These past few weeks have been some of the toughest for fans of World Wrestling Entertainment. From the revelation that Vince will be going ahead with live shows despite the COVID-19 pandemic still going strong, to the sacking of myriad of Superstars, it’s been difficult. I mean, it’s never been easy, but this fortnight, in particular, has pushed WWE fans the furthest away they’ve felt in some time.
I’ve been watching WWE for almost 30 years. The first taste of professional wrestling I had was watching SummerSlam in 1989. I remember it like it was yesterday, in particular, the Ultimate Warrior vs “Ravishing” Rick Rude match, thinking how amazing it was. The spectacle, the characters, the stories – everything about it resonated with me. Ever since that moment, I’ve consumed every single minute I possibly could. For me, WWE is the greatest company in professional wrestling. Granted, it’s had its lows, but when I look back on everything since WrestleMania I, it’s been one hell of a ride.
As wrestling fans, we have a tendency to feel disappointment in certain decisions Vince McMahon has made. Whether it’s letting someone go, putting the title on someone who may not deserve it, or booking storylines that don’t make sense, it’s impossible to be happy with everything WWE does. However, when you think of all the greatest moments in its history, there’re far too many to count.
Ultimate Warrior defeating Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania VI, Stone Cold’s feud with Vince McMahon, Daniel Bryan becoming the WWE World Heavyweight Champion at WrestleMania XXX – I could go on and on. We’ve also seen careers end and Superstars lose their lives, but despite those hard times, it brings us closer to the company we love with everything we have.
It’s easy to be a dick. It’s easy to slate the company for its mistakes and throw disparaging remarks on your Twitter feed, but it doesn’t help anyone. Sure, I’ve felt an overwhelming disappointment with Vince McMahon this month, but what I -and you – need to remember, is why you watch WWE.
These men and women are constantly putting on the best show they can regardless of the script. Whether in the ring or backstage, each and every one of them is doing it for us. These are the guys who are putting their lives at risk during the pandemic, giving everything they’ve got to entertain us. For decades – no matter what the roster – these entertainers have given everything. The camera crew, the ring announcers, the referees – everyone – are doing it because they love the sport of wrestling. Don’t forget what it’s done for you, and never lose focus on the beauty of professional wrestling.
It’s been so sad to see guys like Drake Maverick breakdown on Twitter. Others seem to be coping better than others, but regardless of how they appear, they’ve all just lost their jobs. We can never truly understand the situation within the company’s finances, and whilst they have billions of dollars at their disposal, nobody except the people within WWE know how they’re affected during the Coronavirus’ grasp on the world’s economy.
— Drake Maverick (@WWEMaverick) April 15, 2020
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sceptical about some of the choices they’ve made over the last few years. They’ve squandered millions on getting in Rob Gronkowski and Cain Velasquez, for example. Vince spent millions on the XFL, only for it to file for bankruptcy, and even though they’ve been getting a pretty penny from the Saudi shows, they still would have lost a ton of money due to the current economical situation. I’ve spent the last week in dire straits trying to put all the pieces together – trying to work through my disgust with Vince, but at the end of the day, this happens all over the world, regardless of the company.
All we can do now is support those that give us a reason to still tune in. For those that lost their jobs, we can share their merch sites and buy their tees. At a time like this, we need to help those around us. It sucks, no doubt about it. We’re all stuck in our homes, trying to find things to occupy us whilst it seems like the world is falling apart around us. If anything has kept me sane, though, it’s professional wrestling. Despite all the horrible things that have come to light in recent weeks regarding WWE, it’s important that we try to find a way to understand.
I will never turn my back on the company that has helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. I owe them everything because they have given me so much joy. It doesn’t mean I’m not upset and disappointed in the decisions the powers that be have made, but in retrospect, I’m not running a company that has billions of dollars resting at my feet.
There have been so many highs, but recent events have provided the lowest of lows. Try to make your peace with what’s happened. Support the talent that are busting their asses for us, and be there to lift the spirits of those that have lost their jobs recently. It’s a difficult time to live in right now, but we have something in common that can help us get through it.
It’s taken me a few days to come to terms with what has happened. I don’t agree with any of the events that have transpired, and I doubt I ever will, however, I love WWE. I love the Superstars. Guys like Edge, Kevin Owens, Randy Orton, and Tommaso Ciampa are the reason I tune in every week. The hacker story on SmackDown has been excellent, and the current state of NXT has me excited once again to tune in every Wednesday. There’s so much good right now it’s important to try and focus on the positives, make your peace with what’s happened, and remember why you love WWE. I hope you can find some form of comfort in this article. I hope you find a way to deal with everything that’s going on. Most importantly, though, I hope you stay safe.
Images and video courtesy of WWE