For years I’ve scoured the wrestling scene for “Wrestling Done Right.” Often I’ve been ridiculed for insisting that I know what that is. I’ve taken heat from people in the business for choosing that name for my website, and accepting “The wrestling snob” as my nickname. How dare I insist that only the wrestling that I like is wrestling done right! A wrestling snob isn’t a good thing! Wrestling is for everyone! Through it all I’ve kept at it, because damn it, wrestling needs a wrestling snob to help highlight the good, true, legitimate, professional wrestling. So what is real, true, legitimate, wrestling done right? If you have to ask that question, you’ll never accept any answer I give you. Much like In 1964, when Justice Potter Stewart tried to explain "hard-core" pornography, or what is obscene, by saying, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced... but I know it when I see it ..." What is “Wrestling Done Right?” Well, I know it when I see it.
Today however I bring to you a better answer. Thanks to Ring of Honor’s “Foundation,” which its leader, Jonathan Gresham himself dubbed me a part of, The Pure Division is wrestling done right! That’s not to say that I hate any wrestling that isn’t part of the Pure division, or that no matches outside of it ever qualify as wrestling done right to me, but if I am going to point to something that defines what I feel wrestling is, and should be represented by, it’s guys like Jonathan Gresham, Jay Lethal, Tracy Williams, Rhett Titus, Wheeler Yuta, Fred Yehi, and others out there like The World Famous CB, Dak Draper, and Josh Woods. I have no desire for wrestling to be presented like Saturday Night Live, or any kind of slapstick variety hour show. While wrestlers can be different, and styles don’t have to be the same, wrestling needs to be presented like a legitimate athletic contest, like a fight, like sports combat. Wins and losses should matter, weight divisions should matter, and titles should absolutely matter, and nowhere is all of those things more true than inside the Pure Division of Ring of Honor. In fact, it’s so true that the problem with having the Pure Championship is that if tends to over shadow the World championship. I would argue that this is why Ring of honor unified those two titles in August of 2006, when ROH World champion, Bryan Danielson (now Daniel Bryan of WWE fame) defeated Pure champion, Nigel McGuinness. I don’t see that happening this time because wrestling has never needed a “Pure” division more than it does now.
Many fans today don’t even know, or understand, what legitimate professional wrestling is. Most fans today believe that wrestling is whatever the wrestler, or wrestling company (i.e. booker) wants to present it as. There is no standard in the wrestling business today. There’s nothing to point to and say THAT is professional wrestling! Well, I should say that there wasn’t anything. Now that ROH have brought back the Pure division, there absolutely is! Think of other professional athletics. We have the NFL, the NBA, MLB, and the NHL. While there are countless teams and league around the world playing football, basketball, baseball, and hockey, the professional leagues I mentioned are the standard by which all others are measured by. Look, I enjoy NCAA football far more than the NFL, but I am not going to say that the NCAA measures up in talent to the NFL. I have a local AHL hockey team that I love, but I am not going to insist that they measure up to their NHL franchise team. I would argue that this same thing is true of ROH’s Pure division. You have to be a special talent to find yourself in the Pure division. Many in wrestling today are afraid of it, not even wanting to try their hand at it. To be a “Pure” wrestler, you really have to know how to “work,” and in today’s business, that’s a tall order. I will go so far as to say that in order to be just a fan of the Pure division, you have to be an intelligent fan, not just a fan that wants to see moves, or “car crash” matches that you can chant “Holy S**t” to. Pure wrestling is here to save wrestling from the foolish, goofy, no sense making, parody, that it has become over the years. I am more thankful for the Pure Division, and “The Foundation,” than I can express here in this article. So let me just conclude by saying thank you Ring of Honor, and thank you to The Foundation for Pure wrestling…for Wrestling Done Right!