Casual fans may not pay as much attention to the basic fundamentals but a recent rant from Lance Storm sheds some light on the basics of pro wrestling and how they're going to hell.
Question: When you're watching a pro wrestling match, no matter the two men or women involved in said match, do you pay close attention to how pin falls are executed?
Your answer is likely something along the lines of "not really."
Perhaps that's a little unfair of me but casual fans don't typically get their enjoyment in wrestling from making sure wrestlers follow the basic fundamentals like making sure an opponent's shoulders are down during a pin fall attempt.
But it's something fellow wrestlers definitely notice and Lance Storm recently took some time to give a little lesson on why it's a bad thing that so many workers today are losing focus on what's important. His argument is that hooking the leg has somehow become more important than making sure an opponent's shoulders are down, which is the entire purpose of a pin fall to begin with.
Even if you don't want to get into things that deeply, focusing so heavily on hooking the leg has led to a much bigger problem than just uniformity. While almost everyone is hooking the leg now, they seem so focused on doing so almost no one is bothering to cover the shoulders any more. With a new focus on making covers "look" better they have in fact gotten so much worse. I constantly see guys grabbing legs while lying across their opponent's stomach leaving the shoulders completely uncovered, and it drives me crazy. What if announcers started pointing out that if the guy would have just put some weight on his opponent's shoulders, you know the things we are trying to pin to the mat, the guy might not have been able to kick out by just lifting his arm. I fear we are focusing so much on one individual aspect of the pin, the leg, that we are neglecting the single most important element, the SHOULDERS.
I strongly suggest you head over to his site and read the entire post. His insightful commentary on the subject will make you a better pro wrestling fan.
After you do so, come back here and let's talk about why this is an issue -- Dave Meltzer has said it's because of announcers in the 80s knowing the outcome of matches and using it to get themselves over. Anyone get annoyed like Storm when the leg is hooked but the shoulders free?