Articles, Blog

Why Am I a Wrestling Fan?

September 5, 2019

Wrestlemania, the biggest event of the biggest
wrestling company in the world, the Super Bowl of pro wrestling, is this weekend. I’m not going to watch it. I also didn’t watch it last year, or the
year before. In fact, despite having been a fan of pro
wrestling, and primarily of WWE and its former self the WWF, since I was seven years old,
I haven’t watched any WWE programming for nearly two and a half years. I don’t really miss it, and that’s for
a couple of reasons. The first reason is that WWE wrestling hadn’t
been very good for quite awhile when I stopped watching. Some of you who aren’t wrestling fans might
not think of it this way, but pro wrestling is an art form like any other. It’s theater. It ain’t Shakespeare – I’ll be the first
to admit that – but a wrestling match is a performance, and the best wrestling matches
all tell a story. It’s usually a very simple story, a story
that wouldn’t mean anything outside the context of pro wrestling – Wrestler A’s
favorite move is a submission hold applied to the leg, so they spend most of the match
attacking Wrestler B’s leg to weaken it; or maybe Wrestler A is larger or more experienced
than Wrestler B, which leads to overconfidence which Wrestler B is able to turn to their
own advantage; or maybe Wrestler A has beaten Wrestler B before, but now Wrestler B has
learned from their mistakes and tries a different strategy which allows them to come out on
top this time. And of course, beyond the wrestling matches
themselves, there are storylines that place the matches into a larger context. Two wrestlers or two groups of wrestlers might
have been feuding with each other for months or even years. One wrestler might be on the cusp of winning
a championship they’ve been chasing for a long time. Here’s a popular one: the hero is struggling
to overcome the machinations of the evil owner of the company! The thing is, the stories WWE was telling
– both in the ring and outside of it – weren’t very good. Wrestlers would switch from being babyfaces
(good guys) to heels (bad guys) with little or no logic or explanation; promising feuds
between wrestlers would abruptly end with no definitive conclusion, while other feuds
were continued long after most fans lost interest; wrestlers who caught on with fans and began
to rise in popularity would suddenly be booked to lose most of their matches, or be shifted
to a far less prominent position in the show. And through it all, there appeared to be very
little in the way of long-term planning. Pro wrestling is often likened to soap opera,
and I think that’s a lazy comparison in many ways, but the two forms do share one
fundamental quality: they’re both serials. And as serials, they work the best when they’re
able to create compelling set-ups and satisfying pay-offs. Ideally, the biggest wrestling events – like
WWE’s quartet of major annual shows: Wrestlemania, Summerslam, Survivor Series, and Royal Rumble
– should feature matches that resolve storylines that have been built up for months. Heroes should win long sought-after victories,
villains should receive overdue comeuppances, quests for championships or redemption or
revenge should be completed. At various times in its history WWE has been
pretty good at that, sometimes for nice, long stretches. But not for the last few years. Or at least, not for the last few years before
I stopped watching, which was a few years ago. Though I haven’t heard much to indicate
that things are any better now. In fact, in a lot of ways they seem even worse. But that’s only the first reason I don’t
miss it. The second reason is more important, and doesn’t
depend on my personal taste. So . . . yeah, more important. Some of you may have watched the recent segment
about WWE on Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. It was nice to see the issues addressed there
get some attention, but the thing is, there was nothing in that segment that I haven’t
known for years. Most wrestling fans know this stuff. We know Vince McMahon is a bastard. Not just a guy who plays a bastard on TV. A bastard in real life. He’s not a good person. He built the WWF into a national and later
international powerhouse through predatory business practices. He’s exploited his wrestlers for decades. He only instituted a wellness program, including
drug testing, and measures to reduce concussions, relatively recently, after pressure from the
media and the threat of federal regulation, and has freely admitted that the only reason
he did so was “public relations.” And oh yeah, he’s a Trump supporter! Judging by this photo, the whole family are
Trump supporters. His wife, Linda, has served in Trump’s cabinet
as head of the Small Business Administration. She just announced she was stepping down last
week – to run a pro-Trump super PAC. They’re garbage. The McMahons are garbage. The Trump support was the last straw for me. Trump getting elected president sobered me
up and made me realize a lot of things about my country and myself, and no longer being
able to support WWE was not necessarily high on that list, but it was on the list. Shortly after the 2016 election I canceled
my WWE Network subscription and I haven’t watched any WWE programming since. I feel good about that. What I don’t feel so good about is that
it took so long, and a catastrophe like Trump getting elected, for me to do it. If I know the McMahons are seriously bad people,
if I know the wrestlers are being exploited, if I know the company doesn’t act in good
faith – if I’ve known all of that since I was a teenager – and I have – why didn’t
I turn my back on this dishonorable and depraved company a long time ago? One big reason is that I’m selfish. I love pro wrestling. I love it so much that I was willing to place
that love ahead of my guilt over supporting a company I knew to be morally repugnant. That’s not an excuse, but it is a reason. And I daresay it’s a reason a lot of you
