Hulk Hogan vs. Randy Savage
Steve Austin vs. The Rock
Ric Flair vs. Dusty Rhodes
What do all of these famous pro wrestling feuds have in common? Two things come to mind. The first thing is that at the time they took place they were the number 1 and 2 guys in the business. The second and most important thing is that you believed these guys hated each other.
When Randy Savage turned on Hulk Hogan you believed that Randy Savage hated Hulk Hogan with every fiber of his being. When Steve Austin and The Rock feuded you didn’t think they were friends. I was too young for Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes but I’ve watched enough old school NWA to get the same feeling.
Roman Reigns vs. John Cena should feel the same way. The personal nature of their promos should give the feeling they hate each other. Roman Reigns should hate John Cena because he’s always compared to him. John Cena should hate Roman Reigns because he’s the only real threat to his “spot.”
Instead we’re reading and hearing about how they “respect” each other:
Today on the Wrestlezone website there is an article that details Roman Reigns’ thoughts on John Cena from a recent appearance on “The Corner” podcast. On that podcast he said the following:
“I’ll be completely honest: Me and John have always been cordial, but I would not say we are close friends by any means. There is a business respect, but I think that’s what makes this so special that we’re truly competing against each other and I think people see that.
Crap like this sucks. It kills the allure and the drama of the wrestling business. Instead of feeling like Roman Reigns and John Cena hate each other, I feel like their buddies. I feel like their both in the same room thinking of things they can say to each other to pop the crowd.
Professional wrestling is a performance. It’s an art. They are supposed to make you feel like they want to kill each other. You can’t do that when they are constantly breaking the fourth wall. If WWE guys aren’t doing legitimate media they shouldn’t be talking like this.
If John Cena is on the Today Show I have no problem with him talking about his respect for Roman Reigns. If it’s the day after WrestleMania and Roman is on Good Morning America it’s ok to talk this way. Not on wrestling podcasts. Not on sites like Wrestlezone. Not with Dave Meltzer. Not with guys like Justin LaBar.
They need to be selling the narrative. They need to be making us feel like what we’re watching on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live is truly how they feel.
Wrestling is never going to be real. It’s never going to compete with the NFL. It’s never going to compete with the UFC. It doesn’t need to take steps to become more legitimate or to feel like a real sport. It needs to go back to its roots. It needs to go back to making us feel like the drama and the intrigue we used to feel.
You can’t do that when the two top stars in the company are out talking about how they are cordial and respect each other. Wrestling will never have the same feel and same appeal as long as stuff like this happens.
That sucks because I miss those days. I miss the days where I felt like guys in wrestling hated each other.