People always tell me that I should be impartial while writing pro wrestling columns. I should judge everybody the same way and never show any favoritism towards anybody. I wonder if anybody in the wrestling writing profession actually does this.
My guess: probably not.
We all have our inherent biases. There are reasons why some people get endless amounts of criticism from people like me while others seem to skate by without notice while being just as bad at their job. People complain that we issue free passes to these folks.
Today, we look at the top 5 reasons why us wrestling fans might be inclined to issue somebody a free pass.
5. We think you’re a good worker
Of course we’re going to be more lenient towards people that we think know what they’re doing in the ring. If there’s a botch in a match between Natalya & Lacey Evans, people are going to blame Lacey because they think Natalya is some kind of a Superworker. If somebody stiffs Becky Lynch in the ring, we’re going to yell & tweet horrible things about how the poor person that did it shouldn’t even be in the ring. If Becky stiffs somebody, it’s just good ol’ Becky working a little snug.
Anytime a “good” worker wrestles a “bad” worker, we’re going to give the one we think is good a pass for anything that goes wrong. Not their fault they have to try & get something out of that other person.
4. We think you’re hot
We always give a free pass to people we’re attracted to. When that pretty girl tells us that she wasn’t able to go out on that date because her grandmother died, we believe her. Even if she already used that excuse a few times. As somebody that used to do a list ranking women in “Hotness”, it’s pretty easy to figure out why I never really complained about Brie Bella’s botches or why I write columns about how Eva Marie or Scarlett Bordeaux are underrated. I thought they were hot, so I was easier on them than I would be on other people that might have been further down the list.
In fact, I’m pretty sure this is the only reason Chasyn Rance still has a job in the business. Women like working with him, and are willing to turn a blind eye to some of the questionable things he’s done. Dude’s got something they like. Don’t ask me what, but there’s some reason he gets a free pass from some in the Florida area & Kenny Omega.
3. We’re a little afraid of you
One guy I never said anything remotely negative about over the years was New Jack. Why? Well, it’s quite simple: the man has multiple justifiable homicides to his credit. Not to mention what he did to Mass Transit or Vic Grimes. Or the dude he stabbed 14 times! Why would I want him mad at me? Anything New Jack ever did was ok with me. Sure, go ahead and stab a dude, Jack. I assume he did something to deserve it.
A current example: Xia Li. She’s pretty stiff in the ring & has recklessly injured at least one person we know of, but most of us aren’t going to say anything about it. Think about it: she’s from China! We start saying mean things about Xia, we’ll have a billion Chinese people mad at us. Maybe even the Chinese government. Who wants to deal with that? I sure don’t!
2. You’re trying to compete with WWE
The idea that nobody likes Goliath is a sham. Plenty of wrestling fans out there will defend anything that Vince McMahon & WWE do to the death. You’ve seen and heard from plenty of them. On the other side of the coin are wrestling fans that will give anybody that tries to compete with WWE plenty of slack to make mistakes & do questionable things. The idea of competition in the wrestling business sometimes means more than the fact of who is trying to provide it.
I’m one of those people that wants competition. Solely relying on WWE for my fix seems problematic during times when the company isn’t providing quality entertainment. I gave TNA plenty of chances to be that competition, more than they deserved. Now we’ve got All Elite Wrestling, and I’m giving them a fair chance too. Some would probably say I’ve been more than fair to them, and they might be right. When you want competition, you’ll give a little leeway to the people trying to provide it, unless they do something so inexcusable you have to dismiss them. And even then you might give them a pass.
1. We liked you when we were kids
We’ve seen this happen time & again. Old wrestlers do things to make fools of themselves, and we make plenty of excuses for them. Hulk Hogan says racist things after having sex with his friend’s wife? Well the Hulkster’s a product of his time. He didn’t really mean it. Ric Flair makes a drunken spectacle of himself? That’s just the Naitch being the Naitch! Bret Hart’s bitterness doesn’t get much play in Canada or other places off the Internet. There are countless examples, some even involving other wrestlers from years gone by.
I’ll admit to doing all I could to ignore Steve Austin’s domestic issues in the 2000s. Not my proudest moment, but human nature leads to things like that happening. The idea that our childhood heroes are less than perfect can be tough to deal with. That’s why people like Hogan, Flair & Austin will always get work no matter what they do. Their fans wont accept the idea they’re less than perfect. Thus, a free lifetime pass.