Happy New Year! It’s a holiday so instead of writing an introduction that anchors the column, let’s just jump straight to…
- It’s still a few months until WrestleMania, so I’m sure I’ll have to address this again somewhere, but stop with the “Steve Austin might wrestle again” rumor mongering. Steve Austin isn’t returning as a wrestler and you’re beyond braindead if you think otherwise.
The man’s neck is one encounter with MacGyver away from being held together with nothing but silly string and toothpicks. That wasn’t a worked promo when he talked about his neck problems on WWE.com in 2003. Those problems are real; he risks paralysis—or death—if he takes any ill-worked bump to the head, neck, spine, etcetera, etcetera. Yes, he could choose to come back anyway. I could choose to self-immolate.
The notion that the angle with CM Punk would be an exception because Punk is a safe worker is equally ludicrous. Was there some sort of Safe-Worker-Shortage in 2003 which I’m not aware of? Ultimately, when you stir up this particular muck, all you’re doing is playing Fantasy Booker. For everyone’s sake, stop it.
- I give Chikara and Mike Quackenbush a lot of flack. Part of it stems from my own choice to invest my time more in Mexican and Japanese promotions, leaving me with a lack of an emotional investment in Chikara’s product. Part of it is that I think Quackenbush’s entire business model is a little dated and silly. Part of it is that I think their fanbase has some really unrealistic perspectives. What I can’t deny is that they have a really dedicated fanbase and a product that’s enjoyable, if you decide that’s how your wrestling investment is best spent.
Ultimately though, they’re confined to the Internet, which is a really mediocre place to lock yourself in. You sort of have to wonder what might happen if they’d just think a little bigger…
- My Indie darling—AAPW out of Carbondale, IL—essentially no longer exists. I’m supposed to write a DVD review for a friend of mine who is involved with its descendent—and I will—but there’s a point to be made first.
There’s all sorts of quasi-legal mumbojumbo and infighting going on which doesn’t directly involve me, or you for that matter. What’s important here is this: Just about everyone who made AAPW worth going on YouTube to watch has jumped ship to a new entity called Pro Wrestling Collision. I’m sure the product will be great.
What’s sad is that all too often, Independent promotions fold, or change names, or shift direction, or lose focus, or completely revamp their identity. I know the Collision guys tried to keep the AAPW name, because they recognize the importance in consistency too. Independent promotions often offer up a perfectly fine product, but without consistency on the circuit, how can people be expected to emotionally invest?
- CMLL has the next major show for the lucha promotions, Fantasticamania in January, but I’m an AAA man, and that means I’m already looking forward to Rey de Reyes in March. The event is Mexico’s answer to King of the Ring and it just about always manages to deliver a great show.
AAA has shown a lot of progress in the last year, including putting their world title around El Texano Jr. earlier in December, so picking a Rey de Reyes Tournament winner is a total shot in the dark right now. For me, the most interesting build will be anything involving L.A. Park and his AAA Latin-American Championship. He’s held it for over a year now and a major event like Rey de Reyes would definitely be the kind of place someone of his caliber would show up to defend.
It’ll certainly beat the hell out of any Undertaker build.
- Speaking of Undertaker, he can bring us full circle here. Does anybody really miss him? For the first time in…ever really, I’m totally ambivalent to Undertaker showing up for WrestleMania. Going back the last four or five years, the roster needed his presence on the card because there was so little happening. This year, you could make a great Mania card without even mentioning Undertaker’s name in passing. Yes, you’d like to see him get some kind of retirement angle down the line, but for my money, if he never laced-up again, he’d have had a fine ending to a career long overdue for pasture.