WWE Fans, 'the Look,' and the Stigma That Comes with It

Tyson JonesSenior Analyst IIIMay 22, 2013


When fans see a WWE Superstar, the first thing they notice is "the look" of that person. WWE Superstars come in all shapes, sizes and hues. Still, there are some superstars that...when they come in with a certain look, they give a certain type of impression.

For example, we look at someone like Ryback and we see another guy like Damien Sandow. At first glance, who looks like the better wrestler of the two? I'm sure a lot of people, before they'd seen both men in action, would have said "Damien Sandow."

I have to believe this belief that the smaller wrestler is better stems from the old days of professional wrestling. In a time when most fans weren't really concerned about technical ability over general showmanship, it was really "the look" that got you over.

Hulk Hogan's looked at with mixed reviews. In America he was known for very little in the ring. Hulking Up, Scoop Slam, Big Boot and Atomic Leg Drop. That summed up the crux of Hulk Hogan in the ring in the states, as opposed to his work in Japan where the man had to work harder than normal.

Then enter these obviously smaller athletes. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels are just a couple of the superstars who, in a sense, put Hogan to shame (in the ring.) They are technical geniuses, whose skills are praised to this very day. Of course Shawn was known for more than that, also being an impressive high-flyer in his day.

Still, I think people are too quick to use "the look" as something to base a guy's skill on.

Granted, generally speaking, the bigger superstars are more limited in the ring on how they can move and what they'll do. It's not fair, though, to compare the moves of a Dolph Ziggler to a Big Show. Let's be honest, Big Show is 41-years-old and over 400 pounds.

I'd say Big Show moves pretty well for a man of his age, build and stature. Point me to someone older and bigger than Big Show who moves better in the ring. And for those people hung up on movesets, Big Show has about fourteen moves to his name.

Far too often do we discredit the genius of Mr.McMahon. Yes, Vince hasn't exactly made it easy to compliment him the past few years, but how many times have you thought or read something along the lines of "Vince has a fetish for muscled up bodybuilders," huh? Vince is old-school, and his protege Triple H isn't far removed from the days of bodybuilders being what draws in fans.

However, for every "bodybuilder" that stepped into the ring, how many smaller athletes were pushed? Chris Jericho is a legend and five-time World Champion, CM Punk is the second-biggest star in the company and a six-time World Champion, Daniel Bryan has had it pretty well for the majority of his career and is a former World Heavyweight Champion, and countless other superstars have gotten pushed who weren't bodybuilders including Rey Mysterio, Mick Foley and Dolph Ziggler, just to name a few.

Truthfully it's almost funny that, at times, it's the hardcore internet critics who can be just as guilty of some of the things WWE does. For example, I remember a couple years back during a certain "joyous" summer that some of you may remember. WWE is often criticized for "Shoving X down our throats."

However there have been times that people and sites just like this one right here have shoved people down our throats.

In a sense one could say that it's these people who have a "fetish" for "169 pound technicians." Not to mention, while the WWE does it quite visibly and on national television, these hardcore critics—my God, if they could get their hands on a microphone, they'd bury everyone they don't like faster than John Cena, Triple H, Vince McMahon and WWE Creative combined could ever hope to. (And no, I don't pretend I'm not prone to this at times myself, as I've spent a good part of the past day and a half doing this with Michael McGillicutty and many of you know how I feel about Dolph Ziggler.)

It seems like it's very hard for someone with the WWE look to get over with the Hardcore fans and it's likely the same way that the WWE has a hard time getting behind people who have the Hardcore look.

Still, while the look of the WWE isn't something that will be swayed by this article, perhaps I can convince you all to look beyond just outward appearances and let that go both ways. Don't just assume that a guy with the build of Stan Stansky is going to be a genius in the ring and don't just assume a guy built like Ryback is going to wrestle like Ezekiel Jackson.