A Note To Wrestlers: Tact On Wrestling Social Media Ain’t A Bad Thing

Jim Smallman PROGRESS Wrestling
PROGRESS Wrestling

One of my favorite promotions these days is PROGRESS Wrestling out of the UK. Co-owner, ring announcer, and all-around master of ceremonies Jim Smallman starts every show with one simple rule: Don’t Be A Dick! This applies to some goings on with wrestlers (or one in particular) on social media tonight.

This isn’t going to be a long, drawn out drama over Randy Orton and whether he’s being an ass or posting in character or just trolling people on Twitter. It’s going to be short, sweet, and to the point. But, first, let’s take a look at what started all of this.

Now, just in case he’s drunk tweeting in a Denmark airport and deletes these in the morning, here’s some screen shots…

Orton can say and do whatever he wants. He can feel however he wants to feel. But, to tell the truth, this is one of the most entitled, protected, and pampered “stars” the world of professional wrestling has ever seen. A true product of nepotism and a last name that was known and respected in the business. He went through all of eight months of “developmental” training in OVW, was brought up to the main roster, and made the youngest world champion in the history of the company. He was a natural. He had the looks, the talent, and the presence to be a top star for years to come.

But, one must remember that he also had some big issues (even before he showed up in WWE). Issues that would have gotten any other person in the company fired. Anger issues. Drug issues. Injury prone talent that got pushed to the moon and back every time he “recovered” and returned. Treating his co-workers like complete crap. Attitude issues. Wellness Policy violations that got him suspended time after time until WWE finally had to overlook at least one to keep from having to fire him.

Real good role model, huh? Paid all his dues, huh? Climbed that ladder by hard work, perseverance, and doggedness. Yeah, right.

And, tonight, he gets on Twitter, trashes indie wrestling and indie wrestlers, saying they can keep performing at armories in front of fans that pay $8 for tickets while he waits at home for his big ole paycheck and enjoys his 13th title run.

You know, some fans are wrestling fans, and some wrestlers are actual professional wrestlers, not sports entertainers. They do what they do because they love it and it matters to them. So pardon me if I prefer the men and women who bust their asses, start from the bottom, get nothing handed to them, make their names, and do what they love over a complacent, boring, damn-near-puts-me-to-sleep-during-any-segment-he’s-in “entertainer” who is only in it for the money. Give me a pro wrestler over a sports entertainer any day of the week.

Oh, and doesn’t it say something that Triple H is doing all his scouting and recruiting from those sad little indie promotions and those subpar, flippy-dippy indie talents these days? Kinda ironic that those are the guys that are getting the buzz in WWE…not hand-picked, coddled “stars” like Orton. The future is already chasing Orton and is waiting in the wings to bite him in the ass.

Not that it’ll be that hard to overcome a man who can’t even win a battle with a Hefty bag without injuring himself, but I digress…

The men and women on the indie wrestling circuit are there because they love it. They are there because they have dreams, want to learn their craft, hone their art, and perform in front of crowds all over the world. It’s more to them than a paycheck, and we, as fans, can see that. It’s what draws us to them and their promotions, and it’s what keeps us invested in them.

The WWE isn’t the be all, end all any longer. And, not everyone wants to end up in the “machine,” only to be told to change, fit a mold, and become a cookie-cutter assembly line wrestler that is micromanaged out of the personality and character that drew the promotion’s eye in the first place.

So, Randy, you enjoy being your charming self on social media while knocking back a few in some airport in Denmark. Enjoy cackling over your bank statement at the end of every month. Those wrestlers and fans who you were such a dick to earlier tonight…well, we’ll keep doing what we do, too. And, guess who will be obsolete in the bigger picture first?

These views don’t represent those of Top Rope Press as a website. They are the author’s and her’s alone. And, believe me, I take full responsibility for them. Y’all can find me pretty easy on Twitter at @AbbeyA if you want to respond.