“This ain’t ballet, this is wrestling.” This is what has been going through my head since Nia Jax seemingly broke the internet after her match with Kairi Sane just a few short weeks ago. Fans flocked to their respective social media outlet of choice to condemn the WWE Superstar, calling her such things as reckless, and careless, among several other more colorful things. But allow me to point out that while fans certainly have a right to their opinion, a lot of fans, (yes, even the smart ones) really and truly have no idea how the inner workings of the business are. Personally, I believe this is one of those cases.
Nia Jax has made a name for herself as one of the most unique performers on in WWE’s Women’s Division. Her size, strength and her overall ‘look’ has done wonders for her career. Some would say that being related to The Rock has helped immensely as well. But looking back, she has had her issues with causing injury to other WWE Superstars. This isn’t her first rodeo. Not to sound cliche, and I believe that this is one of the main reasons why fans have been so quick to rise to judgment with the contest between her fellow Japanese superstar and herself.
During a spot in the contest, Nia threw Kairi into the bottom turnbuckle which caused Sane to land awkwardly. There are two ways to look at this. The first, is that Kairi finished the match. Thus, hinting that she was okay and the show went on as planned. With that said, had there have been a serious injury, I’m quite sure that the referee would have stepped in to make that call, or to ensure that Kairi was okay to continue. If you go back to watch that match, you’ll notice that this did not occur.
The second way of looking at it is that Kairi finished the match out of necessity and may or may not have heat with Jax now outside the ring. As there have been little information on this possibility, I cannot and will not speculate on it.
I feel that both superstars are extremely talented. In rewatching the spot, and the match itself, this may have been blown out of proportion based on the fact that Nia Jax has also previously injured WWE’s so called Golden Girl, Becky Lynch. This, most certainly did nothing to help endear Nia to the WWE Universe. In that case, Lynch was forced to miss Survivor Series and was out of action for quite some time with a plethora of different issues pertaining to her health.
Now, let’s switch gears for a minute. I want to touch base on the fan of today, versus the fan of yesteryear. While product presentation was much different, I think that it is safe to say that older fans such as myself were spoiled with some great events and storylines that still today resonate and remain within our memories. I’ve said on more than one occasion that the then WWF were masters of giving us just enough if not more than enough to keep us coming back and tuning in each and every week. For the most part, not with A+ calibre athletes. In fact, most of the matches on shows such as Wrestling Challenge and Cavalcade were one sided for the most part. This, to ensure that the stars were to use a wrestling term ‘getting over’ with the crowds. But we didn’t care. The role of the jobber is all but lost in the programming of today. With the exception of a few local talents receiving a shot at televised or smaller events, its something that you rarely see on the two premier shows of RAW and SmackDown. Which in turn makes it harder to create newer stars, but that’s a discussion for another time and a different post.
Today’s fans have been conditioned to expect so much more. While fans who grew up in the “Golden Era” of the 80s were 100% happy with a chair shot or two to accent the seriousness of a given feud, today’s fans want tables, and weapons and high spots. All of which can shorten the career of their favorite superstars.
The building of storylines has also had quite the overhaul in that during the 80s, most storylines consisted of a slow build which only escalated week after week, to glorious climax, and more often than not a great payoff. Fans nowadays seem to only want immediate gratification and it’s something that I believe has really taken away from not only the presentation, but the overall product. The payoffs of today often feel watered down, or rushed for the sake of ensuring the show goes on. Let me know what you think!
Now, I know I’ve strayed away from the topic at hand here, but to move back to it, I don’t believe that Nia Jax is reckless per se. I think she needs to work on honing her craft and polishing her overall work ethic, with more of a focus placed on safety toward her fellow performer. The spot that seemingly has broken the internet, was for the mostpart, not bad. It looked stiff. Which is the way it was supposed to look. So in that regard, it was mission accomplished.
In directing wrath toward Nia Jax, some of that anger somehow shifted its way onto another star, that being the late Vader. Throughout his career, Vader was known to work stiff, and again, the fans of today were quick to jump on a segment where he was pummeling a local talent in a match from back in the early 90s. For those of you that may be unfamiliar, Vader was a large man. Tipping the scales at close to if not over 400lbs. He also had quite the flurry of punches in his arsenal, more often than not making his opponent crumple in a broken heap in the corner. On this occasion, the local talent on the receiving end of Vader’s onslaught would be no different. Fans took to Twitter and other forms of social media to point out that the poor man looked like he was going to die, and again, this is the desired effect. The man on the receiving end did a fantastic job at selling, and fans were not the wiser, so much so that they came to the poor man’s defense because they believed that The Man They Call Vader was legitimately hurting him.
But, as is most often the case, fans were proven wrong when that very worker took to his Twitter account to advise that in fact, the star that most feared was actually an amazing opponent whom he held no ill will toward.
This goes back to the opening line. Wrestling is NOT ballet. The people in it, have one job, and that is to suspend your disbelief. They go to great lengths to showcase the magic, and unfortunately due in large part to social media, its a magic that has been all but lost.
There are days that I long for the olden days, days without social media, and spoilers, and fan after fan, dissecting match after match and move after move and result after result. Within MCW, I live for entertaining the community the best way we know how and I know that the company takes great pride in mixing both old and new school for fan enjoyment.
So, in closing, which side do you find yourself leaning toward? Do you think that stars like Vader and Nia were reckless? Or do you feel that they are masters of suspending your disbelief?