Tagged in: independent wrestling

Six Inconvenient Truths About WWE and Indy Wrestling

I don’t like to editorialize about the WWE, and I don’t like to go negative in this space. That said, after hearing the air get sucked out of the building at the end of the Money in the Bank match, it’s time we face some inconvenient truths.

Inconvenient Truth #1: The WWE doesn’t want to push your favorite indy stars. Over the last several years they WWE has snatched up a dream roster of independent wrestling stars, but it’s becoming clear none of these signees are ever going to be “the guy.” Styles, Owens, and Rollins have done well carrying the top belts for long periods of time, but when push comes to shove, the WWE will always favor their own.

Inconvenient Truth #2: The WWE wants the next top guy(s) to be their guys. Never mind that independent wrestlers bring not only an established fan base but experience and ring saavy to the table. The WWE still believes it can manufacture stars from scratch at its Performance Center and push them over the independents. Get used to seeing Sami Zayn staring up in frustration at the latest home grown wrestler on top of the Money in the Bank ladder. This is your new reality in the WWE.

So why does the WWE continue to mine the independents?

Inconvenient Truth #3: The WWE is spending money on independent wrestlers to bleed the indies dry of their top stars. It’s not about enhancing the roster. It’s about hurting the competition by taking away their marquee stars and using those highly paid signees to put over their chosen elect.

So what does all this mean?

Inconvenient Truth #4: Any independent star who has a WWE contract needs to consider more than just the money. That’s a hard, hard thing to do when you’re looking at going from $25 a night to the top of the business, but is the WWE really going to give you your dream shot? The roster is overcrowded. Guys who were on top all around the world are forced to job to pre-fabbed stars. Dalton Castle, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks have made the right call, staying where they are instead of taking the money for a one way ticket to obscurity. (Remember how excited we all were when Anderson and Gallows got signed?)

Of course it’s easy for the guys who are being paid well to stay put, but what about the guys struggling to make it?

Here comes the most inconvenient truth of all.

Inconvenient Truth #5: Fans who are sick of it need to seriously consider where they spend their money. If you keep paying for a product you hate and refuse to spend a dime on ROH, NJPW, High Spots, CHIKARA, CZW, or any number of alternatives. Am I suggesting you cancel your Network subscription? Not necessarily. I am saying you should stop spending all that fat cash on T-shirts and Pops and Booty-O’s Cereal and spend a little more on a wrestling product you can care about!

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: one ticket to a WWE show costs the same amount as six tickets to an independent show; or two tickets and two T-shirts; or a six month subscription to the alternative wrestling network of your choice. The money you spend there goes into the pockets of real men and women who need and appreciate it far more than a faceless corporation that long ago decided it knows better than you what you want to see.

Inconvenient Truth #6: The WWE is not about to change its ways any time soon. Indy stars will continue to take the WWE money, and Inconvenient Truths 1-3 will continue to play out.

Knowing this to be true, you have a choice. You can continue watching a product you hate and griping about it online, or you can make a choice to spend your time and hard-earned money on a wrestling show you do love.

Life’s too short to spend on these Internet rants. I’m going to find something I enjoy.

Evolution Pro Wrestling Returns

Three years ago when I released Bluegrass Brawlers, Evolution Pro Wrestling was one of the first independent promotions to welcome me and allow me to promote my book at their show. Not only did they set me up with a table, they put me right next to Ricky Morton, who put me and the book over to everyone who came to visit him.

Three years later, it’s my pleasure to share the exciting news. Evolution is back!

Evolution Pro was one of the most exciting shows in town during their day, and if the card for their return show is any indication, it’s going to be just as exciting in 2017. Three stellar matches top the card, including a 3-way battle between young stars Corey Storm, Ace Perry, and Mickie Midas; a women’s battle between Brooke Valentine and the always devious Amazing Maria; and a stellar main event featuring Dale Patricks and long-time Louisville favorite, Jamin Olivencia in a first time ever match up!

Other announced matches include Casey Reeves vs Deonta Davis; Amazing Pooky vs Van Martigan; Matt Atreya vs Jay Matthews; and a three way tag bout pitting Nathen Edwards & Aaron Von Baron vs TJ Flexx & Ram Jam vs Lennox Norris & Omega.

