By Ric Vickrey, Staff Writer
Last week, legendary talent and trainer Rip Rogers took to social media relaying a message depicting how many Pro Wrestling traditionalists feel about the modern style prominently dominating the Independent Wrestling scene. Mr. Rogers’ shared message was then picked up on by numerous well known and respected personalities within the business. The most recognizable name of note was thirteen time World Champion and WWE Superstar Randy Orton. From there the gates of hell opened. It was as if the “Big Red Monster” Kane was making a grand entrance.
Most members of the Internet Wrestling Community are familiar with the story but in case you happened to be off the grid during this time I would feel remiss if I did not provide a brief explanation. Mr. Rogers’ shared message described a style of Pro Wrestling in which the action is a fast paced thrill ride but fails to deliver the traditional fundamentals of storytelling, selling and suspension disbelief. In other words the comments accused the style of being nothing more than an overly choreographed mockery of what Pro Wrestling is intended to be.
From this simple Tweet ensued unwavering support, critical outrage and of course those in the middle who were just trying to make sense of it all. It sparked a great debate that involved professional wrestlers, promotors, management types, business insiders and fans. From every corner of the wrestling realm individuals had their own take on the situation and wanted it to be heard.
This Pro Wrestling enthusiast was fortunate enough to find himself in the midst of a conversation with a number of very influential individuals within the business as they discussed this very topic. These tremendous minds shared their varying opinions and professional insight. Each presented a unique take. I shared a bit of my beliefs but in large part sat back and absorbed the knowledge that was being shared. I then sought out the opinions from a variety of other groups. In each situation I took in what was being given without giving an overbearing argument of my personal views. What I ultimately took away from each instance was something amazing.
We are a special bread of individuals. By “we” I am speaking about all of us as a Pro Wrestling Community. Those who have shined under the brightest spotlights; those whose sole purpose is to take the three second tan; those who work tirelessly backstage; those who hope the VFW fills up enough that the cut provides gas money to get them home; those who fill those VFW halls; those who not only contribute portions of their hard earned salaries but invest emotionally and even those innocent wide eyed individuals who gasp in awe over the grand spectacle. We are all overly passionate about Pro Wrestling.
In coming to this realization my natural human instinct for exploration drove me to dive a bit more into the matter. It soon became obvious that we can become extremely harsh towards one another at times. We attempt to belittle and devalue each other’s views to the point of embarrassment. Now this is not turning into some Dude Love-esque promo about brotherly love because the fact of the matter is we are one big dysfunctional family.
The best part of family is knowing that we have one another’s backs. The best part about being a dysfunctional family is knowing the brother or sister beside you is just as crazy as you are. We might have our disagreements but let an outsider come up and tell any one of us it’s fake; let someone claim there is something wrong with overly toned and tanned men in Speedos; let some damned fool try to say there is something foolish about a man summoning lightning from the rafters. If there is a fellow member of our Pro Wrestling Community in ear shot then the provoker is in for a world of (verbal) hurt.
What makes this dysfunctional family even more extraordinary is that we are not confined to a territory; not to a single nation and not even a hemisphere. Our reach is global. If I was to be suddenly dropped in an unfamiliar land I may not know the language, polices or the culture but I can guarantee I will have someone to communicate with about Pro Wrestling. Hell, I could end up in a prison in Punjab and there will be someone there to talk Pro Wrestling with. Our reach knows no bounds. Our passion exceeds age, race, sex and nationality.
The simple point is to be proud to be a fan of Pro Wrestling and share our extraordinary passion. Pro Wrestling truly is the world’s melting pot.