Gleed’s Blog: Eight reasons to be a cheerful professional wrestling fan
By Haydn Gleed
Last week John Cena won the WWE Championship at the Money in the Bank PPV and my lord you would think the world was on the verge of ending. Dot Net Member Rabbitt had a public meltdown in the forum telling everyone that he would be cancelling the network at the first opportunity he had. I suspect he wasn't the only one who went crazy at the thought of seeing Cena holding the shiny belts week after week.
I am not trying to stereotype, but online fans typically view the product with an intensely critical view, and that can cause a wave of negativity when an unpopular decision is made, the likes of which we saw last week. That's not necessarily a bad thing; it shows how passionate you are for the business and the genre you love. But I'm a big believer in staying as positive as you can, and be patient and see how things play out. Look at how good the last week of television has been.
So to get you through the Cena blues, I've written eight reasons why you should be cheerful as a wrestling fan, despite the "evil" former master of thuganomics being on top of the tree again.
8. Every company is putting their best foot forward at the moment. Despite a disappointing by all accounts Impact last week, TNA has built up a bit of momentum the last couple of weeks. ROH recently made their live cable pay-per-view debut, and are putting out some decent shows. Hell, even the indy scene has some decent shows out there with big name talent. Therefore, if you are so turned off by the WWE, you do have an alternative.
7. SummerSlam is just around the corner and the WWE tends to ramp up their product for the summer extravaganza. Also, with the WWE Network's initial six-month subscription deadline approaching, we are virtually guaranteed the best effort by WWE through October and November, traditionally a time when the company seems to take their foot off the gas.
6. WWE Network. If you are that fed up of the current product, you can go back to 1996/97 when you had three companies producing top notch pay-per-views. Hopefully by the time you've finished going through the Attitude Era's events you may have calmed down about the Cena win. On the other hand, you could end up going to house shows, saucepan in hand, demanding someone goes through a table and shouting "puppies" whenever a Diva comes out.
5. It's not 1993 and the beginning of the Monday Night Raw era. You are also not the poor fool who volunteered to sit through and review every single Raw of that era, and as a consequence have been scarred for life by watching a Crush vs Baston Booger match. In all seriousness, though, look how far the product has come from the early days of Monday Night Raw. Compare the production, the talent, the storylines...hell every element of the product and it's like night and day. Could the product be better? A lot of the time yes, but it could and has been a lot worse.
4. Okay, some characters may be stale or don't appear to be going anywhere. I would put Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Curtis Axel, Ryback, Fandago, and a few others into that category. Let's compare to ten years ago. I'm guessing every single person reading this would take the six wrestlers I mentioned over Rico Constantino, John Heidenreich, René Duprée, Ernest Miller, Mordecai, Kenzo Suzuki, Luther Reigns.....I could go on and on but you get the point.
3. NXT and The WWE Performance Center. Although the current class of callups from NXT have not set the world alight, NXT and the Performance Center have proven to be a success. The former Shield members, The Wyatt Family, Cesaro, etc. are all top level performers and they came through the system. Look at NXT now and you have the likes of Sami Zayn, Adrian Neville, and Tyler Breeze who are going to be great additions to the main roster, especially in the case of Zayn. With the potential signing to development deals of some exciting indy talent, we are guaranteed to have good to great workers flowing through to the main roster for a long time to come.
2. There have been a lot of distractions in the last 12 months for upper management. Between WWE Network, talent issues, stock prices moving like a rollercoaster, and new television deals, the focus of the people at the top has been elsewhere. Now that it seems there is no major behind the scenes turmoil, the focus is back on the product and I would argue that has been the major boost that the brand needed. Yes, we still get the comedy segments, but we also get logical straight forward storylines. Seth Rollins wronged Dean Ambrose, so Ambrose is going to make his life hell, yet Rollins always seems to slime away. It makes you want to see Ambrose beat the hell out of Rollins. It's simple but effective storytelling that has been absent for the last year.
1. The Young Talent. As a wrestling fan, how can you not look at Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Jimmy Uso, and Jey Uso and not be excited about the future of the company? These are the guys that are in the twenties.. If we look at the wrestlers who are in their early thirties and probably have a good ten years left in them (depending on injuries of course), you have Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Sheamus, Wade Barrett, Eric Rowan, Jack Swagger, Luke Harper, and Randy Orton. You also have the older guard of John Cena, Big Show, Triple H, Kane and part timers Brock Lesnar, and Chris Jericho padding out the roster and passing on their experience. I would argue, put any combination of the names I just mentioned together with a decent storyline, and you will have top quality matches.
So there you have it, my top eight reasons why you should be excited to be a wrestling fan in 2014. These were literally straight off the top of my head, so I'm sure I could think of more. So instead of worrying about Cena, who I would predict it going to be a short term champion anyways, I suggest you look at all the positives that are going on right now.
Think I've missed a reason to be cheerful? Or do you simply think I've gone cuckoo and that wrestling is in a worse state then it's ever been? It's all good. If you want to discuss it or shout at me you know the drill. Hit me up on twitter @haydngleed or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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