Promoter Christian Skyfire used to say, “You never know who will show up at Evolution,” and he’s vowed that motto will ring true when they return to action at the ArenA in Jeffersonville. For show information, visit the official Facebook page.

One of These Days, Everybody IS Going to Die!

On Tuesday night fans will gather at the ArenA in Jeffersonville, where Terry Harper will present an evening of wrestling under the banner Pizza King of the Ring. If his last show is any indication, this will be packed house, and I have no doubt many fans will be going just to see the intergender battle between Leva “Blue Pants” Bates and Tracy Smothers.

This worries me.

For the last few years, Southern Indiana fans have been treating Tracy Smothers with utter disrespect. They’ve chanted, “Tracy sucks!” They’ve cheered for Tracy’s opponents instead of the Smoky Mountain legend. Tracy has been patient with fans because he has yet to make good on his standard threat, a threat that goes like this:

“If I hear ‘Tracy sucks!’ one more time, everybody dies!”

But a man can only take so much, and I fear that one of these days, everybody is going to die.

Will Tuesday be the night? Will “Go, Blue Pants, go!” be the cheer that forces Tracy to make good on slaughtering an arena full of wrestling fans who have disrespected the man who flies the stars and bars for the last time?

We can only pray that Tracy’s patience will hold out long enough for fans to realize they are disrespecting a legend.

Jake Something on the Kick Out at Two Podcast

The Kick Out at Two Podcast is unashamed of their love for the world of flips and kicks. They know that there’s great wrestling to be found beyond the E, just as the folks who keep raiding indy wrestling on behalf of the E do. Week after week, they are committed to introducing new fans to the men and women of independent wrestling in the hopes more people will check out the good stuff happening every week/month right where they are.

This week the Kick Out at Two gang welcomes Jake Something to the show. Jake was another lucky find, a name and face they didn’t know until they see him life at Glory Pro in Alton, Illinois. “After we saw [Jake] we knew we had to talk to him!” Get to know the man who caught their eye on the podcast this weekend, available in iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud!

Teddy Fine on Kick Out at Two

This week, the Kick Out at Two Podcasts presents an interview with Teddy Fine, taped during his recent trip to Freedom Pro in Nashville. “Primetime” Teddy Fine is a 34 year old veteran of the independent scene from Philadelphia who has worked for numerous promotions in the Eastern United States including CZW, IWA Mid-South, JCW, and multiple branches of the NWA. He’s also held singles and tag titles for PWU, WXW, and BWO.

Download the Kick Out at Two Podcast every weekend on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher, and give them a follow on Twitter @KOATpodcast.

Tell Me Again Why Women’s Wrestling Is No Good?

Women’s wrestling matches in the WWE were once called popcorn matches. It’s the match you got up and left to get popcorn and a drink or use the bathroom so you wouldn’t miss the next match. In all fairness, women’s wrestling in the WWE was, for a long time, not that great. It was exhibition, not wrestling, and thankfully, that era is over.

That said, the WWE is far behind the rest of the wrestling world when it comes to women’s wrestling. Women are in the main event more often than men. Women wrestle toe to toe with the men in many places. And some women, like Mickie Knuckles and Randi West, are consistently stealing the whole show wherever they go.

The clips below are from a PWF show two weeks ago. The ladies are currently “suspended” from the promotion due to what happens in the video below. Apparently, they picked the wrong car to mess with. It takes me back to one of the first indie shows I ever attended, when I saw Heidi Lovelace (Ruby Riot) and Jordynne Grace destroy each other in the parking lot during a “Falls Count Anywhere in Clark County” match at IWA Mid-South.

The clip does contain some language. Give it a look, and tell me you’d get up and go to the bathroom when these two ladies take the ring. I dare you.

Flips and Dives

Randy Orton is a 13 time world champion. He is one of the must under-appreciated workers of his time. He is also the owner of one of the best and most loved finishing maneuvers in wrestling history. Period.

Randy Orton is employed by the world’s largest wrestling promotion. They have millions of fans the world over, and yes, they put more butts in the seats than the guys in my area who work a 100 seat arena.

That doesn’t make one better than the other. They are different.

I used to be a WWE only fan. Then I discovered independent wrestling. I haven’t traded one for the other, but I get a completely different experience at an indy show with 100 people than I do at a WWE show.

Independent wrestling is more interactive. The wrestlers can hear you and will always respond. They are not curtailed by the needs of a TV schedule or protocol set in the back.

