Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Sometimes Less Is More By Jose Haze
(Above: Picture credit http://barbershopwwindow.com where you can buy T-Shirts with this and many more designs)
September has been a magical month for Independent wrestling. Southern California's Pro Wrestling Guerilla kicked things off on September 1st and 2nd with their annual two night spectacle "The Battle of Los Angeles". With an all - star roster of indy performers combined with fresh and innovative booking concepts, this event was the talk of the Indy wrestling scene and did not disappoint.
This past weekend Dragon Gate USA/Evolve and CZW partnered up to present a monstrous doubleheader iPPV that brought together a potpourri of wrestling styles and also generated buzz throughout the Indy circuit.
Not to be outdone Chikara will be invading Easton, Pa.this weekend for their annual "King of Trios" show, which in my opinion last year had to be one of the best shows of the year.
Regardless of where you live, and which promotion you are a fan of, this might be the greatest time ever to be an independent wrestling fan.
Meanwhile all of this is going on,"the big two" WWE and TNA continue to churn out tired, boring and some times frustratingly bad wrestling shows. The same guys wrestling, running the same angles in the same places. BORING!!
This means there is a legion of wrestling fans out there that are only aware of the big two, and worse, believe the misconception that Indy wrestling is inferior.
With that in mind, I took it upon myself to try and exorcise these people of this mentality by composing a list of my top five reasons why independent wrestling is better than "The big two".
1. Economics: When you go to a WWE show, before you even leave the house you probably have already spent a few hundred dollars. Figure in food, drinks, t-shirts and dvd's there your probably spending upwards of $400 or $500. Obviously it could get much more expensive for a PPV show and the axxess experience attached.
When I attended Pro Wrestling Guerilla's "Battle of Los Angeles", a two night event mind you, I spent a grand total of $100!! for the whole weekend!! This included tickets for each night, a couple of beers each night and the "Threemendous 3" DVD( Which by the way was also an amazing PWG production, so check it out!!).
2. Interaction: Unless you decide to shell out an extra $40-$100 for the WWE Axxess meet and greet, you might get lucky to see your favorite "superstar" or get a hand slap as they walk up the aisle.
At an Indy show not only will your favorite wrestler shake your hand, answer a few questions and take a picture with you!(Sometimes for a small fee, $5 seems to be the magic number lately) he also will sell you a t shirt or DVD personally!! How cool is that?
3. Booking: In the two big wrestling companies you constantly hear stories of superstars being difficult, not wanting to put over younger talent and not wanting to give up clean wins. In the better Indy promotions, literally you could see anyone beating anyone else. If it is best for the show, it will happen. The better Indy companies are constantly developing new stars, by having established Indy stars come in and put over the younger wrestler. A prime example of this was the PWG "Battle of Los Angeles" show. Young rising Indy star Adam Cole put together a string of upsets over well established stars El Generico, Eddie Edwards, Sami Callahan and Michael Elgin. He capped the night off by cutting a promo on the Indy wrestling world and followed that by interrupting Indy Goliath Kevin Steen's promo and kicked him in the gut, leaving Steen rithing in pain mid ring, as he danced off with the PWG belt, which he did not win!!! If I would have told you all this would have happened before the show, you would have said I must have just smoked crack for 24 hour!
4. You make your own stars: I know what your thinking "wait a minute, doesn't this belong in booking?" well yes it does but I'm not finished!!! In the WWE they like to come up with a corny gimmick for their wrestlers, change their name to something they can own forever, ram them down the throat of their fans, and the try and brain wash them into liking them with commentary and squash matches on tv and at house shows.
In the better Indy promotions the fans and the money still dictate who the stars are. If a promotion brings someone in and he performs superbly and grabs the imagination of the fans, you can count on seeing that wrestler again, and you will see that wrestler begin to take a more prominent role in the card as the months go by.
5. The payoff: As I mentioned the big two produce ppv's pretty much once a month. You add in house shows and TV, more often than not you will be left with the feeling that maybe you didn't your money's worth. If you attend a PWG, Dragon Gate, Evolve and at times still Ring of Honor(not the television) show or purchase a DVD, in my experience 9 out of 10 times you will leave thoroughly entertained. You will have constant action throughout the card. You will have fan interaction with the wrestlers at times. Most importantly you will leave with a blowoff finish to a story, or the creation or extension of a story, where you will not want to wait for the next show to happen!! I cannot tell you how many times I have left an indy show feeling as giddy as a child and truly pleased. On the other hand the last time I went to an WWe show years ago, I was not feeling giddy!! (More like i felt like my money had been stolen!!)
Now mind you, not every Indy promotion puts on a great show and the talent isn't always world class, but for the price you are paying, you can take a few shots and give the different Indy companies an opportunity to entertain you. Also, with
the advent of the internet, where you have access to DVD's and ippv's, the really great Indies are always at your disposal.
So the next time you turn on the television and see one of the big two's TV programs and their plethora of overgrown gimmick driven characters, just know there is a fun and entertaining alternative, you just have to look for it.