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Lately you may have noticed a lack of wrestling recaps here on the ListenToThisShow website. I’ve stated before that I need to take breaks from recapping WWE programming now and then. I get burnt out on the product, which I think is pretty normal for most people. Despite the fact your Asked with Riv & Landin hosts will be attending Wrestlemania 30, this is more of a formality than anything else; typically the only reason we go is that Wrestlemania weekend becomes a vacation of sorts to drink and hang out with friends from all over the country which is a luxury that oftentimes neither myself nor Johnny Landin can spare the free time to afford.
I need to clarify that I don’t hate wrestling but I do have to admit it has gotten pretty f---ing gay. When I was a teenager, I didn’t care if people didn’t understand that I watched and enjoyed WWE’s programming. There were brawls, cursing, flashing, beer-drinking, and a storyline that was essentially a soap opera marketed towards males revolving around every working man’s dream of beating the crap out of their boss. However, these days the show has become really damn effeminate and instead of challenging authority most characters on the show just whine about it. That makes most red-blooded males completely ashamed to be watching. I’m now going to chronicle the ways WWE went “super gay,” and these reasons should be enough to explain why often times I try to distance myself from this product:
#1: Total Divas
The fact the WWE Divas have a reality television show is one of the most off-putting things about the WWE product to me as a heterosexual male in my 30s who graduated high school and briefly attended college, and is above average intelligence. Total Divas is WWE’s plan to find something to do with all the women they hardly put on their television show while attempting to capture the same demographic of “females with small brains” that really enjoys shows like “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.” The problem is a lot of the men are watching this show and cashing in their “man cards” for watching John Cena and Nikki Bella go on dates.
When I was growing up, it was “did you see Triple H beat the hell out of Mankind with that sledgehammer last night?” Now it’s “hey last night Natalya and Tyson Kidd got in an argument over cleaning the cat litter.” I don’t think anyone in my circles would have watched a “Divas Reality Show” even though Trish Stratus and Lita were infinitely cooler than today’s Divas. The only way we were going to watch a show where they didn’t wrestle was if they were going to be in some kind of porn. Unfortunately the only Diva from that era that went into pornography was Chyna and it was one of the absolute worst things I’ve ever lived to experience in my life. If you’re an adult male, watching Total Divas, and proudly stating that you do is like admitting that you wear your mother’s panties and like to pee sitting down “just to see how being a woman would feel.”
#2: WWE Moms
When wrestling was at its most enjoyable, it was actually when it was the show your mother DIDN’T want you to watch. Case in point was a time I was at home watching Smackdown and Brock Lesnar was taking on a one-legged wrestler by the name of Zack Gowen. Lesnar beat Gowen into a pulp in front of Gowen’s mother, repeatedly smashed Gowen’s one leg into a steel ring-post and then as the paramedics tended to Gowen, flipped the stretcher over continuing to mock his crying mother. A week later, Brock Lesnar would kidnap Gowen, who was now confined to a wheelchair, strangle him with a t-shirt and throw him down several flights of stairs. My mother was highly offended at the ordeal and asked me how I could find amusement in watching something like this.
Now you have groups like “WWE Moms,” who are basically just sad horny old women who sit around making sure that the show is wholesome for their kids who are decked out in John Cena merchandise while secretly masturbating to the likes of Dolph Ziggler, Roman Reigns, and Randy Orton. It is a proven fact that once your parents want to do something with you, it ceases to be cool, and it only makes sense that this makes wrestling way less cool as a result of existing.
#3: Have you noticed the Gimmicks in Wrestling Lately?
Steve Austin, The Rock, Ken Shamrock, the Undertaker, all these guys were impressive physical specimens and generally looked like bad mother---kers any time you saw them in the ring. With all due respect to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan they look like normal guys who would be working menial tasks in a grocery store for $7.62/hour if they weren’t in the ring. As a result wrestling has lost its larger than life feel. This wouldn’t be so bad but when you look at a developmental territory like NXT, you also see that some of the up-and-coming gimmicks are ridiculously effeminate.
You have Tyler Breeze, a male model who wears glittery make-up and furry boots.
Then there’s Aiden English, a skinny pale guy obsessed with musicals.
And most recently there is Adam Rose, who frolics around the ring and appears to have the gimmick of “really gay guy who throws great parties.”
Models, musicals, and creepy parties just don’t seem manly. What happened to the testosterone around here? And before you try to justify this by saying “but the Undertaker is still around,” have you seen the guy lately? He looks like a deflated flaccid penis. It’s actually pretty embarrassing, although at the rate that wrestling is declining in terms of coolness, I’m leaning towards adopting Undertaker’s “one day a year” schedule.
#4: Too much programming and too much shilling.
I challenge you to watch a WWE program and count how many times WWE’s lead commentator Michael Cole tells you to download the WWE App or subscribe to the WWE Network. Obviously any time you run a company you have to advertise your product, and that’s all fine and good… until you do it to the point of inducing nausea. The problem with this is some people just do not like being told what to do and after a certain point it sounds like a demand. The logic behind it is simple: “Make WWE a consistent, and constant part of your life.” As a result, what used to be a television show has transformed into a cult. The launch of the WWE Network has just caused an increase in the programming and some people feel obligated to watch every new episode of every WWE show, because WWE can now be watched seven days a week. This is excessive for any hobby and should never be done. The problem here is that wrestling becomes less of an interest and more of an entire way of life for some people and that turns out to be bad for human mental development and turns out to be very off-putting to anybody who is more diverse in their indulgences.
I’m pretty sure we’re at the point where Vince McMahon could use the Network to ask wrestling fans to murder people and they would probably do it. Speaking of which, that brings us to my final point:
#5: Fans, Social Media, and General Douchebaggery
One of the worst things about this whole change in trend is that the quality of the average viewer has also changed. It went from crude-humored people who could laugh at just about anything including themselves and each other to uptight prissy-pants-wearing crybabies who get highly offended if you don’t like everything they do. People went from being fans to being fanatics. It’s not uncommon to find wrestling fans on social media such as Twitter who:
--Live-tweet everything they watch on the WWE Network.
--Spam questions and comments on a wrestler’s Twitter account in hopes they will reply because they feel this is the only way their existence will be validated.
--Argue with other people (including other wrestling fans) for not liking the same things, often to the extent of creating a personal vendetta or holding a colossal grudge over it.
I don’t know how many times my criticisms have been taken personally. If I make a comment someone doesn’t agree with they act like I just busted down the door of their mother’s house, kicked her teeth down her throat, threw her down on the ground, and took a mean dump on her chest before setting their house on fire. There is really no need to take it personal that a person does not agree with every word you say. No two people’s minds are identical.
Just because you are a fan of something does not mean you have to obsess over it, talk about it 24 hours a day 7 days a week, or go out of your way to be a douche to and shun anyone that does not like the things you do. In fact diversity should be welcomed. The fact you’re different from somebody else should be embraced in a positive manner instead of acting like you “must destroy the foreign invader.” When the hell did being a fan of something become being part of a collective hive mind? Unplug from the Matrix, resist the Borg and be an individual. Stop letting your hobbies DEFINE who you are and believe me you will be better off for it.
In closing this is why I often find myself taking a step back from the WWE and wrestling in general, because some things subtract enjoyment rather than add to it. I wish WWE would just “stop being gay,” but if I keep saying that, they’ll probably just call GLAAD on me for “bullying them” so I’m just going to let Morgan James take us out of here with a song he made mocking wrestling fans and how bad they’ve become in recent years: