Damn the Man: Fighting the Establishment
In the sport of professional wrestling there exists a hierarchy which sometimes give preference to the more established names. This can make the younger stars frustrated because they are not getting their shots at greatness. In this article, I am going to take a look at the up and coming stars of the WWF and WCW fighting for their own piece of the spotlight.
- Buff Bagwell: Buff Bagwell is a talented young wrestler who has as of late been very vocal in the plight of young wrestlers seeking to gain recognition and the shots that they deserve that more established wrestlers always seem to get. Finishing with his Buff Blockbuster, Buff is considered won of the future greats of this sport; however, some critics seem to feel that he is lacking concentration in the ring. Buff, who calls himself “The Stuff” because of his excellent physique, often showboats in matches instead of going for the pin. In recent months, Bagwell has had his problems with both Ric Flair and Roddy Piper. Buff, however, has come out on top of these veterans at times, including pinning Ric Flair in a tag match on Monday Nitro. Buff is also a great wrestler because he has battled back from a neck injury that not only almost ended his career but almost paralyzed him too. Bagwell has a bright future ahead him and is fighting for his chance in the spotlight.
- Dean Malenko: “The Man of a Thousand Holds,” Dean Malenko is a second generation wrestler who is fighting with Buff for his chance in the limelight. Malenko is known as a mat technician and has been a Cruiserweight Champion as well as Tag Team Champions with Chris Benoit. Earlier this year, Malenko was asked to become a member of The Four Horsemen, the elite wrestling alliance with Ric Flair as its leader. Dean finishes off opponents with a submission move, Texas Cloverleaf which almost resembles a Reverse Figure Four Leglock. However, this is his most often used hold, he is a master of submission holds and can use many, hence the nickname, “The Man of a Thousand Holds.” While Dean Malenko is a supporter of the traditions of professional wrestling, he feels it is time for the more established wrestlers to “pass the torch” and allow the future of wrestling to shine.
- Ken Shamrock:This former Ultimate Fighting Champion (UFC) has been with the WWF for several years now. His attempt at Intercontinental gold was thwarted by the devious actions of The Rock several times. Shamrock was crowned the 1998 “King of the Ring,” a title which has often lead to the World Heavyweight Title, but that is soemething that Ken has not seen. In hopes of getting his well-deserved title shot, Ken Shamrock became the “enforcer” of the Corporation until the Corporation was dispelled by Shane McMahon to form the Corporate Ministry. Shamrock remained loyal to Vince McMahon, even saving his daughter, Stephanie, on several occasions. Still, he found himself betrayed, and the the title shots never came. Now, Ken is taking on Vince McMahon himself for what he did to Ken’s sister, Ryan, and McMahon’s involvement in the Corporate Ministry.
- X-Pac:This resilent athlete has found himself to also be the subject of numerous betrayals. After being fired by WCW while he was recuperating from a neck injury, Sean Waltman (X-Pac) returned to the WWF to join the newly reformed DX with Triple H as the leader. He quickly won the European Title from D-Lo Brown. X-Pac soon found himself in direct conflict with Shane McMahon. This feud ended with X-Pac losing the European Title to Shane because of outside interference behind the back of the referee. While seeking retribution, Waltman found himself betrayed by his long time friend Hunter Hearst Helmsley who had decided to join the Corporate Ministry in order to get ahead. Disillusioned X-Pac, Billy Gunn, and the Road Dogg, continued on as DX only to lose Billy Gunn as a member as well. X-Pac soon teamed up with Kane, and together they became Tag Team Champions. That would soon end in a tainted loss to The Acolytes. This talented wrestler just keeps coming back for more because he has the desire to be great. With a little fan support, he will.
These stories are just a few of the many. Professional wrestling is a difficult business to break into and achieve success. It is possible if the younger generations continue to fight the establishment for theie piece of the spotlight. The path is hard and difficult, but it can be done. After all, the established wrestlers were once in the same boat.