You're sure they have the right guy?
You’re sure they have the right guy?

I just finished watching June 22’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, and I was thoroughly bothered by the way Baltimore heckled Big Show at the open of the show. Yelling things at heels is normal and to be expected – I have no problem with that. But specifically, they yelled “You Can’t Wrestle!” at him and I was just baffled. Who do these people think they are? That’s a chant that’s usually reserved for Khali or (as a bit of a tongue in cheek reference) to John Cena, and it seemed wholly inappropriate to me.

Does the crowd in Baltimore hate Big Show so much that they can’t stand that he’s on TV? They don’t even want to see him perform? It’s quite possible that a handful of smarks who legitimately hate Show (I know you’re out there) started a chant and the rest of the crowd joined in because that’s what you do when people start chants. I don’t know, it just got me on a Twitter rant and I still felt the need to come here and vent a bit more about it.

A guy like The Big Show has certainly fell victim to uninteresting / boring booking in recent years, until his stint now as a heel – my opinion, of course – you’re welcome to disagree. I can see why the crowd can get tired of seeing a guy if his storylines haven’t been compelling. The thing that bugs me is the blinders that can be turned on with fans when that happens. It takes a lot more effort from the wrestler and from creative to move on from past mistakes in booking.

That all said, it’s possible! On a personal level, my friends can tell you about my hate for Mark Henry. It mostly stems from my brother going on about how he could’ve put in more effort and been a better Olympic weightlifter, and goes on along the lines of fat jokes and #MarkHenryIsFat hashtags on Twitter. But it’s more than that – it’s years upon years of bad booking. From Mae Young to random tag team match ups, he’s been uninteresting. He’s at his peak when he’s booked as the big angry monster – the guy who held the faux-ECW Championship when it was on SyFy a few years back – the guy who had an engaging rivalry with Big Show last year, even. I hated on him for years, but he’s won me over – as long as he’s doing something that works for him and his character.

Batista is another example. I hated Batista to the point where it became a joke. Friends would sneak onto my computer and change my desktop wallpaper to an image of “The Animal” and I’d go off in a blind rage to find out who did it. But then, right as his WWE career was coming to an end, he pulled a sort of Raven-esque “What about me?” angle where he’d whine and complain in the dark with a spotlight on him, and it was the best thing I’ve ever seen him do. Gone were the generic roided up tirades he’d go on, and in were the hilariously awesome segments he’d do on the mic (and then back it up as much as he had to in the ring). He made himself to be interesting, and though I wouldn’t ever make him my desktop wallpaper or get a sun tattooed around my belly button – I kinda woulnd’t mind seeing him back in the ring again one day.

Don’t get me wrong – there are guys I truly hate. Not on a personal level – but I hate that they’re with WWE in the first place and they still get airtime. *cough* The Great Khali *cough* I’m sure they’re good people, but for crying out loud – give someone else a chance to shine. In the end, I do hope that fans come around for Big Show and these chants don’t become a regular occurrence. He’s earned our respect over the years and deserves better.

Joshua Schlag

For most of the last 30+ years of my life, I've been watching WWE. As a kid, Monday Night Raw hooked me from the start. From Bret Hart and Razor Ramon, to Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock, to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan.. I've witnessed the ups and downs and I'm proud to have enjoyed pro wrestling through the years.

Though I now watch in a much different fashion than I did when I was a kid (finding out Vince McMahon was the owner and Jack Tunney no more than a figurehead was like finding out Santa Claus did not exist), I feel like I have a much greater appreciation for the hard work pro wrestlers do and the things they sacrifice to entertain us.

It's still real to me, dammit!