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wrestling / Columns

The World According to Ron: Taking Trips Out Of & Back Into WWE

February 25, 2018 | Posted by Ron Gamble
Steve Austin Vince McMahon Shane McMahon wwe Raw 25

“”Yes, I called it three weeks ago.”
NO. NO NO NO NO NO. We already have a guy that pulls this nonsense…no one cares how smart you think you are by predicting the winners of events. Not a soul.” – Team J-Rod

That’s actually not what I was going for. I was trying to show I was rather dumb. I had it right, but changed it, like a dope. Apparently, I screwed that up, too. Oops?

“Is this ghost written by Watry? You forgot to mention your prediction was on another website. Pretty much the entire fanbase figured Asuka & Nakamura were going to win.” – World’s Schlongest Man

I am not Watry. Do you want proof? Shit!

There.

Sorry I’ve taken the past couple weeks off. I’ve had some personal crap going on, and I needed some time. I will not bother you with details. Just know if I disappear for a week or so, it’s more personal crap, and nothing going on here. In other words, it’s not you, it’s me.

Before I get to the main body of the writing stuff, I really enjoyed two-thirds of Raw this week. You can guess which third I didn’t really like too much.

TELL ME WHAT IT WAS LIKE WATCHING TV ON RADIO, GRANDPA!

For many years, I didn’t watch anything involved with a wrestling company with a “W” in it’s initials. I would watch TNA when they were on Spike, and I would watch ROH, Japan, and Mexico whenever it was possible. But shows that were on from a company headed by McMahons? Nope.

If the 411 archives went back far enough, you would see the exact day I stopped watching was October 14, 2002. It was that evening on Monday Night Raw when Kane defeated Christian and Chris Jericho, Bubba and Spike Dudley, and Jeff Hardy and Rob Van Dam in a four team match (Kane’s partner, Hurricane Helms, did not appear for the match) in a ladder match in the main event to win the WWE Tag Team titles. Immediately after the match, Trippa Laitch came out onto the stage and yelled at Kane about being a murderer. He also mentioned a name we had not heard up to that point: Katie Vick.

That week, I wrote that I was giving up on anything from McMahonland, and asked everyone to join me, until they stopped with this nonsense and just got back to actual wrestling. This was still a week or two before “Katie Vick” became shorthand for tasteless dreck.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about, two things: (1) I envy you; (2) if you must know, look it up, but you have been warned.

My personal boycott continued for more than ten years, until a friend requested I come to his house to watch NXT: R Evolution in December 2014. That evening, I watched Sami Zayn beat Neville to win the NXT title, Charlotte beat Sasha Banks to keep the NXT Women’s title, and Kevin Owens and Finn Bálor made their NXT debuts. I admit, I was hooked. I needed to see more, and all was fine. In a few months, Samoa Joe would show up, and I needed more.

Unfortunately, this led to another problem: if I wanted to see them after they left NXT, I needed to end my boycott. I watched WrestleMania in 2015, watched Raw the next night, and I’ve been watching ever since. Now, I’m wondering why I bothered.

Don’t get me wrong. There are still things I enjoy on Monday and Tuesday nights. But I am finding more and more I don’t. Is this just my natural old guy crotchetiness creeping up? Maybe, but I don’t think that’s all.

I’m also trying not to get trapped in the “back in my day” mode of watching wrestling. I know there are plenty of examples on YouTube that show there was just as much crappy wrestling in the 70s, 80s, and 90s as there is now. However, there is a big difference between the two eras: quantity.

Back in the mid 80s, I was able to get channels from my home market of Wheeling, WV/Steubenville, OH, as well as the neighboring market of Pittsburgh, PA, along with many cable channels. Just from the top of my head, during any given week, I could watch WWF, NWA/Georgia, NWA/Mid-Atlantic, World Class, AWA, UWF, and Continental Wrestling, along with a weekly “This Week in Pro Wrestling” show hosted by Gordon Solie and Joe Pedicino. Channel 22 in Pittsburgh had wrestling Monday through Friday at 10, with a different promotion each night. The AWA was on ESPN, for goodness sake.

Sorry, I forgot some of you still think I’m Justin Watry. The AWA was on ESPN, damn it!

What happened? You all know what happened. World Class didn’t expand to a national level except through tv, and their home market in Texas dried up when they ran out of Von Erichs. UWF went out of business when the oil wells in Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana weren’t as productive as they had been, and Jim Crockett bought the territory.Georgia and Mid-Atlantic became the same company, then merged with UWF, then were bought by what became AOL Time Warner. The talent in the AWA just got older. Continental Wrestling just basically went away, and with so few companies around, there was no need for Pedicino and Solie to do a recap show. All those different territories became WWF, WCW, ECW, and Memphis, and the ride was over.

Now, if I’m bored with what’s happening with the McMahon company, I don’t have to watch Raw on Monday. I can just watch Smack… um, I meant, NXT on… well, there’s Impact on Thursday and New Japan on Friday, plus whenever my local station shows Ring of Honor! If that’s not enough, I can always watch older shows on YouTu… wait, most of those are blocked because of copyright issues… well, at least I have my old video tap… I mean, dvds.

Yes, this has become another “Old Man Yells at Cloud” column. It’s probably because of my memory problems. I remember what professional wrestling used to be like.

WE CAN DO SO MUCH MORE WITH GRAPHICS THESE DAYS TO ADD EMPHASIS TO PROMOS!!!

I have tired quickly of this idea of words popping up randomly during promos on Raw and Smackdown. It looks like people are taping promos on their smartphones (it looks that way because, well, they are). As if that weren’t enough, random words pop up on the screen, because reasons.

I know why this happened. Someone is the production staff saw some program their kids were watching, and words popped up on the screen, and suddenly, inspiration! It’s simple mathematics, you know. Random words + smart phone videos = young demographic viewers! It makes perfect sense!

I don’t get it, and I admit it. So sue me.

WHAT’S NEXT?

This week on Raw, the first “match” went through almost the entire first two hours of the show, with Braun Strowman being the last survivor against The Miz, Finn Bálor, Elias, Seth Rollins, John Cena, and Roman Reigns. I have “match” in quotes because even Michael Cole admitted it wasn’t just one match, but officially it went 106 minutes, the longest match in WWE history. What will they do to break that record? Explain THAT?!?

And please remember, with explanations, the funnier, the better.

Ciao, babies!
#SavetheCrew

Ron

article topics :

WWE, Ron Gamble

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