Good Wrestling vs Bad Wrestling #4: Bayley & Love-Blind Fans

Originally posted on ProSportsExtra.

Thanks for joining me. There’s so much more wrestling to watch than a few years ago, and I can’t possibly write about and scrutinise it all!

So, let’s be smarter with our time.

I am a huge proponent of balance. It’s all too easy to let the online world remove the grey areas and middle-grounds that offer us perspectives other than the two extremes. I wouldn’t want the internet to become a platform for me to purely rant or rave about something I loved or hated respectively. So here I am, mixing it up by appraising something I enjoyed and something I didn’t care much for this week in the wrestling world.

#GWvsBW – Good Wrestling vs Bad Wrestling.

Good Wrestling: Bay-ley bay-bay

Other than the ever-sour face of someone that doesn’t want to be at work, Bayley has a great many facial expressions to utilise. She didn’t instantly go from her lovable babyface persona to what we have today either.

Bayley snapped one night and the dam broke. She’s gradually become more of a heel over time. Despite presenting a host of negative emotions, Bayley instantly lights up with delight whenever she catches sight of her best friend, Sasha Banks.

It was more than just her face and tone of voice that underwent a transformation; her mannerisms, body language and wrestling style have stepped away from how she presented as Bayley, The Hugger. Again, she’s very quick to revert back to this persona for a brief moment when she lays her eyes on Sasha. This doesn’t last long and the grumpy-face elbows its way to dominance rapidly.

Bayley is a safe, solid worker in the ring. She’s a good pair of hands to have as a pro/veteran in training. Bayley has brought great matches out of Carmella and Lacey Evans in recent weeks too. A task deemed impossible by some that claim AEW has a women’s division worthy of reverence. That 20-minute opener Bayley and Carmella had on Smackdown not so long ago far surpassed the quality of ANYTHING presented to me by AEW as women’s wrestling.

This isn’t (or at least shouldn’t be) just a phase or a flash in the pan for Bayley. Despite being the sunshine in many young fan’s lives for years, Little Miss Misery knows how to heel and she pulls it off with conviction. She’s a lifelong fan and knows where all the buttons are.

What I see as a blessing in disguise for Bayley is that she’s been at the back of the group during the Fake-Horsewomen attention/distraction/pandering. This has given her chance to further run ahead of Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch.

It’s also nice to see someone that is blatantly there for good wrestling! Opposed to those that obviously just want to get on TV, sell sex and their (ermahgod) lack of personality. It’s a bit hard to take people seriously when the majority of their move-set involves thrusting, jiggling and gyrating, let alone when their attire only manages to cover 75% of their genitals. You can look, but you can’t touch!

Bad Wrestling: Love-blind fans

Firstly, I agree with BOTH the following two statements:

– “WWE is often terrible and I frequently wonder what atrocity I committed to be subjected to so many hours of this drivel per week.”

– “AEW has had some brilliant moments so far and their very existence maintains even just a glimmer of hope for the future of pro-wrestling.”

Now that we’ve agreed upon the positive energy available here, allow me to point out some harsh facts that may upset this borderline mentality.

– “WWE is able to wow, amaze and impress.”

– “AEW has left folk wondering what the hell they’re watching, and why!”

These aren’t mutually exclusive statements or concepts. There’s no need for any of the tribe-picking, the black and white mentality, or the hostility that comes from someone being different to you. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, you CAN still love something and find fault with it. Just like you CAN dislike something and see something good in it. Further elaboration & examples on love-blindness in wrestling courtesy of another plug of an old post of mine.

And one more mention of it here, if you are interested.

WWE purists have been drinking the Kool-aid for way too long now. Let’s not ignore what years of psychological conditioning will do to someone either. Some will praise WWE simply for the fact that it’s all they’ve known for so long and/or they’re swimming along with that churchy/cult-like vibe Vince McMahon and WWE have going on.

AEW purists (or fans of those who just oppose the industry leader) may demonstrate love-blindness by making exceptions and excuses for below-average quality in their product. Putting a little flag in a steaming pile of shit that says “At least it isn’t WWE” isn’t going to sell any more than if it WAS an officially licensed WWE steaming pile of shit.

AEW Revolution was a good PPV and a heavy improvement on their previous shows. However, Revolution was far from perfect and folk could ya know, do with, ya know, winding their necks in with regards to claims of it being the best thing ever.

It’s impossible for that whole card to be considered spotless. For a start, there’s “THE BEST TAG-TEAM MATCH THAT EVER EXISTED”. Although it is possibly the best thing AEW has put out there to date, the rules being absent 75% of the time meant it wasn’t flawless. On top of that, I point with horror at the dreadful women’s match that was involved. And finally, there was a “contest” between The Nut-case from Newcastle, Pac, and Orange Cassidy; some trainee that kept his hands in his pockets for the majority. It went on far too long and Pac shouldn’t need to take advantage of a distraction to get the better of someone like Cassidy.

People complain that WWE put over the wrong talent to hear the sound of moneybags being tossed into their coffers. This may be very true, but die-hards of AEW shouldn’t be so hasty to throw stones. AEW behaves in a similar manner. Instead, they prefer a cheap pop, laugh, and/or pat on the back in place of Vince McMahon’s erection evoking “ka-ching!”.

As for WWE, I mentioned last week why booking nostalgia acts to annihilate current/rising stars is detrimental in the long-term. Not only to the person being squashed, but to anyone else that has done anything to get them where they were before the bus rolled over them. This includes fans that have gotten on board and supported said talent too.

Just because something is making more money today, it doesn’t mean it’s going to go on forever. I do see the attraction and I do understand the urgency to maintain quarterly projections made to investors and the like, but let’s look at things further ahead than today.

I’m not surprised that there are those with their feet still (or even potentially) under the table that will publicly enable this behaviour and attempt to cry ignorance at anyone that says otherwise. I get it, it’s a future job/payday. Besides, you’ve probably still got friends/family/a step-brother there, and you don’t want to rock the boat for that reason either.

WWE has some of the world’s best talent and when they’re given the opportunity, they put on amazing matches. It’s just a shame these elements aren’t a priority. The audience WWE cater and listen to the most are TV stations, sponsors, and big kids with loads of money and a desire for hosting nostalgic PPVs in warm places. Bad wrestling!

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