SPOLER WARNING: IF YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS ON THIS WEEKS SMACKDOWN DON’T READ.
Okay. So those of you that spend your time looking up wrestling spoilers and rumours like me will know that just a few days after winning the World Title for the first and only ever time Christian has lost it to Randy Orton on SmackDown during this weeks tapings. Now I’m sure a lot of WWE fans were very happy when Christian finally won his first World Title after all these years and likewise I’m sure most people will be sad to see him lose it in such a short space of time and in the way that he has. As easy as it is to get mad at WWE for doing things like that there are things that need to be considered before everyone gets their panties in a wad. Now believe it or not, every wrestler isn’t trying to be the next Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold. Sure if they were given the oppurtunity to main event shows and carry the big titles I’m sure they would all jump at the chance and give it everything they had but that isn’t the shared goal of every man and woman that has ever laced up their boots and stepped into a wrestling ring. A lot of them just want to be able to do what they love full time and make a living out of it.
Something that has stuck with me since I heard it was something Mick Foley said in an interview not long after he joined TNA. The interviewer started by saying somewhat jokingly ” I guess you don’t care about going into the Hall Of Fame then” Mick replied lightheartedly but at the same time making a point in the way he does by saying ” I have never let Vince McMahon or anyone else define what ‘Success’ is for me.” Now that could easily be seen as an ex-employee just being childish and acting like he doesn’t care what other people think, but he has a point. It is easy for us as fans to get too focused on more than just the matches. Discussing who should be a top guy, who is crap, who is showing potential, who is the best worker etc is all part of the fun of being a wrestling fan. The problem is sometimes we focus too heavily on that aspect and forget that the whole thing is just meant t be fun not only for us but for the wrestlers too.
A good example of someone who only cared about his goals is Chris Jericho. If you have ever read or heard him speak about what he wanted to achieve in wrestling it normally boils down to three things.
1) Be as near to Shawn Michaels as possible.
2) Win the Intercontinental title because Ricky Steamboat did it.
3) Form a tag team with Owen Hart.
Now while he didn’t achieve all of those goals to the degree he would have liked, he did do pretty much everything he wanted. Everything else, the things most people will remember him for like being the first ever Undisputed champion or holding the Intercontinental title more times than anyone else were really just a rather large blob of icing on an otherwise whole cake. And when he felt it was time to leave and do something else he did that. This is the kind of thing we should want to see as opposed to people who just stick around, overstaying their welcome just because they want money or they can’t bare not being in the spotlight or worst of all, because they have nothing better to do with their lives.
There have been a lot of men and women throughout wrestling’s history who didn’t achieve the recognition or respect (at least publicly) that either we or they themselves felt they should have and it seemed like Christian was going to be another one of those people. No matter whether or not you think is suited to being a main eventer or World Champion it is hard to argue that he isn’t a great wrestler or entertainer. He has had great matches not only as a tag team guy but also as a singles wrestler. He has also been a part of some of the funniest non wrestling moments over the last decade or so. I can understand why some may not think he is a ‘Superstar’ like Cena or Orton or hell even his best friend Edge but at the same time he has held several titles, has worked well up and down the card and has usually always had something to do the entire time he has been in the WWE. And while it is easy to scoff when someone says this, he did a lot of great work in TNA and showed that given the chance he could be a top guy in any wrestling company.
Like I said, not every wrestler has the same goals and definition of success as everyone else and that includes us, their fans. While we want nothing but the best for them we shouldn’t put too much emphasis on what WE think they should be doing. It can taint our memories and put a negative slant on what should be a positive career. I myself for example have and will continue to argue that Owen Hart could and should have been WWF champion if only for a little while. I personally think it is stupid that he never got the chance to get the ball and run with it. At the same I try and remember that either way me and a lot of other people loved watching him wrestle, he won several titles, had many great matches and feuds, is respected by both his peers and fans alike but more importantly he had a whole lot of fun doing it. That is what I try to remember and Christian is a similar situation.
I think one of the biggest problems when it comes to judging who should and shouldn’t be where on a card has always been WWE. People are well aware that it isn’t always how good a wrestler someone is or how much the fans like them but more who they know and backstage politics that dictate their careers. Unfortunately those are the facts of life. Those who work hard and do everything right don’t always get what they deserve and likewise those who lie and cheat often come out of things much better than they shoud have. Wrestling is no different. With the amount of money and fame up for grabs there are a lot of people out their trying to make it to the top by fair means or foul and don’t care about who they have to tread on to get to the top. This is one of the biggest reasons fans and wrestlers get annoyed about how people get used. The sad thing is the only man you really need to impress is convinced pretty much everything he does is right and it is hard to make him change his mind once it is made up.
Regardless of what you think about Christian and his title reign it was great to see someone rewarded for their years of hard work. Kane was in a similar situation last year when he won the belt. Shawn Michaels too could be put into this boat given he won only one World Title in his entire eight year second run. While we as fans may have wanted more for them they were happy. There are lots of wrestlers out their that are or would be thrilled just to work for WWE. There are plenty of wrestlers who are perfectly fine with being a perenial mid-carder and using that as some sort of insult seems kind of stupid. There are those that are fine with just the one title or just a short time in the main event. Even winning isn’t everything. The Sandman was one of the most popular wrestlers in ECW ever and as he will say openly, he lost about 75% of all his matches and his title reigns lasted minutes more than months. But he was happy doing what he did and the fans were too.
I don’t know what Christian hoped to achieve in his career but if winning the title just once after all the years of hard work and up hill struggles, if standing in the centre of the ring atop a ladder after a really great match with his best friend looking on is enough for him, then I don’t see the point in looking at it negatively that he then lost the title only days later.On the other hand if you want to get mad because it seems like a stupid creative decision or you are sick of Randy Orton go for it. While great careers are few and far between they do exist and I hope both Christian and wrestling fans will look at the postives as opposed to what could have been.