2010 Top 10 Stories in the Pro Wrestling World (WWE, TNA, and pro wrestling in general)
10-WWE Stock takes a hit. With the global economy doing poorly, it’s no surprise that WWE’s stock was dropped this year. Pay Per View buyrates are down since the price hike, and WWE.com’s merchandise is down.
9- Youth movement, roster flux. The current WWE roster is full of youngsters who get pushed quick, get shot down, and either get settled in or get fired. With injuries to Triple-H, The Undertaker, Edge, Batista, and CM Punk, The Miz, Sheamus, and John Morrison are at the top, with The Nexus being the focal point. WWE is full of second generation wrestlers as well (like WAY too many). The bulk of the young guys are just mired in the mid-card, with little connection with fans, as they seem like replaceable parts. John Cena wins 2010 Wrestler of the Year on default, which is a joke.
8- The Book of the Dead. Wrestling has lost more stars this year, such as Edouard Carpentier, Gene Kiniski, Jack Brisco, Luna Vachon, Chris Kaynon, Lance Cade, El Gigante, Ludvig Borga, Curtis Iaukea, Skandor Akbar, Grizzly Smith, Trent Acid, Angelo Poffo, Baron Mikel Scicluna, and others.
7- Hulk Hogan as a C-List celeb. TMZ, Yahoo, and other entertainment sources love covering the most famous wrestler of all time. It’s too bad in 2010, Hogan is a shell of his former self- he’s Tampa trash. From him being sued, to dealing with Nick Hogan, to the divorce scandal, to suing for copyright infringement, to TNA, and to getting re-married and attacking the camera, to his book, to his fake suicide attempt, Hogan is totally craptastic, and unfortunately the face of pro wrestling to Joe Watercooler.
6- The Nexus. The WWE launched a low-rated show called NXT (after their fake ECW show bombed), which was a pseudo-American Idol for “rookies”/independent wrestlers. Anyway, to make a LONG story short, they formed an evil nWo-like group and attacked the wrestlers on WWE Raw. They have been the dominant faction in the WWE, lead by heel Wade Barrett, who is loved on the internet forums.
5- Jeff Hardy to TNA. Hardy was at his peak as the WWE Champion, and was very marketable to fans who eat up dark characters like Sting, Undertaker, and Orlando’s Zane Black. After getting involved with drugs and other behind the scene drama, he left the WWE and came to TNA, where he won the World Title and turned heel after TNA had no idea what to really do with him. He is now awaiting trial for shipping drugs. The rising star has been falling.
4- Linda McMahon for Senate! It was ugly, and it cost her tens of millions of dollars to lose. This story dominated mainstream MEDIA, and actually didn’t help the WWE in any way, shape, or form. In fact, it brought many of Vince McMahon’s warts to public, such as sex, violence (concussions/chair shots), Chris Benoit, and forcing wrestlers to be independent contractors. Mixing wrestling and politics is like having a lion and grizzly bear fight in a steel cage- when world’s collide- BOOM!
3- Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff take over TNA…and lose the Monday Night Wars. It was a manic gambit to duplicate WCW’s 1990′s success with Monday Night Nitro, and in 2010 TNA utterly failed in its attempt to take away viewership from WWE RAW. With the SAME OLD CRAP THAT FAILED 15 YEARS AGO WITH WCW, TNA lost head-to-head, lost a bunch of money, and is currently licking its wounds back on Thursday nights. I predicted this: Why TNA will fail.
2- Bret Hart Returns- Bret Hart, perhaps one of the most famous, controversial, and best wrestlers of the 1990′s, made amends with WWE CEO Vince McMahon and worked a program with the WWE for most of 2010. He feuded with Vince onscreen, as both men hurled real insults at each other. Due to Bret’s stroke, his actual match against McMahon at WrestleMania 26 was a bomb. Bret went on a MEDIA barnstorm all year and explained why he returned after Vince screwed him in 1997 (Montreal Screwjob). Bret was part of WWE’s storylines and wrestled occasionally. His chapter is now seemingly over in this goodwill tour, as his contract ran out last month. I feel that Bret “sold out”, but it does at least give his career (and conscience) its much needed CLOSURE. (Bret was sickeningly bitter for 13 years!)
1- Shawn Michaels retires- In the end, regardless of his emotional baggage or behind-the-scenes personality, Shawn Michaels was a legend like Ric Flair but with aerial skills, and more moves. Michaels was the only WWE superstar (possibly of all time) to be able to have a 5-star match at the biggest events, or whenever he was in the mood. Shawn- who was 44 at the time- gave it his all in his final match vs The Undertaker at WrestleMania to steal the show- one again. There’s a reason why he was called The Show Stopper. Shawn is done withe wrestling and has not made a comeback yet. The WWE will truly never be the same with him wrestling. He went out good and never fell to become a jobber.
Just thought I’d like to add:
Pro wrestling continues to be inaccessible to older fans. With the WWE monopolizing the pro wrestling industry, it is in a creative rut and doesn’t care about older fans. TNA is is local small business in Orlando. Ring of Honor will forever be a DVD/Internet wrestling league. With so many title switches, new wrestlers, bad pushes, and soap opera storylines, older fans have problems jumping in and enjoying the current product.
As you can see from my Top 10 List, names like Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, and Hulk Hogan will always carry more weight than The Miz, Sheamus, and Nexus.
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