Written by Eiji Matsumoto
If you're reading this magazine right now, you probably know about it already. These days, if you follow professional wrestling, you're bound to trip over a good five to ten accounts on Twitter or whatever other website's trending this time curated by wrestlers, giving their thoughts on the most random and banal of topics. And now, LAW has been the latest promotion to fall on board. Seemingly overnight, more and more LAW wrestlers have flocked to Twitter to get their piece of the social media pie.
In the past month alone, I can't tell you how many times I've seen the latest post from some B-list midcarder talking about their day, or calling out their coworkers, or regurgitating the latest joke that's been used and reused past the point of being tiresome. I can, however, tell you exactly how many times I was reporting on the Seibu Lions during their historic 1990 Japan Series run and wondered to myself what was going through the pitcher's head when he was trying to decide which color socks looked best with his pants that morning: absolutely zero! Why do people think we need to know all this meaningless nonsense about their personal lives, anyway? I never asked for it, but they seem to want to give it to us regardless!
See, I'd thought that LAW was better than this, but evidently my belief in the basic decency of humankind continues to be let down. The fact is, there's more at work here than what you see on the surface. In my day, wrestlers were wrestlers. They didn't care for petty drama; they were competing in a contest of physical and mental mastery to determine who was the best. When you saw a wrestler win a championship belt, you knew they deserved it by virtue of commitment, dedication, and hard work. Oh, sure, there were your grudge matches - and they put asses in seats, all right - but if two wrestlers hated each other, you knew they had good reason to throw down, and it made it all the more memorable when they finally went head to head.
"Get to the point, Eiji," I hear you say. Well, if you've spent as much time around social media as I've had the misfortune to, you'll see what kind of inane nonsense people post. And how many people seem ready to fight to the death to defend their stance on something that doesn't even matter! The internet has been a Pandora's box, and just one of the demons released from it has been the slow decline of human dignity and intelligence. Now that LAW's opened the floodgates, it's only a matter of time before the sort of bickering these girls do behind screens spills over into the ring, and the passion they have for wrestling goes with it.
Just look at Akira Koizumi - if you kids don't know who she is, that's because she dominated the scene in the 80s and 90s and won several championships. I had the pleasure of interviewing her on more than one occasion, and I came away each time with an appreciation for how seriously she took the sport and herself as an athlete. Wrestling was her life, not some silly hobby she'd spend an afternoon at and then put aside to joke about it. That was a woman who wrestled to prove herself, and who gave that meaning to every belt she held. When she went up against an opponent, you understood she meant business; she'd backed it up countless times in the ring.
Now, her niece, Sachiko, posts stupid comments night after night about how hopeless her competitors are, and somehow, it just doesn't have the same impact when the best way she can support her arguments is over 280-character platitudes about how embarrassing their typing or their sense of humor is. Personally, I can't help but find that particularly amusing coming from "xXsachi_chanXx," who apparently hasn't changed her online handle since she was 12.
I suppose it's only a matter of time before LAW's next generation of champions are feuding over how many likes or shares or whatever they're called now they got on their tweets, and we can all forget about the prestige and honor being a champion once carried. But I guess we should've seen that coming when they rounded up a bunch of pretty teen idol rejects and taught them how to suplex each other. God knows a good few of the folks in the stands with me at the last card I attended weren't there to see them wrestle.
Nods towards Social media scandals, twitter feuds, instagram moments and more.
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