Trying Something New
January 13, 2007 by Douglas Nunnally
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Whether it's logging on to an internet forum or just taking time to listen to some weird fan at an Indy show, all I hear nowadays is that the overall product of wrestling is mediocre at best and more often than not, an embarrassment to those who grew up idolizing the spectacular athletes showcasing their talent & passion on their television each week. I'm sure if you input the phrase "wrestling columns" into a Google search and click the first one you see, you'll get the exact same sentiment embedded somewhere in the mess of Triple H criticism and TNA praise. It's the majority opinion right now and while I could probably masquerade my way through a top ten list of reasons why it's not true in an attempt to be "original," I'm not going to because it is true. Wrestling right now is not as good as it has been in the past and it's sadly been that way for a while now.
Because of this, it seems every day I am hearing a new story about someone losing interest in wrestling and finding something new (MMA, a fascinating fad, or, in some cases, a life). It seems every other week I'm losing a friend who I used to talk wrestling with each day because WWE decided to take another shot at Eddie Guerrero's legacy. Every time I hear this, it's always a variation of the same answer: WWE (and/or TNA) just sucks right now. Every last time, that is the reason why.
To be perfectly honest with you, I don't understand this at all. I truly don't and I'm not trying to just overlook the faults of the big companies right now because I know they are there just as much as you do. I just don't understand how wrestling fans can lose interest in wrestling just because of a promotion or two in America. Two promotions in one country...out of thousands in existence in multiple countries.
With the amount of wrestling out there all over the world, I truly believe that there must be at least one promotion out there that will make it worthwhile for you. There has to be one that will make you see clearly why you love professional wrestling and obsesses over it so much that you flock to an internet site like this to read news, columns, and interviews. It's just unfathomable for there to be thousands of promotions of all variations all over the world and there not to be one promotion that can hook you and keep you entertained. Whether it's an up-start promotion with a big bankroll, an exotic foreign organization, or just a no-name Indy right around the corner from where you went to high school, there is something out there for you. Trust me, people; there is something out there for you even if it's just an old kayfabe-era promotion you missed while it was alive. You just have to find it and if you are a wrestling fan, you will.
Me? I have a little bit of all of that. I have Ring Of Honor & 1 Pro Wrestling as my up-start promotions, I have Pro Wrestling NOAH & ZERO1-MAX as my exotic foreign organizations, and I have NWA Virginia & Richmond Lucha Libre right around the corner from me. I guess I'm lucky I have so many there that remind me of why I love pro wrestling, but it's not like I always had them and it definitely wasn't easy to get into them. NOAH, ZERO1, and 1PW aren't things I became enamoured with until the beginning of this year, and it's still hard as hell to get into Japanese wrestling due to the history of it & cultural differences and it's even harder to get 1PW shows to actually watch. It's not like I have the money to buy every Ring Of Honor show or even the hard drive capacity to download every show. Hell, because of gas prices & my money problems, I've only been to one show from NWA-VA and RLL this year! But it's all worth it to have promotions I know will keep me entertain and showcase why I've spent so much time on this sport. Even if one begins to let me down, there are others out there ready to pick up the slack, and I'm sure there will be a new promotion ready to take its spot or an old one finally growing wise to its own bullshit.
It's all about taking a chance and trying something new. For instance, I love NOAH, but it took me at least three shows to start to understand what was going on and appreciate everything, not just the "holy shit" moments. On the flip side, I just can not get into CMLL (or any other lucha libre for that matter) right now as hard as I try. I don't think it's dumb, I don't think it's frivolous; I don't think anything bad of it...I just can't seem to get into it no matter how I hard I try. It's just not appealing to me and nothing I watch, read, or hear has changed that. But I'm glad I tried it and the moment someone asks me for other wrestling to try, CMLL would be one of the first names I list for the sheer fact that it's different and they must be doing something right to have the support they have. Even if that person doesn't like it, at least he tried something new and was exposed to something different than what we see during primetime television. That's all I'm really telling you to do. Just give some new stuff a chance because there is something out there for you.
Mainstream wrestling just isn't what it used to be, guys. It's what every fan knows right now and what every person in the business fears or hides from themselves. Sure, in both promotions (one more so than the other depending on your opinion), there are still amazing matches taking place, captivating storylines being pulled off, and wrestlers emerging that will surely go down as some of the greatest of all time if a tragedy doesn't occur; but it lacks that intangible element it once had. And even though it's a depressing time for both, this is how you will know if you are a wrestling fan or just a fan of a single product. Are you going to try and find some other wrestling out there to keep you passionate or are you just going to fizzle out because a television show can't go five minutes without making you tear out your hair?
I know how you feel too. It's hard to try new things. God knows I struggle with that issue in a lot of things and it's why I still have the same pair of sneakers I did five years ago & still get the same meals at my favorite restaurants. No one wants to try something new, even if that something old is not as good as it once was. Some people will stick with the same shirts even though it's closer to being a rag than a shirt and has stains on it you can't even begin to grasp. You're used to that something old. You know it like the back of your hand. It probably pisses you off, but it's there and you'll keep coming back to it until you go out & try something new. Plus, if you're like me, you can't stand trying on uncomfortable shoe after uncomfortable shoe after your old pair has pretty much molded to your skeletal structure. Trying a new product where you can't even understand what the announcers are saying & don't know the back story on anything going on...that's in a completely different league. But it's worth it.
No one said it's going to be easy. Nothing in life worth anything at all was easy to get and keep. People with a love of music didn't suddenly waltz into a magical assortment of classic vinyl albums or let their love fizzle out when their favorite musical style went down the toilet. Obsessed gamers didn't just luck into mastering every game possible. If you truly love wrestling, you'll find something new that will do what I've said, no matter how hard it will be to discover & get into.
There is good wrestling out there, people. Right now, there are companies putting on matches & feuds that are going to appeal to you and grab you tightly. Right now, there are companies showcasing wrestlers & a style of wrestling that you can't wait to see more of. Right now, there are companies that have that X factor you desire so greatly out from the mainstream companies. They're out there for you. They are just waiting for you to find them, fall in love with them, obsess over, and support immensely. Whether it be lucha libre, rasslin', King's road, strong style, technical, or just basic wrestling, they're out there right now. Just because they're not on your TV or in the sports section you see walking in a retail store doesn't mean they're not out there for you and doesn't mean they're not worth your time. If you are a true wrestling fan, I think you could spend a little extra time (and just maybe some money) to give it a chance. Step out of the mainstream bubble you're used to and give something else a try. You may even find that your love of pro wrestling has just begun or at the very least, you'll enjoy something new until mainstream wrestling grabs you once again.
In keeping with the theme of the column, I'd thought I'd let all you reading this know that there is a site called IVPVideos that is offering a twenty-five cent sampler DVD of Japanese wrestling (actually $3.75 USD if you factor in shipping-and-handling, but it's still a steal). There are seven matches on the DVD from NOAH, NJPW, Dragon Gate, BJPW, AJPW, AJW, and Osaka Pro and features legends like Misawa & Kobashi to new-comers like Morishima & KENTA. If you're looking to get into Japanese wrestling or just a different style, I strongly suggest you buy this DVD as it features such a random selection of styles and just has something for everyone.
by Douglas Nunnally (http://www.onlineworldofwrestling.com/forums//modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=2784)..
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