ROH Ringside – Issue #14

ROH RingsideWhat is it about pro wrestling? We watch it, we love it, we follow and we sometimes get really into it. It’s something like no other form of entertainment. The winners are predetermined, the rivals are best friends behind the scenes and people get made fun of for watching it. Yet there’s that certain mystique or something that attracts fans to it. It’s a sum of many factors.

There is a conglomerate of history, stories, federations and wrestlers that create a big snowball of passion.

Although I mentioned it in the past that I tend to be more of a sport-based wrestling fan, and it’s true; the fact is that I like all types of wrestling, as long as it’s entertaining.

Last week, I got back into watching my R.O.H. DVDs after a month of putting it on standby (my friend visited me from Canada and then I was on a business trip to México). It was fun getting back into it. The Third Anniversary Celebration Part One Show was fabulous. After watching the show, I took in how much I love Ring of Honor.  I´m excited for the future (This past show is from 2005). The feuds and storyline are basic but intriguing. It seems like I will be entertained for a while.

However, I’m starting reading more on other promotions that aren’t Ring of Honor, and man is there a lot to choose from in the world, and man I really want to get into them. I’m going to watch as many matches as my time and access permits me, especially the following.

Chikara. I bought the DVD with the first two shows which I haven’t watched yet. I’ve read so much about this promotion. From what I read and remember, it started as an American version of a promotion that focuses multi-person matches. Then a few years back is when it crowned its first singles champion. Then I found out about the comedy aspect of it and that there’s like to the purpose of the comedy, and they make all the different storylines fit and be linked to one big storyline that eclipses into a finale. I’m not sure, and I’ll have to watch it to understand it. I´ve watched YouTube videos with some of the promos and some are out right hilarious. I heard a wrestling fan once say, that if there was an independent promotion that could go to mainstream as an alternative to W.W.E., it would be Chikara, not Ring of Honor. I totally agree. However last I heard, they had a show a few months ago which ended with this huge like “destruction” of everything and no one knows what happened. Some say the end of Chikara, and others say it’s a huge storyline about time travel with a return in a few months time. Insane!

Combat Zone Wrestling. This is the new E.C.W. somewhat, but more extreme. I have seen some sick sick videos on YouTube of some spots. Holes in guys´ backs, weed-whackers, bleeding heads, etc. However I’m reading that despite still having Extreme Matches, they now have more basic pro wrestling. What did surprise me was the amount of regular R.O.H. wrestlers that were in C.Z.W. or even started there (Chris Hero, Kevin Steen, etc). I want to see the infamous R.O.H. – C.Z.W. feud. I have the first two CZW shows. I`ve watched the first one, but it was horrible. I’m hoping the future is brighter, which I’m pretty sure it will be.

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla. This is “West Coast R.O.H.” to put it some way. From what I know the fans are silent during the match, like the Japanese as they watch the matches. It has many R.O.H. Stars, and it’s based on a sport as well. Seems very interesting however I can’t find the first show on D.V.D. anywhere.

Dragon Gate USA. I’ve heard about the original Dragon Gate from Japan, and I know that Gabe (former R.O.H. booker) is booking it. However, I don’t really know what type of product they run. From the little I know I imagine it’s similar to Ring of Honor.

Japanese Wrestling. What to say about Japanese wrestling? Mainstream media, respectable fans, hard hitting action, etc. I’ve been reading a lot on Japanese wrestling lately and there is a lot of history involved. So many promotions that have come and gone and others that are still around. New Japan, All Japan, NOAH, Dragon Gate, Michinoku Pro, DDT, Zero1, etc.  American and Canadian wrestlers travelling to Japan to have “dream matches” with the big Japanese stars. I’m starting to search for Japanese matches, starting from the 1970s. It’s going to be very interesting.

There’s so much in pro wrestling that it’s not even funny. I can’t stop reading anything on pro wrestling on my free time. I read wrestler’s profiles, I read title histories, I read promotion information, I search for DVDs, and I search for matches on YouTube. I do as much as I can.

I don’t know how many promotions there are active at this moment, but I’m sure there’s a promotion for everyone. To those W.W.E. fans (I use this example because 95% of W.W.E. fans are not pro wrestling fans), I don’t watch the product, but I follow it. The Daniel Bryan storyline is interesting. The Cody Rhodes storyline is interesting. The C.M. Punk storyline is good but it’s kind of going nowhere. But in general it’s more interesting than the past few years. However, despite that, there are people who moan, bitch and complain about the W.W.E.  Well guess what? There are dozens of promotions out there just as exciting, or more so, than W.W.E.  So more open and expand your horizons. You don’t like W.W.E. so watch something else. With the Internet access to other promotions is easy.

Wrestling is a great art and sport, and I think I will never stop watching it. I’m really looking forward to all the promotions I’m open to watch during the next few months. And in the end, I will still be asking the same question: What is it about pro wrestling?

— Jose Perez

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