The Mental Ward: Hey! You Kids Get Off My Lawn!


I first discovered pro wrestling in the mid-1980s. “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes doing battle with “Beautiful” Bobby Eaton inside a steel cage is one of my earliest wrestling memories. However, when I saw “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and Sting go 60 minutes at the first Clash of the Champions, I was hooked for life. THAT was storytelling. THAT was drama. THAT was pro wrestling. In my youth Hulkamania ran wild. In my high school and college years, The Attitude Era redefined the industry. In my adult years, things just haven’t been the same. A spark is missing. The sport I loved has morphed into something almost unrecognizable at times. Yet, I still watch. I cling to hope that pro wrestling will one day again return to past glory. Webster defines insanity as doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result. Ladies and gentlemen, come on in. We’re all friends here. Welcome back to, “The Mental Ward.”

If you follow me on Twitter, @jonward51, then you saw my rant this past Monday about the much advertised match between Ryback and Mark Henry on Raw. The WWE tweeted this out about 30 minutes before the opening bell. Of course, I’m thinking to myself, “SERIOUSLY?” These guys are constantly taking two steps forward, and then three steps back. Not only was this the main event in ring action of the evening but Vince McMahon and his doofus son in law actually thought that they could tweet about this match and it would get me excited enough to tune in. See Vince, it did the exact opposite. I rolled my eyes and and began trolling your company. I also turned the channel when the match started because, hey look….it’s Big Show on commentary! As my good friend Josh tweeted out, “Is this Heaven?” When it came to cutting promos and advertising an upcoming match or event, the late great “American Dream” Dusty Rhodes used to ask, “Where’s the money?” There was no money in that tweet regarding this match or in this match itself….ever.

Has anyone heard from Sting by the way? Was his contract only good through WrestleMania? The WWE currently has both “Nature Boy” Ric Flair and the Stinger under the same corporate umbrella. They eluded to the history between the two leading up to the match between HHH and Sting at Mania when Flair came out to the ring and tried to advise his good ole buddy Hunter about the dangers of facing Sting. I know that it has been revealed that we will see a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin podcast in the near future with Sting as the guest on the WWE Network, but he’s not on TV at all these days and that infuriates me. Come on Vince..make it happen! There is far more fan appeal to Sting than just marketing DVDs and action figures. Of course, he isn’t a WWE and Vinny Mac creation so………

Again for the 403rd consecutive week I ask, what does Dolph Ziggler have to do to become a main event talent? I am a huge fan of his, and I believe he has all the tools to carry the company. It drives me nuts to see him lose to the likes of Sheamus or any other tool in the back. He has the look, he has the personality, and some great in ring moves to go with it. (Not to mention the moves he’s putting on Lana right now) In all seriousness, the guy has a budding stand up comedy career on the side and I don’t blame him for having a fall back plan. I think he wants to be the main event. He has proven all that he can. I’m not sure what more he has to do. As I’ve said many times, if there was only another promotion to jump to.’s a wonderful thing.

Speaking of Sheamus, I hate him.

What’s up with Jeff Jarrett and this eye sore of a ring? He loves the idea of having a few extra turnbuckles and having guys do battle inside of a ring that resembles a roped high school geometry quiz. I don’t get it. I realize he is going to have to be different to compete with Vince and even other established promotions like ROH and TNA, but this is not the way to do it. Just give me good old fashioned wrestling Jeff…the kind that causes me to become emotionally invested. The kind that tugs on my heart strings and draws me in every week. You know, the kind your father booked for decades in Memphis. I’m not asking for the Monday Night Wars again, but I am asking for some common sense. Do the right thing.

Kudos to everyone paying tribute to “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes over the past two weeks. If you haven’t listened to the latest edition of The PWA Show, be sure and do that. They did a great job paying their respects to “The Dream”. I caught Ric Flair’s Wooooo Nation podcast last week. It’s always good hearing Naitch tell stories especially when they involve his idol, Dusty Rhodes. The special guest last week was former co-owner of the Mid-Atlantic NWA territory, David Crockett. I pride myself in knowing so much about the sport of pro wrestling, especially the glory years from the greatest territory in the modern era of the industry. However, I learned something new last week when Crockett said he himself was attempting to purchase WCW from Time Warner before they eventually sold to McMahon. There’s all kinds of rumors about what exactly did happen, and who know what really went down..but there are two things we know for sure. Number one, Time Warner Cable told any and all prospective buyers that they were buying a company without a prime time slot on any of their cable channels. The new executive leadership at Time Warner didn’t “get” wresting. They saw it as low brow entertainment with a fan base that had little to no disposable income. It didn’t fit into the vision they were trying to achieve. Even though, Monday Nitro was and still is to this very day, the most highly rated program in TNT network history. Without television, the WCW product was worthless. The second thing we know is that many buyers, Crockett included, were turned away. David Crockett was told that they would not sell to him. This brings out the conspiracy theorist in me. Why wouldn’t they sell to him? Why did they all of a sudden decide to pull the programming from TNT? It doesn’t add up. My guess is Vince agreed to never truly revive the WCW brand and make it a thriving television property again and in return Time Warner agreed to cancel the programming, thus eliminating all other potential buyers, and Vince got the video library and intellectual property for pennies on the dollar. Shocking, I know.

While my thoughts may have been scattered this week, one common theme exists. I’m not happy with the state of professional wrestling today. I hang on for those brief glimpses of entertaining programming that we as fans are served like crumbs sprinkled on the floor in front of a starving man. You can say I’m living in the past and pining for days gone by but let’s face it, those really were the good ole days. Hit me up on Twitter. Let’s vent together.

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