Welcome, one and all to The Line of Fire! I am The Luce Cannon returning after a lengthy hiatus to take a look at the history of the great sport of professional wrestling.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with me or my past here at TBL, I used to write the weekly Raw report back in the day. Now before I start spouting a whole bunch of opinions and historical nuggets at you, I want to lay some groundwork for what my goal is with the column and my view on grappling as a whole.
For starters, I’m not much of a fan of today’s wrestling product. I think that the workers (as a whole) are pushed WAY too fast and not allowed to hone their craft effectively, which leads to less than stellar in-ring work and even worse promos. The lack of time to develop a unique style definitely shows in the uncomfortable way that a lot of today’s workers interact with not only each other but the fans as well. They don’t seem to really flow and feel and feed off of the energy from the surroundings, rather it’s developed more into a highly scripted play complete with bad fight scenes and bulky dialogue.
That being said, I am first and foremost a fan of professional wrestling. I have been a mark ever since I watched the original Superstars on USA on Sunday mornings. I’ve wanted to absorb everything I possibly could about the business and have amassed a collection of various wrestling knowledge, trivia and trinkets because of that. I was shocked to find out that Hogan was a heel before Hulkamania reigned over the WWF. I remember when I found out that Mick Foley wasn’t the first person to lose an ear in a wrestling ring. I remember seeing a guy coming to the ring in flashy robes with bleached blond hair and it wasn’t Ric Flair. In fact it was 20 years before Flair would even enter the ring for his first match in the AWA.
I’m a sucker for the old timers because the road they had to travel was SO different from that of the performers today. They didn’t have the luxury of the internet spreading the word about a hot young rookie in Washington or the next big thing in Florida. By hours and hours of hard work and miles and miles and miles traveled from region to region they built their names. That way when they arrived in any particular city across the country, you knew that you were going to get a show. Not because of flashy production, but because they had to work their ass off to get their name to a level where someone who was outside their home territory would be able to recognize them when they came to town. They developed characters, moves and became legends simply through word of mouth.
What I hope to accomplish with The Line of Fire is not to simply gripe about what I don’t like about the modern art form of pro wrestling, rather I want to take some of the examples of great work or look at performers with potential today and link them to the performers who came before. Hopefully I’ll expand your knowledge of the sport and provide not only a background for what is out there now, but open a door to a whole new world of undiscovered matches, wrestlers and stories.
I also want to make The Line of Fire as interactive as possible. I want to integrate as many of your responses, questions or comments into the column as well. I may use your thoughts for articles in the future, so love it or hate it, let me know!
So prepare now, ring rats, marks and fans for a monthly trip into the past.
Until next time, I am The Luce Cannon. Beware and Be warned.