Passion. That is what I went on and on about last column, and for two months, I am still regaining it. Is there ever going to be a level where I have too much? Nope, and that is the way it should be, but there is something more I have come to realize after regaining my passion.
In the two months since you last heard from me, I am still watching everything I can get my grubby, little mitts on and watching it over and over again. I guess you could say I treasure my wrestling like Gollum does his ring, but my eyes are nowhere near that big and I only have a slight hump. As I continued to watch and watch whatever came across my computer screen, TV, or DVD player, something became evident in my eyes. As I kept watching, like the sky on a cloudless day, it became clear to me just what made the best match.
Now here is where everyone reading starts to groan as they expect me to go into my favorite style of match. Technical. Brawling. Spotfest. I could say any of these and just as well hear the groans from those whose opinions I did not show, and cheers by those whose opinions I did show. But that is not what I realized. Well, then here comes the “telling a story makes the best match” line. Sorry, that’s not it either, and by now, you really should know better than to expect me to say cliché things like that.
As I kept watching and watching more and more wrestling, a clear cut favorite became evident. As I looked over the list of wrestling matches I had, I always avoided my favorites. It started to bother me. Eddie Guerrero Vs. Rey Mysterio is a storyteller’s dream, but my eyes shifted over it like Vince McMahon and the ECW name. Why? Chris Benoit Vs. Kurt Angle is one of the most technical matches of all time, but my cursor did not even recognize its existence. Why? Undertaker Vs. Shawn Michaels, perhaps one of my favorite matches of all time, was even cast aside like Raven in TNA, but why did I not wish to watch it as much?
Why did I not wish to watch the eloquent story it told? The lengths the two went to destroy the other? Or the climatic feature involving everyone from the back? More importantly, what did I want to watch more than my favorite match of all time?
Delirious Vs. Jimmy Jacobs from IWA: MS.
Have you people even heard of Delirious or Jimmy Jacobs? Have you seen anything of them? I basically hadn’t. I had only seen something of Delirious and none of Jacobs, so for my eyes to land on this match and suddenly feel compelled to watch it was confusing to say the least. Now, Jimmy Jacobs and Delirious are both extremely entertaining superstars, but I was boggled. Here lay my favorite match of all time next to a match I have never even seen, yet my hand guided the cursor to the match I had no clue about like God himself was controlling my body.
Well, the answer is simple as my IQ, and I already said it above. What did the second match have that the first one did not?
I didn’t know. And that’s the point.
As I watched loads and loads of men going at it to entertain the fans, I got intrigued as to the matches to which I had no idea. As much as I love Undertaker Vs. Shawn Michaels, I know what the main spots are and who will win in the end. Where is the surprise? Where was the mystery?
Here we had a match where I knew nothing of what to expect and as I watched it, I got more and more intrigued. I didn’t know who would win because there were no spoilers. There were no internet rumors. There were just two guys going out and turning me into the mark that I started as in this hobby.
Each near fall, I clung to my covers as I thought Delirious finally got the better of Jacobs and won the title. Each spot, I stood amazed as I thought Jacobs had finally been able to shut up the gibberish speaking mouth of Delirious. And each phrase, I stood speechless as I heard words and phrases and move names that sound like something Eugene himself would take pride in inventing.
It was the mystery. The intrigue. The surprise that kept me into the match. That kept me that more interested each time someone almost won.
By my standards, Triple H Vs. Shawn Michaels at Bad Blood 2004 was an amazing match, but many called it a horrible match. Before this revelation, I could not understand why, and now the truth lies before my eyes no longer shrouded. Everyone knew Triple H would win. Hell, I knew Triple H would win when the match was signed. Now for many out there, the match just turned into “Oh, when will Triple H finally hit HBK with a move to get 3?” Each time HBK covered Triple H, we groaned because we know Triple H would not lose this match. Each time Triple H went down for the count, we just waited for him to kick out and get back up. This is what killed it.
And that is my point. It is the surprise, the intrigue, and the mystery that makes a great match. Imagine why Raw has been so great lately. Because you just do not know what to expect. I expected Triple H to get himself disqualified on Monday night, yet instead, we were fed an excellent draw between Edge and Chris Benoit. Yes, in the end, Triple H will most likely retain, but the match itself will go down as masterful in my book by giving me a shocking and very surprising ending.
In the end, it is the surprises that give us the best matches. Do you want to see the same ending over and over again, or have a very educated guess as to who would win each time? No, it is repetitive. Why watch something where you know what will happen in more than half of the match? Because of the story it tells? Well, why read a story that you know the outcome of?