can relate to, whether you happen to be pro wrestling fans or not. When we’re forced to confront the fact that
something we love is problematic – that an artist whose work we enjoy has done something
inexcusable, for example – there’s often a reflex compelling us to just ignore whatever
the problem is and go on enjoying the thing. We might know very clearly what the right
thing to do is, but we have a hard time doing it because ignoring the problem is easier,
and it costs us nothing – we get to keep enjoying the thing we like as though nothing
was wrong. That was me with WWE. That was me with a lot of things. That’s still me with some things. The thing is, it feels like a personal choice. And it is. But we don’t get to make those choices in
a vacuum. The choices we make create ripples that spread
out and touch the lives of other people. We affect each other in ways we never intended
and often don’t even realize. You as an individual deciding to ignore the
dark side of WWE might not seem like it should matter to anyone but you. But WWE has only been allowed to survive and
thrive because so many individuals have made that same decision. If enough of us are willing to turn a blind
eye to abuse and corruption and exploitation, eventually we’ll wind up with a society
where those things are pervasive and accepted. I should mind my tenses – it won’t do
to say “we will wind up” with such a society, when we’re living in that society right
now. So, if I can wrench this video back toward
the topic alluded to by the title, why am I a wrestling fan in the first place? Why do I love this stuff so much that I was
willing to overlook the obvious and undeniable awfulness of WWE and the McMahons for so long? It goes back to what I said earlier about
wrestling matches telling a story. And this is a personal thing – not everyone
gets it, which is fine. Not everyone gets the appeal of Star Trek,
or superhero comics, or baseball, or lots of other things I like. And if you do share my love of pro wrestling,
and you love it for the same reasons I do, I probably don’t need to explain it to you. But to those of you who don’t get it: Whatever their particular story, most wrestling
matches have the same basic plot structure. First, there’s what’s called the shine. The match begins and the babyface dominates
the heel, outsmarting them, outwrestling them, hopefully energizing the crowd. Then comes the heat: the heel takes control,
usually by resorting to underhanded tactics. The idea of this is to build sympathy for
the babyface and to rally the crowd behind them. Next: the false comeback. With the crowd behind them, the babyface breaks
out of a hold or dodges a big move by the heel and retakes the advantage. But before that advantage can be pressed too
far, the heel turns things around again and we go to the next stage: More heat, sometimes called big heat. This is where the heel is not just trying
to punish the babyface, but active trying to put the babyface down for good and win
the match. The heel busts out their most devastating
moves, but the babyface somehow survives and is able to turn things around again and make: The second comeback, or the big comeback. Now it’s the babyface’s turn to pull out
all the stops, hit the heel with their best stuff, and try to win the match. The big comeback leads into the final stage
of the match: The finish. And the finish can go either way. The babyface can continue to press their advantage,
put the heel down for good and win. The heel can thwart the comeback and win with
a last-second reversal. The match could end in a draw of some kind. There are many possibilities. But if the wrestlers have done their jobs,
one thing will always be true. No matter who does win the match, we – the
audience – should want the babyface – the hero, the one who stands up to the bullies,
the one who doesn’t cheat – to win. Even at its best, pro wrestling doesn’t
necessarily stand up to deep critical analysis. But if you’re looking for a deeper message,
something positive wrestling is trying to impart to us by telling this story over and
over again, I think that’s it: we’re supposed to want the hero to win. And ultimately, I decided to walk away from
WWE and start looking for my pro wrestling fix elsewhere because I finally received that
message. I remembered I’m not meant to cheer for
the heels. Okay, so that right there? That was the finish. If this video were a wrestling match, the
match would be over. This here? This is analogous to a post-match angle – not
technically part of the match itself, but still on the show and still important. I mentioned getting my pro wrestling fix somewhere
else than WWE a second ago. I did not want to wrap things up without mentioning
that two of the best alternatives to WWE, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Ring of Honor,
are also co-promoting a major show this weekend. In fact, it’s arguably the biggest show
ever for either company – in North America, anyway – New Japan’s done bigger shows,
but they’ve all been in Japan. It’s called the G1 Supercard, and it takes
place Saturday night in New York City at Madison Square Garden. This is a big deal. It’s the first pro wrestling show at Madison
Square Garden not promoted by the McMahons in almost sixty years. The Garden has been sold out for months, but
the show is also being broadcast live on Ring of Honor’s streaming service, Honor Club,
and New Japan’s streaming service, New Japan World (that’s where I’m watching it),
and it’s available on-demand from FITE TV and other pay-per-view providers. I’m not being paid to say this, I’m just
a pro wrestling fan who is excited for this show, and if you’re like me and you love
wrestling but you don’t want to support WWE, you should think about checking out the
G1 Supercard if you weren’t already planning to, because it is shaping up to be one hell
of an event. Okay. Now I’m done. Show’s over, drive safe, everybody.

