Never one to shy away from the big questions, Collar & Elbow’s Carl Jonsson looks at some of the talented grapplers currently mired in WWE’s midcard and asks – what is it they are missing?
‘What makes a good wrestler great?’ might sound like an obvious question, but I hadn’t really pondered it until I read fellow columnist Chris Pilkington’s Endangered Species list of WWE wrestlers recently. Of all the names on that list, one really bothered me – and that was the Scotsman himself, Drew McIntyre.
I didn’t disagree with Chris’ assessment, in fact as things stand right now I think he deserves to be on the ‘Endangered’ list, but the question that bothered me was WHY? Without question, Drew is an incredible wrestler, and surely, at the heart of it, the reason that we watch WWE, TNA, Ring of Honor or any other promotion is for the wrestling – so WHY isn’t Drew doing a lot better than he is?
This is the same guy that got personally recommended by Vince McMahon himself as the future of the wrestling business only three years ago, so why in 2012 does nobody apart from avid followers of Superstars know who he is?
Drew has a great look, the guy can certainly wrestle, and he can even cut a decent promo when given the opportunity – but for one reason or another the crowd just did not want to get behind him. That, to me, is the defining aspect of what will always make a good wrestler truly great.
Ask yourself this: Would The Rock have climbed to the dizzy heights to super-stardom had the crowd not been eating out of the palm of his hand on every word he uttered?
Don’t get me wrong of course – we all know that third generation superstar Dwayne Johnson was not happy around the time of his new persona, as he had felt jilted by the very crowd that he wished to entertain. He gave his blood, sweat, and tears to entertain the very crowd that was chanting “Die Rocky Die”, and in doing found the fuel he needed to say screw you to the fans and give them something that they needed to see … an extension of himself.
And maybe that’s the whole key right there. You can have the look, the athletic ability, and be able to cut an amazing promo, but if for any reason the crowd doesn’t like you and doesn’t get behind you (as a face or a heel) then, to quote The Rock, it doesn’t matter – even if you are the next Kurt Angle in the making you’re not going to be pushed in the long run.
I use Drew as my poster boy for this statement, but there’s another recent example that throws my argument completely on its head: John Morrison. Morrison unquestionably has an incredibly unique ring style and had the crowd support behind him, but because some believed that he couldn’t cut a promo, he ultimately didn’t reach the heights that some expected. Was that was stopped him from being truly great?
Honestly and truthfully, the further I delve into this subject matter, the more confused I get! It’s clear that to become a star, it takes more than just one thing: you may not be as athletic as Dolph Ziggler, but if you can cut a very good promo and have the crowd behind you, you can still get over in a huge way. Isn’t that right, John Cena?
So I turn the question to you now: As a fan of this business, what do you think makes a good wrestler?
I would honestly love to hear feedback on this and find out what you all think - get hold of me on Twitter, write on our facebook wall – or leave a comment at the end of this article. With your help, I might find the answer after all!