Xavier Woods had a few unkind things to say about wrestling fans in a recent interview.
“When people talk about the difference between the organizations – not even organizations – between like NXT and the main roster. So when they say like, ‘Oh man, TakeOver killed it. SummerSlam, this is gonna suck.’” Woods said, “It’s on the same company. What is there to complain about?”
Xavier Woods talked about fans having TakeOver, a major WWE pay-per-view, RAW and SmackDown within the span of a few days and complaints are still made. Woods added that people who make those complaints come off as annoying because in reality the in-ring performers are going out and putting their bodies on the line for everyone’s entertainment.
“You just got an awesome wrestling show on Saturday night, you just had an awesome wrestling show on Sunday, then you’re gonna watch RAW on Monday, and SmackDown on Tuesday, then NXT,” said the New Day member. “What are you complaining about? And then like, you can watch New Japan. You can watch AAA. You can watch so much wrestling from all corners of the world, and it’s all awesome and it’s all good. It’s all different guys and girls portraying their form of art that they love – that they wanna give to you. So anytime anyone complains about wrestling it’s so annoying to me because people come off as these entitled infants,” Woods mentioned. “Because in reality, wrestling hurts so bad, and then we’re hurting ourselves to entertain the masses, and sometimes the masses wanna tell us how much it sucks,” he ended.
Right off the top, let me say that I’m sure that at least some of this is him being a good company man. It has to be, because surely a guy with a legit PHD is smarter than this. He’s towing the company line to a degree, but I’m still going to call it out because the company line is kind of silly.
I can’t speak for everyone, but when most reasonable fans complain about wrestling, we’re not arguing that it doesn’t hurt or that almost to a person everyone isn’t trying to give the best they have. Maybe we don’t like every match as much as we like every other match, but everything in life is like that. It takes a lot of work to act in a movie, but not every movie is as good as every other movie and it’s perfectly acceptable to say that.
The complaints, usually anyhow, are more about what the wrestlers are given to work with and not the workers themselves. Nobody goes into a show wanting it to suck, but sometimes it does suck, because sometimes the writing and presentation are terrible. As a recent example, I give you whatever the hell this is.
Suddenly and without explanation, one team is allowed to ignore every rule of tag team wrestling, up to and including the one about there only being two people on each team in each match. They’re effectively giving themselves a three on two advantage, making things up as they go along so that they can cheat at will and not possibly lose. And they’re supposed to be the good guys. Meanwhile, the referee, neutral enforcer of rules, as well as the commissioner and general manager of Raw, both bad people, seemingly have no problem with this. What? Who isn’t going to complain about that? It’s absolute nonsense! You’re expecting me to sit through a three hour show, see something like that and then say nothing? Um, no. That segment is garbage. It’s not garbage because any of the three members of Lucha House Party are garbage. Each one is immensely talented and I enjoy them all. But you know who might not be immensely talented? Whoever came up with it and decided to put it on air. And don’t tell me that it was explained later in a YouTube video or on social media. That doesn’t count. The first day you’re allowed to argue that it counts is the first day that all of your programming is first and foremost online instead of on television. But even then I’m still arguing that it doesn’t count, because I shouldn’t have to go to Google to sort out the finer points of your stupid ass storyline.
Were this an isolated incident, maybe people would overlook it the way they tend to overlook the rare misstep in NXT, but that’s not what this is. Things like this happen on Raw, Smackdown and the pay-per-views so routinely that it sometimes feels like we (the fans) are the ones being disrespected.
NXT, although it is technically WWE, is different. You need only watch a show or two to figure that out. The reason people like NXT is because it’s easy to watch. It’s never too long and it usually does its best not to insult the intelligence of the viewer. As a result, it’s built up enough good will that we trust it. If something doesn’t make sense now, it probably will eventually. We’re rewarded for paying attention, as opposed to WWE proper where we’re mocked and called “infants” if we dare do the same. It’s a lot easier to just shut up and enjoy something when that thing is actually, you know, enjoyable.
And that’s the main thing. Wrestling, generally speaking, is enjoyable to us. That’s why we watch it. We’ve seen it at its best, which is why we keep coming back even when it’s at its worst. And when it’s at it’s worst, we get frustrated and angry because we love it and we want it to be at its best again. I’m sure it gets hard sometimes to go online and read all about how bad something you were a part of was, and for sure there are going to be people saying all sorts of horrible, over the line things about what you suck and how much of it. But there’s a big difference between that and constructive criticism, and it’s not fair to paint it all with the same brush.