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  • Reply LS Greger April 3, 2019 at 12:10 pm

    Are you looking forward to see what AEW has to offer? I love listening to the Jim Corrnette podcast when I have time.

  • Reply Nicolai Veliki April 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    I'm kinda like that with meat…

  • Reply G. Whistler April 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Surely a better reason to stop watching would be that it supports horrific homophobic misogyistic patriarchal worldviews where violence solves problems.

  • Reply Wuvlycuddles April 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Interested to hear your thoughts on AEW

  • Reply Robbi V April 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    Had no idea you were a wrestling fan, not only that but you talked about other feds other WWE as well. Hope you enjoy this weekends shows!

  • Reply Michael Jaubert April 3, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Honesty I always watched wwe because of my love for the workers, those who bust their asses 300 days a year for our enjoyment. After learning about the business I said to hell with Vince's clan, Im an independent and new japan fan

  • Reply Matt Hellmers April 3, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    I've thought Lucha underground is more entertaining for a while. Ever since kayfabe died WWE has been awkward. Lucha Underground dealt with the death of kayfabe by leaning into the fiction. That actually allows me to better suspend my disbelief and buy into the action. Even though I know the moves are stunts, I can more easily believe they're real because the show has this supernatural theme. I can believe that sexy star can complete against mil muertes because she has ancient Aztec powers or a magic gauntlet or whatever. By pretending to be a real sports contest, wwe and new Japan just remind me that what I'm watching isn't real

  • Reply blade2040 April 3, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    This is a great video, thanks for sharing your perspective. I used to be a huge WWE fan back in the late 90s early 2000s but I just completely lost interest as it become incredibly stale. I think that I will check out that G1 supercard you were talking about. I've love to renew my passion for the sport but I don't think the WWE will be the ones to do that.

  • Reply James Gamble April 3, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    Silly wrestling, and scripted and performed and stuff.
    You should stick to real factual things and stop watching that childish playacting thing.
    When's the next Trek Actually out?

  • Reply Surge Sarem April 3, 2019 at 1:31 pm

    I stopped watching around 10-13 years ago. I lost interest in every story line and when I tried to come back 3 years after dropping it, I thought it seemed like everyone I knew was gone and there was only new talent. And with using HD cameras and better sound, you could really tell how fake the matches are to the point where you can hear their communication in the ring. I'm interested to see what's up now, but I think it's just to remind me why I left

  • Reply Anthony Menzer April 3, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    NXT is really good, but you know it's not as actively run by the McMahons. Also they have talent that used to wrestle in other promotions. I live in North Florida and get to see NXT house shows, they are great. AEW starting in Jacksonville is fantastic. Thanks for all of your content keep up the good work!

