Tagged in: twitter

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.

The Last Mark Standing Truly Stands Out

Trina never set out to be a podcaster. Or a ring announcer. Or any of the other things she’s become in the last year. She was a childhood fan who simply never outgrew her love for the insanity that is professional wrestling. One night, just for kicks, she began live Tweeting during Raw. Soon she had a following, and before long, she ran into Damian.

Damian is a licensed counselor, an expert on human behavior. He also had aspirations of becoming a broadcaster and had dabbled in podcasting. Like Trina, Damian has a deep love for the sport of pro wrestling, and when the two met online, something clicked.

Trina lives in the Midwest; Damian lives on the East Coast. Modern technology and social media brought them together, and a unique partnership was forged. Now the two are co-hosts for one of the best commentaries on both the WWE and independent wrestling, The Last Mark Standing Podcast.

“The Marky Smark” Trina and Damian “Sawlty G” are more than just commentators. They are self-described promoters of professional wrestling who want to reignite the flame in lapsed fans and encourage casual fans to dig deeper. They don’t just watch the Network and the weekly WWE offerings; they are in the high school gyms and warehouses and roller rinks where independent wrestling happens.

Trina and Damian have a passion for pro wrestling that is infectious. They also bring a unique perspective to the sport, commenting on everything from ring politics to sexism in and out of the ring to proper fan etiquette. They are devoted fans who owe a lot to pro wrestling, and they have dedicated themselves to giving back to the sport that means so much to them.

The best things in professional wrestling often happen organically. The rise of Stone Cold Steve Austin and the birth of Austin 3:16; the “Yes” chants that led to the rise of Daniel Bryan; and the recent emergence of James Ellsworth. The Last Mark Podcast was not in the plans of either Trina or Damian. It evolved organically, beginning with Trina’s live Tweeting, and it continues to rise today.

Visit the Last Mark Standing website to find out how you can subscribe and follow the Last Mark Standing Podcast. This one’s on my weekly must-hear list, along with Kick Out at Two and Gilbert Gottfried. It’s a great listen if you love the sport of pro wrestling.

You can also follow Trina, Damian, and the podcast on Twitter.