Ronda Rousey dominates headlines on the Road To WrestlMania, making her the perfect example for Rob to use for Wrestling Newz!
This is a continuation of what I started on last week in regards to wrestling media. You might want to, in fact you should, go check that out first. But instead of just hitting the media at large it’s time to drill down a bit and see how some of this stuff takes shape. These stories don’t get clicked on and believed by so many people just out of whole cloth, they take weeks and months and sometimes years of narratives being laid down first in order to make the premise believable in the first place.
Remember, the three rules for publishing NEWZ stories:
- It’s plausible (translation: circumstances exist that make it possible, and it confirms an existing opinion)
- Can you walk it back easy if it ends up false (‘plans changed’)
- Will people click on it? (if #1 is a yes, and the names are big enough then this is a yes, too)
A quick example that I mentioned previously was the ‘Lacey Evans getting a top level push after Ronda Rousey leaves’ story. The story itself ended up just being Meltzer giving his opinion and not even leaked info from a source, but it relied on a long standing narrative about the WWE creative team, particularly Vince’s preferences. Lacey is blond, and it’s been a long held belief that Vince loves his blond women so there you go (that’s not false, but there are some layers and nuances to it that we never get into). Also, the way Lacey portrays her character (super conservative and a throwback to the Mad Men era) on social media irritates a lot of so called smart fans, which supposedly is something Vince loves doing. That’s it. Seriously, the plausibility of the story all lies in Lacey being blond, evoking thoughts of every blond woman Vince has pushed from Trish Stratus to Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss, and because she pisses off a section of Wrestling Twitter so Vince might do it just to get to us. There is literally no other there there.
Now not all NEWZ stories end up false but even when they’re true the intent wasn’t to inform you, it was to get you to click on the link and share it (Hate shares count as much for the click numbers as love shares, btw. Don’t help people whose work you hate by sharing it.)
Which brings us to the real subject of this piece: Ronda Rousey’s speculated departure from WWE after WrestleMania. It has become almost gospel truth that Ronda is gone after the biggest show of the year, maybe for good, because she wants to start a family (and now also because she can’t hack it in the world of wrestling). Meltzer has weighed in and there are multiple pieces that simply copied and pasted or transcribed his words along with dubious headlines. Now before you say ‘yeah, she is leaving’ ask yourself where you got the idea from. Was it from someone stating it as fact, just giving their opinion, or one of those ‘WWE is preparing for the possibility that Ronda might leave’ stories? And how did so many of us end up thinking so quickly and strongly that come the Monday after WrestleMania 35 she’s outta here? The story was built on a few blocks and because a big house of confirmation bias. Here they are:
Ronda Rousey is an outsider who doesn’t really want to be here anyway
This essentially comes from Ronda being an MMA legend, which invokes bad thoughts of Brock Lesnar his big paycheck/small schedule agreement. That’s it. Ronda left MMA after losing and didn’t do much afterwards, and she’s made a ton of money already, so this clearly has to just be a big score…..right? She didn’t toil in the indies, didn’t even do a stint in NXT, and since she wasn’t willing to pay her dues (that sound you just heard was me throwing up) it’s obvious that she doesn’t really care for it………sure, buddy, whatever you think. Nevermind all the evidence we’ve seen to the contrary.
Rebecca Quin, I don’t care what the script says, I’m beating the living shit out of you the next time I see you.
— Ronda Rousey (@RondaRousey) February 28, 2019
Ronda Rousey can’t handle the road
A video clip surfaced a few months back of Ronda lamenting life on the road in the WWE. Now it probably isn’t much different from what many newbies and veterans of the business have said to their families but hey, let’s take this out for a ride because it supports point number one.
Ronda Rousey is losing at WrestleMania
We got no proof of this but we do know that the original plan was for her to face Charlotte one on one (with Charlotte probably winning), we know that Becky Lynch has become the hot act over the last six months, and we know that Ronda hasn’t lost yet so WrestleMania seems like the right time to do it. That’s it. I explained my rationale for each woman winning that match here, and in my opinion there’s plenty of logic for Ronda winning. But so far a lot of us have assumed she isn’t because she just has to lose here, right? Which leads to the next brick:
Ronda Rousey can’t take losing
She didn’t handle losing well in MMA, so she obviously isn’t going to like losing in WWE and she’ll want to take her ball and go home. There is no evidence to back this up but it sure sounds good.
Ronda Rousey is freaking out because of the crowd noise and the Tweeting from Becky
Ronda isn’t great at promos, the crowds are booing her more now because she’s facing Becky, and she’s fired off some far out responses to Becky’s twitter jabs that suggest maybe the ribbing is getting to her. So she must clearly be having some kind of emotional meltdown that is souring her on the world of pro wrestling. Again we have don’t have any confirmed facts as to her true emotional state (for all we know it’s a work that’s gone a little off the rails) but it sure feels good to type that she just can’t handle the banter.
