by Evan Ginzburg
Editor, Wrestling- Then & Now
As an editor of what is predominantly a "history" publication, we often compare the product of today to that of yesteryear. Our top monthly columnist, Killer Kowalski, has incredible respect and appreciation for today's wrestlers, as do I. But I nonetheless find much of what I see today as distasteful. I don't buy pay-per-views, nor do I pay for anything connected to the major promotions. However, I do support and publicize the hard-working underdog indys.
Now haven gotten my "philosophy of wrestling" out of the way, let's get to some serious venting!
These are the 10 things I most dislike about today's wrestling scene:
10. VALETS REPLACING MANAGERS. I'm a grown man, not a horny teen. I like breasts in my hands--not on my 19-inch TV screen. So I don't need my thrills by watching bionic silicone-enhanced valets bouncing out of their T-shirts. The fact that these glorified ring rats seem to have replaced effective smooth talking managers like Cornette is reprehensible. Give me tough old birds like Fred Blassie, The Grand Wizard, and Lou Albano any day.
9. SPECIAL EFFECTS REPLACING WRESTLING. Explosions, pyrotechnics, and the Ultimate Warrior appearing and disappearing in a cloud of smoke are fine and dandy. But where's the wrestling?
8. CRUDE SIGNS AT SHOWS. Hey, I'm no prude. Unlike Wade Keller, we even have (gasp!) occasional curses when warranted in my sheet. But some of the imbeciles at ringside can't even spell, and signs proclaiming "Suck It!" don't exactly exude class. When my colleagues at the schools I teach in ask me in horror, "Do you REALLY like wrestling?" it's clear these twits give the (for the most part) intelligent fans reading the sheets a bad name.
7. BRUTALIZATION OF WOMEN. Little Jimmy Piledriver from Parts Unknown has a 9th grade education and was never a deep thinker to begin with. When he sees his fave wrestler punching out a babe on the boob tube, he pops for it. And, he just might try it himself one day.
6. THE SHEER GREED OF IT ALL. Don't you just love those $25 T-shirts (and don't you dare forget that $6 shipping and handling)? I don't even want to tell you folks the profit margin on some of this garbage they sell. Why bleed the people on the mailing of it, as well? And $1.69 a minute GREEDLINES are disgusting, too. Get your parents permission first, kids!
5. NO RESPECT FOR THE PAST. Larry Zybysko's the "Living Legend." Uh, yeah. Sure. McMahon says Bruno's "delusional" because he's been critical of today's wrestling. Real nice way to talk about the guy who paid the mortgage on the family mansion. And former world champs like Windham and Simmons come into territories with new names and/or insipid gimmicks. Shameful.
4. THREE MINUTE MATCHES. Eddie Guerrero's up against Dean Malenko. You sit back to relax and enjoy what should be a classic TV confrontation. And it ends before you've taken a few sips of your Coke. Somebody kill me. Please.
3. THE "ALL FANS ARE IDIOTS" MENTALITY. Do you know that at PPVs in the U.S. they sometimes have the sheer audacity to charge $200 for "golden ringside"? But the marks get to take home that lovely $12 chair that says SummerSlam on the back of it. And people sleep outside for tickets. Frightening.
2. NO RESPECT FOR TALENT. 2 Cold Scorpio. Brad Armstrong. Chris Adams. Even Vader. What they did in the past means nothing. Job 'em out to Bradshaw because his daddy works in the front office. And WWF light-heavyweights or WCW luchadores? For the most part, a tragedy.
1. "STONE COLD" STEVE AUSTIN AS ROLE MODEL. Kids love him. And frankly, Vince, they are INFLUENCED by him. Which doesn't mean anyone's going to turn into a serial killer because of him, but answering ALL conflicts with violence, and glamorizing alcohol? This wouldn't be my choice of messages to send out to the kiddies, but then again, "I'm the living in the past guy."
So now that I pissed off a portion of Laz's audience, maybe I'll end by stating that I'd love to do a follow-up piece on what I LIKE about today's wrestling.
Odds are it will a much shorter article, though!
[Evan Ginzburg has just completed his 1998 Wrestling Then and Now Annual--a numbered collectable personally autographed by Killer Kowalski. This 72-page magazine features a Kowalski autobiography/tribute; interviews with Eddie Guerrero, Gordon Solie, Johnny Valentine; Dick the Bruiser, Benjamin Roller & Bobby Shane remembered, classic clips and photos and more. $15 to EVAN GINZBURG at PO Box 640471 Oakland Gardens Station Flushing, NY 11364. Sample monthly issue $3.]