topcenter

WRESTLING COLUMNS

Strong And Independent
November 2, 2006 by Matthew Hindley


Editor's Notes: You may have noticed that there are multiple columns up on the website about the rumored return of Degeration-X. If you read a column (ANY column) and decide to send in feedback, PLEASE be sure to indicate which column you are responding to by typing the TITLE of the column in the subject line. Also, DO NOT FORGET to sign your name. Thanks!


This past weekend I was lucky enough to be apart of what I consider a great moment in Wrestling history. The UWA was won back by Osiris, Jerry Lynn and M-Dogg20 over the hated PWA faction fronted by the equally hated Josh Prohibition, which had taken over control of the company some time ago. Now some of these names you will recognize, and some you won't. The truth is the people in the match are almost irrelevant. The point they got across to the faithful crowd packed into a local school auditorium was that we really care about what happens to these characters and no matter who wins or loses we will be back in one month to do it all again. The UWA is a local Toronto federation with a loyal fan base and a fantastic roster that includes TNA talent like Alex Shelly, Sonjay Dutt and Chris Sabin as well as Indy standouts BLK Out, Larry Sweeney, and current CZW Champ Eddie Kingston. The company has been around for a few years now and continues to grow to the joy of the fans that have been supporting it for so long.

I myself have only been attending UWA shows since May of this year. And in truth at 24 have only been a wrestling fan for about 3 years now. I used to be a one of so many haters out there who thought it was just fake tacky...crap. Well a few obsessed college roommates later and I have grown to appreciate the sport to a level I never thought possible. But after having spent only a couple of years as a fan of TV wrestling, and more specifically the WWE, I find myself unable to watch an entire production at any one time. Sure they've got some great talent and at times, great matches and feuds. But the WWE is about taking everything it can from us. I don't say this as a criticism because they don't try to hide it. They have a huge overhead and need to charge through the roof in order to make ends meet. TV Advertising revenue is basically non-existent for wrestling content so the only way to sell is to self promote. Thus we see 10 minutes of marine promos and re-runs of ten minutes ago to remind us of who is feuding with whom. And the booking is also based on business and not artistic integrity, and I use the word artistic very consciously. John Cena is the Champ because he sells merchandise and promotes the program well, without ever burning bridges. Just look at the demographics. Teens don't buy WWE merchandise unless it's DVD's or clothes. Now look at the DVD's released. Almost all people that were, and are, over with older crowds. The kids love Cena, and who buys toys and trinket merchandise" The kids do, or at least their parents do. It's a business plan that happens to involve 5+ hours of televised advertising each week. But as a discerning viewer and consumer I feel I am getting a raw deal. I am tired of PPV matches with DQ finished and promos for other internal promotions. On TV I don't care what they throw at me; it's my own fault if I watch garbage. But PPV's is my hard earned money, and it's just not worth it these days. And this is where the Indy circuit comes in.

I had recently moved into the city and heard about a local wrestling show that included Canadian favourite Petey Williams as well as Shelly, Sabin and Dutt. I knew all these guys from TNA and thought it'd be fun to see them live. One of the main reasons I went was to see Petey pull off the destroyer on some nobody I figured would be jobbing for him. When I got there I was surprised to see a large full line-up, an hour before the event was due to start up. I was again surprised to see the line double by the time the doors opened. But the most surprising thing was the wrestling. I knew nothing of the promotion before I went and I left remembering everybody's name and was able to pick up old feuds as if I'd been there to see them. I was able to remember names and characters because everybody involved had a strong and easily identifiable gimmicks that never border on stupid or even silly. I picked up the feud through well presented post and pre match promos and a crowd that felt like it was the lungs of the event. Without its breath there would be no life. Turns out Petey didn't even use the destroyer that night; in fact he tapped out to an armbar by Puma. But that didn't matter. By the end of the night I knew I was already one of them, a UWA fan, and I'd be back every month.

Over the next few shows I continued to be blown away by the quality thrown at me. One month Ultimo Dragon had a match, another month Jerry Lynn was booked but had to miss the show and Homicide was his impromptu replacement. Moves were used that I have never seen on any TV match. The crowd chanted at the Faces, the Heels and even at each other when the chance presented itself, especially when someone tried to start an Ultimo's washed up chant. You can imagine the four letter words use to retort that one. Independent wrestling had quickly become my primary source of wrestling viewing. I started finding ROH shows and revisiting their history. I looked up many CZW, Chikara and PWG events and tried to follow the storylines they were pushing. But it didn't work. All I wanted was to be in the crowd at the auditorium, yelling at someone till my voice died.

Flash forward now to the Grand Prix this last weekend. The first ever two night event in the history of the company. Wrestlers from all over the continent came to be a part of the festivities. Arik Cannon of IWA-Mid South fame, Dan Paysan from Montreal's IWS, Sonjay, Shelly, Sabin, Puma, and CMLL's Okada; one of Ultimo's top students from the Dragon gym in Mexico. And that's just the GP tournament. Others wrestling on both nights were BLK Out, Jerry Lynn, and Ultimo himself. The weekend included hardcore matches, technical masterpieces and everything in between. We saw Larry Sweeney regain his Tex-arcana championship over Eddie Kingston with a fireball. We saw Ladder Matches, We saw Ultimo Dragon team with Okada to fight for Sabin and Shelly's Zero One Tag Titles in what was one of the best matched I have ever seen, period. We saw Sonjay Dutt become the 2006 Grand Prix title. Then we saw Osiris, Jerry Lynn, and M-Dogg20 win back the company in a steel cage that the fans helped setup. For two nights there was nothing else in the world. The UWA was us, and we were the UWA. There was nothing to tell us apart, because we are all there for the same reason. Because we love it and it loves us. And that's something the WWE will never do, no matter how much money you give them.

Go find a local Indy federation, and support it. They need the money more than the company does, and it's hard earned money, well spent.

by Matthew Hindley ..


wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

wrote:

If you have any comments, reactions, rebuttles or thoughts on this column, feel free to send them to the email below,
If your email is intelligently written, they will be posted underneath this messege..
We at OnlineWorldofWrestling want to promote all points of view, and that includes YOURS.




© 2007, Black Pants, Inc. All other trademarks are property of their respective holders.

[ CHAT ROOM | FLASH | SEARCH | FORUMS | DOWNLOADS | TAPES | WRESTLINKS | GUESTBOOK | THANK YOU | CONTACT ]