Now granted, great matches are watched over and over again and still enjoyed, but you have to admit, nothing will ever measure up to the first time you saw a truly great finish. Nothing will ever amount to that surprise when, in my case, Undertaker flew over the top rope or a draw was announced. Nothing. As much as I love the match, I will never regain that feeling.
So what is my point? What have I been venting and talking mindlessly about for all this time? It is just what I said above. I found out what makes the best match.
It is not the technical skill of a Chris Benoit. It is not the brawling skills of an Undertaker. And it is certainly not the high flying ability of an Amazing Red. It is the mystery, intrigue, and surprise.
Shawn Michaels Vs. Triple H was regarded as one of the best matches of 2003. Everyone knew Triple H would retain the belt. Everyone knew Shawn Michaels wouldn’t win. But for that small amount of time, we were awed and amazed as it looked like Shawn Michaels won and the Raw title changed hands. It is the same as what we all just witnessed this past Monday night.
It is the surprise. My cursor guided each time away from the matches I knew the outcome or the spots. I did not wish to see Foley fly off the cage for the hundredth time; I wanted to see what Mister Saint Laurent did to his challenger. I did not go out of my way to watch Hulk Hogan retain his title again; I went out of my way to see a Scramble Cage match, something over which I am still confused.
Go out. Rent some Indy tapes as you have probably seen all the mainstream products or read the results and/or spoilers and know exactly what happens and who wins. It doesn’t even have to be someone you know or not. It just has to be a match. Now, the match might not be good in the long run, but it will keep you intrigued. It will keep you enthralled. Why? You just don’t know what to expect. You could be watching a typical cage match and all of a sudden see a Foley-esque bump. You could be watching an incredible technical match and suddenly see an Angle-esque turn into the brawl. You just don’t know what to expect, who will win, or what will happen and that will keep you enthralled. For all you know, you could be watching an extremely crappy match for three minutes, and then for the remaining twenty, it turn into the best piece of wrestling art ever. You just don’t know.
If I see Triple H Vs. Shawn Michaels at Bad Blood 2004 right now right next to Monty Brown Vs. AJ Styles from some obscure TNA event, as much as I hate Brown, I will pick up that match because I do not know what will happen and be constantly wondering “Is this it?”
Sure, this may make me a mark. Sure, this may make me an idiot. But I am enjoying wrestling more than an elitist smark ever will, because I am embracing the surprise. I am able to say, “Holy shit!” at a completely fresh spot instead of “Good wristlock” at an overdone submission.
So what is my point again? Go out and buy a tape of a promotion you have never heard of or download a match of two wrestlers you have never ever seen before. You may not regard it is as the best, but you will be enthralled. You will be wondering who wins. You will be wondering what happens next. Then you will see my point, and the phrase “anything can happen” will finally become true again in our beloved sport.
Phew. Bet you’re glad that’s over. Yea, I know, I’m a moron, but I’m still not done yet, so move your anxious hand onto the cursor and off the back button, you still have to sit through the QOTC and MOTC.
As far as my MOTC goes, let’s just say you will be surprised. It has two people 99% of my readers have probably never heard of. It has a finish that comes out of left field. It has spots and moments that with the pace of the match, you will never see coming. It basically will do what I have said the whole column. Keep you enthralled and surprised in the end.
Super Dragon Vs. B-Boy
JCW J-Cup 2004
Click here to download this match!
Well, there isn’t much to say about this QOTC. It backs up my point and basically shows that wrestlers feel the same way as this two bit journalist. The quote may be 5 years old, but does that mean something has changed? Hell, no. It shows exactly what I feel and comes from a much more believable and smarter person.
“The surprise factor in wrestling is what keeps the people coming for more. They want to be surprised. They want to expect a title to be retained on TV and then see it switch hands. The surprise factor is what every promotion should be playing, and no one is. The surprise factor is what builds and maintains kayfabe. It is what makes this business. It is what got me into it.”
Behind The Curtain With Mark Hoth
Well, that just about wraps it up from me. Make sure to keep a look out for a new column this week on a very prevalent issue as well as one after that on a very controversial topic. Yep, that’s my style. Crap topic to prevalent topic to controversial topic. I know you all love it. Well, that’s it from “Column O’ Nonsense.” This is Dougie Nunny signing off and hoping I dropped your IQ lower than mine after writing this piece of garbage.