Tuesday , 21 October 2014
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Home » Editorials » Wrestling Reflections: Examining the Conflict Between Perfection and Opinion

Wrestling Reflections: Examining the Conflict Between Perfection and Opinion


A while back, I alluded to starting a series I called my Wrestling Reflections. I released my beginning article with the caveat that I wasn’t sure when I’d release the next piece. Now I’m finally ready to continue the series which I’ve been a bit vague about.

I have every article in this series mapped out, but pinning down what they each mean is difficult. They are simply my reflections on what I’ve learned as a fan over time. This means any idea that I feel I need address about wrestling I will probably address in some way.

As part of this series, I will also be using my experiences with other media as a reference point whether that means TV, movies, books, etc. While not all the references will make sense to everyone, I will try to explain as best I can to get my point across.

Now, both this and my fantasy booking articles are exhaustive pieces that will take some time to write, so my plan is to release each biweekly on opposite weeks. This may be difficult based on the scope of both types of articles, but I don’t plan to create three month long gaps this time at least.

Last time I talked about my personal experience as a fan and how we all need to evolve over time as fans in order to stay fans. This time, I want to talk about a simple idea called “the opinion”.

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About Kevin Berge

Wrestle Enigma's voted Writer Of The Year two years running. I am writing to prove a point. The day I stop writing is the day I realize I have nothing more to say, and I don't believe that day will ever come.
  • Judas Thundersteel

    1.) I didn’t get into internet discussion of wrestling until late 2007. Up until then, I never was one to share an opinion in public, and we were lucky to have internet at the time. The internet is now so accessible, and I am fortunate enough to find places to let things off my chest. Specifically in wrestling, it gets better, and probably more analytical as I age. In 2009, I would say I was too high on myself, as I regularly did wrestling show and PPV reviews, and used a star rating as well. I don’t really do the star thing anymore, and while I value some comments of mine, I try not to push anything towards anyone. I don’t think I’ve typed “you’re wrong” or “my opinion is better than your’s.” If I did, I sure don’t remember. It helps though with this site for example, that a writer is at least credible enough not to try and debunk and get into heated arguments with. Such as yourself. It’s all opinion, and it’s all what one things, so there is no “right or wrong” answer, as English teachers would say. To many, in this IWC sense, there is right, and wrong, and nobody wastes their time in letting the “wrong” know they are “wrong.” The internet is an accesible gift to mankind, but it can be abused to cause trouble/annoyance to others. For example, reading someone say they wish Cena’s neck was broken. That’s ludicrous. I don’t really care about Meltzer’s ratings, and I think with a genre like wrestling, a very opinionated genre, the ratings of one man, shouldn’t be taken seriously. Unless this man becomes one of the commenters and try and argue his point across. Referencing the Emmys and Oscars, at least those have a deep history of prestige, and more than one man trying to pick a winner. Looking up the Academy Awards in the past, there are deserving winners, there are undeserving winners (Goodfellas should’ve won Best Picture). All opinion, but more of an undeniable statement of high honor. I don’t feel that with Meltzer. If there was an actual committee that honored wrestling with an awards show (online awards don’t count) at a Hard Rock Cafe or something, that would be more worthy of getting attention.

    2.) I guess the best example of consensus is live wrestling, because there’s the instant feedback that can be heard, the expressions on fan’s faces seen. There’s that, and there’s trying to gather a consensus on the internet. Wrestling’s a live show business though, so the former is arguably more important. Even though in say a WWE show, there’s a consensus that The Ryback is a popular guy (based on fan response), there’s always a dissenting opinion. Such as from myself not being a fan of The Ryback. I prefer just having my own opinions, not needing to agree on whatever collective opinion springs up. The best way for me to judge wrestling is through eyes, ears, and a clear mind. Seems simple.

    3.) Did you cite a Christian match to get my attention. See, what you typed resonates with me in a knee jerk sense. When Randall beat Christian at SummerSlam 2011, I was mad. After a while, I calmed down, and took the match as a whole, to be an amazing contest. This is just the effect watching wrestling weekly does. Following something and getting into something, that when something doesn’t go your way, it does tend to result in frustration or anger. Some, well justified, some, just take a chill pill and re-evaluate. Mentioning the Cena/Ziggler feud, I was a good deal bothered that Cena won most of the matches. However, I look back to TLC, Ziggler winning and keeping the MITB briefcase in the process. I hold that as the most important match of the series, and the rest was just to impress fans with the action going on. After all, those two wrestled some great matches, no matter what the ending was. Not everyone can be satisfied at once by a wrestling moment, though I think the idea is to get the majority support. This slide mentioning the reasons for these scripted victories. Randall beat Christian so he would be the guy to lose the world title to Mark Henry, coming after him as a hero for conquering the evil Christian. Cena won a lot of his matches with Ziggler to march onto Royal Rumble with momentum, as he won the damn thing. Rock beat CM Punk to get WWE more eyes and money. Errr, anyways…

