I love wrestling. I mentioned in another post that pro wrestling is my real best friend (outside of my brother) and (outside of my brother) if I had to choose between never talking to any of my friends again or never watching another wrestling show again, I would say goodbye to my friends without hesitation. That hypothetical decision is based on some other things besides my love for wrestling, but I have another blog to discuss that and I want to focus on wrestling here.
Here’s the thing (as Shannon Sharpe would say), I did not watch everything that I could have. The Impact Wrestling/Lucha Underground show was on Twitch for free and I did not watch that. I think the Evolve shows were available and I did not watch any of those. I did not watch the Hall of Fame either. I “only” watched NXT Takeover, Supercard of Honor, Wrestlemania, Raw and Smackdown. Those shows alone reaffirmed how much I love wrestling. I just remember watching one of the shows (I think it was Takeover) and smiling for no reason. I was just thinking how happy I was watching this. Something else to keep in mind is from my perspective, the only show that was excellent was Takeover. I enjoyed the shows, but I thought all of them were “good”…which is fine.
My point is that I do not need wrestling to be great or excellent. To be honest, I just need it to be there. I could easily point to wrestling as to why I am alive right now (but again that is another blog). As I have noted, I like sports and I watch television shows. I also am fascinated by people and how I fit in. With all of that said, nothing does it for me like wrestling does.
I also realized (or reaffirmed) that I don’t know anyone who can enjoy wrestling intensely and watch with a critical eye with the intensity I do. At least no one I listen to or read regularly. I bring the best of both proverbial worlds. At least, I think so…but I am biased.
This example is a more broad example than the one I gave in my last post. From the moment I started watching wrestling 31 years ago (I’m 36 now), I have not once considered not watching or taking a break. There were times where our household did not have cable so it was more difficult to watch, but I always kept up with what was going on. Furthermore, any time I had the means to watch wrestling, I always did and I always will.
Even now, I am several episodes behind on ROH. I am months behind on Impact/GFW/TNA/insert name here, there is no way I am going to watch all of World Tag League (I basically skipped to the finals) and I am a couple of episodes behind on NXT. I actually…well I kind of feel guilty. It’s similar to how I feel when I don’t answer a text from a friend or a client. I feel like I am ignoring a friend. As loyal as I am to the friends I have in real life, I feel that same loyalty (actually more) to wrestling.
Ideally would have a working relationship. I know that Impact is moving to Canada and that is just one of several potential logistical problems…I still think that they should work together. When they were both on Destination America, there was talk of exchanging talent. There was also talk of an invasion angle. If the two organizations do work together I know people would groan at the idea of an invasion storyline (no matter who is doing the invading). I don’t care how they do it. There are few things that I believe have more potential than a properly done invasion so I won’t complain about that. If they just want to exchange talent…that’s fine too.
The reason I think the companies should work together is that both rosters have lack of depth. Granted the Final Battle card this year looks decent without much (if any) New Japan talent. At the same time, it seems like the New Japan talent makes ROH feel like it has more depth. They could use more bodies, even if it is just people who are there to put over others. It is the same thing with Impact Wrestling.
When I say I am not giving up, I do not mean I am not giving up on wrestling. I will never give up on wrestling so that is not even a question. It is like a sports team that you enjoy that may struggle at times. I am always going to watch I do not even think wrestling (WWE included) is that bad. To me it’s not bad at all. When you combine that with the other promotions that I watch, I think the quality of wrestling as whole is decent when it comes to my enjoyment of the shows. My biggest problem with wrestling (especially WWE and GFW) is that it underachieves more than it is actively bad.
That was a long introduction/prologue. Anyway, when I say that I am not giving up…I mean I am not submitting to the idea that nothing WWE (or any wrestling company, but especially WWE) does matters because their numbers are going to be within a certain range no matter what they do. I think that wrestling can do bigger numbers if there was better booking and more star power. An example is how much Kenny Omega has helped ROH’s numbers. It’s a smaller scale, but it proves that the right star can move numbers.
