By Goose Mahler, Associate Editor
In one, topsy-turvy weekend and week, the world of wrestling turned upside down.
My original column was about Tessa Blanchard winning the Impact World Heavyweight Championship. Unfortunately, the wrestling world on social media broke with all the rampant stories and allegations coming out.
Here’s the catch, folks. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Everyone can voice that opinion, now even more so because of social media outlets and liquid courage. Let me get something out before people start to label and point fingers and hate on each other:
I in no way condone racism. I do not believe people that say bullying happened is made up. If someone says a person picked on them, belittled them, spit on them, whatever the case, it is not acceptable behavior.
What makes me an expert?
I’m not, but as a fat kid that was bullied by a group of people in grade school and in high school. Who is also in a family that is part German and part Filipino, I’ve seen my grandfather and others in my family endure racism because of our appearances. I’ve even had my uncle tell me he was denied seats in a facility, because he was the wrong color.
Here’s the sad part, people. If you turned on Tessa because of these remarks and allegations, I don’t blame you. If you support her in ring skills and not her out of the ring personality… read the above. Once again, you are certainly entitled to your opinion. It does not make you a racist, because there are two personalities here.
There is Tessa the in-ring performer, and Tessa the human being. It’s unfortunate, but there is definitely a blurred line here. No one can deny her skills. She’s been one of the best wrestlers in the world this past year.
Her out-of-ring personality gets very mixed, and ‘not so nice’ reviews.
I’m not talking about meet-and-greets, where wrestlers have time to be around fans and media. I’m talking about bad attitude, not getting along with other wrestlers, and using terms like blacklist and black balling people. I heard someone on a podcast say that is not bullying, I would ask that person to wake the fuck up. This is a pure definition of bullying in the workplace to further your own career. And if other women (and even some men) were to file complaints, she’d be on her ass faster than getting hit with an RKO out of nowhere.
My original column was about a wrestling podcaster saying that if Tessa won the Impact World Heavyweight Championship, it would be the most worthless title in wrestling. My original thought was… why? Because she is a woman?
I don’t – and will never – buy into something becoming worthless based on gender or race.
But let’s move forward… Is Impact’s Heavyweight Title the most worthless in wrestling?
I still don’t think so.
If you want to talk about the most worthless title in wrestling, look no further than WWE Champion Brock Lesnar. Does anyone even care if he has the belt anymore? Does anyone even know when the last time was that he defended the belt? The answers to both are no, and that makes his belt and title reign a complete joke.
Raw, the flag ship show of the WWE, has gone more days without title defenses. Their A-list roster is on probably the least watchable wrestling show on TV right now. Unfortunately, some people like stupid storylines with weddings, non-sensical squash matches and people trying to peek in a cage to see something that spits, or shoots blood out its ass.
That’s not the point here, though.
Raw, for almost three to four years, has had the invisible champ in Brock. I get Lesnar is a name. Lesnar was a draw. But Lesnar is a man with a title that isn’t defended on a weekly, monthly, or even bi-monthly, basis. That made his belt completely worthless in many of fans eyes.
Remember the rules of the territories? Defend the belt in 30 days or forfeit the title. Hell, remember when Ric Flair would defend the belt in the morning and then travel a couple hundred miles to defend the belt again at night? That is what a champion does, defends their ground and title. Stakes their claim at being called The Man.
Yet, the WWE doesn’t see the problem with this. Instead they play the smoke-and-mirrors game with the fans and now they are throwing their Champ, who has self-deemed, no one worthy of a title shot at the Royal Rumble into said Rumble.
No shit… No one is worthy, Sherlock. Do you think anyone on the roster wants that belt? Because, quite frankly, it seems like its the title fans care the least about.
If you were a kid that dreamed of being Hogan, Savage, Hart, Michaels, Taker, Austin, the Rock, Kane or even Mankind, that dream would be squashed at this point. Because those men defended once a month, at house shows, and almost every PPV. They made the belt they carried something young wrestlers wanted to strive to obtain. Now, it’s just another article of clothing to hold up Lesnar’s pants in the sea of wrestling promotions with hard-working champions.
I can’t see greats like Harley Race or Bruno Sammartino having the belt, and rarely defending their titles even when they were hurt or sick. These men defended all the time, in every city against all comers. That is the definition of a champion. Not showing up once in a blue moon, throwing a couple suplexes, and then going home for two to three months to milk the cows and sit on their ass.
Right now, Impact might be a big, ol’ shit show with a questionable champ – and for reason’s that DON’T involve wrestling. But on the flip side, the WWE has the most worthless championship, because the titleholder doesn’t defend it and only shows up as a novelty act.
Until next week, treat each other the way you want to be treated. Casual Sheep out.
Mark Mahler is the Associate Editor of TheGorillaPosition.com, and the former Editor-in-Chief of Absolute Wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @MGoose37