The Rock, and Wrestling need to Grow Up

I was watching the new trailer for the Rock’s new movie Faster, when I finally realized why Dwayne Johnson will never be the action star he could have been. It’s not the Disney movies where he wears tutus. It’s because his movies are still going for wrestling fans; and not the good normal type of wrestling fans. But the small rabid group of fans that still believe wrestling is real. I say this with some degree of knowledge; I myself have been a wrestling fan since the age of 8! I watch every (WWE) show religiously (well maybe not every show but RAW and Smack Down at least). I have been to over two dozen live events and sadly have an entire dresser drawer dedicated to my wrestling shirts (I put my ICP shirts in their too almost the same thing). I go on wrestling fan sites and have a profile on the WWE’s wanna be MySpace thingie. Sufficient to say I have some degree of insight into this world, and the Rock’s movies are no better than the shitty ones that the WWE puts out itself. They are aimed much like a lot of wrestling at the lowest common denominator.  Dwayne Johnson could have done better he could have became so much more, he’s funny, handsome, and a great actor, possibly one of the greatest the wrestling world had ever seen. Yet he decided on making movies that either tried to tug at childrens hearts or completely waste film, or give some out of work key grips something to do.

There is something to be said about wrestlers and their craft. It takes incredible skill and grace to be the best at pretending to fight. It takes amazing strength and stamina to maintain that pace of work, with no off season and no downtime. The only way a wrestler gets a vacation is if they get hurt so bad they can no longer work.  I have nothing but the utmost respect for the men and women who sacrifice their minds, bodies and souls for my entertainment. Yet my greatest problem and fascination with wrestling for the last 20 years has been the hackneyed use of stereotypes and social problems to exasperate into character and plot devices. The biggest problem wrestling has had in “getting over” with the general public has been it’s insentience of remaining a Mexican Soap Opera for boys. It has at times tried to climb from between the ropes and present itself as what it is.  It has used tongue and cheek to wink and nod at the ever growing section of its audience that is in on the joke. Yet some force behind the scenes (I’m banking it’s Vince McMahon)  has always drawn it back to ridiculous racial stereotypes and whatever hot button redneck issue is popular in the trailer park at that moment. But with the audience on a whole growing far more sophisticated in how they view wrestling-thanks in large part to the internet-times are changing and wrestling will have to change with it or continue to lose PPV dollars to the UFC.

Wrestling and Porn have a lot in common there. It took porn a long time to realize we don’t give a damn about the story and in fact you are just wasting space on my DVD that I just bought so cut it out. They had to lose billions to the internet before they finally got it and some out there still haven’t gotten that we could care less about why two people are fucking in that weird position so the camera can get a good angle, we just want to see them fuck like animals. With that said there are still a small fraction of people mostly women and children who want to see porn with plot lines and there are still a small fraction of people mostly women and children who want their wrestling with long drawn out stories that make no sense to anyone who saw Mark Callaway the actor who plays the Undertaker at ringside during UFC 121 and turn around the next day and get buried alive while wearing eyeliner.

No one over the age of six in that audience believed he was really buried alive or that he won’t be back after his shoulder surgery to regain his title in the most spectacular fashion. It’s tired and trope and should have been put to bed after the character transformed into a bad ass biker more like the real man than any mystical dead man who has come for your soul. Sure it was great to watch this in 1991 when crazy ass Terry Bollea was still running around in yellow tights telling kids to eat their vitamins when the only vitamins this guy was eating was HGH.

Now playing: Blues Explosion – Meet Me in the City
via FoxyTunes

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