It used to be said that the most overused words in the English language were love and great. That still may be so. As far as overused terms are concerned, “at the end of the day” and “it is what it is” are probably one and two on the list. However, steamrolling it’s way to the top of the wrestling world as the most overused comment, passing the ridiculous “what?” chant that 12 year olds have no idea what it actually means, has got to be, “this is awesome!” You can almost hear the rhythmic tone in which it is said anytime you read it or think about it. But why? Why has this phrase become so overused to the point where you almost drown it out every time you hear it?
Personally, I can’t help but roll my eyes these days at what gets “this is awesome” chants. It seems like anytime a match has a couple of quick moves to it, or a table is used in a match, or a legend is just standing in the ring, we get a “this is awesome” chant. Has the wrestling product been so watered down over the years, or has RAW taken too much time from the matches on the show that any little taste of a decent match we get on a PPV or RAW elicits a “this is awesome” chant?
Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at WrestleMania III – that was awesome. A.J. Styles vs. American Dragon Bryan Danielson at the All Star Extravaganza in 2002 – that was awesome. The Dudleys, Edge & Christian and Hardy’s TLC matches were awesome as was the Prince Puma vs. Johnny Mundo all night long match from Lucha Underground, season one. All of these matches had various storyline twists and turns, combined with amazing moves that took you on an emotional roller coaster ride. See, whether it’s matches from the 80’s or matches from last year, they’re are definitely amazing and yes AWESOME matches out from over the past four decades. So this frustration with the use of the term is not just a “back in the old days” approach.
When watching the Survivor Series PPV, the “this is awesome” chants started again during the Roman Reigns vs. Alberto Del Rio match that kicked off the show. I immediately said to my friend in the room, “you’ve got to be kidding me.” On a side note, the same guy who was involved in this “awesome” match, Roman Reigns, was booed unmercifully by the crowd on his way to the ring. That’s not the first time that has happened either. Okay, let’s say Reigns was bad in the ring (which he is not), how can he possibly have an awesome match? Now granted his match against Del Rio was pretty good, but was it really awesome? Will it go down in the history of WWE as one of its epic moments? Of course not! But we get that chant because the reason we tune into WWE, quality wrestling matches, is being pushed further and further back on the priority list that we’ll take anything we can get.
It’s chicken or the egg approach that WWE takes towards its programming. Do we give them entertainment or do we give them wrestling? Now, despite the word wrestling preceding the word entertainment in the company name, the terms are clearly flipped when it comes to which WWE tries to give us more of. The New Day and Wyatt family skits are entertainment that is both enjoyable and relevant. They use their time on the microphone building heat in their feuds which get us emotionally invested. On the flip side, the story lines such as the HORRIBLE Dolph Ziggler/Rusev/Lana love triangle, the backstabbing Divas division and the oversaturation of seeing Triple H and Stephanie are so pathetic more often than not, that as soon as we get a good, solid match to watch we feel the need to blurt out “this is awesome”. Almost like a hungry puppy when they finally get the sniff of a morsel of food, they’ll take anything they’re given and treat it like it was the greatest meal they ever had.
Granted when the bell rang and John Cena finally got to fight the Rock in Miami at WrestleMania 28, that was an awesome moment. The match was good, but it was the moment that was awesome. I think that is where the fans confuse which is really the awesome aspect of what they are seeing. Is it the moment or the match? More often than not it is the moment, as a match that was good, ala Cena vs. Rock, goes to the awesome level because of the buildup, the participants and the moment (see also Rock vs. Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 18 and Hulk vs. Ultimate Warrior at WrestleMania 6).
Maybe I’m being too cynical in my approach about an “awesome” match; maybe I’m missing something. What is it that really makes a match awesome? Is it the wrestling we see in the match? Is it the participants? Is it the buildup? Is it the moment? Is it a mesh of all these elements? What is it that makes the wrestling fan base scream… “This Is Awesome!”