As long as wrestling fans have been talking to each other, they have decided that they know how wrestling works. Whether it was deciding that the latest monster heel would totally crush Bruno Sammartino and finally take the title or arguing over whether Hulk Hogan or Ultimate Warrior would win at “Wrestlemania VI” or whether Ring of Honor was or was not the most amazing thing in wrestling, wrestling fans have often decided that they’re experts on anything in their sport. While a lot of these things are debatable, there is one very common argument that comes up again and again and it needs to be buried once and for all.
This is something that wrestling fans so often forget: next week is another show. Yeah it is isn’t it? No matter what happens, there’s another “Monday Night Raw”, “Impact”, “Smackdown”, “NXT”, “Ring of Honor” or whatever next week. For some reason there’s this mindset that anything that happens is the end of a story and there is no way that someone can come back from what just happened to them.
Why do people think this way? Wrestling isn’t like other TV shows, or any form of entertainment, aside from maybe comic books, in the world. The stories keep going on and on for as long as they need or as long as the writers decide they should keep going. There isn’t a big season finale coming or the last page of a book with a two year wait before we can find out what happens in the next chapter. The next chapter is in a few days, when we get the next TV show and the further development of the storyline.
Let’s take a look at a recent example of people freaking out over something that isn’t the end of the world that they seem to think it is due to a lack of foresight.
We’ll start with the most recent main event of “Monday Night Raw” where John Cena successfully defended his United States Title against WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. After a fairly lengthy match, Cena made Rollins tap out clean in the middle of the ring to the STF. The WWE World Heavyweight Title wasn’t on the line, but the champion still lost to a completely fair submission hold.
As you might expect, a lot of fans weren’t happy with this result. People were upset over the idea that Cena has defeated the World Champion on “Monday Night Raw”, that the World Champion was defeated on “Monday Night Raw”, and that it happened in a title match that Rollins apparently should have won. Let’s take a quick look at why these arguments really don’t make sense. For the following points, we’re going to assume that the win sets up Cena vs. Rollins II for the World Title at “Summerslam 2015”.
Above all else, in theory, Rollins wins the rematch there and looks like a more legitimate champion after defeating the biggest star in the company. Yes he took a hit before getting there, but he would wind up winning where it means a lot more. As mentioned earlier, there’s another chance for Rollins to get his win back later.
That brings us to the second and possibly equally as important factor: after Summerslam, no matter what the result, what happened to Rollins in the “Monday Night Raw” match against Cena isn’t going to matter. If Rollins wins the rematch, is anyone really going to worry about a TV loss a few weeks back? Yeah it’s going to be a blemish on his record, but it’s a blemish that will have faded away and be forgotten in short order.
Let’s look at that loss for a second. Rollins lost to Cena in the middle of the ring. Not Heath Slater, not Hornswoggle, not Alicia Fox, but Cena, one of the biggest stars in the history of wrestling. In a quick shift of gears, a few weeks back on “Impact Wrestling”, Bully Ray told Rockstar Spud to not worry about a loss to Kurt Angle. As Ray put it, “WE’VE ALL LOST TO KURT ANGLE!” The same is pretty much true to Cena as well, as he beats just about everyone (save for Sheamus, who has never actually been pinned or submitted in a televised singles match to John Cena. There’s your weekly trivia).
Finally, and the third thing that so many fans seem to overlook, losses to anyone can be redeemed through actions. All Rollins has to do is go out and have a good match, cut a good promo, or do something entertaining to take away some of the sting of the loss. Here’s an example of what he could say:
“Yeah I tapped out to John Cena on Raw last week. And why shouldn’t I? All I could do was win the United States Title. Why would I want a toy like that? I’m the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. I’m not about to put my future at risk trying to break a hold that I could have broken any time I wanted to for the sake of something like that. Every single one of you know that I could destroy John Cena in the blink of an eye because I am Seth Rollins and the future is now.”
What did that take? About thirty seconds? Rollins addressed the loss, said he can beat Cena no matter what (and might get the chance at “Summerslam 2015”), gives a heelish reason for why he tapped out, insulted Cena, and made the fans want to see him get beaten up whenever he fought again. It’s a simple heel speech and it turned the whole loss to Cena into a plot point going forward while giving fans a reason to want to see the rematch.
This is something that is so often forgotten by fans: it’s so easy to change things around and make them positive but instead, fans would rather say that it’s all over and nothing can fix this horrible burial (because most fans who use the word burial don’t understand what it really means). Ric Flair was a master at this. He would be made to look like an idiot one week, but the next week he would speak as only he could or win a quick match or just do something entertaining and people would forget about whatever had happened.
Here’s what the whole thing boils down to: sure Rollins losing to Cena clean in the middle of the ring makes Rollins look bad, but it makes him look bad until we see him again and he does something else. This could be the case for almost anyone or anything in wrestling, but we as wrestling fans have a tendency to overreact and forget that anything in wrestling can be fixed with something as simple as a match or a promo. The beauty of wrestling is there’s always another show to fix things on, but why worry about what’s coming when you can worry about what just happened.
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