Sunday, October 16, 2011

Bound For Glory/Wrestling Math

I'll admit. I haven't watched TNA or iMPACT or whatever the hell they're calling it these days in months. I think the last time was when Daniels came back. I tried to keep watching but it was just SO BAD...

And now tonight is Bound for Glory. Why am I writing about BFG when I could admittedly give less than half an arse about TNA/Impact as a whole?

Because there is an I Quit match between AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels and I literally did not find out about it until I looked up the match list for the PPV.

"Well, Amanda," I can hear you say. "You don't watch TNA, so why would you know what the matches are? You just admitted to giving less than half an arse about the company."

Because I still follow TNA's twitter. I follow AJ. I follow Daniels. I've heard about exactly two matches for the upcoming show. Bobby Roode vs. Kurt Angle for the championship... and Sting vs. Hogan. As a matter of fact, 90% of everything I've heard about BFG has been this Sting and Hogan... whatever the hell it's going to be. The "fight".

They're plugging THAT... over AJ and Daniels, two ridiculously huge amazing talented performers who are no less than utterly spectacular when pitted against each other, who have IN FACT HEADLINED PREVIOUS BFGs and are now getting passed over for a "match", involving a participant who can't... even... wrestle.

And then I started thinking. I remember seeing this article about the average age of TNA roster vs. the WWE roster. I can't remember where I saw it, or I would link you and accurately quote it. Let's just say the average age of the TNA roster was a considerable gap higher.

So now I'm curious to see the average age of the participants in just this PPV. (Excluding Jeff Hardy; he's not booked in any "fights" or matches.) All ages are determined via Wikipedia.

Bobby Roode -- 34
Kurt Angle -- 42
Hulk Hogan -- 58
Sting -- 52
Mr. Anderson -- 35
Bully Ray -- 40
AJ Styles -- 33
Christopher Daniels -- 40
Rob Van Dam -- 40
Jerry Lynn -- 48
Austin Aries -- 33
Brian Kendrick -- 32
Samoa Joe -- 32
Crimson -- 26
Matt Morgan -- 35
Hernandez -- 38
Anarquia -- 36
Shannon Moore -- 32
Jesse Neal -- 31
Winter -- 30
Madison Rayne -- 25
Velvet Sky -- 30
Mickie James -- 32

Wow, I haven't even started the math yet and I see a terrifying trend. Two people -- TWO PEOPLE -- booked tonight are under 30 years of age. Are you ready to see the average age? I'm a little afraid to, not gonna lie.

The average age of persons booked in matches in tonight's Bound For Glory pay per view, arguably TNA's biggest event of the year, is... 36.

For the record, the average age of wrestler in ROH's last PPV, Death before Dishonor, is 27. (Give or take; some wrestlers' wikipedia pages did not have birthdays.)

Additionally for the record, WWE's Hell in a Cell had an average wrestler age of 31.

You know this is serious business because I am mathing for FUN. "Math" and "fun" don't normally belong in the same sentence for me.

I'm not going to sit here and say that age is always a detrimental thing in wrestling; obviously there's a balance of experience vs. stamina, or perhaps experience vs. ability.

I mean, Christopher Daniels at age 40 is breathtaking in the ring, absolutely no less breathtaking than Davey Richards, who is 28 or Johnny Gargano, 24, or Randy Orton, all of 30.

Age is not indicative of talent; talent is talent, at 24 or 35 or 40.

But I think there comes a certain point, a certain age, when you simple aren't as good as you used to be. When you aren't as quick, aren't as precise. When you don't go as all-out as you used to because it hurts more in the morning and it takes more time to recover.

To me, a good match needs a few elements to make it really good, really memorable. Obviously, you need talent. You need two guys (or two teams, or three guys, or two girls, or whatever) that are good in the ring. They gotta have the skills, first and foremost. They have to know what they're doing and own the ring.

They have to have a reason to be there. This is not always a prerequisite, because I have seen some matches that blew my mind and I didn't even know who was who, let alone why they were fighting each other. But an important match, a long rivalry, former tag team partners who now hate each other, whatever. The fight has to mean something.

Take for example Davey Richards and Roddy Strong at Final Battle last year for the Heavyweight title, which Davey had not yet held. That match was spectacular. Davey half-killed himself during that match for that title... and still lost. I'm pretty sure I almost cried when they had to stop the match because he was concussed and bleeding.

Or a match like CM Punk vs Jeff Hardy, when you totally knew Jeff Hardy was leaving WWE and he was absolutely not going to win the match. And I still watched that match transfixed with baited breath hoping against every single shred of logic in my soul for Jeff to win, because I used to be a really big Hardy mark.

Shawn Michaels vs The Undertaker at Wrestlemania (...the first time)

Just a few examples off the top of my head.

Now, tonight at Bound for Glory, the main event is a "fight", not even an actually wrestling match, between two men, aged 52 and 58. Hulk Hogan and Sting. Hulk Hogan had major back surgery. The man can barely walk. That's why it's a fight and not a match, because Hulk Hogan can't even wrestle. Can you see the problem here? A major wrestling company's major pay per view's main event isn't even a wrestling match.

As opposed to the second-to-last match, an I Quit match between AJ STYLES and CHRISTOPHER DANIELS, who have had a long and storied and completely wonderful history in TNA since almost its very inception. An I Quit match, between two men who are essentially faces of this company, who were friends and tag team partners and kings of the X-Division, a match which by all rights should end with one of them leaving and never to return...

And I didn't hear a word about this match until only a few hours ago because they've been too busy plugging Sting and Hogan, two old men who can't even have a proper wrestling match.

TNA is doing it wrong. And if they can't figure out why this is wrong, then I honestly don't think they can go anywhere else until they do.

(And this is also why I can no longer support this company, when you're trying to sell me two old men over two of the longest-running and most talented members of your roster.)

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