PARKS'S TAKE PARKS'S TAKE: Concerned about your favorites taking clean losses? Don't be: WWE isn't, and it probably won't matter anyway
Feb 27, 2013 - 2:43:43 PM
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By Greg Parks, PWTorch columnist
In between a great opening segment (how many times will we see Lesnar bloodied, in black and white of course, leading up to Wrestlemania?) and a great final match (C.M. Punk and John Cena pulling out all the stops in front of a hot crowd), there was a lot to dislike about Raw Monday night. Included in the other 2 1/2 hours were clean losses by Antonio Cesaro, Cody Rhodes and Dolph Ziggler. Much teeth-gnashing has ensued from fans in the 24 hours since, unable to comprehend on WWE can book a MITB briefcase holder, a United States champion, and a future main eventer in such a way.
I understand fans caring about how much damage clean losses can do to someone, but I'll let you in on a little secret: WWE doesn't care. And I don't mean they're flippant about it; I mean that wins and losses just don't really matter to WWE. Do you know why? Let's look at the current crop of main eventers.
Jack Swagger is in the World Title match at Wrestlemania. He spent most of 2012 jobbing to wrestlers the level of Santino Marella. Alberto Del Rio is the babyface World Champion heading into Mania, getting a mega-push, and he spent a good chunk of last year as a punching bag for Sheamus. C.M. Punk? Remember when he was leading a band of misfits in Nexus 2.0? Mark Henry returned as the monster he was before he left due to injury...except before he left, he suffered a string of losses to the likes of Sheamus, Daniel Bryan, and C.M. Punk.
What do those above examples prove? Wins and losses aren't the be-all and end-all when it comes to a wrestler's push. WWE has emphasized the "entertainment" part of their name and devalued the competition aspect to the point that wins and losses are rarely discussed by the announcers, and often, matches are forgotten by the next segment. Casual fans can pick up on this, and therefore are less affected by someone losing as compared to how they are positioned by WWE. In this case, while Ziggler loses a lot, he's clearly positioned as someone who receives a lot of TV time and is thus important.
All it takes is for WWE to switch on a light and decide to push someone. When they do, all of those losses will (attempt to) be forgotten. Just because Ziggler is losing a lot doesn't mean (a) he wont' be pushed as a major champion in the future or that (b) WWE doesn't believe in him. It just means they needed a guy to lose and make the opponent look good. Losing now won't affect how someone is seen by the general population of wrestling fans in the future.
I don't enjoy writing this "take"; I'd much rather write about how wins and losses matter TOO much. And sometimes I'm guilty of harping on clean losses too much as well. But this is the reality we're living in with WWE. So next time your favorite wrestler loses on TV, don't take it so hard: It won't stop them from becoming a star when their number is called.
Greg Parks has been a columnist for Pro Wrestling Torch since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @gregmparks for live Tweeting during Raw, Impact, and PPVs, as well as other bits of wisdom. Comments, questions and feedback are welcome, and can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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