It’s Thanksgiving season in the United States and as wrestling fans, we have a lot to be thankful for at the moment. In the spirit of the holiday, I’m going to be looking at some of the major things that we have to look forward to or be happy with at the moment, including some stuff we might be taking for granted.
First and foremost, there’s the WWE Network. The Network has been around for about ten months now and I think a lot of people have already started taking it for granted. Now, I’m twenty six years old so when I was a kid, the only way to watch a lot of wrestling shows was to either tape them or find a copy at Blockbuster. I specifically remember trying to find “Survivor Series 1988” for years but the store didn’t have the tape (so of course they kept the box on the shelf to give me false hope).
At the same time, my family allowed me to get six pay per views a year. That was fine in 1993 and 1994, but once 1996 hit, things became very complicated very fast. Back then, a WWF or WCW pay per view cost $30.00, meaning I was allowed to spend $180 a year on pay per views. Flash forward nearly twenty years. Do you know how many shows I can get for two thirds of that cost? Four hundred and forty two pay per views as of this writing. To break that down, at approximately three hours a show, you could watch pay per views for over fifty five days, twenty four hours a day, without running out of material.
Ignoring all the other stuff you get on the Network and the new material added almost every day, the very idea of having all those shows is mind blowing. Imagine having this at your fingertips when you were say, eight years old. I don’t know about you, but I would have forgotten that the sky is blue with this in my house. I remember getting a catalog in the mail when I was about eight years old, offering WWF tapes for $25.00 each. Now I can have them all for less than half of that.
In short, the WWE Network is the greatest thing to ever happen to hardcore fans. For years we’ve had to rely on YouTube or Dailymotion or tape trading to find some of the older pay per views and now they’re offered legally for a cheap price. I’ve seen people complain about how the Network isn’t updated enough or some syndicated show from 1987 isn’t on there and my advice to them is simple: go find a new hobby, because you’re never going to be happy with what WWE is offering you.
For those of you that actually have reasonable expectations, the future of WWE hasn’t looked this bright in a very long time. Between guys like the members of the Shield rising up, Dolph Ziggler getting a renewed push, the former Wyatt Family getting individual pushes and part timers like Brock Lesnar and Sting being around, there are some interesting times coming up. You couple that with the potential of the NXT roster, including Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens (Steen), Hideo Itami (Kenta), Finn Balor (Prince Devitt), Adrian Neville, the Ascension and maybe someone like Baron Corbin and you have an incredibly good looking future.
Let’s go outside the WWE family for a bit and look at another reason to be thankful: the rise of new TV shows. Lucha Underground debuted a little over a month ago and has been well received. TNA is getting a new home and allegedly a revamping. New Japan is going to have at least a limited TV series here in America. On top of those you still have Ring of Honor out there doing it’s thing and some fun independent promotions like Shimmer, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Chikara.
The point is there’s a big world of wrestling out there for fans who are bored with the WWE style. Yeah TNA is still around and while it may be the same stuff on a different and much smaller network, the fact that it’s still on is a good thing. Whenever there’s more wrestling with the potential to be entertaining, it’s a good day for wrestling fans.
I could keep going on for a long time but you get the point by now. There are so many good things going on in the world of wrestling that it’s easy to overlook how bad “Monday Night Raw” can be anymore. If you get bored with it, throw an old show on the Network and have a good few hours with that instead. Or try some NXT. Or maybe Lucha Underground. As fans, it seems that we get so wrapped up in what WWE is doing that we forget how great we have it in today’s wrestling world. Just go and enjoy wrestling and be thankful for all the things you have, both in the ring and out of them.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank all of the fans, both of this site and my own for supporting both myself and the entire staff here. Because of you all coming here every day and checking out my take on things and picking up my books, I’m able to do this for a living. The fact that I get by on just watching and talking about wrestling is as bizarre of an idea as I could ever imagine and the only thing I want to do. Thank you all for your support and I’ll be around as long as you guys want me to be.
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