Now we have the proverbial feedback loop. We think Ronda doesn’t love the business, she hates the road, she wants to start a family, we just know she’s losing at WrestleMania, she doesn’t handle losing well at all, and now she can’t handle the ribbing. Each one of these things feeds into the others, and if you were a Ronda skeptic from day one or you just don’t like her for other reasons then each one of these things is very easy to believe individually, as it’s consequently very easy to put them together into one big ball of what is sure to happen. Remember always that the way NEWZ works, be it in wrestling media, other forms of entertainment, and even politics is that they bait you with things you want to be true based on what you already have come to believe. If you believe wrestler X is a jerk then everything that backs it up is believable no matter how flimsy the evidence. Here we have a bunch of ‘truths’ based on little real information that feed into what a lot of people already thought, and now we have one big ‘truth’ that we just know to be true.
Of course if Ronda wins at WrestleMania, loses some time later, and sticks around for the rest of her contract then the vaunted wrestling media can just give us the tried and true explanation for everything that doesn’t pan out the way they led us to think it would:
The Wrestling Media (Mostly) Sucks
Stick with The Chairshot, kids!
The wrestling media mostly sucks. And until further notice, it’s hopeless.
Wait, what? How could I possibly be saying that wrestling media sucks, on a wrestling website? Well, pretty simple. We make an effort to separate ourselves from the dirtsheets and sh*tposters here. We traffic in opinion and analysis of things that have already happened; you may find some of those opinions reasonable and some of them wacky and offbase, but we don’t try to pass off anything we’re doing here as fact or as if we have some kind of inside track on what may be happening next month. And we don’t say things like ‘In my opinion, Roman Reigns’ leukemia is work’ here. And look, it’s not just us. There are lots of bloggers and podcasters who do not traffic in that kind of garbage. But the ones who do have a browbeating coming and that’s what I’m here to do today.
Now just how does these guys suck? Let me count the ways.
Taking themselves too seriously
I’m mainly talking about the David Bixenspan’s of the world who treat their subject matter as if they are covering the White House or a war zone in a foreign country. Dave has attempted to dig in to the political donations of the McMahon family and the political leaning of the Sinclair Broadcasting, the owners of Ring of Honor. Last night he tweeted that maybe if Roman gave us some details into the form and nature of leukemia he was fighting then maybe it would calm the crowd of Leukemia Truthers down a bit……seriously, dude? Stop it already. On the former matter, any wrestling fan with a brain can figure who the owners of their favorite wrestling company support politically (hint: they all support the same party) and on the latter we talking about a professional wrestler, not the President of the United States. He doesn’t owe anyone a detailed explanation outside his family and his employer because of the nature of the business he’s in (can’t have Vince planning a big push if you’re going to be at death’s door in two months).
Do you really believe that people with ‘names’ like FlippyIsh420 or The Real Fan Podcast are entitled to a full medical diagnosis so that they will stop saying it’s a work? Do you think they stop even if they had that information? Dude, you cover wrestling shows. No one is going to die, or go without healthcare or be unable to get restitution for some wrongful act committed against them, because you didn’t find out THE TRUTH behind why the Curt Hawkins match got bumped from RAW to Main Event.
This was a topic du jour during the run up to All in last September. A lot of wrestling media outlets that covered the event were transparently in the tank for the show itself and the guys who ran it (Cody and the Bucks). I’m not talking about the podcasters who went there to have a good time and who present themselves as fans always and not journalists. I’m talking about the Dave Meltzers and Wade Kellers of the world, who were embedded behind the scenes like friendly campaign reporters during an election cycle. It was pretty obvious that some people there were given access because they’d provide favorable coverage and not dig into any dirt like whether or not the show was actually an indie show or a front for a Ring of Honor show like a lot of us suspected.
And the same kind of treatment has been going on with the coverage of AEW; lots of playing up certain things as a big deal and dismissals of negative stories as unimportant. Dave’s bias isn’t just about star ratings, it bleeds into dishonest assessments about what his buddies are doing and bad takes about what other companies (mainly WWE) are doing. Now look if you’re just presenting yourself as a fan site it’s no big deal. But when you want us to treat you as if you are the paper of record for professional wrestling then that’s a bunch of nonsense.