  • Reply ironcladlou April 3, 2019 at 1:41 pm

    I also hate what WWE stands for. Unfortunately, ROH is not the viable alternative you make them out to be – ROH is owned by Sinclair Broadcasting, and their right-wing agenda is well documented at this point.

  • Reply Last Guy Minn April 3, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    Nice segment. I'm not a wrestling fan, but I've felt this kind of moral dilemna more and more lately, with everything from Louis CK's comedy to watching NFL games to being an Amazon customer. It's human nature to want to hold onto things we love in spite of other troubling facts, but it's important that we also address our cognitive dissonance and come to terms with living by our values. Another reminder that doing the right thing is rarely easy.

  • Reply The Raddest Scorpion April 3, 2019 at 1:46 pm

    To anyone who wants to stop liking something because of principles but just can't help but keep liking that something: it gets a LOT easier after you force yourself to stop consuming one or two things on principle, even though you still enjoy those things. So if you want to stop watching WWE but can't help it, scrutinize something else you're not as much of fan of but still consume, and drop that first.

  • Reply Deathrider April 3, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    Man, I'm less than a minute in and I'm already agreeing with you on every count here. I stopped watching wrestling about four or five years ago. I still kind of keep up with it, especially in regards to some of the older wrestlers from the Attitude era, but for the most part I don't really miss it either.

  • Reply Caniprokis April 3, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Linda has tried and failed to run for office multiple times here in Connecticut. Our voters have sent her packing every time. The only way she could get into government was to be appointed by a like minded scum bag like trump.

  • Reply Fearless BLaZ April 3, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Steve… I believe you to be my long lost twin. You take the ideas, right out of my head. Thank you.

  • Reply Offbeaten April 3, 2019 at 2:24 pm

    Happy to see Kenny Omega images in the start there, that guy's a friggin' great wrestler over in Japan. And with a huge following in the fighting game community from him just being a great guy and showman(check rivalry with Xavier woods). Good vid, Steve! And good to show that you sometimes have to take a moral stand even against things you like.

  • Reply Trans Gamer Girl April 3, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    stopped watching wwe years ago for your first reason, haven't bothered to go back since for your second reason. well said!

  • Reply Marcel Robinson April 3, 2019 at 2:43 pm

    Not even NXT?

  • Reply kokushi629 April 3, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Steve please also check out a small, South Jersey based Indie called Dangerous Adrenaline Wrestling Gladiators (DAWG) … They have a webpage

  • Reply Michael Graham April 3, 2019 at 3:05 pm

    I was waiting for the other shoe to drop on porn. People like it, but they know it's exploitative, etc.
    The Chris Hedges book 'America: The Farewell Tour' made me reconsider the morality of porn.

  • Reply Renato Corvaro April 3, 2019 at 3:46 pm

    Everything went to hell when the Dead Man left.

    Yeah I know it was already headed that way but losing The Undertaker was the last straw for me.

    Also, I've never heard the heroes referred to as "baby-face". I've always just heard "face".

  • Reply Ranter Matt April 3, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Unfortunately the Pro Wrestling Business had a lot of scumbags running things going back to the territory days. Vince McMahon gets the attention because his machinations got his business to the Top Globally. My only thing on it is the company may be bad, but that shouldn't disqualify giving attention too the wrestlers that do risk their well beings for the crowd n paychecks.

  • Reply Charles Smith April 3, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    Thanks for helping put the word out on NJPW. They aren't a flawless promotion but they understand what pro wrestling should be about and are a much better product than anything Vince has done since they dropped the "F".

  • Reply Passport Kings April 3, 2019 at 4:50 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with everything you said. I even stopped for a little while. But other than star trek and walking dead, its the only time i spend with TV. I think after wrestlemania, ill be through with it. Im really interested in the womens matches and the takedown of Brock Lesnar, plus Kofi Kingston is finally getting a shot at the championship. I just want to be entertained with the time i spend watching tv. But as you said, there are other ways of doing that. Unfortunately, I guess, I really can't get into the other wrestling shows because they would take too much effort to find, and catch up with their storylines.

