The Night Before the War Began

The Night Before the War Began …
By Dennis DuBay

I’ve been watching wrestling for around thirty years, if not a little bit longer. The first person I ever saw cut a promo was Dusty Rhodes. I was hooked. When he got in the ring, my first thoughts were - this isn’t an athlete, look at him. He’s five hundred pounds and what the hell is on his stomach. But like Shakespeare, the story was so compelling I could look past the aesthetic of the wrestler and lose myself in the act.

From Dusty i found Ric Flair and the Horseman. It was then that I realized that the bad guys were always the fucking coolest. You knew deep down you shouldn’t root for them, but it was so hard not too. I never bought into the Rock n’ Roll Express - but the Midnight Express, yeah man,no better wrestler in the world then Bobby Eaton.

All these memories flood back to me when I’m watching Cody Rhodes on TNT talking about the business, the future, the past … Dave Meltzer will tell you that the business is cyclical, that it’ll have it’s ups and downs - just like real life.

Everyone keeps throwing around the term “war”. Man I don’t think the business is built like that anymore. With the independent scene healthy, a lot of talent could just surf from one promotion to the next and make a decent living - so the bitterness that wrestlers in the 80’s and 90’s held on to, and the politics that were created in keeping spots, i don’t think it’s there anymore.

Chris Jericho is still friends with talent in WWE - Hell, Kenny and The Bucks are friends with talent in WWE and they’ve never even been there. That narrative is outdated, archaic, and honestly, kind of dumb.

There’s enough outlets for all the promotions to grow, to earn, it all boils down to Vince and what his desire is. If he want’s to crush his opponents like it’s USA vs. USSR again, he has the machine to do it. But I’d hope that he knows that the growth of the business only makes his business that much more profitable.

One thing that I have wondered though. Going back to the cyclical nature of the business - is this the last big boon for professional wrestling? I can’t see another major promotion entering the fray at this time - but with indy wrestling as strong as it is right now, and the streaming options available to them, we don’t necessarily need a third major. We can watch live wrestling, with huge matchups, almost nightly, as long as you leave your mind open to independent wrestling and not subscribe solely to one major promotions culture.

Tomorrow isn’t the most important day in the history of the business. That won’t come for a few more months. Right now, it’s about setting the table, getting the pieces in play and seeing where the bodies fall.

Some will tell you that Joey Janella doesn’t look like a professional athlete. That Sammy Guevara isn’t big enough to be a pro wrestler. That Chris Jericho is too old. That the Young Bucks are just flip flop kings.

Thirty years ago, the same things were being said about Dusty Rhodes, Brian Pillman, and the Rock n’ Roll Express.

Remember .. the business is cyclical.

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