something, the belief among us die hard fans is that its an unmitigated fact. If those reports, however, turns out to be wrong, the response is that “plans changed”. And while plans do change in wrestling, quite often in fact, that’s a total lack of accountability for the original news item.
I’ll give you an example. Roman Reigns has been pegged to be “coronated” at WrestleMania 34 by Meltzer for a year, and the fans not only believed it, they swore by it. Yet, here we are, two major Pay-Per-Views removed and Reigns is still not the champion. The response when asked what happened? “Plans changed.” That process creates a dangerous rhetoric. Wrestling is so frenetic that feasibly, you can say anything that you want is going to happen and with the clout that somebody like Dave has, fans will believe it. In fact, fans will go against what they’re being shown on television because of what the reports were. This creates a narrative that no wrestling company can effectively combat. This creates a version of fear mongering.
Now, I don’t mean to attack Dave Meltzer, and I don’t mean to accuse him of purposely trying to create that narrative in the eyes of fans. However, if you look at some of the news items and stances he takes, it’s easy to question his motives. Let’s use two Daniel Bryan items for example. Firstly, Dave Meltzer has publicly accosted WWE for having Bryan lose cleanly to Rusev on Smackdown last week, leading to Rusev being put in the Money In The Bank Ladder Match. So much so that he’s said that Bryan should leave WWE when his contract comes up in September because WWE will never push or promote Bryan as a top level star again. This comes after Bryan’s officially been medically cleared and re-instated as a wrestler for a little over a month. Also, this is Bryan’s first loss since returning. So now, some fans will most assuredly think, want, and clamor for Bryan to leave a company he’s been very clear that he loves. All because the main journalist in the industry created the narrative.
Subsequently, Sports Illustrated did an article and interview on The Miz. In the interview, The Miz said “He (Bryan) doesn’t deserve to be in the ring with me. He’s not at the level that I am.” SI used this quote as the headline for their article, and Dave responded with “It’s a sad day when an entity that is supposed to be real publishes a working quote like that, let alone highlights it. What’s next, Thanos saying Drax is a pussy as a major sports headline.” Never mind the fact that Sports Illustrated has started covering wrestling in some form, his declaration is off base in a number of ways. First off, the overwhelming opinion is that Bryan is a much better worker than Miz, but it’s still just that; an opinion. Secondly, attacking a legitimate sports magazine for not covering wrestling the way that you would want to is tremendously unfair and hinders the ability of that entity to cover what they want how they want. Lastly, wrestling is a very layered entity, as mentioned earlier. It’s a tough and selfish ask to want them to cover scripted entertainment and have them not cover it the way it’s presented.
As I stated earlier, I realize that I work for a wrestling site noted for its news and opinion pieces. The one thing, however, I’ve tried to do in my work since I started writing 8 years ago was to not only be transparent and honest, but to be accountable. I’ve made the majority of my “notoriety” by being a voice for people and fans who don’t like the overt negativity some fans seem to have. I’ve disagreed with a majority of IWC opinions, and I’ve been a “contrarian” to the thought process that WWE sucks. With that, I realize that as small of a voice that I have, my voice does have a modicum of power. All of our voices do. That’s the reason the first amendment was enacted; to allow the average citizen to feel comfortable having an opinion and to be themselves. So, I’m not trying to attack Dave Meltzer or any other wrestling journalists. I’m definitely not trying to call him out. I’m trying to remind people that news, no matter how true it may be, can be unfathomably biased. The news you read is intrinsically tied to your stance on whatever the news item is. So if you don’t like WWE, you’re more likely to read news that is anti-WWE, and it’s more likely to be more news that is anti-WWE that will be reported.
We all love wrestling. It’s why you’re on this site, (hopefully) reading this column. So let’s not let external forces affect how we view and perceive it, m’kay?
Stay woke guys.
Daily DeMarco: Aleister Black Needs To Win The Royal Rumble
After Vince McMahon revealed his plan to shake things up in WWE, Greg DeMarco chimes in with an idea that really would make some waves.
After a hit-and-miss WWE TLC pay-per-view event, the wrestling world waited with nervous anticipation as Vince McMahon promised a major shake up on the 12/17/18 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw.
What did we get? More McMahons, Kurt Angle, The Revival as Top (Guys) Contenders, Natalya as Top Contender, and a bunch of call-ups to an already crowded roster.
Welp, one out of five ain’t bad!
In all honesty, if this is what WWE really wanted to do, I am fine with it. I would make one change: don’t tease it. Had tonight’s Raw gone on without the tease of Mr. McMahon returning, the reaction would be different. We had time to ponder, and develop our playlist. Once WWE puts out a product that didn’t match that playlist, we weren’t happy.
They set themselves up for failure.
