Craig Wilson, Brian Damage & Jamie Lithgow
Perhaps you could argue that we are a bit glass half empty when it comes to the world of wrestling on this blog. We are committed to changing that today with this latest Top Five seeing us list the things we love about wrestling in this day and age.
5. Potential of the WWE tag team division: I’ve beaten the drum for a strong WWE tag team division for as long as this blog has existed and even longer in real life. But I’m starting to be quite optimistic about the WWE tag team division. I love The New Day, it’s great having The Dudley Boyz back, NXT just had a hugely entertaining tag team tournament. Throw in Los Matadores, The Lucha Dragons and The Prime Time Players and you have a not too shabby tag team division.
4. Entertaining Indys: I won’t claim to religiously watch every single piece on indy wrestling that takes place in America but I try my best. PWG is consistently excellent, Evolve turns in great show after great show, Lucha Underground is fantastic and I’m hopeful that CHIKARA can reach the momentum and heights that it was once at. Who knows what will happen with TNA and Global Force Wrestling but there’s still plenty of wrestling out there for us to watch if we don’t want to watch the WWE.
3. WWE NXT: It’s simply booked and benefits from that. It’s without doubt the closest that there is to unmissable WWE TV. There is a great mix of emerging talents and well known names and it makes for a great great product. No lengthy rambling promos or heel authority figures, instead we get solid in-ring work time and time again. Wonderful.
2. WWE Network: I absolutely love the WWE Network and find it absolutely staggering value for money. The archive would be enough to make me pay my £9.99 a month but throw in frequent special events, content created specially for the network and all PPVs then you’ve got a bargain like no other.
1. The New Day: I’d be staggered if this also didn’t feature on everyone else’s list. These guys are absolutely the most entertaining part of WWE programming at the moment. I’ve written about them several times but just can’t stop loving their shtick and long may they continue to do there thing.
5. All the various options: Lucha Underground was renewed for a 2nd season…TNA can still put on a decent show from time to time..Ring of Honor is always solid…New Japan is fantastic etc. TV seems to like pro wrestling to build a network and the fans can reap the rewards of seeing so much talent from around the world.
4. NXT: It shows that Triple H can run a successful show if given the chance. I’d be hard pressed to call it a developmental promotion anymore with the shows doing great business.
3. The Four Horsewomen: The Divas revolution can only get better with Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, Charlotte and Bayley waiting in the wings. Add Paige and Naomi to the mix and that division is pretty damn solid.
2. ESPN and WWE partnership: Imagine that, a legit sports network now covering pro wrestling and not just as late night time filler either.
1. The WWE Network: For $9.99 a month…the price of seeing every single pay per view as well as NXT…documentaries…specials etc..pays for itself. Well worth the investment.
That’s right, I’m singing Mr Cena’s praises. He routinely produces the goods on PPV and quite frankly his matches are usually the ones I anticipate most. Like him or hate him, everybody cares about John Cena and the outcome of his matches. Some people argue that Cena gets carried to having good matches, but that happens an awful lot with a variety of different opponents. The common factor in these good matches is Cena, and I’ve come to accept and very much appreciate that fact.
The booking of Wrestlemania is a separate matter, I’m talking about the spectacle that is ‘The Showcase of The Immortals’. These days it is held in stadiums with a full week of activities, an Axxess event and tons of media hype surrounding the host city. Obviously the Superbowl is a bigger deal, but these days it is no longer outrageous to make comparisons between the two events, and as a wrestling fan I find that awesome.
3. Wrestling Outside of WWE
These days, I’ll be honest and say that I only really follow WWE. However, as a WWE fan it’s great to hear the buzz and excitement when they sign performers who have been making waves elsewhere in the world of wrestling. It’s a testament to the current quality and variety of wrestling that 14 and a half years after WCW went out of business WWE fans can get excited about established performers entering the promotion.
What else can I say, a tenner a month for every PPV ever and the new ones too. This is a small detail, but the lack of commitment to a contract is one of the real gems of the Network. Such great value and we can walk away whenever we want. Well done WWE.
Easily the best weekly show WWE produce in my opinion, it’s miles better than Raw or Smackdown. I think I like it most because it reminds me of WWE 25 years ago, i.e. when I was a nipper. Just an hour of new material per week, performers do not appear on every show and are thus not over exposed, and only every so often do we get a major event. Oh, the matches are usually fantastic too…. something which wasn’t necessarily the case back in the day.
You can read all previous Top Five pieces here.