Card status, title belts, and most importantly, emotional involvement.
There have been debates lately about the importance of a wrestler’s card status ie. midcarder vs. main event picture, etc. Many have argued that as long as a wrestler is on television, getting mic time, getting some kind of attention, that it really doesn’t matter. We still get to enjoy them, they’re still putting on matches, and they’re still putting food on the table.
I disagree with this stance. The main reason is because it subtly undermines the importance of wins and losses, and the value of the championships themselves. The facade of sports entertainment is the quest for victory, to be the champion. At its root is a quest to be the best. And when I’ve made an emotional involvement with a wrestler, when I’ve become a fan, I want them to succeed. And success for me is still wins and losses, and title belts.
Despite the push of “entertainment” by the WWE, the setting of the WWE, to put it rather bluntly, is that of a competitive sports environment, one where wins and losses matter. Superficially, every wrestler’s ultimate goal is to be the champion. When I’m a fan of a football team, or an MMA fighter, I want them to win. If the WWE uses that stage, shouldn’t the same terms apply? At the end of the NFL season, when teams are hunting for playoff spots, no one wants their team to be competing for nothing.
This is really the root of why I’ve felt underwhelmed by the WWE recently. We’ve seen both The Miz and Christian lose their titles, to the two biggest stars of the company. I know a lot of wrestlers view it as just a prop, but I do know that The Miz cried when he won it. That he was kicking his legs with joy as he was pinning Orton. And you look at the pictures of Christian after his win at Extreme Rules, the ones taken that very night. He must have felt like he got run over by a freight train. He was bruised, and bloody. But still he stood there for those pictures, with the belt on his shoulder, looking as proud as he could. Those weren’t faked moments. I know those guys treasured those victories. When The Miz goes to a feud with Alex Riley, and Christian repeatedly jobs to Randy Orton, how am I supposed to feel? Happy that I get to see my two of my favorites on tv?
This is art. Art, at its base, is emotional involvement. I watch wrestling because I grow attached to these guys, just like I grow attached to my favorite characters on any television show. When I watch Lost, for example, I want my favorite character to succeed. The same applies to the WWE. I want my favorite wrestlers to succeed, to win, to become champion. Whether it be Christian, or Sheamus, or Cody Rhodes, I want them front and center, main stage. They are me, to a certain extent, and their success is mine. To remove the importance of card status is to remove some of that emotional involvement. It neuters the experience.
I understand storytelling in the WWE can go much further than a simple title hunt, but although it may be a simple story, it often can be the most rewarding one. Christian waited 17 years for his title. The Miz’s search for is well documented, one that made his title reign so satisfying to me. Christian is still in the title hunt, and The Miz will surely return to the title picture, but to claim that card status doesn’t matter seems false to me, when the title was what these men dreamed of for years.
- qwertyatty reblogged this from hittingthemark
- qwertyatty likes this
- turnbucklezine reblogged this from hittingthemark and added:
- doctor-elto reblogged this from hittingthemark
- generalcrush likes this
- mrhackenbacker likes this
- stylesclash likes this
- alikaheroes likes this
- hittingthemark posted this