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WRESTLING COLUMNS

1PW: A Brief Analysis
March 3, 2006 by Ben Stephenson


One Pro Wrestling is amazingly lucky in that their fans cheer everything and everyone. Having attended the No Turning Back weekend I can assure you that this creates one hell of an atmosphere. When the towel boy comes out and gets a pop you know that the night is going to be interesting, and that's exactly what No Turning Back was. It was a weekend that will be remembered, but for the right reasons"

I have no shame in admitting that outside Jarrett vs. Styles and Joe vs. Tanaka I had to look up nearly every other match to remember the results and in some cases even the competition! There was no truly great wrestling at No Turning Back, there was sparsely a good memorable match.

You may disagree, but can you even remember the finish to Harry Smith vs. Doug Williams let alone what happened in the match" How about Daniels vs. Skipper vs. Low-Ki" Exactly.

After the weekend, when all was said and done, it seemed like I'd paid my money to see wrestlers not see wrestlers wrestle. I was basically paying for the privilege of seeing AJ Styles not watch him wrestle well.

And bear in mind that the two matches I mentioned above both had the make up to be great matches, they contained great wrestlers.

The is not to say that the weekend was bad, in fact it was very good, but I will remember seeing Low-Ki and I will remember seeing Styles not Styles or Low-Ki's matches. This, at the start of a wrestling promotion's life, isn't a terrible thing, the North East wrestling fans likely hadn't seen these stars live before, but that won't last long. Just a few more shows into the life of 1PW and fans won't be celebrating the fact that they're seeing Samoa Joe in-person or that they were "this close to touching Petey Williams". The honeymoon period will be over and wrestling fans will want to see wrestling matches of a high standard not just 'international superstars'.

If we take a look across the pond at the big two U.S. promotions and you should see what I mean; World Wrestling Entertainment can get away with sub-par matches week-in, week-out because they draw fans on the basis that their wrestlers are superstars and celebrities. If you asked a casual WWE fan whether they'd like to see James Gibson (Jamie Noble) vs. Paul London or rather Hulk Hogan vs. Batista, you know exactly what the answer would be. This is due to the fact that the WWE build their wrestlers as celebrities, not great wrestlers. 1PW won't last with this formula of bad matches and big names because that's simply not what their workers are good it (in most cases). Additionally the turnover of 1PW fans is infinitely smaller compared to that of the WWE. Each week the WWE will play to 90% of fans that haven't seen them live in months or even years. With 1PW, in six shows time 75% of the audience will have been to see at least a couple of 1PW show before, and that means that fans won't be content to just see Samoa Joe, they will come to see good matches.

In TNA we see the perfect example of this. Jeff Jarrett. The same fans have seen the same crappy NWA Champ in the same crappy matches week-in, week-out for too long and they hate him. This isn't the good "heel getting heat" sense either folks, they truly despise him being in front of them. This is what could happen to the big name 1PW stars if they don't start giving us good matches consistently throughout the shows.

I am not for one second saying that each match needs to be five star Angle/Michaels at Wrestlemania or Joe/Kobashi matches, indeed that would be a ludicrous suggestion. There just needs to be better matches especially as regards the big name stars such as Joe, Sabu, Daniels et al.

What worries me slightly is the booking, specifically looking towards All or Nothing but additionally at the No Turning Back weekend. It seems that the booking is aimed at actually avoiding great matches.

Now if I was starting a new promotion in an area that is severely wrestling deprived and where there is a large base of fans that want to see great wrestling not just the WWE I'd have the first show feature some classics, Joe/Styles/Daniels or a mix thereof. Not that every match should be unbelievable because then the following shows wouldn't live up. But some truly great wrestling contests that offers the connoisseur and wrestling audience alike something to bring them back. You can't tell me that Abyss vs. Styles, Abyss vs. Sabu or Jarrett vs. Styles where extraordinary matches.

In fact the best match at No Turning Back was Joe vs. Tanaka and that lasted all of seven minutes.

Looking forward at the lineup for All or Nothing, the (arguably) best three wrestlers in the company are once again in different matches.Which I hope to god means a Joe vs. Styles semi final or at least Daniels vs. Joe/Styles in the final. Otherwise that's an utter waste Kingdom James. Colt Cabana is in a tag team match with Spud, this just astounds me but Burridge and Cabana could be the best team of the weekend so I'll let that one be.

1PW is a new promotion that has heaps of talented workers and a fanbase that can and will get bored if the workers aren't used properly or the workers don't live up to their potential. Here's to hoping that One Pro Wrestling is a company that will start using it's talent and become a firm fixture on the UK Wrestling Scene.

by Ben Stephenson ..


Adam S. wrote:
Hey Ben, you ar right in that i cant remember some of the finishes, but i do remember seeing some great wrestling contests. No Turning Back was not as good as the debut show in october, but it is early, and we are a growing promotion. Give us more time and i promise you that you will remember the finish to all the matches on the card!
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