Comic Sans

Corbin Macklin


Remember that time the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers typed a whole document dissing LeBron James... in Comic Sans font? I will always find that funny because Comic Sans is not a font to be taken seriously. Like, imagine sending a resume in Comic Sans. Sending business documentation in Comic Sans. So on and so forth. I just thought to name this "Comic Sans" because I want to talk about why wrestling is not taken seriously nowadays and what must be done to save us.

I was just watching clips from SmackDown on my phone and I saw Kevin Owens mockingly telling Big E that he was going to go out and win the intercontinental belt. Big E has come across to me as a heel pretty much the entire program against Apollo... who they just turned heel. I commented on the clip "It's so fun watching top heels banter" or something like that. Nobody knows how to be a babyface now. It's not about smiling and only saying nice things but at the same time you have to be careful about your facial expressions and the things you're saying in front of people because everything can look like a heel turn. It feels like every program in wrestling now is a heel program. Wrestling fans nowadays don't appreciate that the biggest thing we have lost is the dynamic of faces vs heels. I don't watch AEW but each week I listen to Jim Cornette and Solomonster review the show because I know that Cornette will give me the most negative review he can and Solomonster will be more objective but on the whole, he enjoys modern wrestling. So, Jim Cornette is the old school view on wrestling where his most common criticism of AEW booking is "aren't they both heels/babyfaces?" and "why are they mad at each other?". Modern wrestling fans don't care about the story, they care about watching moves. As long as the wrestlers do enough flips and dangerous looking moves they're fine.

The other reason I needed the word comic in the title of this is: I read a lot of comics on Webtoons. If you are reading this, you are a fucking nerd. You might already be reading Webtoons. If you are not, I advise you to download that shit on your phone NOW and thank me later. I read several comics everyday but the one I want to talk about for the purposes of this shit here is The Boxer. I fell in love with The Boxer instantly and I love it still........ but. They have this annoying habit of babyfacing all the heels and making all the babyfaces heelish. I won't spoil the story too much but just say that not many characters in that comic are presented as pure black or white good or evil face or heel. And that is the problem I have with modern wrestling myself. I am one of those fans where they will have to do some egregious shit to make me stop watching all the way but I am closer to no longer calling myself a fan than I am super hardcore watch and love everything. I have this cousin who is hyper opinionated and aggressive. He is of the mentality that it is more reflective of real life that no characters ARE pure white or black, but shades of grey. My argument is: I do not read comics or watch wrasslin to get real life. I want it as fake as it can be.

Fake is a word that gets brought up whenever wrestling is topical. When people talk about wrestling in the context that is not legitimate competition but scripted entertainment, I immediately bring up "so why do you watch reality shows or all of those Marvel Cinematic Universe movies?" Nothing we are watching on tv is real. The problem is when you watch Raw, and they were doing the Raw Underground thing you could watch it and tell that they were fake having MMA style fights. We could have bought into the idea that they were having shoot fights if they had done a better job of making the fights look realistic. When you watch an action film, it throws you off when you were watching a movie that was allowing you to suspend your disbelief and get into an idea that the fake shit you are watching could actually happen in real life and then out of nowhere they start having old school low tech wire battles from old wushu films. You just know there was no way these people started flying halfway across a lot to deliver a bicycle kick or jumped 10 feet in the air to do a flip. Wrestling often gives us dialog that we know instantly upon hearing it, the person saying this does not mean what they are saying and may not even know the meanings of the words they were scripted to say. My favorite recent example of this was the time Braun Strowman may have been scripted to say he was the only one qualified but ended up saying clarified. Prpmos were better back in the day when they trusted the talents to take some bullet points and then go out and say it in their own words.

