Friday, December 10, 2010

Twitter Topic: Suspension of Disbelief

Welcome to a new feature here at Kick-Out!!, the Twitter Topic. I'm hoping to make this a weekly feature, and the plan is to solicit a wrestling-related topic on Twitter and the first person to submit one will get their topic written. This week's submission comes from NotBlueBeetle, who wanted to see "something relating to suspension of disbelief, as it relates to the current Cena/Nexus angle." I can do that.

Wrestling requires a suspension of disbelief going in, it's probably a big reason why so many people don't "get it," they lack the imagination. It's part of what makes wrestling so unique, we can easily shut our brains off and watch something completely unbelievable like Lost or Iron Man, but wrestling blurs the line between fiction and reality, so it's easier for people to write off as "fake."

Some parts of wrestling require a bit more suspension of disbelief than others, it's a lot easier to accept the idea of two guys that downright hate each other like Sheamus and Triple H than two brothers with a history stretching back 20+ years that involves supernatural powers, burned down mortuaries and the reveal that one brother's longtime manager is actually the father of the other brother. And that's not even getting into the Katie Vick stuff.

But stuff like Undertaker and Kane are holdovers from a bygone era, what about the modern stories that take you out of the show, like Edge kidnapping Paul Bearer and holding him hostage for weeks without any involvement from the authorities? Does Cena vs. Nexus fall into that category? I have my issues with the angle, but believability isn't one of them.

For a company that expects us to just accept the fact that Edge can kidnap and torture a father with buffalo wings, just because the son "won't press charges," WWE has paid painstaking attention to detail to make the Nexus angle believable. Their debut was handled spectacularly, it was revealed that Vince McMahon himself had a hand in it, and then the Anonymous GM signed them all to contracts. Everything from then on with stipulations like Nexus must disband if they lose or John Cena must become a member, that's standard wrestling fare.

Cena's "firing" is where things might divide some folks on the suspension of disbelief aspect, but without judging the quality of the story, I still think it's believable... at least as believable as wrestling can be. I'm not personally a fan of firing stories, since they're usually rendered meaningless in a matter of weeks, much like this one, but at least they're paying attention to the details here. John Cena's "fired," but everyone in the company, from the wrestlers to the security guards, think he got a raw deal. Nexus has attacked everyone, they haven't made any friends, so screwing over the locker room leader was the last straw, and much like Nexus, they will go outside the rules to right this wrong.

Where they take the angle from here will determine whether or not it remains the most compelling story WWE's told in years, but in terms of pure believability, they've done exactly what they needed to do. Now if only that would extend to every story on every wrestling show.

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