As I sit down at my computer to start this article, I can’t help but think how great things are turning out for wrestling fans at the moment. It’s a time of celebration with the various anniversary celebrations going on throughout the “big two” wrestling promotions. We’ve just recently crossed the 10 year mark for TNA which was capped off with their annual Slammiversary PPV and WWE’s Monday Night Raw just surpassed 1000 episodes. Let me repeat that: 1000 episodes! That is a huge feat by anyone’s standards, but I’m sure we’ll hear more about from my fellow TWD writers in the days to come.
It’s a special time with multiple appearances of former superstars, successful returns and memories of days gone past. Between The Rock and Brock Lesnar there is a real feeling of nostalgia in the air and the older WWE fans finally have wrestlers to get behind besides internet poster boys CM Punk and Daniel Bryan in the hopes that they smash John Cena back to a time when he was relevant and not being stuffed down our throats at every opportunity.
On a sobering note it’s also refreshing that there has been an absence in the headlines of wrestlers dying due to substance abuse compared to previous years. Whether that means awareness on the subject is improving or not isn’t up to me to say, but I’m just glad there’s been a lull in this black spot of pro wrestling’s past.
To cap it all off, The Wrestling Daily is back! Times are very good indeed.
For those of you who were not familiar with TWD back in the day, we wrote about all aspects of pro wrestling from the top promotions all the way down to the Indy and international scene. A well balanced coverage was the ultimate goal with an underlying hope of opening our reader’s eyes to some of the lesser known wrestlers in the business. I believe we achieved that in a short time span but in the past couple of years there has been a definite lack of exposure for the guys and girls trying to climb the ladder to success. It’s about time that changed.
Take a look at the aforementioned CM Punk and Daniel Bryan as prime examples of wrestlers on the independent circuit working their way up through the ranks and wrestling wherever they could week in and week out to spread their name and what is essentially their brand. The hard work that these two superstars put in from back then up until the moment they were contacted by WWE has now paid off in spades as they main event pay-per-views and compete for the WWE and/or World Heavyweight Championships on a regular basis. Not too many other individuals can say the same but that number is increasing if the current trend continues.
For as long as most wrestling fans can remember, WWE has adopted a policy of bigger is better to try and push the cliche of superstars being bigger than life characters. In recent years however we have seen the emergence of more and more of the wrestlers and superstars with smaller frames and a varying amount of styles. There’s the high-flying all or nothing method of wrestling that Jeff Hardy, AJ Styles, Rey Mysterio and the like follow as well as the technical performances of Austin Aries, CM Punk and Daniel Bryan. There’s also multiple wrestlers who have borrowed moves from several styles, but the underlying thought is that gone are the days that the power bomb is the go to move in the ring. Nowadays you’re more likely to see more submissions and counter moves. The landscape of pro wrestling is constantly changing and now is no exception.
“Manufactured” superstars such as John Cena, Triple H and Hulk Hogan are becoming more of a rarity to the mainstream promotions which in my opinion can only be a good thing. That being said there will always be a place for that style of wrestling and variety is the key to making pro wrestling an exciting spectacle.
It’s for that reason that the Indy scene is key to the bigger promotions not collapsing or plateauing, but rather growing and expanding as the next generation of fans are introduced to the sport that everyone reading this article enjoys to watch.
All of the great wrestlers and sports entertainers found themselves in high school gyms, bingo halls or alternatively small venues at some point early in their career. It’s where they ply their trade and put in the blood, sweat and tears that may one day lead them to wrestling on your television each week. The truth is only a very small percentage will go on to the big leagues, but there is magic to be made in the minors, so get out there and support your local talent.
While we have all been found guilty of pandering to the latest storylines after getting sucked in by the characters involved and classic lines delivered, it’s important to step back every once in a while and recognise just how the wrestlers involved got to the stage they are currently at and where they came from. We haven’t always been this well off as wrestling fans, so enjoy what we have right here and now.
Here’s to another one. Cheers!
Scott Beeby was a contributing writer for The Wrestling Daily. He gets slightly annoyed when you ask him to “talk like an Australian,” but he’ll still do it…because he’s freakin’ Australian.