  • Reply Mike Walker April 3, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    Hey Steve. Do you know much about those two alternatives? I am thinking of some of the issue brought up by John Oliver about WWE, such as wrestlers being contractors (but not really), no employer provided health insurance, etc. I mean… the lack of a Trump connection is enough to make me like 'em more than WWE anyway, but it would be nice to hear that the wrestlers are treated better.

  • Reply DoctorBabylon April 3, 2019 at 5:51 pm

    Steve I'm not a wrestling fan but I do feel some kinship with you. Until last year I was a Republican, I had been one since I was a teenager. It was easier to ignore the problems with the party, pretend they didn't exist or weren't that widespread, or that they were on the verge of being solved.

  • Reply Robert Friel April 3, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    Looking forward to AEW.

    I was at All In and it was amazing!

  • Reply hackel April 3, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    I was interested in this video because I'm absolutely one of those who "just doesn't get it," and I'm sorry to say this video didn't make it any more clear to me.

    You're a smart, progressive guy, so what is it you like about such a glorification of violence? Where is the entertainment value in watching one human attack another, even if it is fake? You talk about rooting for the "hero," but is that not just Machiavellian thinking? If they have to resort to violence to "win," how is that good?

    And don't even get me started on the blatant sexism and misogyny you see everywhere.

    And in this video where you're describing the many evils of the WWE, you don't even mention the violence, and worse the monetization of violence. Regular, empathetic human beings should not be entertained by seeing someone get the crap beaten out of them. I feel like you have to be a sociopath to enjoy this, along with boxing, cock fighting, Roman gladiator fighting, and every other "sport" that tried to turn human suffering into entertainment.

  • Reply ManateeGag April 3, 2019 at 6:27 pm

    Fun fact about the photo Steve showed of the McMahons with Trump. Every adult in the photo, except for Shane's wife, have received a Stone Cold Stunner, including Trump.

  • Reply j mtx April 3, 2019 at 6:45 pm

    So, what you're saying is that Trump was the last straw. I totally understand that.

  • Reply Tater Totinski April 3, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    You could’ve said “Because I’m awesome”. This video could’ve literally been 2 seconds long 😂 No, but seriously this video was amazing. From one Trekkie/Rasslin fan to another thank you for making this video, this is important stuff. I too have abandoned WWE (ever since 2014) and honestly I don’t miss it either. Also, I WOULD LOVE TO SEE MORE PRO WRESTLING CONTENT FROM YOU!!! 😍

  • Reply ryan m April 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Things are much worse. Luckily other companies like AEW are popping up!

  • Reply Ryan Tomes April 3, 2019 at 7:21 pm

    Noticed you used footage from All In, are you going to watch AEW?

  • Reply RazMansReality April 3, 2019 at 7:22 pm

    You should consider watching Mania this year Steve. The women are main eventing and Becky Lynch is arguably the biggest star they’ve had in years!

  • Reply progKansas April 3, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Bull. I saw pro wrestling in the late seventies. It was phony as plastic dung. McMahon made it worse.

  • Reply Lux Armok April 3, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    You caused me to google "Shakespearean wrestling." Looks like there is a wrestling scene in "As You Like It."

  • Reply sarah hanlon April 3, 2019 at 8:55 pm

    I pretty much agree with everything you said. I stopped watching wwe in 2006, i d like to say it was for moral reasons but I merely discovered impact and AAA and from there new Japan. The storylines are better and less repetitive and the matches just better quality. In my opinion anyway.

  • Reply Keith Thompson April 3, 2019 at 9:14 pm

    Strengths and weaknesses of each company:

    Impact: weaknesses:Long turbulent history

    Strength: Better talent getting the shine

    NJPW: Weakness: Language Barrier

    Strength: A very refined talent pool.

    AEW: Weakness: Hasn’t Debuted.

    Strength: BEST TALENT GATHERING (for English language speakers)

    WWE: Weaknesses: Overbloated Talent pool, no real competition, crudy creative planning, refusal to listen to their audience and they want more money at the expense of the Talent.

    Strength: Money dear boy money.