At most shows, the independent wrestlers have a lot more freedom to move out and into the crowd as well. You don’t doze off staring at a jumbotron on the other side of the arena; if you’re not paying attention, you could end up collateral damage.

Independent wrestling also gives you more bang for your buck. I’ve said it many times, you can walk out of an indy show with a ticket and two T-shirts for less than the price of a cheap seat at a WWE show. Yes, independent wrestling can be a mixed bag, but with a little research you can find out who’s hot, who’s not, and who is can’t miss.

And contrary to popular belief, you will even find some workers who know how to slow down, work a body part, and tell a story.

The WWE gives fans an experience no independent can reproduce. It is a spectacle on a scale the old territories never dreamed of presenting. The independents offer an experience the WWE can’t and won’t give their fans. It is a throwback to what made wrestling great in the first place.

With all due respect to those who have never experienced the indies, there’s something for everyone in pro wrestling, and for those who have discovered the joy of flips and dives in a 150 seat Armory, there’s nothing in the world that compares. Not even the WWE.

It’s not better; it’s different. And that’s okay.

Tank Returns to Kick Out at Two!

Did you hear the story about Billy Corgan buying the NWA? Things are happening outside the WWE, and more and more wrestling fans are discovering for themselves how deep today’s wrestling business is with talent.

The Kick Out at Two Podcast is must listening for anyone who wants to catch up on the independent wrestling scene. This week the gang discusses their recent visits to Pro Wrestling South and the Carnage Cup. Then Righteous Jesse welcomes back one of their favorite guys, Tank, to discuss his match with Jeff Cannonball and more.

Download the Kick Out at Two podcast every weekend on iTunes, Stitcher, and Soundcloud!

Wrestling for Warriors

One of the things I love most about independent wrestling is the huge heart the fans, wrestlers, and promoters have for helping others. Wrestling is a great vehicle for drawing attention to a cause and raising money to do some good. That’s the focus of a group I got to know at Heroes and Legends in Fort Wayne.

Wrestling for Warriors is a promotion that runs shows specifically to draw attention to a cause and do some good. The net profits from each show are donated to a chosen cause, such as Pediatric Cancer, Cerebral Palsy, Muscular Dystrophy, and Neurofibromatosis. Wrestling for Warriors also uses some of those profits to benefit patients in need directly by buying medical equipment patients otherwise could not afford.

Wrestling for Warriors strives to put on a quality wrestling show with name talents, including Kevin Thorn, ODB, Tommy Dreamer, and the former Santino Marella, Anthony Carelli. Fans can pay to get autographs and photos with their favorite stars just like other shows, but Wrestling for Warriors also has a program that allows people to nominate children with a debilitating illnesses to meet their favorite stars at no cost to them.

Wrestling for Warriors will be in action on May 20 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. For event and ticket information, as well as information about the promotion itself, please visit the Wrestling for Warriors website or follow them on Facebook.

Congratulations PWF!

A year ago, a new promotion opened up in Jeffersonville looking to make a statement. The men behind PWF wanted to fill a gap in the local scene. They wanted to be the place local fans could see not only the Midwest’s best talent, but stars from other regions of the country. This Friday, PWF celebrates their one year anniversary with a show aptly named, Statement Made!

Friday’s show features the kind of mix fans have come to expect from the new promotion. Former tag partners and Louisville based stars Myron Reed and Mickey Muscles go head to head. Four members of the Fear Family settle a family feud in a tag match. Gary Jay faces the Bullet Club’s Chase Owens. Aaron Williams battles Tyler Matrix and Dustin Rayz for the new Tri-State Championship Belt. Atlanta stars Murder One, Chip Day, and Adrian Armour go to war against local heroes Cash Flo, Hy Zaya, and Shane Mercer. The Boys from Jollyville face off with new fan favorite Pat Monix and partner Storm Grayson. And two ladies who stole the spotlight from the boys in Fort Wayne Sunday go head to head when Mickie Knuckles faces Randi West in a no DQ/ falls count anywhere battle.

The action starts Friday night at 8 PM at the home for PWF, The Arena in Jeffersonville, Indiana. Visit the event page on Facebook for details and tickets.

Congrats to all the wrestlers, promoters, refs, and fans who made this first year for PWF a success!

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