Pruett's Quick Blog: Indie Corner - Looking around at ROH, DGUSA, PWG, EVOLVE, and more
By Will Pruett
Sunday, August 5 - 9:00 P.M. (CT)
I do quite a bit of writing about the two major promotions in wrestling, so I wanted to take a moment and give a few thoughts on some of the major indie promotions in the country. Please note the use of the word "indie," which is far more correct than "indy" and always will be. Join the indie revolution.
DGUSA: This company has the most compelling product on the independent scene right now. With a roster packed with future stars and compelling matches being made between them, the only flaw is how infrequently they can run. Alas, since most of the roster is from Japan, we cannot get even a monthly or bi-monthly show. When they do run, it's always an exciting time, but they run far less often than most of us would prefer.
Current DGUSA Open the Freedom Gate Champion (they have the silliest championship names since the Western States Heritage Championship) Johnny Gargano is one of the main attractions of DGUSA. He has grown from a silly Santino-esque comedy act into the best wrestler on the indie scene today. Gargano is a star coming into his own and it is only a matter of time until he ends up with a major role in WWE or TNA. This is true for many DGUSA stars. If you want to see the stars that will highlight WWE and TNA in the next few years, watch DGUSA.
EVOLVE: EVOLVE is the little brother of DGUSA. It was originally created to give the American talent in DGUSA an opportunity to wrestle between the infrequent DGUSA dates. Now, it seems like the Smackdown to DGUSA's Raw. It has its own unique concept, which is charting wins and losses, but that concept has yet to really come into its own.
Why chart wins and losses when most of the promotion has under four matches? What does being the "wins leader" actually mean? These questions have yet to be fleshed out in EVOLVE. On top of that, the wrestlers in the main events are guys like Low Ki and El Generico. These wrestlers have had few matches in EVOLVE, yet still end up in the main events. The wrestling here is decent, but I'm usually content to wait for the next DGUSA show instead of watching EVOLVE.
ROH: Ring of Honor has had a rough year. After initial excitement for the Sinclair Broadcast era, we saw the actual results of that era. A TV production company somehow has produced a show that looks worse than most of the wrestling on TV in 1987. On top of all of that, their iPPVs have rarely worked well and have been even less compelling than they are technically proficient.
Jim Cornette's booking lies at the heart of the issues for ROH (as much as I would love to blame that ugly silver curtain they insist on featuring). He is trying to replicate a 1980's territory instead of trying to advance wrestling the same way ROH did at its inception. They have always been a company that prioritized wrestling over stories, but now they lack compelling characters. The matches can be amazing, but none of it matters if the characters and stories are weak.
I've given up on watching Ring of Honor and it will take quite a bit of change to draw me back in.
PWG: If you're simply looking for dream matches, fun action, and a hot crowd, look no further than PWG. They run a little less than once a month in Los Angeles (technically Reseda, California, but that doesn't matter to most of you) and they seem to have no intention of growing beyond that.
They book talent from all of the major indie promotions and some local Los Angeles area regulars. These shows are always just a ton of fun. They don't tell long drawn out stories, but there usually is some semblance of continuity. If you want to see DGUSA athletes against ROH athletes in high profile matches, this is the only place to do so.
Indie wrestling seems to be on a decline at this moment, with the former leader of the genre now declining rapidly. There are so many talented wrestlers on the indie scene today that it is a shame. Give the indies a chance and I promise you'll see something compelling, especially in DGUSA or PWG.
Let's do some good old fashioned talking about this blog and the Indies! Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or to follow me on twitter at twitter.com/itswilltime.
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