It’s easy to get bogged down in the negativity that exists online when it comes to the world of professional wrestling. Let’s put a pause on the bad stuff, all the complaints, criticisms, rants, and rundowns. Instead, let’s come up for a breath of fresh air, sift through the week that was, and accentuate the positives.
Here are your top positives from the week that was:
1. WWE Breaking Ground Premiere
WWE’s new reality show premieres Sunday at Noon on WWE’s Facebook and YouTube Channels before debuting at its regular time on the WWE Network this Monday night following Raw. WWE announced via a press release this week that Television Hall of Famer and two-time Emmy winner William Shatner would be narrating the series. This is a great addition to a show that is already expected to be a hit. Adding Shatner helps give the show credibility as more than just a pet project by someone who likes developmental and instead puts a stamp on it as a show that WWE is serious about.
The show itself promises to be ground breaking (no pun intended) as it will give an unprecedented extended view of life as a Developmental Talent in WWE. Breaking Ground has been compared to HBO’s Hard Knocks series, which follows players and coaches through the preseason of the NFL. Hard Knocks has proven to be monumental hit for the network and has changed the way many view the off-season/preseason workings of the NFL. One can only hope that Breaking Ground lives up to the expectations that have been put upon it and that it finally gives the world a view of what an up and coming wrestler’s life is truly like.
The world of a pro wrestler is uniquely separated from that of any other profession. For years, fans have enjoyed watching “shoot” interviews and hearing stories from “the road” as wrestlers live their lives between shows. It has seemed for a long time that the life of a pro wrestler was readymade for a documentary series. In fact, many times the drama that’s existed outside of the ring has been as engaging as the work done in the ring.
Couple the drama and the intrigue that naturally exists in the lives of pro wrestlers, with the unique drama that comes with trying to establish yourself in an industry that reaches every corner of the globe and what you end up with is a formula that should allow Breaking Ground to be a game changer for the way we view those in the wrestling industry. I think giving this unprecedented view into the lives of those who are in NXT will allow fans to connect with wrestlers in ways that they’ve never been able to before. That will lend itself greatly to establishing characters and storylines in the wrestling product, as fans will have a personal motivation to invest in these individuals. In addition to that, this show will allow those who are unfamiliar with wrestling and the industry itself to gain a newfound respect and understanding for the profession. All of that is a huge positive for wrestling and the fans who love it.
2. ROH Glory By Honor XIV Weekend
Ring of Honor is holding its Glory By Honor event this weekend, with both shows headlined by Jay Lethal in some capacity. As I write this, night one is in the books. I’ll refrain from spoiling anything about the event, but I will say that the upcoming Ring of Honor television show (which will air night one over the coming weeks) is easily “must see” television with several different talking points coming out of the show.
Night two is loaded from top to bottom, with the main event being October’s annual Champions vs. All-Star match. As I mentioned, Jay Lethal main evented night one and will be a part of “Team Champions” for the multi-person tag team match. I love the fact that ROH is able to feature Lethal prominently for both nights, as he deserves the spot atop the card. Lethal has proven himself over the last year as arguably the best wrestler in the business today.
Lethal goes into the event as the reigning ROH Champion and Television champion, the latter of which has been his for 567 days. He put that title on the line against Roderick Strong for the third time on night one and now goes into the Champions vs. All-Star match as the de facto team captain with scheduled partners The Kingdom. Lethal has proven time and again since becoming a double champion that he is more than capable of being a championship caliber performer. His outings with Strong (including a 60 minute broadway) have been excellent after which he pulled double duty in singles matches against reDRagon at the All-Star Extravaganza PPV. I think Lethal’s stock is as high as it’s ever been and one can only wonder if the letters NXT will be associated with Lethal anytime soon.
Lethal’s current position is a huge positive for the business, because anytime a hard working wrestler, who strives to be the best on the card every outing, is in the spotlight at the champion of a promotion the result is an excellent product that fans can enjoy and other wrestlers can flourish in.
-Kevin Owens pop-up powerbomb on Mark Henry.
-I highly recommend everyone check out Jim Ross’ most recent Ross Report podcast with guests PWI Magazine’s Dan Murphy (who discusses the PWI 500) and legendary announcer Lance Russell. Lance is one of my favorite people in wrestling; good stuff!
-Shout outs to James Storm and Tyler Breeze on making their debuts on NXT and Smackdown respectively.
-CHIKARA wraps up its Midwest tour tomorrow (10/25). You can preorder all the events for online viewing now at CHIKARAPro.com (bundle all 4 to save $8).
Well, that’s it for this week. Until next time, stay positive!