The Return of the Wrestler?

Discussion in 'General WWE' started by Wacokid27, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. I've been interested by some of the things I've been seeing recently in WWE.

    Last night on Raw (spoilers if you haven't seen it yet), Daniel Bryan cut a good promo on the difference between Cena as an entertainer and himself as a wrestler. During the promo, Bryan talked about how, if John Cena were fired from WWE "tomorrow", he would go back to his mansion with his 20 cars and never wrestle again. He countered that, were he fired from WWE "tomorrow", he would return to wrestling in gymnasiums, armories, and "anywhere 30 people got together to watch a wrestling match". Later, Cena came out and countered with a promo of his own about how he would never wrestle after WWE because he wouldn't want to tarnish the memory of what he had done in WWE. These promos were reminiscent of a promo cut by Punk during his feud with Cena over the title leading up to his 434 day WWE Championship reign, where he defined himself as a "professional wrestler", not a "sports entertainer". People were shocked in the wake of the Punk promo, because VKM has gone out of his way to keep the term "professional wrestling" off of WWE television.

    All of this, and a few other things we're seeing, leads to an interesting thought: "Are we seeing the transition from pure 'sports entertainment' to an amalgam of 'sports entertainment' and 'professional wrestling'?" Are we returning to the days where a guy can't just look the part, but has to put forth some capability in the ring?

    Many of you have know Ric Flair as an old guy who goes "Whooo!" and gives "knife-edge chops", goes to the top rope just to get thrown off, does elbow drops on his suit coat, andg puts guys in the Figure Four Leg Lock. This is just part (and a really lousy part) of the story. Flair became famous because he was the best professional wrestler in the world. He had a good look, an amazing ability to generate heat by cutting a promo, and an outstanding capability in the ring. He used to come off the top rope for knee drops and elbow drops. He stopped doing that when he realized how big a cheer the face (whether it was Dusty Rhodes, Ricky Steamboat, or Sting) "caught" him on the turnbuckle and threw him to the mat. As I'm starting to see it, Flair was the prototype of the WWE wrestler of the future.

    The first of these "wrestlers of the future" was CM Punk. The next one is Daniel Bryan. Neither of these guys has an amazing look so far as their musculature goes, but both of them have interesting looks. They're both wide-shouldered (a visible mark of strength) and lean (which marks their quickness). In this, they are similar to Flair in his prime (although, in all fairness, Bryan is a few inches shorter). Both men have above-average to great abilities when it comes to cutting promos (cue the Bryan haters bitching that he's no good on the mic...okay, fellas, whatever you say). Both of them are also excellent technical wrestlers, with the capability to both sell and to place their opponents in predicaments that look painful.

    The best part of this, though, has been the reformations of guys like John Cena and Randy Orton. These guys broke into WWE as Vince's Favorite Sports Entertainers. In the last 12 to 18 months, both of these guys (and Sheamus and Mark Henry and others) have really had to step up their game when it comes to what they do in the ring and on the mic. This was even shown when Everybody's Favorite Old Guy, the Rock, had to go toe-to-toe, on the mic and in the ring, with Punk. There was audience confusion during their face-offs, because nobody remembered anybody since SCSA holding his own against Rocky on the mic. Cena's feud against Punk even allowed Cena to stand up to the Rock in a similar way. Rock had to step up his micwork against both Punk and Cena, because just throwing out a couple of random insults, like he did prior to Wrestlemania XXVIII's "Once ina Lifetime" match, wasn't going to cut it anymore. The sad part was that their match at XXIX didn't match up to the effort they put into their first match, which is probably due to the Rock's injuries in the match.

    So, there's my thesis. Are we seeing a new era in WWE? An actual new era, not one artificially generated by some huge announcement on Raw? Or are we just being optimistic? Am I using too many question marks?

    The world may never know?

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  2. I don't think so. They're using these angles with a few guys that have been known as indy wrestlers and are going to the ME, so I think they're more like isolated incidents, because Punk and DB calling themselves wrestlers generates a bit of a shock factor and that's always good to hype matches. But if I had to guess, I don't think this means a new era is coming.