Friday, 3 October 2014

What's Your Flava? aka Open Letter to the Disenfranchised WWE Fan

Kicking things off with a Craig David video, don't get that on your average wrestling blog!

From looking around social media, it would seem like WWE is the only option when it comes to professional wrestling in 2014. On any Facebook group or Twitter timeline, there's someone talking about what WWE should be doing to appeal more to them, critically forgetting that WWE isn't supposed to be aiming directly at them. If your expecting every single moment of WWE's 8 hours of original wrestling programming a week (a colossal 11 hours if there's a PPV), the likelihood is your going to be disapointed. WWE is (at least) attempting to be a mass market product, a product that appeals to everyone at the same time, which, of course, is never going to be a possibility. There isn't an artistic venture anywhere that appeals to everyone (Not even Craig David) 

During a Twitter conversation with British promotion Southside Wrestling Entertainment (promoted by Ben Auld, although I'm not sure if it was Mr. Auld using the Twitter account at the time), it was suggested that WWE's problem was that it's product (mainly Raw) wasn't aimed at the kind of fan who talks on wrestling forums and tweets about arm bars (Namely, you and I, dear reader). Herein lies a shocking revelation, even if we ignore casual fans and children and families and everyone else who chooses to watch WWE programming and doesn't feel the need to jump on Twitter to let us know their opinions, different wrestling fans like different types of wrestling! Incredible, I know. 

Just like any of area of entertainment, there are genres and subgenres within professional wrestling that many may never know about, because they don't look anywhere other than WWE, whilst simultaneously expecting WWE to adapt to suit them. Just like chart music, big budget theatre and Hollywood blockbusters, WWE may often miss the mark when it comes to your personal taste and that is absolutely fine. Because I'm sure there's some element of the show that you do like, and I can be almost certain that there's a professional wrestling company out there that's focusing in on that element and making it their niche.  

You like strong storylines, like Dean Ambrose's feud with Seth Rollins? There's plenty of promotions producing really good storyline based wrestling, especially here in the UK, where both Progress and ICW are doing very well for themselves. You like the technical exploits of Daniel Bryan or Chris Jericho? I'm sure indy stalwarts Ring of Honor, or if you're feeling exotic New Japan Pro Wrestling, will be to your tastes. Love a good spot-fest, like the Money in the Bank Ladder PPV? Then PWG is the place to be. Think Adam Rose and The Bunny are the best thing since sliced bread for their trippy antics? Chikara Pro will make you lose your shit. Wish WWE would bring back Drew McIntyre or Carlito or Maria Kanellis or any ex-employee? Get on their Twitter and find out where they're performing, places like FWE and PCW are a good place to start.

I genuinely could go on and on and on. I'm not claiming that my knowledge of the Indy scene is particularly vast, especially when it comes to promotions outside the UK, but the fact still remains that there is a promotion out there that will suit your needs perfectly. So rather than sitting every Monday night, knowing that you're probably not going to be into, at least, a third of what get's presented and then moaning about it online, why not go on a journey of discovery? Have a scour the internet, most promotions have at least some footage up on Youtube, many use on Demand services and almost all DVD's up for sale.

It's a simple formula, find what you like and support it, shout about it from the rooftops. Hey, your mate might like it as well, the one who hasn't watched wrestling in 20 years. Hey, they might not. That's the fun of any art form and a lot of the time the debate between people who enjoy two different styles is part of the fun.

If you kept eating Hawaiin pizza, but didn't really like the pineapple, I'd call you a fool for not taking the pineapple off. So, choose your flavour, maybe occassionally you might add something else to the mix or go back to your old faithful to see if they've taken off some of the pineapple. I really want a pizza now.

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