A typical Monday night for the typical wrestling fan sees them in their chairs. A typical Monday night has the typical fan tuned into Raw. A typical Monday night has the typical fan thinking of the glitz, the glamour, the prestige, the professionalism, and more that WWE puts on live each week. Well a couple of days ago, it was most likely a typical Monday night, but I wasn't a typical fan. As I thought about those things mentioned above, a familiar thought that I never gave much attention to before entered my mind. What occurs after each Raw? Millions of reports about why this happened and why this didn't. Hundreds of columns by columnists just itching to give their common views in a desperate chance to be innovative. Yes, this all occurs after Raw, and all of it is about WWE. Getting my drift yet? If you take a look at any news post or any column, you will find the most common topic in the wrestling world today: WWE. But should this be? Why is it that about 99% of the wrestling news being published and viewed out there barely covers even 1% of the wrestling world of 2004? Did anyone ever stop to think, "I wonder what is going on in other promotions," or did anyone simply think that WWE and TNA were it?
Face it. There are thousands of promotions out there, most of which we have never heard of. We spend our time obsessing over a sport we love, yet we only obsess over about 1% of this. Ironic to some, yet idiotic to others. So what is the whole purpose of my long winded introduction? Well, in today's IWC, I don't even think that some fans are aware of even one promotion besides TNA and WWE. For the select few that know of the world of the "Indy scene" (independent wrestling), there is still a lack of overall knowledge. Most of you have only heard of ROH, IWA, and a select others. That brings the total to about ten. Ten out of thousands. That is better, but not much. To be a wrestling fan without such knowledge is like having a Catholic priest only knowing Genesis and nothing else. I understand that there is the problem of availability and regional issues that hinder some people's wrestling library, and I know that I am in this group as well, but it is still no excuse. Maybe I am cynical to you, but to me, I am realistic. The fans of today need to learn that there is other stuff going on than in WWE. In Japan, we have the classic promotions of Zero One and NJPW that are putting on classics probably as you read this. In Mexico, AAA is grooming the next generation of Rey Mysterio's and Eddie Guerrero's. In the UK, battered legends are regaining their former stature. In Canada, we have the dealings of a big mouth who has a new promotion every week. And even in America, we have things going on like this. Things you have probably never even thought possible.
Well, I am here to solve it. Today I sit before you typing away at my laptop at a chance of fame and personal achievement getting ready to bestow on you the column that you need right now. The topic may bore you, the details may confuse you, and the stars may be unknown to you, but by God, you need it. Though I am not the most qualified to teach you, we are here, and I am going to teach you about the happenings in my neck of the woods. If you want to teach me of yours, go ahead. My e-mail is at the bottom. But otherwise, ladies and gentleman sit down as I take you through an Indy lesson.
NOTE: For the sake of professionalism and my career to some extent, all these promotions, promoters, stars, and other key things will remain nameless.
Spot fest. Unprofessional. Immature. Disrespectful. All of these are said of Promotion A by the wrestling community in its region. Are these allegations true? In some way, shape, or form. But to really answer the question, you have to know the story. The animosity between this promotion and virtually every other promotion does not occur because of business practices or personal matters, however. Rather, it exists because of the biggest feud of the past decade: backyard wrestlers vs. professional wrestlers. Yes, the majority of Promotion A's wrestlers were former backyarders until the State shut them down. Yes, I said the State. Anyway, this did not defer them, nor will anything else said in this paragraph. Promotion A came back and with the help of a new promoter/benefactor, they prospered for about two shows. Then, after creative differences, all ten wrestlers of Promotion A quit (or technically they fired him since they own the promotion), yet due to his ego, the benefactor stated he fired all of them. Did they care? No, not really. Promotion A is not of the wrestling community, yet rather the estranged cousin you never talk about at family reunions. They know the wrestling community hates them, and they hate them too. Granted, they love a lot of the wrestlers in the wrestling community, yet they overall hate this community that fabricates and manipulates everything they love and put their lives on the line for. But why would people describe them in those four words above? Let's see. Though they do not care what the wrestling community thinks, they must have wished to retaliate to the nonstop bad rep given to them by Promotion B. What did they do? Simple. They spammed the forums of Promotion B. Yes, that is immature and unprofessional, but is it really disrespectful? Not in consideration to what Promotion B did to them. But what about that first phrase used to describe Promotion A? Spot fest? Some of you might be rolling your eyes right about now and turning your wrestling passion away from this promotion, but you would be missing out. What distinguishes Promotion A from the other two I will talk about soon is not its money, loyalty, or business, but its product and devotion. These guys go out there and do what few people do nowadays: they literally lay it all on the line. I don't mean like in a ladder match or an Ultimate X match; I mean in any match. If it is a regular match, nothing is held back. Yes, they can be spot fests at times, but other times, I see psychology that rivals the great legends of past. Even more, why do they do spot fests? Maybe because the underlying reason they exist and have gone through all their trials and tribulations is because of their devotion to entertaining the fans. When I first met up with this promotion, they performed after a storm stopped which had been raining for about two hours. Sure, it wasn't raining anymore, but you can't clean up two hours of rain in five minutes before a show, and they didn't care. They went out there and slipped and almost killed themselves, but they entertained the fans. That's what counts. My last venture with them saw them actually wrestling IN rain. Yes, in rain. I am telling you, there is no limit to what these guys will do for their fans. They deliver suplexes, STFs, DVDs, and other power moves all away from the luxury of a mat, and on the concrete where hundreds of people just walked. Yes, they can be classified as a spot fest promotion, if you want to brandish one of the most devoted promotions in the world. A final thought that will put things in perspective. Despite the constant bad mouthing in the wrestling community and the bad reputation, Promotion A managed to outsell Promotion B 280 to 60 in the same venue, except Promotion A did it in rain. Clicking yet?
