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A reversal of Anglo-American roles?

Guest MillionLiraMan

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Guest MillionLiraMan

Hi there,

I wasn't really sure where to put this one, in the UK or the US forum, but I thought since a lot of UK followers come here as well that this would be the best place for it. Anyway, my point concerns 'professional' wrestling and 'joke' wrestling between the UK scene and the WWE right now (before anyone starts lecturing about puro or lucha, I'm not talking about that, so there's no need for anyone to stick their oar in unless it's about what goes on with the UK and the WWE).


Anyway, I remember when I was a wee kid, watching Big Daddy take on Giant Haystacks at my gran's house many a time. Even though I could only have been about five or six when I started watching it I looked at Shirley Crabtree and chums and thought 'how are we supposed to take this seriously?', since they were for the most part old geezers. Anyone who was younger and athletic only got so far before Big Daddy or more often Giant Haystacks beat the crap out of them very slowly indeed. I often wondered 'if this was believable, surely Kendo Nagasaki would make mincemeat out of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks put together?', and that they couldn't expect us to believe that. Of course, for the most part the whole thing was really just a bit of fun.


Fast forward to today. Hulk Hogan is still at the WWE, beating up younger guys. Roddy Piper is back, and is supposed to be considered vaguely threatening. Scott Steiner is old and can hardly move, but he's been put forward twice as a major threat to Triple H. There are rumours that Sting is supposed to be arriving soon, possibly along with Randy Savage. The question is, while there is a lot of praise for the way the UK scene has improved, which one suspects owes much to the introduction of the WWF mainly, and WCW and ECW, on TV over here, has the WWE in its current form gone full circle and turned itself into the joke that British televised wrestling used to be?


I think that is the case. While in the UK the introduction of the slicker WWF product with more muscular and agile wrestlers got people seriously interested in wrestling, and therefore Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks wasn't going to gain much of a TV audience anymore even for the kids, the WWE in its search for ratings has gone backwards to the point of bordering on how it used to be in Britain. In a credible promotion how can we believe that Hogan can have The Rock beaten (before being cheated out of a genuine win), or how can we take the returning older guys seriously when they get into the ring? I know this has only been a short term thing so far that the WWE has done, but Hogan has been around now for over a year, on and off admittedly, but even getting a title run. Surely this can only hurt the WWE, as Hogan is becoming today's Big Daddy while the rest of the oldies coming back hardly adds to the credibility of the WWE.


I know there have been quite a few negative threads about the WWE recently, and for the most part I'm sick of hearing the same thing dredged up in them, but I'm only asking for opinion over this one issue. For the most part I enjoy the WWE product and don't really have any other complaints about it at the moment, other than the implausibility of all these old guys supposedly being able to outmatch the younger talent. Having said that, I will have a momentary mark out moment if Savage or even Warrior comes back, before snapping out of it again!


So, what do you lot think?

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Guest Russ

You've hit the proverbial nail on the head again, MLM.


I remember at last year's King Of The Ring, Michael Cole said "Kurt Angle and Hulk Hogan, two of the best athletes in the world today, get it on". It's one thing portraying these guys in their 50s being able to hang with guys in the shape of Benoit, Eddie and Angle, but to say that Hogan is one of the most athletic people on the planet when he can barely lift his leg off the ground...Well, I don't think anyone of any age would buy that.


Unfortunatly, many promoters seem to think that the way to winning ratings is nostalgia. From what I've seen, going for the sentimental approach will only benefit you in the short term: If Hogan stays around for a year, the appeal wears off, he's just another guy.


I'm pleased to see that the UK Scene tends to focus a lot on the high flying element of wrestling, with many lighter guys being able to show their stuff. As you mentioned, WWE is the opposite, with the established talent always getting the preference to the younger guys.


Come to think of it, maybe that's why we don't see as many old faces in the UK Scene as we do in the US- the modern version of the UK scene hasn't been around as long as the US wrestling scene of today, so there are less household names. If guys like Fleisch, Storm and Williams were to make it big in the US, it wouldn't surprise me to see that in 20 years from now, they'll be appearing in UK promotions as "legends back for one more run".

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