  • Reply kikaha Ltd April 3, 2019 at 9:38 pm

    I quit watching wrestling over 30 years ago…And I do not miss it at all.

  • Reply Xeknos April 3, 2019 at 10:07 pm

    Props for including Kenny Omega. I only know of him/became a fan because Bushiroad – who owns/promotes Bandori, one of my favorite franchises – also owns NJPW.

    Is ROH where Omega ended up going after he left NJPW?

  • Reply Dan Schmitt April 3, 2019 at 10:35 pm

    I agree with most everything you say in this video. I take exception with one item. At 5 minutes and 3 seconds you say, "they're garbage". McMahon and family are Jerks, privateers, money-grubbing bastards, that they are. They're not garbage; they are a lot of things but let's not dehumanize them. If we make them less than human, then we open doors that can excuse their actions and the actions of others. When you dehumanize anyone you lose the separation between yourself, the KKK, Neo-Nazis and people of hate… I'm sorry to say our president is in that group as well.

    Words have consequences… and as a former soldier I know that using words to dehumanize people is as powerful as bullets.

  • Reply Mike Mitchell April 3, 2019 at 10:45 pm

    Was going to ask who you support, if you do. I need to jump on the ROH/NJPW wagon. What little I see is great.

  • Reply Aaron Brown April 3, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Making artistic consumption decisions based on politics (admittedly, in your case, politics that I agree with 99% of the time,) is not good. It leads to bad art that uses politics as a replacement for quality, and I don't want that. Picasso was, by all counts, a bastard. Van Gogh was a creepy stalker who went so far down the incel fuckboy rabbit hole he mailed a girl his ear. Andrew Marvell, despite being a preachy puritan who wrote almost exclusively from a puritan standpoint, was a notorious drunkard who was known for starting barfights and ending duels over infidelity. Walt Disney… oh boy. That's not to say that wrestling is Picasso, Van Gogh, Marvell, or even Disney level art…. or even that I still watch WWE (I don't… it got boring, and I switched to following the indies,) but if we blind ourselves to art because the art, or the creator, is problematic, then we are left in a world full of art that educates but does not entertain, and/or mindlessly shies away from taking a stance for fear of offending anyone. Encouraging art to go in that direction is repugnant to me… almost as repugnant as the ideology of non-compassion that one tries to fight against by cutting such things out… which brings me to the final issue: it doesn't work. Depriving one's self of satisfying art, because of the ideology of the art or the creator, is not a remotely effective means of enacting change: if it were, then every time the /chan/ image-board culture decided to boycot a movie out of existence because of what they perceived as "forced representation" it would actually accomplish something, which it never does. It only FEELS effective because of sunk-cost falacy: relative to our kushy first-world existence, it feels like we're giving up a lot, so it MUST be effective… right… Right… RIGHT? Wrong. If one must condemn the artist for being a shit person, so be it, but in condemning the art itself, we harm art itself as a whole much more than we harm any given evil artist.

  • Reply Tim Menke April 3, 2019 at 11:52 pm

    I liked Wrestling when I was a kid….but then I grew up.

  • Reply 3273richard April 4, 2019 at 12:27 am

    I love pro wrestling but WWE is for kid's and that's the honest truth !

  • Reply 3273richard April 4, 2019 at 12:30 am

    And that's why I watch impact AAA NJPW roh and many other promotions because it's a better quality product !

  • Reply G. April 4, 2019 at 12:54 am

    This sort of video makes me wish I could support you more.

  • Reply Joslyn Starling April 4, 2019 at 1:07 am

    I stopped watching when i saw Dusty Rhodes and Kevin Sullivan having breakfast at Fat Boys BBQ in Lake Wales Fla. the morning after there death match railroad spike blood and all i felt so betrayed i never watched again.

  • Reply ABetterRed April 4, 2019 at 1:08 am

    I love I see AEW tshirts more and more in the public

  • Reply kaboombox April 4, 2019 at 1:17 am

    Quit watching wrestling in the early 2000s. Mainly because of the McMahons predatory monopolistic business practices, but also because of a lot the story lines seemed to support things that I couldn’t support, like racism, fear of foreigners, and homophobia.

