Earlier today, fellow Cagesider Jerichoholic_21 posted "Perspective: How the Internet has ruined pro-wrestling" and argued kayfabe - the act of keeping up the illusion professional wrestling creates - and the face/heel dynamic have been destroyed by the internet.
Namely, the knowledge the Internet affords a pro wrestling fan to the business's inner workings has created a disconnect between them and the sport they love.
This is partly true. Growing up, I knew nothing of the business side of pro wrestling. As a child, it was all real. When Hulk Hogan was attacked by Earthquake, I cried. When The Ultimate Warrior upended Hogan at WrestleMania VI, I was shocked. Had the internet been around back then, I would have known Hogan needed time off to film a movie and Vince McMahon wanted to make Warrior the face of the company.
So has the internet ruined pro wrestling?
Absolutely not. If anything, I appreciate the sport even more and there are several reasons why.
1) As stated previously, as I child, I thought pro wrestling was real. What kid didn't? I obviously grew out of that but still continue to watch. A big part of that was reading the RSPW FAQ in the mid-1990s and realizing there was a whole other side, a whole other WORLD to pro wrestling I didn't know about. And it was fascinating! I learned about Shawn Michaels' attack in Syracuse combined with other problems being the reason he vacated the WWE Intercontinental Championship. I learned how Hulk Hogan really got that black eye in the early-1990s.
And not least of all, I learned about what happened in Montreal that fateful weekend in November 1997.
Truth is often stranger than fiction and definitely more interesting.
2) A major point Jerichoholic_21 brings up is the lack of interest in feuds due to too much knowledge. For most of my life, I had read and heard the killer in Psycho was Norman Bates' mother. It was something I knew despite never having seen the film. When I finally did see it and saw the ending for myself, I was still blown away. To this day, I can watch Schindler's List for the 20th, 30th or 40th times whichever it may be and I will still weep when the factory owner begins lamenting what he could have done to save more people. It's a scene I've seen countless times but it's so well done and executed, the reaction remains the same.
Wrestling feuds don't have impact because fans are hip to the business. They don't have impact because writers are either lazy or afraid to take risks. I just wrote 1,000 words on the Kevin Steen/El Generico feud. It, by no means, is original. In fact, it's the oldest tag team feud in the book. It's simply the case of one turning on the other. But how it was executed and the characters in it are what makes it work.
Superman is a lousy character to write for. He's damn near invincible and has an unbending moral code. When WWE has the human equivalent of that in John Cena as their posterboy for the better part of a decade, he too will be hard to write for.
3) If referencing Psycho and Schindler's List wasn't a dead giveaway, I'm a huge film buff. I love movies. The love of seeing something on-screen soon mutated into creating it myself. As such, I've learned a lot about how movies are made and have a newfound respect and admiration for the filmmaking process. For example, there's a shot in Children of Men, a single shot, which takes the main character through a warzone. To the untrained eye, it's simply a tense scene.
But for someone who knows some tricks of the trade, it's a marvelous technical accomplishment. While there would normally be several cuts in a scene such as this, the director opted for a single take and the result is magnificent.
The same logic could be applied to pro wrestling.
There are little nuances in matches which we would have overlooked in the past but now, we see and applaud them. Hell, when I was a kid I hated hated HATED Ted Dibiase. He was evil incarnate as far as I was concerned. Now, I love the man. I wholeheartedly appreciate the vigor he injected into his character, something I could have never done in the past.
The only point I can agree with Jerichoholic_21 on is the utter negativity on the internet. Sometimes, it's a damn cesspool.
But has it ruined pro wrestling?
I don't think so.