Wrestling: How politics is the biggest issue that plagues industry today

Apr 10, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of the ring prior to WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 10, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; A general view of the ring prior to WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Recent events have led to many thinking about the biggest issues in wrestling.

Wrestling has come a long way in the last decade alone and it led to changes in the culture and programming. There has been more talent on display and triple the amount of wrestling shows both mainstream and independent. It has given more opportunities for talent to introduce themselves to fans.

Even with all the great changes that have happened, there is still an issue that has been going on for decades. It’s an issue that our old favorites went through and it has continued today as one of the major issues that have a firm grip on wrestling today and it’s called politics.

The political game in wrestling today.

As wrestling continues to grow, it seems the politics has continued and hit a fever pitch. Recent events including the  CM Punk situation, Vince McMahon, and numerous independent wrestling incidents have led us to think about the darkest side of wrestling. The political side of wrestling has in many ways held back many stars and the product itself.

Wrestling has changed as mentioned before, but it isn’t changing fast enough for this old issue. This includes not just top stars getting certain treatment, but owners who enable it as well. Certain people in power both mainstream and independent promotions have done this with almost zero accountability at times.

It seems to boil down to who the wrestlers know and how popular they are to bypass certain barriers that would otherwise be a career audit for other stars. Some fans decided to turn a blind eye depending on the product, others decided to speak out, and for others, it’s been a deciding factor whether to support a product.

There are still a lot of individuals in wrestling who turn the clocks back with their politics since their influence could lead to stars not getting opportunities. Most of the time it’s due to their past experiences with certain stars and it typically involves them wanting to hide certain elements of their past by any means necessary.

It leaves the good people in wrestling out and a sharp contrast to the issue of being lenient towards other stars. It presents the other side of the coin where the good wrestlers are punished and in some cases kept from getting booked or even signed to a promotion.

There are a few wrestlers who are currently left out for this very reason, but it’s either denied or deflected in some shape or form. The current power struggle has left certain stars out and it will be enough to fill up a whole lineup in the event Dark Side of the Ring gets rebooted for new episodes.

The theme has been a great change in the industry and no one can deny the progress made over the years. It all circles back to Jon Moxley and what he said about leaving aspects of wrestling in the past. It feels like the political aspect of wrestling still has a firm grip with no signs of going away anytime soon.

There’s politics in wrestling no matter where fans look, some have come to light and others have been kept hidden due to fear of repercussions due to certain circumstances. The only way this can be solved is by listening to individuals when there is a problem.

Just because an individual or organization is appealing to a majority doesn’t mean there is no wrongdoing and that it’s all good from a public relations standpoint. The advancement of social media and technology has made it easier for any entity to control any sign of damage within their brand.

There are multiple sides to every story and it’s up to the fans to make a judgment call based on what’s heard, but it’s certainly time to address the political plague within wrestling that has ultimately held it back in many ways.

It will continue to be an anchor and dark cloud that hangs over every wrestling promotion until they decide that there’s no place for any politics, until then, there will always be issues and it will only hurt any respective product in the end.

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There is hope for the future that all major and independent wrestling companies will realize politics only leads to more short-term and long-term issues. When that happens, there will be a major difference in all fans’ favorite wrestling promotions and an increase in the quality of products.