Tagged in: NJPW

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.

The Fearville Werewolf

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Friday night I saw a gutsy young wrestler answer an open challenge from Cash Flo. Even though Flo was bigger than him, not to mention far more experienced, Andrew Hunter took to the ring and his opponent with all the fearlessness of a veteran. He lost the match, but he won the crowd, and that is often the greater victory.

Andrew Hunter has dreamed of wrestling since the age of 8. “I never really had the aspirations of being in the Main Event of Wrestlemania. I just wanted to travel the world. I mean growing up and never having a consistent source of cable to watch the main stream product I watched wrestling where I could when I could. So this consisted of a lot of late 80’s and early 90’s Japanese tapes from AJPW and NJPW. I saw a range of the best of Stan Hanson to the best of Great Sasuke and everywhere in between. So I was captivated with the in your face smash mouth style from a young age.”

Not surprisingly, Andrew’s list of favorite wrestlers growing up has a little more diversity than most. Having watched so many overseas promotion, his favorites included Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, Great Sasuke, Great Muta, and Ultimo Dragon along with Randy Savage and Brian Pillman.

Andrew began his training with Jimmy Feltcher at the Coliseum in Evansville, Indiana. “My first match was a handicap match. It was Brett Taylor, Michael Kaiden and myself against Nick Depp and Nick Willis. The match went ok but we all had a lot left to learn as it pertains to the business.”

Andrew draws a great deal of inspiration from his past when it pertains to his in-ring persona. He’s smaller than most of his opponents, but he’s fearless. “[I was] raised in a home of abuse and alcoholism. Being able to come out of that environment as a success makes you a survivor. What makes me unique is that survivor mentality.”

The Fearville Werewolf, as he is sometimes called, has had some great matches in his young career, citing Toby Farley and Aaron Williams as favorite opponents. His ultimate fantasy would be a match with the late Brian Pillman, but in reality, the opponent he desires most is Sami Callihan.

Andrew works mainly in Kentucky and Indiana area, with PWF and UWA being his home promotions. He’s already been a CCW Tri-State Champion and currently holds the AWA Junior Heavyweight Champion. If all goes well, Hunter has his eyes set on ROH, NJPW, PWG, and AAA

“I just basically want to be welled traveled internationally,” he says.

You can keep up with Andrew Hunter (or contact him for bookings) via TwitterInstagramFacebook, and Youtube.