  • Reply shiftomnimega April 4, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Isn’t RoH owned by Sinclair media?

  • Reply John Taylor April 4, 2019 at 2:33 am

    Why am I a Steve Shives fan? Because he likes Star Trek, Pro Wrestling, and calls out Lord Dampnut.

  • Reply plasmaburndeath April 4, 2019 at 3:12 am you may like this Steve. – Peace

  • Reply Crowbro April 4, 2019 at 3:27 am

    False finishes

  • Reply Alathe Dragonsdottir April 4, 2019 at 3:29 am

    As I often find, I think I agree with most everything you said. I've had a tendency to get defensive when people call Pro Wrestling fake, because that's a huge blanket. There is real risk, (even aside from the risks/injuries of simply practicing a highly physically demanding activity on a constant basis)if moves are not performed correctly, etc. And of course there's the story, yes, that's the part that draws me too. Put it all together, and I like to compare it to stuntmen (or stuntwomen, as some of the women's wrestling gets a tad of popularity (stuntfolk?)) doing what they do best for entertainment. And thank you for coming back at the end to tell us where you get your fix. I'd have been really upset if you didn't. 🙂

  • Reply Crowbro April 4, 2019 at 3:32 am

    Are you going to watch AEW ?

  • Reply lazy bhikkhu April 4, 2019 at 3:36 am

    Weekly wrestling was my middle school intro to Wednesday’s at the comic shop.

  • Reply John Brockman April 4, 2019 at 3:42 am

    "… villains should receive long overdue comeuppances…"

    Pretty sure that's "comes uppance", Steve.

  • Reply Nate Breidenbaugh April 4, 2019 at 4:25 am

    I’m a huge pro wrestling fan, and it pains me to see the characters I love (and hate) disappear from my life. But my conscience pricked me too hard to ignore. For me it took the silence in the face of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi (sp?) by WWE before inking a huge deal in Saudi Arabia to tear me away.

    That being said, AEW should be amazing. I hope they leech off some of WWE’s big names (Ambrose, Bálor). Do you think they’ll be able to compete with WWE in any meaningful way?

  • Reply JanusKastin April 4, 2019 at 4:41 am

    Watching a wrestling match on tv is one of my very earliest memories being a kid (Tito Santant vs. Iron Mike Sharpe). I ended up losing my taste for wrestling and stopped watching around the time of the Chris Benoit tragedy. Not because of the tragedy itself, but with how the WWE dealt with it. At a moment when we all needed to address mental health and how the expectations of promoters and fans affects the wrestlers we love, instead they just expunged his record. Un-personed. Chris who? I miss the feeling I used to have as a kid, but I just can't love wrestling anymore after that.

  • Reply More Faves April 4, 2019 at 5:06 am

    I have usually been a heel fan for most of my 50+ years of being a fan. I always appreciated the heels having more fun, showing more personality, than the whitebread babyface. I wonder what that says about me psychologically? I watch and tolerate the WWWF/WWF/WWE but am much more a fan other feds, and always have been. Currently, like you, I'm a fan of NJPW and ROH because of it's more genuine sports like feel, and less of an insult to a fans intelligence than most WWE storylines. But I have to say the WWE has done a superb job, or more accurately, Becky Lynch has done a superb job, in making herself the biggest star in WWE .

  • Reply ahouyearno April 4, 2019 at 10:26 am

    As a gamer I feel spoiled now. There's so many great indie studios today that it's become increasingly easy to avoid the bad studios. Gaming has never been dominated by a single major player like WWE but even then, it's super easy to avoid even the top ten companies.

    There are several studios and games I used to like that supported gamergate for example. These studios can go to hell. I don't need to buy from steam or epic because HumbleBundle donates to charity and GOG offers consumer friendly DRM free games.

  • Reply Chaz Likes Cake April 4, 2019 at 1:22 pm

    Steve's a New Japan fan! Woooooo!

  • Reply mud horse April 4, 2019 at 7:33 pm

    Steve i usually avoid certain media cause i fear that it may make me hold certain ideas and behaviors that can be harmful to myself and others, but occasionally i indulge in certain problematic shows if i think they won't influence me too much. when i do look for that kind of show i do so trough piracy. why is piracy rarely seen as an option when progressive/left youtubers discuss these topics?