WWE is doing the same storylines and angles over and over and it's not necessary. ALL you have to do to make fans happy AND get new people is simple: you have one guy who is good. You have one guy who is bad. Either the bad guy is given a reason to be mad at the good guy or the good guy is mad at the bad guy and that starts it and they fight and they say mean things about each other and then you get people willing to part with legal tender to see it go down. I love talking to people about how Pretty Boy Floyd Mayweather was a highly skilled undefeated boxer but he was meh. MONEY Mayweather was a full blown heel. I was telling my mom about this and she instantly got disgusted with how she had seen him light a cigar with a $100 bill. I laughed and told her that is exactly the point. That dude channelled wrestling heels to make it so people didn't like him and they kept lining up Great Mexican Hypes and Manny Pacquiao as the one who could finally end the undefeated streak. Making people love you is harder than making people hate you but if you can make people legit feel a way about you you can also get the people's money. That is what wrestling is, or at least used to be, at its core. We don't want fake weddings and fake pregnancies and fake hair commercials and all these other things they have pawned off on us as reasons people are fighting.

WWE fucked up the entire build for Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley. When you look at those dudes they look like athletes. They look like badasses. They look like they can fuck someone up. You do not have to do much to sell that shit. How you DO NOT sell it, is to have a guy who looks like Bobby Lashley putting out hits on Drew. Bobby Lashley is ex military and a MMA world champion. If you want him to be the heel in the program, have him break rules and cheat. Their match at Mania had a clean finish. Drew passed out in the heel's submission finish. The heel won CLEAN as a sheet. And Drew helped to bury the entire Raw locker room by going around shoving people to the ground and demanding someone try to fight him to collect the bounty on his head. None of that was necessary. The story for them wrote itself where we have the audio where Drew was saying that Bobby had a 16 year journey to get the championship and he had a 17 year journey. Lashley did take the shortcut in helping Miz to win the belt and then taking it from Miz. You could have brought up that last year, Lashley tried and failed to win the belt from Drew. Drew can say, Lashley cannot beat him if he shoots the fair one. Lashley is the heel in the program with champion's advantage so he doesn't need to shoot him the fair one. MVP and Lashley can cut promos about how since the last time Drew and Lashley met, Lashley has trained harder than ever and gotten better than ever. He is a different man from the one Drew beat. You COULD even bring up that part of why Lashley lost was they were doing a stupid gimmick at the time that Lashley's marriage to Lana was costing him matches. Don't need to, but could. ALL you really need is for MVP and Lashley to be saying that when they meet at Mania we will all see that Lashley is better now than he was then. Drew can say that he was champion, lost the belt and won it back. Bobby helped him to lose the belt again. Drew can say that he too has become a different man in the last year of being the hunted instead of the hunter. Bobby made him a hunter again and now he is out for blood. You could do tune up matches on TV where Lashley and McIntyre make quick work of the same enhancement talents. They could have shot an angle in the bathroom where Drew was taking a piss and then Lashley put him in The Hurt Lock. You could have Drew Claymore Lashley while he was buying a Polish or something. Anything but the tired trope of the contract signing. You could have them not touch before the match, just beat the same opponents on tv and cut promos about being the better man. Boom. You have the match at Mania and have Lashley go over, but he won because he poked him in the eye or punched him in the nuts or used a gimmick passed to him by his manager. Now Drew has a bitch. He can say that if Lashley didn't cheat, he would have won. Lashley cheating proves his superiority. You go from there. What they're doing now has no good story or build to it. It's paint by numbers bullshit where WWE decides two guys will be programmed together for a number of months and nobody gets over.

I love wrestling. Sometimes you fix something that ain't broke and then it's broke. Wrestling got the hottest it's ever been when they started making it faker and cartoonier then even hotter than that when they made everyone shades of grey. It was exciting because it was new and it was different to have heels that were so cool that people would be buying their tshirts en masse almost 30 years later. And then have one star get so hot he transcends the business and drives record business all because he curses and flips the audience the bird and pours beers into himself and on others and will lay anyone out with his finish or a steel chair. There is a thing called "the law of diminishing returns" that affects the second and every subsequent time you try to do something that was super effective the first time. No heel faction will ever be cooler than the nWo. No babyface will ever get as hot by acting like a heel as Stone Cold Steve Austin. Sometimes in life, what is old becomes new again. Wrestling needs, very badly, to revert to a time where babyfaces were pure white and heels are pure black and they fought and people cared because it was simple and it made sense. It's not as simple as "make the babyface smile and kiss babies" but it is literally as simple as "put smiles on people's faces" as much as many fans hate that phrase. Heels are the fan favorites now and they go over most of the time on the big shows. Think about that.