Introducing Myself and My Mission


Hello, fellow wrestling fans! As you can see, I am not Kevin, but rather my name is Michael Jong. Today I wanted to drop a quick introductory line before I started writing here on a (mostly) weekly basis as a contributor to Daily DDT.

Like you, I am a wrestling fan, though with the product’s quality as it is, that is sometimes difficult to admit. I have been following pro wrestling off and on since I was hooked by the Attitude Era and the greats such as Stone Cold Steve Austin and The Rock in the late 90’s. Right before Wrestlemania 26 at the beginning of 2010, I got back into the program and have maintained a healthy interest since. I am an avid reader of the PWTorch website and a listener to their excellent podcast, but I felt like I had my own set of opinions that I wanted to share with the readership here at Daily DDT.

Here’s my philosophy on the world of wrestling today. Everyone knows that the results in pro wrestling are scripted, but it does not mean that fans are not interested in being entertained by the concept of wrestling matches anymore. So while fans may know that matches are not “real,” it does not mean that fans do not want to see wrestling matches and expect to get weekly episodic soap operas. Yet the WWE and TNA products have leaned more and more towards that in recent years. As recently as 2003, the WWE was showcasing top matches on television on a regular basis, with great workers such as Kurt Angle, Brock Lesnar, Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit putting up strong matches on a weekly basis. At the same time, those matches mattered in terms of the storyline of wrestling as a competitive sport; not only were fans treated to interesting characters who could cut it on the mic, but they were also treated with matches that meant something to the universe of the WWE. Wins, losses, and titles mattered, and there were feuds and rivalries that felt believable and entertaining.

In other words, while the results of wrestling matches that occur in the ring are previously scripted, it does not mean that, as a viewer, I want to see the idea of wrestling thrown by the wayside. I like to watch Raw, Smackdown, and occasionally TNA Impact as shows that offer a view into a world where wrestling is a competitive sport and that everything that occurs is important to the ongoing plot of the series. Imagine watching wrestling as if you would a TV drama like Dexter or House. Wouldn’t you be upset if the main premise of a show like House (in that case, medicine) was completely thrown by the wayside in favor of drama you would expect to see on Beverly Hills 902010? There is a balance that can be struck between the action of simulated competition and the drama and storylines that result from it, but wrestling should be the basis for everything that happens in the plot.

So now that you know where I come from as a fan of pro wrestling, let me tell you what I plan to add to the table here at Daily DDT. Here are my main ideas:

1) Weekly WWE Power Rankings

You can see PWTorch’s Wade Keller’s explanation for his rankings here:

"There are power rankings in all of sports. Somewhat subjective, somewhat empirical, power rankings put teams in a sport in order taking into account who was hot that week balanced with their overall record and perceived talent level in general. It’s tougher to do that in wrestling, which is a performance where wins and losses are determined by a booker. We could do a kayfabe style power rankings, and it might be fun to assess the landscape with a suspension of disbelief, but this week at least I’m doing a Power Rankings based purely on my enjoyment of various acts…"

That is more or less how I plan to approach the weekly Power Rankings. I may later on decide to add TNA, but my interest in the product is too weak to be a good judge of the characters and wrestlers involved. Essentially, the weekly Power Rankings will be a rating of the most entertaining acts of the week. For me, this includes not only in-ring wrestling, but mic work, the booking itself, and any other aspects that affect my enjoyment of the product and story they are selling. It is a mostly subjective piece, but it will be a guide as to who is hot in their push and who is failing to catch my attention. I’ll be posting my rankings every Sunday, and the weekly results will be continually tracked on the Power Rankings page. I will begin doing this at the start of the new year.

2) TV Win/Loss Records

Yes, these may seem unimportant, but in fact they could be made to be. If wrestling is indeed a simulated sport, then win/loss records should absolutely factor into decisions made by booking. For example, there is simply no reason for a guy who has lost the last three or four matches (thinking of Drew McIntyre here) to suddenly get a title shot without a few wins under his belt. Similarly, a guy who posts wins over and over should be in line for a solid push, and such a push should reflect the “roll” that he is currently on. By systematically recording these events, we can see if WWE booking is being appropriate in how they handle their pushes and storylines.

3) Opinion Pieces

Of course, I have my set of opinions outside of the Power Rankings, and I’ll be occasionally posting those as well. In fact, in the coming days I will be bringing up one aspect that really irked me from this past Monday’s three-hour Slammy edition of WWE Raw that really made my blood boil and is a part of the insulting booking of the WWE. Stay tuned.