  • Reply Adam Aldabbagh April 4, 2019 at 9:35 pm

    I very much appreciated this video. I would say its alot easier now to get access to other promotions now though because of social media and hopefully AEW will be a huge hit here in the states.

  • Reply Lighty Kid April 4, 2019 at 11:58 pm

    Steve. OMG! THANK YOU, for making this video! Like you I was also a WWE fan and I went cold turkey around the time that, we found out that C.M. Punk was fired on his wedding day. I'm still a wrestling fan. I currently watch Impact Wrestling. I was already juggling the two before I stopped watching WWE but now I enjoy every Friday night with Impact. Not only do I love their story telling, but they give their stars a MUCH lighter schedule and more freedom on what they do outside the company. They like the rest of the industry could probably do more in regards to health care but It's nice to watch a company and show that respects the performers and the fans. IMO, if feels like WWE fans simply refuse to take off the rose tinted glasses and believe the lies that the WWE spews at them. When you have a company that tells you they are the best week in and week out, while trying to parade the "good deeds" they do via various programs, sometimes it's easy to get sucked into the narrative . Hopefully more WWE fans will wake up. Even if they still choose to support and watch the WWE, they should support the wrestlers more and demand better treatment and health care for the WWE's stars at Wrestlemania and beyond until Vince and his company gets it and do the right thing.

  • Reply Objectively Subjective April 5, 2019 at 1:57 pm

    I've watched this video three times now. Absolutely love it and it surmised my own transition away from the WWE.

  • Reply NJDevilsforlife Woohoo April 5, 2019 at 11:43 pm

    I don't know how old you are, but I'm guessing younger than I am. I started watching the WWF back when HH first started and actually was lucky enough to meet many of the late 70's and early 80's stars. Found out it was not a real sport (won't say fake) at about 10 or 11 yo. Anyway fast forward to adulthood, I watched it off and on mostly off. The last time I watched it was about 5 years ago. BTW when I did watch any company I always cheered for the heel. Favorite all time wrestler is Rowdy Roddy Piper followed by Stone Cold and Undertaker. Absolutely can't stand Hulk Hogan even as a heel.

  • Reply The Neo Normie April 11, 2019 at 7:51 am

    Blimey I haven't watched WWE since about 2012 really I only watch the indy's as I find the product is better especially in women's wrestling groups like Gaea and Shimmer are way more intresting. But mainly WWE bores me because it's obsessed with nostalgia never shutting up about the Monday night wars or guys long past there prime squashing younger talent, really the move to PG13 was the thing that really put me off and the terrible play by play, still they never really replaced Jesse Ventura and Gorilla Monsoon for me, also I've always been more a fan of the smaller Federations like CWA USWA GWA TWA and my favourite ECW and it's Clones XPW and CZW. I did enjoy NWA-TNA till Hulk Hogan arrived and destroyed there product. Really thought the real trend setters for wrestling were Japan in the 80,90's but today Mexicos AAA Triplemania is far more enjoyable then Wrestlemania the Mexicans and also the wrestling of my home country The UK are much more funner product WWE is just the McDonald's of wrestling.

  • Reply Himalayan Salt Lamp April 14, 2019 at 8:42 pm

    Fuck, you ruined WWE for me =(

  • Reply Bryan West April 18, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    Don't forget about WWE's awful deal with the Saudis and the propaganda they are spouting for such an awful country.

  • Reply King_Tony April 24, 2019 at 2:12 pm

    Rasslin is predictable.

  • Reply A Wingless Monkey April 26, 2019 at 6:41 am

    It's unfortunate, but individual action doesn't usually do a whole lot to solve systemic problems.

    For starters, the wrestlers (and also the staff and crew) should own WWE, not the McManns. The money-vampires are not what makes pro-wrestling (or much of anything else) work.

  • Reply Dolph Ziggler June 6, 2019 at 6:22 pm


  • Reply Slammin' Sam Hammond June 20, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    Great analysis, Steve! Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply alex palko July 11, 2019 at 2:18 am

    Good to know I'm not the only Star Trek and Wrestling fan

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