I’m a wrestling snob. There’s no doubt about that. Just like music snobs, food snobs, theater snobs, etc. I enjoy my professional wrestling when it’s done by the best in the business. When it doesn’t insult my intelligence, and when it’s hard hitting (strong style) and as serious as can be. I also prefer that it be left to those who can do it well, more often than not, that being those who do it full time. Does that mean that there are no full time wrestlers (those who earn their living by ONLY wrestling) that aren’t any good? No it doesn’t, as I am certain there are many that earn their living wrestling that aren’t real good. However I do believe it’s more difficult to stink up a card if you’re employing your skills full time than it is if you aren’t. So, does that mean that I believe any wrestler that only wrestles part time is terrible? Absolutely not, as one of my favorite wrestlers out there today only wrestles twice a month, if that. Eddie Smooth however is a prodigy. A guy that just has it. A guy that can get away with part time work and still go toe to toe with anyone in the business. If you can get in the ring with A.R. Fox, or Shane Strickland, and bring the crowd to their feet, and go hold for hold with them for 20 minutes or more, no one can complain about your skill or ability.
Those part timers are rare though. Few and far between are the Eddie Smooth’s of the wrestling world, and it shows. There’s nothing worse for me than going to a show and seeing guys like Smooth, AR Fox, JT Dunn, David Starr, Shane Strickland, Josef Von Schmidt, and Sean Carr to then also have to sit through matches featuring guys so out of shape they are completely gassed in five minutes, their t-shirts, drenched in sweat, clinging to their out of shape torsos. I shudder watching talent like Façade, and Jon Gresham steal the show on the mid-card, so the local weekend warrior can defend the company title against a guy that works down the road from me in the manufacturing plant. I may like those two guys in the main event personally, I may call them friends, pals, buddies, etc. They may go to my church, or have kids in classes with my own, but that doesn’t mean I want to see them main-eventing professional wrestling shows. Those two guys in the main event may draw a lot of their co-workers, and high school buddies to watch them “wrestle,” and they may sell 40 tickets each, thus bringing in 1/3 of the crowd, but I don’t care. As a fan I don’t care, as a journalist I don’t care. I care about the integrity of the wrestling business, I care about what makes sense, and I care about presenting a product where those that are the best are rewarded with the main events, titles, and “pushes.”
I know, I know…someone is going to say “the most talented (over) guys don’t “need” the title belt! Yes, there is a strong element of truth to that. That being said though, it’s just embarrassing when your champion is so far below the talent levels of the mid-card performers. I understand that local guys that sell tickets deserve a spot. I just believe their spot has to be in the opener, or pre/post intermission. They can’t be presented as being as legitimate as the guys on your card that could wrestle circles around them, while blindfolded, and running a 105 degree temperature. Please understand though that the talent that you do have, the Eddie Smooth’s, Red Scorpion’s, Laszlo Arpad’s etc. do indeed need to be shown as having the ability to go toe to toe with the best in the business. Of course it’s smart to get some local guys on top, but it has to be local guys that have the skill to be there, it has to be guys that if placed on the cover of PWI would look “legitimate.”
If you wrestle on weekends for fun, to please the local fans, and have a good time, I have nothing against you. I’m not out to besmirch you, or challenge your right to do that. I’m just saying your dedication to the craft should match your placement on the cards you perform on. I consider myself to be a good writer, a good broadcaster, and believe I have a good eye for wrestling and wrestling talent. I don’t however expect that I should be placed on par with Sports Illustrated, nor do I believe that I should, or would, get equal promotion as a commentator for a show, if Kevin Kelly came in to commentate with me. I love being involved as much as possible, and I believe that I work damn hard. I promote, sell tickets, and have gotten local companies numerous fans from HOURS away. I give a lot of my free time to independent professional wrestling and am happy to do so. I do not however consider myself a star, or believe I’ve earned anything other than common decency and respect. All I ever want to do is get the wrestlers, their wrestling, and the companies I support more “over.” I don’t have a cute nickname for myself, a “gimmick,” or an angle. When I talk about “wrestling done right” I am absolutely being “legitimate.” I’m scouting for the biggest stars, and the best performers in the world. When I run into less talented performers, that will never be any more than a weekend guy, I don’t hate them. Just don’t put them on a show that’s way above their pay grade and tell me it’s “wrestling done right.”
* Kickoff Match: Stardust and The Ascension vs. The Lucha Dragons and Neville
I’d have Stardust come out as Cody Rhodes and cut a promo saying how the Ascension have been disrespected since day one, and how he resorted to Stardust just to prove a point, but tonight it all ends. Tonight he joins The Ascension just like his dad joined The Road Warriors, to prove that no one can stop them. Then I’d have Cody and a more serious Connor and Viktor destroy the L.D. and Neville.
* Rusev vs. Dolph Ziggler- Lana turns on Dolph and rejoins Rusev. Rusev kills Dolph.
* Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose and TBA vs. The Wyatt Family- I’d call up Solomon Crowe to team with Ambrose and Reigns making them the new Shield, and put them over the Wyatt’s. I would then have them get on the mic and say they are The Shield and they will see Justice in the WWE. I would then use them the way The Shield should have always been used from day one. (Going against WWE stupidity and demanding what really IS best for "Wrestling!")
* WWE Intercontinental Title Match: Champion Ryback vs. Kevin Owens- Kevin Owens pretty quickly
* WWE Tag Team Title Match: Champions New Day vs. Dudley Boys- Dudley’s, then have them rip into “sports entertainment” saying New Day is what sports entertainment gives us and they are here to be pro wrestlers, and no one ontoday's roster can touch them. Then I'd bring in the Hardy's and Harlem Heat to challenge. (Use them to also help a new modern day tag roster)
* WWE Divas Title Match: Champion Nikki Bella vs. Charlotte- Charlotte pretty quickly, I’d make Charlotte my Rhonda Rousy in WWE.
* WWE US Title Match: Champion Seth Rollins vs. John Cena- The Authority come out to help Rollins, but he insists they not do so, and goes on to defeat Cena. Cena then congratulates him, and says THIS is the Seth Rollins that is the next big thing in wrestling!
* WWE World Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Seth Rollins vs. Sting- The Authority come out to keep Rollins from winning, but Cena comes out and stops the Authority. Rollins defeats Sting, and then Cena and Sting hold up Rollins arms in victory as Triple H looks on furiously.
I love professional wrestling. I've loved it since I was eight years old. I've loved it through the ups and downs, through the classic "wrastlin" days, to the modern "sports entertainment" days. I love slow methodical wrestling, and fast paced "spot" wrestling. I like gimmicks, and I like realism. All that being said, I also hate much of professional wrestling, or that which calls itself professional wrestling. I hate back yard wrestling, even if those back yarders went out and rented a fire hall and bought a real ring. I hate out of shape fat guys in t-shirts thinking they are "old school" because they apply a ton of rest holds after getting gassed the first five minutes of their match. I hate corny gimmicks that make me cringe. I hate comedy wrestling. I don't hate comedy "in" wrestling, but I absolutely detest gimmicks that are made to just to be funny. "Comedy characters" are always lame to me, and I wish they'd vanish from the world of professional wrestling. I hate much of today's WWE but follow it to see favorites like Daniel Bryan, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, and Cesaro. I know I am almost always going to be frustratingly disappointed when I watch a WWE show, but I watch it anyways because I have this fantasy that one day...one day, they will actually try and appeal to real wrestling fans like me again. I believe the greatest wrestling of all time was the old NWA on Superstation TBS on Saturday nights from 6:05pm to 8:05pm and that we will likely never see wrestling that good again. However; I am not bitter that my kind of wrestling has pretty much vanished. I enjoy today's style, the faster paced, less selling style that many old school guys hate. I've learned to embrace Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. They are the two best companies out there today in my opinion. Of course not even ROH and NJPW do everything "right," but I'd say they do so more often than not.
I've entered the world of Professional Wrestling Journalism in search of what I believe is "Wrestling Done Right." Here I will write about my travels and experiences in the world of Professional Wrestling. I attend shows all over the place and when I see a match that deserves attention, I'll give it attention by posting about it here and on Facebook and Twitter. If I find an entire company that I feel gets it, and does wrestling right, I'll post about them as regularly as possible. Sadly, I find few companies that get it. I find a lot of companies that will have a match or two that is wrestling done right, but then they will often fill the rest of the show with guys that shouldn't even be inside a ring. I used to refuse to attend shows that didn't try and put on a five star event, but I found myself unable to go to many shows at all. I've been limited to Combat Zone, Ring of Honor, On Point Wrestling, The Monster Factory, and Legacy Wrestling. Ultimately, those five will still be the companies you'll see me cover here most. I know I can trust them, I know that they know what they are doing. I also enjoy Evolve, House of Glory, and a new company called "Pro Wrestling Empire" shows some promise. A company I used to work for (commentator) has matches that are great, but over all are one of those companies that toss in stuff that makes me feel like I paid too much to get in and as such, I may never cover them again....but we shall see. I'll only name them if I decide to cover one of their future shows.
So, what will be my next show? I'm not sure...possibly CZW's Tangled Web on October 10th. I've also been invited to "Wrestlefest" in Woodbury Heights New Jersey on Sunday October 11th and I may attend that as well. You will see me at every single one of Legacy Wrestling's events, sometimes even on commentary. I'll write about Ring of Honor and New Japan here, when the mood strikes, and I will always take any and every opportunity to point out what wrestling done right is, who is doing, and where it can be found. I've been called a "Wrestling Snob" and you can find me on Twitter under that moniker, just search for me @aleavelle. Some people appreciate what I have to say in regard to professional wrestling, and others wish I'd just go away forever. No matter where you stand I can promise you that if I recommend a wrestler, a manager, or an entire company, you can watch them KNOWING that you will be entertained, you will get your money's worth, and you will know that you've seen "Wrestling Done Right."