Promotion B is a stand point of the tradition the wrestling community prides itself in. Though this often hinders them, they build all of their shows, storylines, and promotion itself on that comment above. Promotion B is a troubled tale of broke promoters and ignorant benefactors. Promotion B was near bankrupt, but decided to merge with another local promotion in hopes of using their training school and borrowing their money. One thing that did not occur to them was that if this promotion was running its training in a shack that is smaller than the bedroom I am typing this in; they probably don't have the extra cash you are looking for. Well, it didn't take long for them to realize this. In fact, about the same time they figured this out, Promotion A's benefactor left with a wad full of cash and a head full of crap. Unbeknownst about his head, Promotion B went right ahead and contacted the benefactor and was surely in the money. However, all the money in the world will not make your show good. Now, the problem with Promotion B does not lie in the talent, but rather in the booking and office side. In this promotion, you can find the improved version of a legend who we all used to boo, a cruiserweight who looks to be the next Eddie Guerrero, a faction that gets more heat than Evolution simply by walking out, and a wrestler so willful that he fought through cancer. Yes, the talent in Promotion B is top notch, and any other promoter could make millions off of its talent. But what is the problem? Well, let's take a look at some facts. Promotion C's heavyweight champion is one of the most popular and talented wrestlers in the region, yet is Promotion B's jobber for the people in line for a shot at the Junior Heavyweight Title. Getting it yet? Promotion B's benefactor wants to do a mix of rock music and pro wrestling yet often advertises the music too much so that people use the matches as bathroom breaks. Promotion B's benefactor once changed a "No Contest" decision to a DQ in favor of the champions simply because he did not want to see a "title change" that night (no one bothered to correct him either). Promotion B's benefactor once ordered a gimmicked wrestler to go out in his full fledged fur coat in 100+ degree weather after a talent meeting just informed not to do anything to overheat themselves, as they care about their well being. Promotion B once paid for one wrestler (who while improved was not someone the fans wanted to see) when he could have gotten three popular Indy stars at the same price. Because of all his expenses and little profit, the benefactor actually became six thousand dollars in the hole after the last show. The promoter of Promotion A now does not want to intercede with the benefactor and his wishes, for he does not wish to lose the money, even though the money won't be there for long. Now in all fairness, Promotion B has done things right as well. They took a near defunct title recognized nationally, and capitalized on it. They used this to even launch a women's division like never before. Not only did they have an innovative one and one in the main event over their Heavyweight belt, they had good women wrestlers as well! However, due to factors already explained, their front runner in that division left, and their others may be close to leaving. Now see, Promotion B may not have the reputation that it gave Promotion A, but honestly, their rep is going down the toilet faster than Promotion B. All of the talent is booked wrong, make that horribly wrong, and none of the storylines scream consistency. The benefactor wanted a "Summer Rumble Series" where they would do at least two shows a month, yet he switches characters from heel to face to match whatever stipulation he wants. And he and the promoter wonder why their last show drew their lowest ever. Funny, huh? The final thought for this promotion is to concentrate on the bookers and not the wrestlers. The wrestlers are having five star matches in other promotions like Promotion C, but because of the horrible booking and promoting, this promotion has turned its honor and tradition into crap in a nice wrapper.
