Changing Tastes or Quality Control?
Pro wrestling is trashy garbage. I know this. I embrace this. For the longest time it was one of the things I enjoyed about it.
When I got back into watching wrestling in 2015 a lot of people were already complaining about the current WWE product and how there were a lot of better options available, but I was enjoying it and continued to for quite a while.
I also listened to those other opinions and checked out other wrestling shows. Not all of them landed for me, but the ones that did; NXT, the ‘developmental’ brand of WWE and NJPW, the largest Japanese promotion really opened my eyes to what was out there as an alternative.
Since then I’ve started going to more and more live shows too. Mostly RevPro as they run more shows locally but also Progress and any other promotion that comes through town. This bought the truly independent guys and girls to my attention.
I found myself watching less and less WWE the more time went on. I never watched the weekly shows as I knew a lot of them were a waste of time, but I would read write-ups and watch the occasional highlights so that by the time the monthly event show came around I knew roughly what the storylines were going to be.
But I’ve found I’ve not even been doing that recently. I’ll catch up on the PPV’s a few days later unless it’s a big one like Wrestlemania or Summer Slam, I don’t pay any attention to the weekly plot developments and I roll my eyes at just how poorly put together the whole thing feels.
I’m echoing what feels like the masses when I say it, but WWE under the complete creative control of Vince McMahon is really quite crappy at the moment.
It’s a shame too, because they still have a wealth of amazingly talented and charismatic individuals who’re trying their hardest at each and every show to make it the best wrestling programme in world, but much like a great actor in a shitty movie, they can only do so much with what’s given to them.
Then there is a new alternative that is making waves and reignites my love of this stupid form of entertainment. AEW, All Elite Wrestling, is the brainchild of a group of guys who have worked for lots of different promotions all over the world, under contract, as independents, between them they’ve been everywhere and they’ve met everyone. I don’t know if they knew it at the time, but they were watching and listening too.
These guys mission statement is to change the wrestling world and not since the mid-nineties has anyone been positioned better to actually be able to pull that off.
Their second show is coming up this Saturday and for the second month in a row I won’t just be staying up to watch it, I won’t just be chatting to a couple of hardcore wrestling fan friends via text while it’s on, I won’t be pirating a stream to watch it later; we’re all getting together at my house and watching it as a group because it is way more fun to do it like that and the shows have that kind of energy about them that make you want to enjoy it with your friends.
Ed is a guy who has never been into wrestling before, but we took him to a couple of RevPro shows when he’s been down before and he got interested, he was down for the first AEW show last month when we all stayed up until five am watching it and he loved it so much he ordered a t-shirt of one the guys.
If you’ve ever been curious about professional wrestling, if you were a fan back in the day or brand new to it; ignore the WWE, go watch AEW. That’s where the fun stuff is happening and it is super accessible as they’re still a brand new company.