    4.) Ah yes, going back to Rock and CM Punk. The decision of that match is justified with the simple fact that WWE is a business. Everyone commenting on the company for example, are outsiders looking in. That being said, it’s best to be careful with what specific opinions are shared. So, forethought. I try not to aimlessly bash the creative team, some figurehead for criticism even though nobody says the names of its members. A better opinion is that they are burned out (from 3 hour RAWs and stuff), or struggle too much with Vince McMahon. That’s it. That being said, it can be hard to opine without thinking of the business side, trying to be objective. That’s why wrestling’s such an opinionated form of entertainment, with, I believe, more passion that most other forms of entertainment. That’s why it’s fun! In the end, there’s a draw to watch WWE and Impact weekly in order to react and formulate opinions, no matter if I thought things sucked or rock. It provokes thinking and helps in the long run in feeling wise and experienced.

    That picture of the Bellas means something doesn’t it? My opinion, which as this article states, matters, is that they are hot and could have been good character players on TV. In the ring though, in my opinion, they suck. Now, it’s easier to differentiate between the two. Brie’s natural, Nikki got implants. Daniel Bryan dates the natural, Cena (I think still) dates the augmented breasts one! Hahaha. Seriously though, great article. I wish I read this sooner, but better late than never.

  • SiD

    Excellent article. Enjoyed it a lot.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      Thanks, SiD.

      • SiD


  • http://twitter.com/TheFrenchWE Mathieu Nicod

    That is a very interesting article. I think you could have highlighted more the fact that objectivity doesn’t really exist, everything you write is influenced by your own knowledge and culture, even how you make your phrases or the words you use. And when I read a review, I don’t want facts, I watched the show, I really want your opinion, what YOU thought was good or bad, so I can compare it to my own vision. You know a reviewer has done his job when he has influenced his reader’s vision. For example, if I thought one segment was a waste of time, but you explain in your review how it settles a future storyline and how it is brilliant, I can change my mind. The form of your review is up to you, as close to the facts as possible just to tell what happened, or more focused on the analysis and giving us insight and analysis that we wouldn’t have thought of. I personnally prefer the latter.

    One last thing : you spoke of endings of matches, but endings of articles matter as much, and I found yours “So, in the end, all I’m saying is that your opinion matters but so does everyone else’s.” a little weak, you stated the obvious.

    Anyway, food for thought, great job Kevin

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      I could honestly write a novel with how much I could say on the subject, but I feel I delivered what I could without going too far. 2.5k words is here is a lot of digest. Objectivity in a way is just an extension of what I was saying on opinion. I wanted to move on to other ideas rather than linger. I mean, I understand the idea of sharing and understanding different view points, but that again to me was covered to an extent in consensus.

      I stated the obvious for a reason. It was a point I was trying to put across. That everything here may be endlessly wordy, but the concept at the end is very simple to the point where all of this should be obvious. The problem is that even that last statement isn’t obvious to everyone even if they say they understand it. When push comes to shove, it is more important to get across a personal point than understand a separate one.

      Thanks, Mathieu.

      • http://twitter.com/TheFrenchWE Mathieu Nicod

        What I mean is that the way you phrased it was very simple. Your article is great and lets us think about ourselves, how we react as fans and how we see professional wrestling.

        I don’t know, but to me, saying that everyone’s opinion matter as a conclusion is so obvious and so simple after a long and well written article that it is almost a truism.

        I understand that you want that to be clear, but it has so much contrast with the rest of the article that it fell kinda flat. Again, I don’t criticize what you wanted to say (I agree 100% with you), but how you said it.

        It’s like ending Taker/HHH with a roll-up, the result is the same, the Streak is alive, but it is not strong enough as a conclusion.

        Anyway, I’m just nitpicking, it’s just that I hate conclusions, I always have trouble making them, so I’m always demanding with it.

  • http://twitter.com/JacobJ_Enigma Jacob aka Mr. Botch

    My brain hurts….

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      I would say sorry about that, but I expect that happens a lot to you, Jacob.

  • http://twitter.com/E__RAGE Eric

    “Criticize all you want but know that your criticisms are not going to change what happens because, more or less, they are just your personal preferences.” This is what the IWC needs to learn. No matter how much they bitch about Cena or Rock or Punk or Sheamus, they aren’t changing a thing.

    Anyway, interesting concept. I enjoyed it a bit plus Kaitlyn was on the first slide so yay.

    • http://twitter.com/TheBerge_ Kevin Berge

      I expected you’d enjoy the opening random Kaitlyn pic.