Well, this is the promotion that is making the news in the region, and quite frankly, this is going to be the one that will surpass the others. Promotion A will eventually die out by the crazy stuff they do. Promotion B is going to run out of money after the next show probably. And Promotion C? Promotion C is getting loyal wrestlers, creative bookers, innovative ideas, and other things. But let's look at the bad first. Promotion C has been in a dry spell for a long time now and has just recently started to pick itself up. But, they are doing things the right way now. They changed their name to something more national sounding so as not be confused as a simply regional promotion, and have even started to branch out by getting a DVD nationally distributed and advertising in the right spots. Their booking is going over the top right now. The promoter is a solid, loyal man. When you hear of promoters who stiff people a couple hundred, like the benefactor in Promotion B, or people who promise and deliver jack shit, like in Promotion A, this is not that promoter. This promoter works at least 3 jobs at once, including pizza delivery boy, to fund this operation. Yes, he funds it himself. He uses the key phrase, "Spend money to make money to spend money to make money," and by God, it's accurate. While other wrestlers are leaving promotions because of the idiot promoter, people are actually leaving other promotions to work more for Promotion C. Now, let's forget about the executive side, what about the product? Well, the promoter is smart. He knows that even if he doesn't like something, he is still going to try it to see if the fans do. In this region, cage matches are not considered old school, which sums up the promoter's preference, yet they are trying one. Even more, they are doing so on their biggest card yet. They are legitimately giving the fans what they want. The fans want to see more of misused talent in Promotion B, so the promoter took them and basically made them his champs all at once. It was a brilliant move, and it just showed the fans that they don't have to pay over priced tickets to watch their favorite stars get misused and look like crap. Promotion C is seriously the promotion of the future in this region. They have made incredible strides in the past four months in profit, attendance, wrestling, activity, interest, and angles that make a race between all three look like a landslide for Promotion C. Not only is this promotion becoming the best in the region, but also the state, and soon the surrounding regions of the state. Promotions A & B can't even get to the top of their own region, and C is doing it in more markets than A & B and about four other promotions combined. The final thought for this promotion is to just wait and watch. I predict in about a year, they will be on the level of CZW, ROH, IWA, and others in terms of popularity on the Indy scene. And in one year, the other two promotions will be a thing of the past like Molly Holly's hair.
Now that I have spent my time writing that, I hope it paid off in any effect. Do you realize now that there are other interesting promotions out there? Do you realize now that every promotion has situations like WWE? Do you realize that you can't really answer and I am an idiot? Well, if you answered yes to all of those questions, then I am glad because this lesson paid off. That was your Indy lesson, and maybe it will pay off next time you watch a WWE event or visit a wrestling news site.
Phew, different format guys. Like it? I hope so. After a couple of negative feedback on the last column about the "Random Thoughts" and my growing disdain for them, they are gone! If you really want them back that badly, e-mail me and complain your little heart out, but until then, this is the new format. Don't worry though, we still have the "Final Stretch" of the QOTC, MOTC, Cheap Plug(s), and IQ line before this column of definitely nonsense is done.
Well, for this column's QOTC, I was really desperate for a laugh. I have been having terrible insomnia and migraines, so a good laugh was in order. And man did I find one. It may not look that funny, but the situation to which it was pitched and the whole memory of the wrestler doing this was classic and one of my favorites of all time. Well here is your Quote of the Column: "I'm not gonna let a guy like Triple H, a guy that tore his quadricep. I mean he was out for eight months! I tear my quadricep all the time! I tore it this morning. I'm fine. I'm here. I'm jumpin' around." Kurt Angle On Raw - January 7, 2002
Even more, for this column's MOTC, I needed something that would spark an interest in this section, and of course, give you guys a match that you probably haven't seen or haven't seen in a while. My friend Matt Green said it best when he said it was "arguably the best cruiser match on US soil." This match had the emotion, the psychology, the timing, the precision, the athleticism, and the overall package to deliver one of my favorite matches of all time. Want to know, yet? Well, ok. But only cause I love you readers. Well, this week's Match of the Column is: Eddie Guerrero Vs. Rey Mysterio Halloween Havoc 1997
Well, it's time to wrap this show up now. I have my laptop now so columns will be coming more frequently, so I promise it won't be more than a week until you hear from me again. That's all from "Column O' Nonsense" this time, and this is Dougie Nunny signing off and hoping I dropped your IQ lower than the attention we all know the Diva Dodgeball game will attract.
From Meltzer's update yesterday: "--Raw on 12/22 will be a taped best-of-Raw 2003 show. I shudder to think that will be considered best of. The Smackdown show on 12/25 will be taped in Iraq for the troops.