So I’ve been sitting around trying to come up with something to talk about this week. It’s a few days after WrestleMania Backlash and the show was quite good, including a title change that was probably long overdue. Then we have had Monday Night Raw, NXT, Dynamite and some news here and there. After all that, I have come to a conclusion: nothing is worth a full column this week.
Therefore, it is time to break the glass and go into the slightly off inner workings of my head, as I’m going to do a stream of consciousness deal this time. That means starting with any given topic in wrestling and talking about it until I move on, with a grand total of nothing connecting these things whatsoever. Don’t bother trying to find some theme or anything close to it, as these are going to be things that just come to my mind one after another.
I really miss Coliseum Video. There were some terrible entries in its series, but the idea of getting a new WWF tape every so often (normally once a month or so) was AMAZING, as you didn’t have the option to see a lot of these things on a regular basis. The major pay per views were one thing, but then you were getting collections focusing on certain wrestlers or Best Of The WWF or SUPERTAPE (as Sean Mooney looks around at the rafters again because of that voice) or whatever else the WWF was releasing that month.
This is the kind of thing I could have gone for on the Network back in the day (or even today for that matter). Every month or so, throw up some collection of matches, including some rarities (or even exclusives from house shows/dark matches) and have fun with it. About ten years ago, WWE released some DVDs on wrestlers who weren’t going to get much attention otherwise (Zack Ryder had one) so do something like that, but on a digital platform instead. It would be better than “Best Of The Intercontinental Title, Now Featuring About Ten Ladder Matches BECAUSE WE MUST HAVE LADDER MATCHES!”
Speaking of which, I miss the days of the massive drops of classic content on the Network (or being able to call it the Network in general). There was something special about seeing the place turn into a huge depository of wrestling history but that has slowed to a crawl. While I get that there isn’t a huge audience for it, there is quite the difference between getting years of content at a time and 8-12 weeks of Superstars a month.
There was a very special feeling to seeing what the Network was adding that day, but things have slowed down so much that it is hard to get excited anymore. WWE has so much footage and content available that they will never be able to put all of it up, but it would be nice to see them pick up the pace again, at least by a bit. I know the audience isn’t there and it doesn’t make business sense, but what kind of a fan would I be if I asked for common sense instead of what I want?
Speaking of watching a lot of wrestling, I continue to be impressed by Independentwrestling.tv. There is so much content and they add in so much stuff on such a regular basis (with multiple events streaming live every week) that it is a heck of a bargain. That being said, you do need to know what you’re getting, as there is a lot of independent level content (hence the name) and it feels like it at times. That being said, for $10 a month, it is kind of hard to beat that for value.
Speaking of value, there is something interesting about the idea of wrestlers intentionally pricing themselves out of getting to work the independent scene. You have people like Cesaro and Bray Wyatt seemingly putting their price so high that promotions can’t realistically bring them in. It isn’t something you see very often, but it is something that makes sense.
It is something that is actually nice to see, as people like Wyatt and Cesaro are big enough stars that they can pick their spots and be treated like stars. Wyatt is a former WWE World Champion who can pick his spots and Cesaro has been one of the biggest names not in WWE at the moment. The fans had been pushing for Cesaro to be a big star for a long time and it makes sense to have him pick and choose his spots. You can see wrestlers pop up in all kinds of spots but that doesn’t always make for the best look.
This is a case of less is more. Having someone on one show after another isn’t exactly interesting in a lot of places, especially when they are already established names. Most fans are already going to know who Cesaro is as he has been around for a very long time. Why have him go out there and wrestle on some smaller show that doesn’t fit his star power? Maybe he winds up in AEW or Impact Wrestling or something like that, but for now, it is cool to see him waiting around and picking his spots.
Speaking of spots, as you might have noticed before, I’m really not a fan of a match being one big spot after another. That was the case this week on Dynamite when Jeff Hardy and Darby Allin had what was called a wrestling match but consisted of a bunch of dives, weapons and Hardy countering Allin’s finisher into a rollup for the pin. You know, because Hardy won the match over Allin despite barely being able to move around the ring these days.
This is the best example I can remember of having a match for the sake of having spots. They didn’t bother trying to do anything else and it felt like such a waste. Sure that is what they were always going to do, but it felt like they just rolled their eyes at the idea of having a match and went straight to the other stuff. I’m sure there are fans who want to see just that, but I could go for a little more build to it than that.
At the same time, the match was such a stunt show that it was hard to watch. Ignoring the completely insane Allin dive that could have gone very wrong, you had Hardy missing a Swanton onto the steps and various other dives that could have resulted in one injury after another. It would have been nice to see something other than a huge stunt show, but AEW seems to need to have one kind of insane match like this on a fairly regular basis and they only had a match with ladders involved two weeks ago. That must be long enough so here we are again.
Speaking of complete insanity, you have WWE continuing to push the heck out of Natalya as some kind of a living legend. I get what she has done and she is absolutely good for a match with just about anyone but I’m still not sure what kind of interest we’re supposed to see in her. Natalya debuted in WWE fourteen years ago and I’m still waiting on maybe her second interesting story to break through. Not much to say here, but that tends to be the case with Natalya.
Wrestling is an interesting place and there are kinds of things going on. That being said, there are times when there isn’t exactly a big story going on, which was the case this week. You can only talk about Roman Reigns so many times, so it was kind of nice to change for a bit, especially without as many rules. Now go watch SUPERTAPE, because it’s awesome.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 60,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 6,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his- Amazon author page with 30 wrestling books.
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