Writer’s note: This is a repost of a column I wrote for the US vs UK tournament about 18 months ago in the Columns Forum. Enjoy.
Freestyling: The Greatest Era In Wrestling
Jun 28, 2013 - 7:42:12 PM
“Psst! Freeman! Over here! Freeman!”
Startled, the young columnist turned his attention away from the Mackenzee Pierce video playing on his computer in an attempt to locate the source of the voice he was hearing.
“Psst...Freeman! Outside the window dipshit!”
Wearing a full Lacoste tracksuit, Burberry cap and Reebok Classic trainers, Freeman rose from his desk and walked to the other side of his room. Drawing the curtains in a cautious manner, he was astonished to see a long dark haired man in a Degeneration-X t-shirt, sunglasses and a leather jacket floating in mid air. He looked ridiculous.
“Sean 'X-Pac 1–2–3 Kid Syxx-Pac Lightning Kid Kamikaze Kid Cannonball Kid Black Dart Hardluck Kid' Waltman? What are you doing here? And how are you floating in mid air? Surely no one can get that high...”
“Quiet fool. I'm not stoned, I'm a ghost sent from the future. I'm here to show you something that will change your life forever.”
“Please tell me you and Chyna didn't make any more movies...”
“Are you kidding man? There's a whole fucking anthology now. One even features cameos from Kanye West and The Tasmanian Devil. Anyway that's not what I'm here to show you. I've been sent here to show you the future of professional wrestling, in particular the era between 2035 and 2062, which has been dubbed the “Greatest Era in Wrestling.”
“Yeah okay. But this is all a bit obscure. I mean, why you?”
“Because I'm the guy you used to idolise when you were ten, but now can't stand. What better way to represent change than that? Also, I happen to be hilarious. Now, take my hand and join me on a truly eye opening journey.”
“Ew, I'm not touching that, it's been all over Chyna's peni...
“Just do it.”
“-sigh- okay. Hang on, how can you be a ghost if you're not d...”
Before he could finish the sentence, the room began to spin. Freeman closed his eyes and reopened them only when the spinning stopped. He now found himself floating in mid air above a massive arena filled with people. The crowd were red hot and the noise was deafening. Sean turned to Freeman and spoke:
“Welcome to a professional wrestling event in 2052.”
“What the hell? There must be 100,000 people in here. What is this, some kind of super spectacular Wrestlemania or something?”
“Nope, just a regular Monday Night Raw show.”
“Not at all. This is about average for a normal show, but you should see the Pay Per View attendances. They're record breaking nearly every time, and that's not all. Wrestling is the most watched television show in the whole world at the moment, period. That's including all sports, sitcoms, even the freakin' news. More people watched and attended the last Wrestlemania than the last World Cup Final. Also, this isn't just the WWE. TNA, Ring Of Honor, AAA and All Japan are all posting ludicrous numbers. The talent is the best we've ever seen, the storylines are more addictive than crack and they can't make enough merchandise. They're pretty much printing money. ”
“But I don't understand. Wrestling in 2012 is dead. The boom period was during the late nineties, so how have we arrived at this point?”
“Well to help me explain that, I need a little help from a friend...”
And with that, Sean summoned the ghost of his close personal friend Triple H. Hunter was sipping on some water from a bottle, which he promptly spat in Freeman's face.
“You see Freeman, Triple H is the man who made all of this possible. Tell him dude.”
It was now Triple H's turn to speak:
“Well, it's quite simple really. The one and only reason all of this happened the way it did is down to one factor and one factor alone: There's no Internet. ”
“No Internet? How is that even possible?”
“To understand that, first you need a little back-story. In 2019, my father in law Vince McMahon unfortunately passed away, leaving the WWE to myself and my wife Stephanie. Wrestling had been on a steady decline for a while, and ratings were at an all time low. The real eye opener for me was in 2011 when the Vengeance Pay-Per-View did just 121,000 buys. Stephanie and I narrowed the cause of the all of the problems down to one simple thing; the Internet. So once we had control of the company, we went on a mission to destroy the World Wide Web.”
“But surely that would be an unbelievably complicated thing to do?”
“Nah. We pinpointed the source to somewhere in Ireland. Then it was just simply a case of pulling this out:
And hey presto! The Internet was pulled from existence, Ireland was pulled further from England and Stephanie pulled me off. It was the greatest day of my life.”
“But the Internet is such an important part of our lives. How can destroying it actually benefit anything, let alone wrestling?”