You know what I’m talking about here. The endless ‘reports’ with question marks in the headline and baseless speculation in the text. For the past month we’ve been inundated with ‘Does _ want to leave WWE and go to AEW?’ stories based off of Twitter tweets, Instagram comments, etc taken completely out of context. There was a ‘Did Jimmy Uso and Naomi get into with the police so they could get fired and go to AEW?’ story. AJ Styles was erroneously reported to have a hernia, based on an ‘injury report’ that Meltzer received.
Last week we learned that Lacey Evans might be the third ‘top lady in WWE’ and Ronda Rousey leaves (which itself hasn’t been confirmed beyond ‘I think so’ from the usual suspects), and a bunch of people got riled up only to see that it was more Meltzer shooting from the hip with his own opinion again. This type of irresponsible crap gets clicked on, posted in Facebook groups and on Twitter and ultimately shades fan opinions in a negative way that drags down the entire viewing experience. None of this stuff helps and I dare say no one has come to enjoy wrestling more than they used to after diving into these things.
Pregnancy calculators (that determine Ronda Rousey could get pregnant immediately after WrestleMania, give birth and be back in time for light duty at the 2020 Royal Rumble. Speculating that Roman Reigns probably had the ‘best kind of leukemia’ which is why he was able to beat it. Riffing about how Peyton Royce is ‘still attractive but looks like she may put on some weight since coming to the main roster’. Mindlessly wondering out loud if we’ve just seen a heel turn every time a face doesn’t act like a total wimp. Horrendously out of context analysis on TV ratings.
Who the hell thinks up stuff like this? Wrestling ‘jounalists’, that’s who. There is no take too far out, too galaxy brain for a wrestling journalist to come up with. And that’s just the writers; we haven’t even touched the dopey podcasters and YouTubers out there espousing all kinds of tinfoil hat nonsense. If you actually are in the market for this kind of stuff I really have to question your sanity.
Who are these guys? The ones who have nothing good to say, ever, but for some reason continue to watch the same television show every week for decades. Well that reason is money. Whether it’s old cranky and disgruntled Wade Keller or the wide array of poop stirring podcasters and YouTubers there are legions of people making money off of crapping on WWE television every week. And i have no idea how much they’re making but it must be enough to absorb whatever production costs they have for producing their ‘content’. If you can stomach just listen to some of these guys for a few minutes and you’ll question their sanity. Now I do think that a lot of these YouTube guys don’t really hate it as much as they say (at least one has admitted that he’s playing a character), which of course only makes what they’re doing worse because they’re souring people on a show that they themselves don’t actually think is that bad. And that’s disgusting.
That’s just a sample. There’s a ton of other examples out there of just how bad wrestling media is. If you’re wondering as to why I’m in such a tizzy about this stuff, it’s real simple. All of this stuff when you add it up does nothing but sour people on what they’re watching. It literally takes away from the experience when you’ve been swamped in ‘reports’ about who may be getting a push and all the inevitable complaining that comes with it, or when you’ve had the next three months of TV partially spoiled by speculation. And as someone who loves professional wrestling I want everyone who watches to enjoy it like I do. These people do absolutely nothing to help anyone enjoy it more so as far as I’m concerned they can go. Is there a place for real journalism? Sure. There’s lots of stuff that can be explored or explained with an objective and realist take that you will not get from any wrestling company. Unfortunately, wrestling media is mostly not delivering that and until it does they still suck.
Before I go, I gotta say that there are good sites and podcasts out there. We aim to be one of those here. If you want better stuff from your wrestling websites, podcasts, etc the best way to do that is to support the good guys. Everyone has a Patreon nowadays, and we have one going here now. If you like what we’re doing, we’re cheaper than the subscribing to those dirtsheets that get your blood pressure and make you hate what you’re supposed to be enjoying. Save yourself some headaches and come ride with the good guys! Until later….
#FAKENEWS Top 5: Wrestlers Who Will Save Us From Catastrophe
In case of a catastrophic event, like aliens, mutant tigers, an eternity of Bayley promos – whatever living hell you can imagine, the world will need a hero. So I’ve spent countless hours combing through the history of wrestling, trying to find the best man or woman for the job.
You may be wondering; how does one quantify poise and leadership via results of a scripted athletic display? Well, I guess it’s time for you to sit back, grab a bucket of churros or deep fried Oreos, and be amazed at the historical accuracy of this list.
5. Godzilla/Angel/Kaiju Attacks
Now, why is this only number 5 you may ask? Well, there’s tons of big monster movies, the formula for defeat is known, they aren’t exactly special anymore.
For this we call upon the man who invented Gundams himself, Chico el Luchador.
You see, he invented actual Gundams in 1979 and shipped them to Japan so they could make an anime to throw humanity off the scent. The concept for the show and robot came to Chico in a fever dream, where he imagined his grandfather, Chico Gran Classico, as a member of the Kaiser’s WW1 army, whilst still wearing his mask.
