Monday, November 1, 1999
SLAM! Wrestling Guest Column
Sell it like it's real, WCW
I am noticing a very disturbing trend in wrestling, or more correctly, WCW.
That trend is that the line between what is real and what is pretend is starting to get just a little too blurry for my liking.
Now, for quite some time, professional wrestling has used "real life" to motivate the stories that go on in "wrestling life". And there is nothing wrong with that. In fact, there have been some excellent and memorable storylines that have been born from these real life stories; the heat between Ric Flair and Eric Bischoff, Bret Hart's feelings toward the direction of wrestling, and to a lesser extent the formation of The Revolution (oh, what should have been...) springing immediately to mind.
The problem that is arising, however, is that wrestlers are starting to go a little too far with it. The focus of my point is Buff Bagwell. Buff's schtick lately is that he is sick and tired of jobbing for others, and so he's not going to do it any more. By doing this, Buff is essentially saying that wrestling is fake.
Now, I am sure that everyone reading this is aware that wrestling is "fake", and if you don't then that last line is just the tender slap of reality that you needed. Also, I have no problem with wrestlers appearing on talk shows and the like and talking about wrestling as it actually is. But it has no place "inside the square circle", so to speak.
In movies, there is one rule that I feel should never be broken: The characters have to believe that what is happening to them is real. All logic and the very laws of nature itself can be disregarded, so long as the characters think they are living a life. You know when you are watching one of those really bad screwball comedies, and someone will walk into the scene and a character will say something along the lines of: "Hey, you're not supposed to be here until next scene! Didn't you read your script?" It's supposed to be funny, I guess, but what it really is is lame.
Well, the same can be said for wrestling. Wrestling is fake. But during the three hour episode of Nitro, everyone who is on the show should act like it is real. Act. Sell it. Comments about there being "idiots in the back" writing this "crap" is just as lame.
Russo and Ferrara want to involve themselves in the storylines? I say fine. But make yourselves the bookers, not the writers, gentlemen. It is such a simple difference. But it is an important one.
Pat Curry is from Wolfville, NS and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.