Tuesday, June 23, 2020

A Guide For Disenfranchised Wrestling Fans

Professional wrestling was once so popular that it was crossing over with just about everything in pop culture. Have you seen that awful WCW related Charmed episode? I am aware that there are numerous reasons that fans turned off the television and never came back, with Vince's monopoly on the states being a big one, but I'm here to tell you that right now is the best time to get back into watching costumed murder opera!

Here, I will be covering five different promotions that you might want to consider trying out, why you should give them a chance, where to watch them, and I'll even include some free content right here in the post just because I'm that nice of a guy. Now, note that I am aware that it might seem like a good idea to just check out current WWE for people wondering what's new but I would strongly disagree with that move. If you left the scene, for whatever reason, there's a good chance that watching what Vince is providing right now will make you leave again. If not due to the quality level, than thanks to the sheer amount of hours of content they put out weekly (9+ on weeks without special events across seven shows).

THE RUNDOWN
1.All Elite Wrestling (AEW)
AEW is a pretty new promotion that is ran by one of the owners of the Jacksonville Jaguars. A group of wrestlers calling themselves The Elite are also in management positions. They are very into pleasing their fans and there is a tone here that reminds me heavily of the best parts of WCW. Their weekly show is called Dynamite and it airs every Wednesday on TNT. They also feature a lot of content on their YouTube channel including a second weekly show titled, Dark. I honestly think this might be your best entry point back in and their roster is easily one of the best in the game.
Current Champions
-World Champion: Jon Moxley
-Women's Champion: Hikaru Shida 
-Tag Champions: Omega & Page
-TNT Champion: Cody Rhodes

2.New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW)
If you are seeking something that feels more mature and sports based, New Japan Pro Wrestling might be what you're looking for. I personally consider this the best promotion in the world and they've made every effort in keeping that throne over the years. They have a subscription service worth considering and are currently seeking a new home to air weekly content stateside after a falling out with AXS. I'd recommend going to their YouTube for their free match uploads to get a taste but note that a lot of their material might not feature English commentary. I know that can be a turn off for some.
Current Champions
-Heavyweight/Intercontinental Champion: Tetsuya Naito
-Openweight Champion: Shingo Takagi
-United States Champion: Jon Moxley
-Junior Heavyweight Champion: Hiromu Takahashi
-Tag Champions: Tanahashi & Ibushi
-Junior Tag Champions: SHO & YOH
-Openweight Six-man Champions: BUSHI, EVIL, Shingo

3.AAA Lucha Libre
If you can get past the language barrier, assuming you don't speak Spanish, AAA deserves a mention for a few reasons. First, they offer a deep roster full of talented workers. Second, their shows feature balls to the wall action and some interesting drama that has always reminded me of a lucha libre version of the Attitude Era. Right now they are in the middle of one of their best runs so I'd hate for you to miss out. They air weekly on YouTube or you can watch their television tapings on Twitch.
Current Champions:
-Mega Champion: Kenny Omega
-Latin American Champion: Daga
-Reina de Reinas Champion: Taya
-Cruiserweight Champion: Laredo Kid
-Mini's Champion: Dinastia
-Tag Champions: Pentagon Jr &  Rey Fenix
-Trios Champions: Hijo del Vikingo, Myzteziz Jr, Octagon Jr
-Mixed Tag Champions: Villano III Jr & Lady Maravilla

4.Major League Wrestling (MLW)
Speaking of the Attitude Era days; MLW reminds me a lot of ECW. They have some over the top story lines, they lose talent a lot to bigger brands, and not everything lands like it should. They also have a tendency of being pretty damn entertaining and, when things do go right, their show titled, Fusion, can be one heck of an experience. There are many ways of watching the show, but YouTube is likely your best bet.
Current Champions:
-Heavyweight Champion: Jacob Fatu
-Openweight Champion: Alexander Hammerstone
-Middleweight Champion: Myron Reed
-Tag Champions: Ross Von Erich & Marshall Von Erich

5.National Wrestling Alliance (NWA)
The NWA is one of the most prestigious names in wrestling history. Admittedly, they've had a lot of ups and downs, but right now, since Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins fame took control, they've been a beacon of hope for fans seeking that old-school style that has been largely pushed to the side these days. Every Tuesday on YouTube, Powerrr provides an hour of action that might be just the thing to get you back into the scene.
Current Champions:
-Heavyweight Champion: Nick Aldis
-Women's Champion: Thunder Rosa
-National Champion: Aron Stevens
-Television Champion: Zicky Dice
-Tag Champions: Drake & Storm

CLOSING REMARKS:
I hope this post serves to aid at least one fan that has left return to watching professional wrestling once again. If it does, please let me know and I will personally help you continue your journey, should you like that idea.

Thanks for reading!

<I wrote this months ago and I know that a bit has changed since writing this, including COVID and the current #speakingout movement, but I stumbled upon it while going through my unpublished articles and figured it might come in handy. The only edits I made were to the current champions section to ensure it was up to date. I support the current movement of outing creeps from the business and know that some happen to work for the above companies. I am hopeful that they won't for long. I hope this helps someone regain their love of wrestling either way, especially once the pandemic is over!>

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