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LaBar: Explaining common pro wrestling complaints |

LaBar: Explaining common pro wrestling complaints

| Thursday, July 9, 2015 9:27 p.m

Some wrestling fans set themselves up for unhappiness.

John Cena had a match against Cesaro last Monday on RAW that lasted over 35 minutes and was one of the best matches I’ve ever seen.

Yes, ever seen.

I would say a majority of fans agree at least with its greatness. But of course, it wouldn’t be professional wrestling without a vocal minority finding reasons to be unhappy. Two complaints repeatedly came from the minority regarding the match.

The first was that some moves were botched. To this I ask, have you ever been in a real fight? Do you think in a real fight everyone hits a perfect shot?

Look, if it was a five-minute match and there were several botched moves, then that’s a problem. Cena versus Cesaro lasted over a half hour and had only a few less-than-crisp moments.

Cesaro tossed Cena in the air to hit him with an uppercut that basically hit Cena’s arm. The announce team acknowledged the miscue and noted the match could have been over had Cesaro connected better. The other was Cena’s springboard stunner that he’s added to his move set; he wasn’t able to hook Cesaro for the stunner part of the move.

To me, the “botches” are a great showing of fatigue adding to the realism of the confrontation. They were minor and didn’t outshine or outnumber the well-performed sequences in this classic match.

The botches were one complaint. The other was viewers being able to hear Cena call the moves to Cesaro in the match. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard this complaint regarding Cena’s matches.

Here’s the deal: Yes, Cena is known for liking to call the matches in the ring. As wrestling has evolved, a lot more guys plan out much of the match backstage and leave less to come up with as the match is going on. There are benefits to both styles, and I think situations that cater to both.

But reality is, Cena has obviously done something right in the past decade and has a lot of really good matches to show for it. I’ve always thought his ability to call a match while it’s going on has been one of the keys to him having so many big performances.

He’s had great opponents to work with — Cesaro being one of the best. Take that good opponent who is physically capable of anything, put him in a match with a guy who calls some great plays in the middle of all the action and you get the kind of greatness we’ve seen the past two episodes of RAW when Cesaro has faced Cena.

You might ask what’s the benefit of calling moves in the ring rather than planning it all out prior. The benefit is you can plan all you want, but you can never fully predict what the crowd’s reaction and mood will be to what you’ve planned. The ability to act on the fly in the ring allows performers to do what they feel is best in the moment with the crowd’s mood.

Sure, you can hear Cena call spots during the match, but a lot of that is people listening and looking for it. I mean If Cena grabbed a mic and was screaming the spots on the mic, then yeah, I’d have a problem. ARMBAR (In Chris Jericho’s voice).

In the end, I feel bad for those who seemingly didn’t appreciate or enjoy what is being talked about as a match-of-the-year candidate all because they heard what they already knew goes on in professional wrestling.

In the legendary movie Goodfellas, when you watch the famous slow motion scene where Joe Pesci’s character kills Samuel L. Jackson with several gun shots — Pesci’s gun never recoils. Still, that doesn’t convince me any less that Jackson’s character wasn’t brutally killed and that Pesci isn’t one bad dude.

Justin LaBar is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7949 or

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