Being a fan of wrestling since the early 1980’s I have seen an utter transformation to the industry in where it has evolved to. As a child, my uncle (being a local Indy wrestler) introduced me into the excitement of the sport. Growing up in Brooklyn, New York the only wrestling promotion I was able to watch was the World Wrestling Federation. At the newsstands I would read stories and profiles of other wrestling promotions such as WCCW, NWA, WCW, and others from across the country. I was also lucky enough to gain a peep from a UHF broadcast channel which would show other territories’ wrestling promotions. Flash forward to the fairly new millennium where wrestling fans now have the ability to watch, converse and interact with other fans with a vast amount of tools and media outlets to watch or connect with wrestling from both years’ past and current shows. One of the biggest creations for wrestling fans everywhere has been the WWE Network. This creation from the wrestling gods has been a fan’s dream comes true. The network has given viewers the ability to watch current live entertainment, previous wresting shows and original programming. The ability to watch wrestling on any given day and time is utterly amazing. And to think, as a child I had to wait a week to watch wrestling on a jam-packed Saturday on local television stations because my neighborhood didn’t have cable. So, with that being said, I bring to you…
The Best and Worst Innovations in Wrestling History
Best Innovation: The Internet
YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace…wait, maybe not so much MySpace. People across the globe have been able to connect and find one another with the ability to share, like videos and express ideas and feelings. Well, why not have the ability to do the same thing with wrestling fans and have the underworld of the sports entertainment community grow to an even larger scale? Fans who were embarrassed about being pro-wrestling lovers now have a media to share their same passions and finally have a venue to be free and not feel alone. The Internet helps us to look up the history of wrestling, the promotions we loved and why they no longer exist, title holders, real or gimmick wrestler names, and tons of wrestling related info. Fans are able to watch old matches at any time – a memory of a certain time and place with others, even play a video game based on wrestling online. The Internet help us wrestling fans grow with the times as well as become more involved and educated on the past and future of wrestling. The WWE Network is possibly the biggest outlet for us wrestling fans and can be the next level of sports entertainment greatness. The Internet and its properties have made the wrestling world as large as it is today.
Worst Innovation: The Internet
Wait, what? How can The Internet be the best AND worst wrestling innovation? Well my fellow wrestling enthusiasts, just as Vincent Kennedy McMahon, you can love him for the great things he’s done for the business but you can also hate him for what he’s done to the business. The Internet can bring out the worst in people and also bring out the worst in wrestling. From know-it-all smart marks who think they can write a better story from the front of their computer screens while eating a bowl of cereal (while in between shoot’em up sessions on their game consoles), to overzealous blog authors who believe their own hype and figure they know the business better than anyone; the Internet has made the die-hard wrestling fan jaded and dim. From rumor websites that spin a tale quicker than a supermarket tabloid to the chat rooms run by admins greener than Tajiri’s spit, the Internet makes those who believe they are “in” look foolish and downright ignorant. Check the videos of fanboys screaming bloody murder after their favorite wrestler loses in a PPV or the “I told you so” writers who guessed the obvious, these are the same morons who tell you who is going to surprise us in a Royal Rumble and be trolled by a Twitter post. Just when they think they have all the answers, creative changes the questions and puppet masters unleash the rage from the fans. HOW you ask? Because they too read the Internet. Gone are the days of pre-recorded shows because pencil-necked geeks are too quick to jump on their Facebook page to post spoilers. As great as the Internet is for wrestling, it also diminishes the mystique and pageantry that was the act of pro-wrestling.