by Jack Brock, editor of Off The Top Rope
The editor of our in-show program, Jack Brock, takes to cyberspace for his first installment on the website: a two-parter on the philosophy of victory and defeat inside the the squared circle…
“You win some, you lose some.”
As stated last month, this cliché doesn’t fly in the world of Professional Wrestling: not in a world where the elusive “pay window,” as well as “the next level” of competition and glory is directly dictated by your win-loss record. In our first half of this editorial, we discussed Adam Ryder and his determination to reach the top of the mountain, as well as wrestlers like KC Andrews, Alex Prestige and Kenny Doll, who have aligned themselves with a headstrong (but untested) manager, J. Roberts, in the combined pursuit of glory.
Other wrestlers see value in friendships and the occasional alliance, but do not see the value in being part of a group.
“What’s the point of being a champion if someone had to come out to the ring and help you win?” asks “Mad Dog” Mary Sugar. “I’m not above pulling tights or gouging some eyes,” he added, “in fact, I rather enjoy it; but I don’t want some idiot with a funny hat and a briefcase coming to the ring and helping me get a cheap win.”
“Besides,” Sugar laughed, “that twit, Roberts, would probably just make a mess of things, anyway.”
Other wrestlers feel similar. Andy The Dreadful Bird, arguably one of the most popular wrestlers in Western Canada, echoes those sentiments.
“Kids look up to us as professional wrestlers, and it’s important that we show them how to win with honour, how to accept losing graciously, and how to get up from a loss and continue moving forward.” Don’t think that Andy is gunning for championship gold; in his own colorful way, The Dreadful One told us his thoughts via telephone interview:
“In case you haven’t heard, the B-B-Bird is the word! The word is growing like a seed into a fruit, and when I win the Big West Title? I promise everyone will have a hoot!”
The outlook of these two popular stars is not shared by manager and supposed fellow journalist, J. Roberts: “Look, winning is winning, money is money and a championship is a championship. Who cares how you get there? The dim-witted fans cheer for those wrestlers who are too dumb or naïve to take advantage of an opportunity. They can say whatever they want because we will be standing on the podium getting all the medals.”
When pointed out to Roberts that world champion athletes such as Ben Johnson and cyclist Lance Armstrong took a similar “win at all costs” approach that he endorses and have had medals, championships and money taken away from them, Roberts yelled at me, “What is that supposed to mean? What are you accusing us of? We’re not talking about some idiot pedaling his little bike around France or some moron running around a track! We’re talking about fighting, pro wrestling! Survival of the fittest! Now shut up before I smack your stupid mouth with my smart phone!”
Despite the difference of opinions on how to win, everyone agrees with the importance of winning and the importance of championships. A man many believe will be the Big West Champion sooner rather than later is Tony Baroni. Baroni is as tough as they come, a jiu-jitsu champion, world class wrestler who can pin you, submit you or straight up put you to sleep with a trip to “Head Kick City.” Baroni has faced many tough competitors and has taken the current Champion, Cremator Von Slasher, to the limit in the past. Few people like to be in the same building as the Cremator, let alone stand across from him in the ring; Baroni is not one to be intimidated and he is a man who knows what he wants…to be a champion.
“I’m coming for the Big West championship, and I’m doin’ it with guns a-blazing! So clear a path! I’m coming after everything: the Okanagan Cup, the Rutland Rumble trophy, the Heisman trophy, the Sugar Family Bowling Trophy, and most important of all…the Big West Wrestling Title!”
They say, winning isn’t everything, and while that may be true, winning is very important in the “What have you done for me lately?” world of professional wrestling. A harsh world where one too many losses can send you out of the rankings, out of a promotion or even right out of the sport. While not everyone agrees on how to do it, everybody recognizes the importance of winning; everyone recognizes the value of championships and of being the champion. In this editor’s opinion, winning should be done through dedication, preparation, hard work and relying on one’s own skills and abilities to win and to get to the top. Honour and courage and competing without cheating are very important things: both in life, and in sports. Some would disagree and say that winning is all that matters and that honour and fair-play won’t buy the groceries.
I choose the former.