For years I followed, loved, and supported the modern style, “indie” wrestling product. I had a podcast (From the Top Turnbuckle) and covered promotions around the world, most passionately though, my local promotions (UWE, LCW, Legacy, etc.). This lead to me working for those promotions as a commentator and interviewer, later also working for several other promotions, most notably MCW Pro Wrestling, based in Joppa Maryland. I had an absolute blast during those years!
What made me fall out of love with the modern, indie style, was the arrival of guys like Joey Ryan and Dick Justice, as well as the promotion of undertrained guys, often to the very top of indie promotions, simply based on their friendship with the promoters, or their willingness to keep paying for training, no matter how much that training wasn’t helping. Things like “dance offs” in the middle of matches, and top indie guys wrestling “invisible men” also chased me away. I found all of these things not only embarrassing, but an insult to professional wrestling as a whole. This drove me to branding myself as “The Wrestling Snob” on the hunt for only the best professional wrestling.
When AEW first began I was excited! Finally a real alternative to the WWE. Sadly though, AEW featured and used a fair amount of talents that embraced the foolishness I hated. Sure, they had some good, solid, matches, but to me, they were often ruined by the weirdos and goofballs out there doing their shtick on the same cards. However; if you’ve noticed, most of those “wrestlers” are gone, or demoted to the YouTube shows now, simply because they aren’t a real draw. Being on top of small indie card is one thing, but being on National TV is another. Selling 300 tickets is different than selling 5,000 or more.
Finally, after three years, AEW has settled into being a solid company. Yes, Tony Kahn and company cater to the “smarks.” AEW doesn’t seem desperate to draw in the casual fans. Maybe that’s a mistake, but being that I can’t stand casual wrestling fans, I’m okay with it. As of late, AEW really reminds me of the indie wrestling company I worked for, that I loved most, and that was Legacy Wrestling. This is the main reason that I find it appealing right now. That said though, there are some rules, or line items, that you need to not only accept, but embrace, if you’re an old school guys like me, wanting to follow a modern day, American, wrestling product. Here are those rules/line items.
1. You must accept that today’s wrestling is a completely different product that it was in the 80’s and 90’s (or even earlier). Yes, it has some elements that are the same, some concepts that are the same, but overall it’s wildly different.
2. You must accept that the modern fan is as different as the product is today. The vast majority of modern fans are attention deficit. They can’t follow long angles (story lines) or intelligent gimmicks. They will turn the channel the second something bores them, or makes them think too much. This is why many old school guys won’t book an old school style. They understand their audience and sadly, what that means.
3. You must accept that you will be miserable if you watch today’s wrestling with an old school mindset. I don’t mean just in regard to the style of the in ring performers, but the booking, the story telling, the “sensibility” that the old school stuff often had is now dead. Today’s product is shot gun style, full of car crash matches. I too wish this were not the case, but I love wrestling so much that I find a way to adapt to today’s style, and presentation. If you can’t do that, don’t even bother watching.
4. Selling is dead. While it happens on a small level, today’s product is about moves. The matches are so fast that there isn’t time to sell much. The idea is that today’s wrestlers have “fighting spirit” that keeps them going, almost like a magic fairy dust. It’s a concept that was born in Japan, and adopted by today’s wrestlers. Yes, I am hurt, but “fighting spirit” allows me to kick out of monstrous moves and keep going. The winner of today’s matches is the wrestler with the most “fighting spirit.” This concept applies the same way to giant wrestler vs little wrestler match ups.
I used to do a podcast where the theme was a modern promoter, and fan of the old school debating me in regard to those ideas and the new school ideas and approaches. We did that weekly show for over a year, but the problem was, there was no argument to be made. I knew I was losing nearly every argument because it cannot be denied that the old ways, the old traditions, are much better and more intelligent that the modern ways and traditions. The best things about the modern style are the few old ways and traditions that are still kept! Please understand, that because old school wrestling was so good, it simply can’t be placed up against today’s product. The old school wins easily, every time. My argument now isn’t new school vs old school. My argument is that an old school fan, if choosing to, can adapt to the new school product and enjoy it, possibly even love it! That is what I now seek to show you all here at WrestlingDoneRight.com. I hope that I can be successful in doing so, because this is the wrestling we have today, and if you’re like me, you just love professional wrestling!