Let’s talk a little about respect, some work every day trying to achieve it, others think they are owed it; Rodney Dangerfield made a career from it and Aritha made it into a hit song. Wrestling is no different, it is all about respect, sometimes what people think of a (or woman) is just as if not more important than any title won. This week I have seen a lot respect and some disrespect. Let’s go over some things shall we?
What a way to talk about respect, during the early part of his career one would think Shawn knew little about respect, how ironic that now celebrating the end of said career he is one of the most respected wrestlers in the business. I do not know if Shawn will wrestle again, history tells us yes, but just in case I would like to thank Shawn for a ton of memories. When I first saw The Midnight Rockers in the AWA I thought they were a cheap knock-off of the Rock & Roll Express. I grew to love that team, and the rest is history. His personal past might not have always been the best but he has earned the respect of his peers and wrestling fans everywhere. Thanks again Shawn.
Since we are on the subject, there are not a lot of people who have been getting disrespected more than “the other Rocker” Marty Jannetty. When you talk about tag team wrestling no one wants to be referred to as the “Jannetty” of the team, meaning of course that Shawn far out surpassed Marty in the field of pro wrestling. I would like to take exception to that, first who doesn’t love Marty, come on you know you do. Second let’s take a look at his career, just taking the WWE stuff, he has been to multiple Wrestlemania events, he is a former Intercontinental Champion (beating Shawn in one of the first Raw “memorable moments”), he has also won the Tag Team title on more than one occasion. Back then it wasn’t all that easy to do. If I was a wrestler I would love to have a career like Marty’s, and would not mind being called a “Jannetty”. I would take exception however to being called a “ Neidhart “ , think about it.
Earlier this week I read an online article on the America Online web page. The article went over the tremendous success of the USA network and how it is constantly the number one cable network. What the article failed to mention among its praise of Monk & Royal Pains is what put them on top and that is Raw. We got Law & Order: SUV or DWI or whatever (nice show), the House reruns were mentioned in there, Burn Notice but no mention of WWE Raw. Now nothing against those shows I watch most of them, kind of cool, (another show they fail to mention is reruns of NCIS, but I digress). Maybe they forgot about the show that brings in millions of viewers every week, or maybe it is a matter of respect or lack of respect. If I was Vince I would not be very happy, but I don’t know if Vince cares at this point, (me thinks the old man has lost his marbles)
Can we finally end this please? It’s been well over a decade, everyone needs to get over it. That said one o f the main reasons it has stuck in our wrestling minds is respect, Vince’s respect for Bret, Bret’s respect for the WWE, and Shawn’s respect for Bret & Vince. In wrestling if you are leaving a company tradition dictates that the outgoing person champion or not, passes on “the rub” to the next guy in the company, Scott Hall did it, Kevin Nash did it, and Bret would not do it. Vince had to choose between disrespecting Bret and protecting his company. Shawn was caught in the middle and for respect of the WWE & Vince (or lack of respect for Bret) he did what he was told. So basically it’s everyone’s fault, now that everyone has closure we can move on.
A lot of people thought it was a huge slap in the face of both the WWE and Shawn Michaels (This guy’s name keeps popping up everywhere) when Ric came out of retirement for the Hulk Hogan Tour (and then signing with TNA). To be honest it was sort of disrespectful, after that great match and huge send off. That said “the Man” does have bills to pay and ex-wives to feed, and when faced with financial troubles and your back is against the wall, sometimes respect for one’s self and his friends gets compromised. I’m sure Shawn understands, and even Vince understands a man has to do what he has to do; he just can’t do it in a bar where Ric Flair is drinking…WOOOOO.
In most societies respect is earned and not given, it doesn’t matter how much money you have or the title you keep, you have to work at it. There are a lot of people in this world that I respect & I hope some of them share that respect for me. Until next time….let’s watch.