As a wrestling fan it is unfortunately very easy to become cynical and jaded.
Negativity spreads throughout Twitter and other platforms as people are all too quick to jump on anything that they don’t like about a person, show, or company. What many seem to miss is that wrestling is a wonderfully bizarre form of escapism that can be a source of great joy if you let it. Nowhere else in sports will you see such elaborate characters and fantastical situations.
We all need to let a little joy back into our hearts and these are just five things this week in wrestling that’ll help you do that.
5. War Is Coming
Okay, so usually war isn’t a reason to be joyful. In fact, it is a horrific thing that ruins lives across the globe. In the wacky world of sports entertainment however it is something that has been needed for a very long time.
Back in the glory days of the Monday Night War, WWE, WCW, and ECW were pushing one another to evolve and give fans something truly revolutionary. Wrestlers were not stuck with only one option if they wanted to make the big bucks and it made for a far more competitive marketplace. The purchase of the latter two companies by the former caused the industry to become a monopoly and as such creativity took a backseat to corporate interests.
Now it is all set to change as AEW is on the verge of debuting as a weekly television show and finally the WWE finds itself with a viable competitor.
This may be scary for the powers that be in the Dub but for fans it is the most exciting thing to happen in over a decade. Each company is expected to bring its A game each week to one up the other and it should result in some of the finest wrestling on TV.
No matter which company wins this war, the fans will always be the true winners.
4. Underutilised Wrestlers Getting A Chance
Tying into the changes that war brings, the WWE is finally giving their often-overlooked stars a chance to shine.
Throughout the King of the Ring tournament Chad Gable was made to look like a million dollars as he outwrestled his foes en route to the final. He may have lost that match to Baron Corbin but the rub he gained has made him into a serious competitor once more.
Chad is not the only one to be benefitting either as just this week Robert Roode made it to the end of the Five-Way Elimination Match on Raw to determine the number one contender for the Universal Championship. This is a wrestler who previously wouldn’t have even been on the card and now is being allowed to pin AJ Styles in a high profile match.
This emergence of fresh talent is wonderful to see and allows Raw and SmackDown to feel different as they move into a highly publicised new era. It could lead to brand new feuds at long last and reignite interest from fans who have become tired of the same old faces.
3. NXT A Success on USA Network
Another benefit of the incoming war for supremacy.
Some worried that the move to the USA Network would result in a watered-down product that could ruin what made NXT so popular in the first place. What happened instead was that the brand put on its best weekly show ever.
NXT episodes have never been must watch TV. The TakeOvers were always big deals, and rightfully so, but the weekly broadcasts were fairly run of the mill most of the time. However, the USA debut was stacked with must see matches and will likely continue that way if the show is to be a success on the network.
This means that NXT is getting bigger and better as well as longer. If that doesn’t excite you then I don’t know what to tell you.
It may be a transparent move to combat AEW but it’s once again one that benefits the wrestling fan to no end.
2. The Return of Kishin Liger
If you thought that Jushin Liger couldn’t get any better, then you were dead wrong. Enter Kishin Liger.
At the recent Destruction in Kobe event Jushin attacked members of Suzuki-Gun before the bell and unmasked to reveal his demonic alter ego. He then continued his attacks, complete with poison mist and a large spike.
In the final year of his storied career, it would have been understandable for Liger to simply put on a few big matches with marquee opponents and then sail off into the sunset without pushing any boundaries but that is not what the legend has opted to do.
Once more he has become one of the most talked about men in wrestling as he donned the Kishin persona for the fourth time in NJPW history. What this means for the man named after the gods is that he’s ready for a real battle with Minoru Suzuki and that is a thought to get any true fan excited. It’ll be bloody, brutal, and beautiful.
1. The Fiend Continues to be Used Correctly
Of all the amazing things happening the wrestling world right now there is nothing more buzz worthy than Bray Wyatt. After a startling career rejuvenation, The Eater of Worlds has become the most feared entity in the business again.
The past may have led some fans to speculate that Wyatt would be mishandled by creative and lose his edge quickly, but the truth could not be further from that as this week he took down the massively protected monster, Braun Strowman.
Rarely does a character on WWE programming capture the fans imaginations so completely as has The Fiend. He’s a terrifying creature that looks as though he crawled straight out of your worst nightmare and that is exactly why he works so well. It’s spellbinding to watch him destroy his prey as that piercing squeal plays in the background.
Excitement abounds for each new Firefly Funhouse episode and audiences wait with bated breath for the lights to shut off and the carnage to start.
Hopefully you’ve read this and come away feeling just a tad more enthused about the current wrestling landscape. There’s plenty to put a smile on even the most difficult to please fan’s face.
If not though, then check back next week for yet more of the positive side of wrestling.
You can find me on Twitter @Impers0nalJesus. Thank you so much for reading!