But now we’re here, and there’s no going back. Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Shane McMahon are overseeing Raw, a move that undoubtedly leads to dissension and a WrestleMania showdown between Trips and Shane O’Mac. Some sort of “full control” will be at stake, but that won’t matter as Vince can easily undo it the following night on Raw. You see…Vince McMahon can ruin your hopes and dreams both in and out of kayfabe!
But I know what you want–and in this case it’s also what you need. Something that truly upsets the apple cart–a REAL shake up!
Aleister Black Wins The 2019 Royal Rumble
This is not an original idea, but it’s still brilliant. On an episode of Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, the former Brother Love tells the story of The Steiner Brothers making their WWE debut in late 1992. The most fascinating part of the story never happens. Bruce and Pat Patterson pitched to Vince McMahon the idea of Scott Steiner, a relative unknown to the WWF fans, winning the Royal Rumble. This would have sent him to Caesars Palace to challenge for, and win, the WWF Championship.
Vince McMahon would balk at the idea for what was mentioned above–no one knew Scott Steiner.
That was part of the sell for Patterson and Prichard. They could use the next 2+ months to build Steiner, leading up to his title win at the biggest show of the year. Ultimately the match was won by Yokozuna, who would go on to defeat Bret Hart for the WWF Championship before losing it to Hulk Hogan in an impromptu close to the show.
Fast forward to 2019, where WWE is in a predicament of presenting a product that is either predictable, stale, or both. The Royal Rumble, a match built on the dream of challenging for a world title at WrestleMania, offers the company the chance to do something that’s unpredictable and fresh.
Aleister Black would be just that.
A good portion of the Raw and Smackdown viewership doesn’t know him. He enters the Rumble as a surprise NXT member, but does what no one has done before–he wins!
Now WWE is left with 2+ months to build Aleister Black, and even has two PPV events at their disposal. Come April 7, the world is ready to pull for Black against either Daniel Bryan or Brock Lesnar. When he wins, a star is made, and available for several years to come.
The Royal Rumble has been around since 1988, and has featured nearly every outcome imaginable. But the surprise winner–the one no one could even imagine–would remind everyone that anything truly can happen in the WWE. And the overall product would be better for it.
Good Reads On The Chairshot
- Was this week’s Raw Good, Bad, or Ugly?
- Hi5ame gets you up-to-date on all things NOAH
- Catch yourself up on the world of Lucha Libre!
Thanks for reading the 4th edition of the Daily DeMarco. Here’s to many more…
When Will Triple H Take Control Of WWE?
As Raw (and all of WWE) continues to struggle, Juan can’t help but ponder when Triple H will take control of the product we watch on a weekly basis.
Triple H since the moment he married Stephanie McMahon and joined the McMahon family, he has been groomed to be the eventual successor of Vince McMahon as booker of WWE. At first people thought it would be the end of WWE when Triple H would eventually take the mantle of head creative of WWE but NXT’s success in terms of wrestling and creative have proven him as an excellent choice as successor.
NXT for a while has been consider far superior to any show in the main roster, because Triple H knows what the fans want from a wrestling show and understand the importance of logic and not to treat the fans as idiots. Meanwhile Vince McMahon for the last couple of year has had more misses the hits and the decline of RAW’s and SmackDown’s viewership is showing the results of Vince being stubborn and not listening to the fans.
Like it has been mentioned in the past by me and any others, 2020 could be the year Vince steps down as WWE head booker as the XFL will begin and Vince would most likely concentrate in the success of the project that will be the XFL once it begins. But to be honest I feel Vince will stay in creative once the XFL begins just like he did back in 2001 with the original XFL.
If Vince doesn’t step down as booker of WWE in 2020 then I’m afraid he will stay in the position until his age doesn’t allow him to do so and Vince is a very healthy man for his age. WWE would be the biggest loser of these since it desperately needs a reboot and Triple H is the perfect man to do so.
Vince has a big disconnection with the fans and doesn’t know what the fans want now and this has helped WWE decline in viewership and also benefited other wrestling promotions as they saw the opportunity to steal some of the fans WWE and attract them to their product that may offer them what they actually are looking for in wrestling, being NJPW and ROH the biggest examples.
WWE in 2018 made great deals with both FOX and USA for the SmackDown and RAW shows respectively and the Saudi Arabia deal being another deal they signed this year. Money will not be a problem for WWE in a long time and will sign any talent in the world with offers no other promotion can match.
2019 will be an interesting year for WWE in a lot of ways since SmackDown will move to FOX in October. Another important factor is the XFL and how much time will it take from Vince already busy schedule and the let’s not forget the booking of WrestleMania 35 or how many Saudi shows will WWE do in 2019 are also important things in the minds of both Triple H and Vince McMahon, as well what new signees will WWE incorporate to its already big rosters of SmackDown, RAW and NXT.