People often approach me with an inquiry. “You are a wrestling journalism icon with a worldwide readership for decades. I would like to be popular on social media; so, what is the procedure for establishing oneself as an online ‘wrestling expert’?” Here are my observations.
*If a public incident involves multiple names, do a Nancy Grace and, minus any evidence, declare guilty the person whose gimmicked personality you hate based upon hearing “what s/he’s really like.” To balance things out, blow off or create excuses if the incident involves any of the hip wrestlers.
Roman Reigns has a backstage disagreement with Luke Gallows: “That’s it. Reigns should be fired, arrested for mass murder, deported and get his head chopped off.”
Matt Jackson shoots a lion: “That cat was asking for it. There’s too many lions as it is. Practically one in every zoo. It would be soooo cool if Matt superkicked it.”
*Always agree with the majority. Prove you are a rugged individualist by boldly declaring “Naomi can’t wrestle,” a departing star “wasn’t used right,” and a heavily pushed grappler “doesn’t deserve” a shot at the title—just like the rest of the flock do without exception.
Don’t worry if you privately disagree. In a few months, the experts will be turning on the individual (WWE roster only) anyway. Ask Dean Ambrose.
*On a related note, NEVER admit to being wrong. In 2016, those well-informed marketing analysts, the experts, proclaimed “When Bayley gets on the main roster, she’s going to be a merchandise-sales goldmine and draw thousands of kids to shows. Like a female Cena except Bayley has more than five moves.”
We true professionals reckoned the hate-filled WWE fan base was never going to accept an upbeat woman; but the simians continued to insist they were right—until they were absolutely wrong.
Did they offer an apology? Hahahaha, good one. And why should they? Bayley, like all wrestlers, chose her gimmick and scripted all her promos. From what can be gleaned by reading internet postings, the top stars also book their own matches and finishes.
Yet another reason Cena sucks is because “he doesn’t put anyone over,” since obviously he can sell the whole match and lose to anyone he wants. It’s similar to how Reigns went up to Mr. McMahon and insisted on being mega-pushed.
Which brings us to….
*Insist Vince McMahon has lost touch and needs to retire. Yep, it’s dumb luck that Wrestlemania continues to sell out massive stadiums holding tens of thousands and is responsible for tens of millions of dollars changing hands.
And the senile senior must have been out of his mind backing the Network you can’t live without and the employment of Styles, Owens, Nakamura, Balor, Asuka, Rinaldo, Ohno and the rest of the folks the experts salivate over.
Mr. McMahon has nothing to do with anything good, only the bad stuff. All he ever does all day as Chairman of a billion-dollar corporation is decide—mostly erroneously–who will win upcoming wrestling matches. So, he should spend more time strategizing about Sami Zayn’s midcard bouts.
*Mock things that are none of your business and have no effect at all on the product presented. For instance, although you were never a TNA employee and their tardiness had absolutely no bearing on your life, the company should be constantly derided for a 2016 period during which they were late paying personnel (while “forgetting” Paul Heyman stiffed numerous grapplers altogether, which is fine because Paul cuts great promos.)
*Be a massive hypocrite. Claim you’re a huuuuuge supporter of indies, then watch their pay shows on an illegal internet stream. Insist on the importance of quality promos and angles, then flip for Japanese wrestling, which barely contains either. Claim to have given up on a certain promotion, then post comments about their future shows. Maintain a COMPLETE double-standard when it comes to critiquing a fashionable star or promotion.
Harshly badmouth someone on social media DMs, then buddy up to them on the public version of social media. Always on the prowl for something new to gripe about, act righteously outraged over some trivia whatzit—e.g. lack of pyros on WWE entrances—you never expressed one iota of caring about in the past.
*Read ONLY the headline of a news story, immediately offering up a kneejerk reaction based solely on it. A perfect July 2017 example was to burst into tears when “they cancelled Talking Smack”—which they didn’t entirely do—even though statistics show only a small fraction of Network subscribers actually watched the weekly show.
Who needs dumb old facts when there’s something new to bellyache about?
*Remember, every single indie match is awesome…even after watching Botchamania and witnessing 37 skinny guys in black T-shirts crash and burn.
*Go ape for anyone elevated from NXT…until they start losing (e.g. Vaudevillains, The Ascension), then ignore them entirely. Flipping out over an elevated talent has nothing to do with caring about the individuals. It’s to prove to other fans that you are faaaaarrrrrr more knowledgeable than them. You know the catchphrases of someone making their Raw or Smackdown debut? Wow, you are SO SUPERIOR!!!!!!
*Constantly claim a wrestler is “being shoved down our throats.” It’s a modern world out there; and if you have these homo-erotic fantasies about a sweaty muscular man rolling around with a near-naked opponent, that’s perfect acceptable in many quarters.
*Give a “solid thumbs down” or “negative five stars” rating to any card wherein you didn’t like who “won” a predetermined main event—especially if a favorite didn’t leave with the awarded “championship.”
A pinfall finish takes three seconds; a submission may take ten. By all means disregard the remaining three or four hours, the effort put out by the wrestlers not in the main event, and the work of the announcers and crew. Dang it, those three seconds altered the fabric of the universe and ruined the entire weekend!
Years from now, while you are on your deathbed and the nurse asks “Did you have any regrets in your life?” undoubtedly the reply will be “Castignoli should have kicked out at two.” (When you’re super-cool, you call famous wrestlers by their previous indie monikers.)