“But that's just it. Think about it, a whole generation without the Internet. That means a whole generation of wrestling fans growing up thinking that the product is real, since there are no smarky websites explaining the inner workings of the business. Terms like 'kayfabe' 'mark' and 'push' are completely alien to the new breed of fan, and they retain a certain innocence because of it. No Internet also means no spoilers, so not only can promotions tape shows and broadcast them at a later date without the results being known to the public, it also means that if a creative team has a big angle planned, or a top star making his long awaited return, the surprise isn't spoiled thanks to every man and his dog reading about it on the 'net three months in advance. However, perhaps the big advantage of getting rid of the 'net is that it has almost completely eradicated the problem of people stealing Pay-Per-Views. With nowhere to host them, the fans have no choice but to order them, meaning buy rates are through the roof.”
Freeman remained confused.
“I still don't get it though. Surely all you've done is reset everything back to the eighties. Things were good back then, but nowhere near this good.”
“Ah,” Waltman piped in. “To help me explain this, I need to call up the ghost of one Dave Batista. Unfortunately he couldn't make it today, as he has a 'liaison' with the ghosts of Kelly Kelly, Amy Dumas, Rosa Mendes, Mickie James and Mae Young. Therefore, I've had to call on the spirit of his close personal friend Melina instead.”
As soon as he uttered the words, the former WWE Diva's Champion arose from a blaze of fire, performing the splits as she did so to slide under one of the flames. Upon making eye contact with Freeman, she began to speak:
“The problem with the Internet is that it gave too many people a platform to share their views. Opinions are like assholes; everyone's got one, but the problem is that when you get all the assholes in one place; there's going to be a lot of shit. Did you know that all of the negative stuff you post online gets read by us? Now, when you've got people analysing and criticising your every move each and every day, you start to become self conscious and suddenly you can't do your job properly. Without a bunch of fans trashing the product, the workers got more confident and started putting on better matches. Creative teams also stepped up big time, because they stopped doubting themselves and wrote better storylines. However, perhaps the most important part of the Greatest Era In Wrestling was when one of the business' most maligned workers; Dave Batista, made his return in 2034. Without the Internet hating on him all the time, and without a credible source to disclose his real age, Batista was able to freely express himself, and went on to become the biggest draw of all time. After wrestling all over the world in Japan, Mexico and Europe, Batista returned to WWE, and went to on to win his 27th World Title from Triple H in a classic match at Wrestlemania 60 in 2044. However, the night after the event, Batista unfortunately passed away. We were very close, but it's okay, I got over it pretty quickly.”
“Sorry to hear that, was he buried or cremated?”
“Well... Neither actually.”
“Huh? What happened then?”
“Well since we such good friends they asked me what I wanted to do with his remains. I thought about it for a bit and didn't really want him to be cremated, seemed like such a waste you know? I thought about having him buried, but I realised I didn't want him rotting in the ground till the end of the time.”
“So what did you do?”
“I had him liquidised.”
“Yep, and I turned him into a curry.”
“The fuck for?”
“I wanted to feel him coming out of my ass one last time...”
Freeman thought for a second, vomited and continued to look puzzled.
“I guess the one burning question I have left, is what does all of this have to do with me?”
“Everything” said Waltman. “And to help me iterate this point, I need the help of one more friend...”
As soon as the words left Sean Waltman's mouth, a blaze of fire appeared again, and out stepped the spirit of former WWE Women's and Intercontinental Champion, Joanie “Chyna” Laurie. Chyna lead Freeman outside the arena away from the others, where they could talk in private.
“The thing is Freeman, we need you to become sort of a messenger for us. You need to document everything you've seen today, so that when Triple H goes ahead and pulls the plug on the Internet in the future, we won't have a bunch of nerds taking a trip to Ireland to try and plug it back in, because they would have already seen what a fantastic future wrestling could have thanks to you spreading the good word. It's vital that you do this, as The Greatest Era in Wrestling simply cannot happen without you.”
“Makes sense I guess. But couldn't you just tell us to stop posting on wrestling websites rather than destroy the whole Internet? We'd probably just go and watch a bunch of lesbian porn or something instead.”
“No it needs to be this way I'm afraid. Also speaking of porn, Sean and I didn't actually make any more movies you know.”
“Well between 2011 and 2012 my career wasn't going in the direction I wanted it to. I wasn't getting any wrestling bookings and my porn career wasn't taking off either, and I just couldn't explain why. So I decided to go and visit my doctor to see if he could help and tell me if it was anything medically wrong that was preventing me from being successful. When I stepped in the doctor's office, he took one look at my face and promptly ordered me to strip buck-naked. For the next half an hour, he made me crawl around on all fours in my birthday suit while he examined me from behind. When the examination was over, he informed me that I had Ed Zachary disease.”
“What the hell is that?”
“It's when your face looks Ed Zachary like your arse.”