Wrestling Is Better When We Are Talking About Wrestling

Been stewing over the past month it feels like as we experience discourse whiplash. Last month we were gifted this beautiful gem of a post from Simon

Saying this is the type of post you would see all the times on Twitter (lol) or more likely Message Boards is slightly revisionist. Sure, you had a higher clip of folks getting into the weeds, putting in real effort to make their point on forums but you also had people bringing up personal beef spanning nearly a decade. A real mix bag of hater energy. Chaotic Evil and Lawful Evil at work. There was a balance to this universe at times it felt.

So instead of saying Simon’s post harkened back to a simpler time I will say it gave us a glimpse at a better way for us to discuss wrestling. You know, discuss the wrestling part. 

This is not news, the outside wrestling parts have dominated the conversation. It is all about ratings, attendance, and now we are seeing more and more contract dollars being released. None of this has anything to do with the product in the ring. None of this affects how we consume and appreciate wrestling. I would say from the pandemic onwards things have shifted. Not saying this wasn’t a huge amount of the conversation before but once crowds started coming back, that felt like a reboot for the AEW versus WWE conversations. AEW hadn’t been around even a full year before they had to move everything to Jacksonville. 

Part of me wants to contribute this to the pandemic and lack of crowds putting water on a lot of folks wrestling interest. Speaking just for myself, I know I was almost completely out on wrestling through most of 2020,2021, and large parts of 2022. It wasn’t until 2023 that wrestling captured my interest again. Maybe it was because it took a while to get to “oh we don’t give a shit about COVID anymore” and that sent my brain “free” to enjoy the worst form of entertainment on the planet

Annecdotetedly I know I wasn’t the only person who lost interest during this time. A lot of my friends, the folks that review and enjoy discussing wrestling, didn’t have that spark anymore. It makes sense, that if you lessen the number of folks on platforms like Twitter who give a crap about talking current wrestling, that all you are left with are the folks who don’t actually like the performance part of wrestling. You are left with some of the most brain-rotted people on the planet who have decided wrestling is the business they are going to care about the ebbs and flows of. I can’t even say these are grifters, there is no money to be made here. I guess, maybe if you count Sean Ross Sapp as someone taking advantage of dumb asses but I find that to be more grifting the grifters.

This is all why the Simon post felt like such a breath of fresh air. The long-form reviews, the Year In Lists, those are works to love but from the sounds of it he realized that was a solo expedition and maybe not as fulfilling as he would like. Listing 50 matches from Danielson better than the Omega match in a public forum and working up some true rubes? Now that’s what we are talking about. People argued against it in bad faith but they argued against the opinion on wrestling, not applying any sort of business metrics. Also just a lovely example of someone Showing Their Work when it comes to these discussions.

That brings us to the Kurt Angle discussion that happened more recently. I feel like a dumbass for not being able to find the source. Feels like I heard variations of Meltzer not thinking Kurt was good because he didn’t give him a 5 star match? That reminds me, when I was on Wrestling Forum, in a 5 STAR MATCHES thread, one dudes list was 90% Kurt Angle matches. Was not a bit. Was pure. The world has gotten darker since.

Anyway, I think the origin of that stunk. I don’t care about Meltzer. When the whole crux of a kerfuffle revolves around one person’s opinion, no matter how erroneous, it isn’t fun. The conversation becomes binary, is the opinion good or bad. Once we start dealing with what the opinion is about, that is when we can start cooking with gas. So this conversation seemed to evolve a bit which is where the smile got put on my face. We actually had people going “did Kurt suck?” and “I actually think Kurt was good you jabroni marks without a life”. 

This is all very surface level. But after this past month of discussion, I wonder if we are getting out of the darkness. I speak towards a bubble but we have Brock and Quentin sharing their thoughts about wrestling again at a pace we hadn’t seen in years. And shockingly, they both seem to be enjoying it. I spent so many years thinking I hated that I loved wrestling. My tides are turning, I’m loving the sport again as well. Not to focus on Brock and Quentin too much but they highlight to me personally a change in perspective from a lot of folks. And I’m so hopeful that this leads to an increase in people getting made about opinions that actually focus on the performances in the ring. Because wrestling fans not talking about wrestling is a plague to be removed from this world. 

Sam DiMascio
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Co-Founder of Violent People, Host of Talking Tourneys, We Don't Know Wrestling, Desert Island Comp.