Japan decided to model Char Aznable after this thought, but dyed his clothes and gimmick red, once again, as a way to detract people (fun fact: also where the phrase “red herring” came from, thank Chico for that).
4. Zombie Apocalypse
Again, so many iterations, we already have a few ideas for victory.
This one would be the most accurate wrestler in the history of space and time! No, it’s not Killshot, don’t give me that “He’s a Sniper” crap, you sit down and learn. The only man who’s never done a job and been perfect since his childhood…is Chico el Luchador.
He was a wrestling prodigy, broke Black Jack Mulligan’s White Castle record, what makes you think he can’t shoot?
Didn’t you know he invented the Triple Churro and Burrito Bowl in a pinata match? Long before ladders were introduced into our beloved sport, Chico devised an idea to hang a prize above the ring. So thanks do his Arena Mexico days, he learned of pinatas, and his love of the Biathlon inspired him to add rifles.
So the concept was simple, first one to grab the rifle, shoot down the pinata and claim either the 3 churros or burrito bowl, would be the winner of the match. Chico had 5 (cinco) straight victories, until one night, he shot down the pinata and it broke apart at the feet of Gordita Furiosa, the manager of many Rudo luchadors, exoticos and luchadoras. In her genius, she inhaled the contents of the pinata once it broke apart, thus causing a no contest.
Soon after, she passed away due to dehydration after an epic case of explosive diarrhea, so sadly, the match was outlawed in 1983 (Another fun fact: Chico told this story to the creators of Mad Max, so they created the Imperator Furiosa character in memory of this match).
3. Ancient Chinese Magic Causes Big Trouble in Little Earth
Kurt Russel may have trucker hats and being a sidekick with a lot of screen time down to a science. But that wouldn’t fly nowadays.
The best way to fight magic, is to find someone who’s life mirrors that of magical mystery. So I give you, our Jack Burton of the new age: Chico el Luchador!
You won’t need a girl with green eyes, when you got the man in green tights (not Misawa)! We all have seen Chico’s ability in the ring, as well as, his fantastic business acumen. It’s all thanks to him being born in a Canadian Chamber of Secrets. It was like the Hart family Dungeon, but under a staircase, filled with cheese curds and Quebec Nordiques games on repeat.
So he broke out of his chamber thanks to being able to pick a lock with his tongue after licking so many stamps for postage (get it, it’s a parcel tongue joke, shut up, I’m funny). Defeated his evil capture by kicking his nose off and fleeing to Mexico, but stopping in Los Angeles due to a bad transfer.
Along the way, he learned to live, love, laugh, and shoot lightning bolts from his forehead (a skill he repressed in fairness to everyone else).
So Chico, is basically Harry Potter, not sure how J.K. Rowling learned of these things though since England is for nerds, but Harry Potter can beat Ancient Chinese magic easily.
2. Alien Invasion
I won’t even mislead you this time, it’s Chico el Luchador.
He has seen every X-Files episode, had a cameo in Mars Attacks and has an easy answer.
When I asked him about his plan, he very simply said, ” I would show them Battlefield Earth”.
We all know, any intelligent life form would either commit mass suicide or at the very least turn around and rethink life. Chico has all the answers, he’s basically a luchador 8-ball.
1. Bullet Club Breaks Up
Possibly the most catastrophic event looming over humanity. Is it plausible? Is Bullet Club Fine?
If Cody is unable to repair the frayed ties of the Bullet Club, who else can do it? Kenny Omega? No, he’s too busy getting back together with his ex-boyfriend. Doesn’t he know once they’re an ex, they should stay an ex? Prince Devitt? Nope, he died in the Bermuda Triangle while throwing up the “Too Sweet” sign.
-Chico my friends-
Chico el Luchador can save them. His savvy business skills, their idolization of him, and all things Bullet Club are a copy of his old stable in AAA, Cuchillos de Baile aka Dancing Knives. Real men wield the steel instead of guns, and people like to dance at the club. So Bullet Club is just white washing Cuchillos de Baile.
The dulcet tones of his voice, would soothingly narrate a Bullet Club origin movie, and while you’re enjoying the show, you’ll be falling in love with him and Bullet Club all over again. Golden Lovers? No way, Chico Lovers. Chico is love, Chico is life.
Todos podemos aprender algo de Chico. El mundo es mejor porque él es nuestro héroe. Además, mi conjugación para español es terrible.
This article brought to you by DDT Yoga, it helped to cure my athlete’s foot and regrew my wisdom teeth. Feel the Stang!