In a year that's offered wrestling fans some of the best action ever (the best, if Dave Meltzer's rankings are your guide), it’s harder than ever for performers to sustain plaudits on the main roster.
WWE’s present day super-service results in the talent wrestling all the bloody time, but that's just a small problem feeding into a much bigger one. The standard of work shooting up has simultaneously sent excitement levels plummeting. Grainy footage of grizzled 1950s crowds losing their minds over a ten minute headlock is now just about as big a joy to watch as a Seth Rollins singles match. In both cases, you know all the beats and rhythms long before they happen, but at least a less-than-comatose crowd give you a reason to keep watching. And less people spent months on the shelf through injury thanks to a particularly tight toe-hold.
Wrestling’s never been so good, but it’s never been so hard to be a good wrestler. It's subjective of course, but Vince McMahon's irrational and erratic decisions force the most incredible patience from fans that would even tolerate the TakeOver-to-TakeOver management of NXT as a worthy replacement to WWE's unending churn.
A spot with the organisation isn't even enticing well paid independent stars as much as it used to. It's all, if anything, further reason why these performers deserve as much credit as they do. Being the Best In The World is p*ss easy compared to being the Best In World Wrestling Entertainment.
Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.