By: Leigh Barber
The smartest wrestling move, Samoa Joe walking away. This week, watching old wrestling clips I saw a reel online, labelled “The Smartest Wrestling Move Ever”.
It was a highlight video of Samoa Joe whipping Wrestlers into the corner, for them to jump up on the middle rope and launch at Samoa Joe, with a crossbody, moonsault or some kind of flip. Every time, Joe would walk away at the last minute to let them crash and burn onto the mat.
Some will say, “what a jerk” but this is what wrestling should be about. Believability. If he can see them coming and has a chance to move, why wouldn’t he? It’s the goal of wrestling to win? Not get beaten?
One of my biggest gripes with wrestling today, is wrestlers, standing, sitting, laying, watching and waiting for long periods of time for another wrestler to hit their move. If you are put on a table, how long should you lay there for? 10 secs, 20 secs, before you roll off? Unless you are knocked out cold, you should not just be laying there waiting.
Now of course, there is the set up of doing something safely but when another person has to wait there looking up for someone, to get their balance, taunt the crowd, correct their slip or simply just take to long, this is ridiculous. As a performer laying there looking up waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for someone to land on you, does nothing for you, then and the fans watching.
We all know wrestling is a work but we don’t have to shout it from the roof tops. We all know James Bond is going to kill the bad guy and get the girl but we all still like to think that one day he won’t. So why should wrestling be the same.
You know why wrestling isn’t as popular now as it once was? Believability Even when we all found out wrestling is a work, we kept watching because it still looked real and believable. When Austin threw a punch, it looked real, when Bret put on the Sharpshooter, it looked real or when when HHH hit the Pedigree, it looked like they got driven head first into the mat.
Now, today, we have a guy who who puts his hands in this pockets beating men twice his size, guys wrestling imagery people, blow up dolls, 12 year old kids, wrestling in slow motion or bumping for something that doesn’t look real. This isn’t just one company, it’s all of them.
No matter what era, wrestling has always been a little hokey, look at the people’s elbow or the 5 knuckle shuffle, sadly, these days, now it’s just all comedy. Comedy is ok every now and again though but does it need to be in every match?
Maybe I’m old school and just love real punches…. maybe I’m just out of touch with wrestling….. or Maybe I should just walk away, like Samoa Joe???