RingSide Report

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The WWE Tragedy: John Cena, Shawn Michaels, Bret Hart, Roddy Piper, Jake Roberts & More…What Happened?

By Kevin Nelson

What I’m going to tell you is going to surprise a lot of our readers. Since joining RSR, I have been doing the WWE RAW report and have hated writing it every week.

Let me explain…growing up I worshipped wrestling and everything it stood for. I saw beyond the charisma, and showmanship. I saw wrestlers portraying characters to their fullest.

I remember a time where the build up to a match was huge. The feuds were timeless. The mic skills were excellent. Some of the very best in the business; Jake Roberts had a way with words that made you believe he was not going to be denied. Roddy Piper was a fiery person (not so much a stretch from the real person). Jimmy Snuka had the skill, Dusty Rhodes had it all.

Fast forward 25 years later and we are in a time that maybe wrestling’s worst time period. Ratings are an all-time low. Pay per views doesn’t draw well. Feuds are seemingly forgotten as well as storylines. The anticipation for matches is not the same.

Remember the Survivor Series where Shawn Michaels was challenging Bret Hart for the title. Forget the aftermath of Vince screwing Bret for a moment. The anticipation of these two facing each other again was intense. They had fought everybody else on the roster and had yet to rematch each other since the epic Wrestlemania 12 match. The result is not really relevant so much as this was a match that required no one to sell.

These two are the best and hated each other and stood for different things but together in a ring could wrestle circles around anybody. They stood for a generation that was left over from the 80s, and turned out to not only survive; but paid their dues in a big way.

Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels would compete for close to a decade before winning a title. The last great era was the attitude era but the end came when it seemed everyone had attitude and the era was beaten into the ground by seemingly having wrestlers turn on each other weekly.

Fast forward to today

The mic skills gone, wrestling ability not counted for, talent denied unless you’re really muscular and a kid friendly programming had turned WWE into one of the worst shows on television.

Every month there were new champions as the IC title, US title or World Title and WWE title would changing hands quickly. Wrestlers like Sheamus who were big and strong were given big pushes but once they lost the title were put on losing streaks taking away any credibility as wrestlers. It also diminished titles by having the start of RAW have a world title match.

This past Wrestlemania the show opened with a title match. Remember when that was a main event? Then again remember when there was only one champion?

Hope for the future

It took one man to change the game with a rant on live television about how the WWE sucks to really change the game. CM punk just made wrestling watchable again. The ratings don’t lie. This is a wrestler who has mic skills, wrestling skills and can sell a fight but for some reason he was never the WWE cup of tea.

What kind of a man does not drink? What kind of a man does not party? Who lives a clean life style? A Paul Heyman guy. Who knew the one star the WWE did not appreciate would turn out to be quite possibly the man to save the company. Now let’s hope the WWE does not destroy it?

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