Another reason that I refuse to believe that there is nothing that WWE can do to increase its numbers is because a great deal of the criticism that the company gets for its booking, writing and presentation is legitimate criticism. If they fixed some of those issues, their numbers would be even better. It’s not like “the product” is getting a 90 percent approval ratings. Indeed, the fact that ratings are stabilized, but still historically low, attendance is down for now and the Network is a slight disappointment (a big disappointment when one looks at initial projections) does correlate with complaints about the television show and the general WWE presentation. If WWE can look at those complaints (I will not rehash them) and make changes…then the numbers should in theory go up.
In essence, I am agreeing with what the Vince McMahon narrative was for years…you need the right attraction and you will draw.
Last year, I posted my top 10 favorite wrestlers. Now that I am more into NJPW, that list has changed. So here are my top 10 favorite wrestlers right now.
- A.J Styles
- Kenny Omega
- Dalton Castle
- Young Bucks
- Minoru Suzuki
- Depends on the Day…it could be Miz, Roman Reigns, John Cena, LIJ’s Takahashi, Will Osperay, Zack Sabre, Sasha Banks, Sami Zayn, Ibushi, Brock Lesnar or anyone of a number of other wrestlers.
This is one of those post that is completely about me…which I hate doing, but I just wanted to put this somewhere besides my head so I could figure out my relationship with spoilers in wrestling. I don’t watch shows like Walking Dead or Game of Thrones, so I don’t have to worry about not watching the show as it airs and it getting spoiled. Obviously Raw and Smackdown are live and before my housing situation changed, I was able to watch the shows live as they happened. Now that I often do not know where I am going to be when the shows air, there are times where I have to watch them after they air. I do not watch the New Japan major shows live as they happen. Obviously GFW, ROH and NXT are taped…so what is my relationship with spoilers?
Raw/Smackdown: Now that I cannot always watch the shows live, my idea is to stay away from everything until I get a chance to watch the shows. In other words, they are live shows that I treat like they are live.
NXT: I read the spoilers from Jacob Cohen’s Twitter page (he does a great job by the way). Then just before I watch, I will skim through posts from the deathvalley.com message board about the NXT show from that week just to have an idea of what I am in for.
GFW: I used to go completely spoiler free for TNA, but last year I just decided to read spoilers. Now that I know I am going to be way behind, I will certainly read spoilers just so I have an idea of what is going on. Like I said, I am still watching Slammivesary so I am way behind on watching…but I still want to know what is going on.
ROH: I usually read the spoilers of their tapings once and do not read them again before I watch. I did that before and after my housing situation changed.
NJPW: I try to stay away from everything until I get a chance to watch the shows. NJPW is my number two promotion so I treat it like Raw and Smackdown. One of the biggest reasons for this is that a great deal of the fun of NJPW is the near-falls in big matches…so I do not want to know the end result because it would ruin those near-falls.
I have had some personal problems (I am basically homeless). I have another blog where I discuss that. I love wrestling, it is my favorite thing in the world…but not having a place to stay of my own and not having a television has made me prioritize how I spend my time. One thing I should mention is that it is not being on the streets that has made me change my priorities. Luckily I have only spent three nights without a place to stay since being evicted in April. It is just finding a place to stay (that is affordable) is exhausting and I am still a freelance writing tutor so there is much less time to watch wrestling like I used to because I often do not know where I will be until nighttime. So how does this affect what I watch and when? Let’s go through it. It should be noted that I am a completest so the goal is to watch everything.
Raw and Smackdown: I still watch these on time. The latest I have been is a few weeks ago, I didn’t finish watching Smackdown until Wednesday afternoon. That is probably not a big deal to most of you, but before the eviction I always watched Raw and Smackdown live as it happened. The thing with Raw and Smackdown is wrestling is a big deal (as I said above it’s my favorite thing in the world), WWE is the biggest organization and to know what is going on…I have to watch those shows in a timely fashion.
NXT: I’m two episodes behind. It would be more, but I decided to watch the 5-6 episodes I was behind before Takeover so that I would be up to date.
ROH: I am up to the July 26th episode. I will watch everything I missed before Death before Dishonor next Friday.
GFW: I just finished the first match of Anniversary…so I am way behind.
New Japan: I’m trying to watch this past weekends event. I was right on time with the G1. I did not watch any of the shows live, but I had watched each day of the event by the next night.