I realised this morning that i’ve been watching WWE programming for a year this week! Going back in time, I stopped watching in 2001 with the death of WCW. I always preferred WCW, the NWO vs Sting feud was, imo, one of the best of all time, and put over perfectly by some of the biggest names of all time in pro wrestling. I was also lucky enough to witness the best of the attitude era of WWE, and can vividly remember Triple H marrying Stephany in Vegas. This is my benchmark, I stopped watching, not because I feel out of love with it, WCW left (i watched Shane appear on nitro) TV and WWE was so hard to watch in the UK. Now things are different, everything is in the same place (the internet), including promotions I would never have watched on sky, matches and promotions like ROH, TNA impact, NJPW, will osprey vs ricochet and kenny omega vs kazuchika okada. This has been a revelation, watching the different styles of promotion, even dipping into CZW and watching some of the crazier bits from ECW (although i was aware of ECW through crossover stars (RVD etc) i never really watched it, Paul Heyman has always struck me as a second hand car salesman).
Now i’ve just finished watching this weeks SD Live show, really enjoyed it, enjoyed both womens matches, Becky Lynch is fantastic. This is something i would have never imagined watching back in the late 90’s, women wrestling, what is presented today is so much better than what was available. Naomi looks like she’ll be a good champion, thought she looked very comfortable on the mic, and good start to her feud with Alexa Bliss. Just hope she heals up quickly.
Bray Wyatt won the elimination chamber at the weekend becoming the new WWE champion. This is a long time coming, even though i’ve been watching for just a year, it’s been very clear to me that Bray has an amazing way with the mic, really strong story telling skills and good in ring work. He is easily at the level of Dean Ambrose for example, who has had multiple title opportunities/runs in the last 12 months. Really good segment to end the show, with both Luke Harper beating Bray down before the match, and then some great interaction with Bray and Randy Orton at very end to close the show (Randy felt very scripted, but how many times has anyone said “I pledge my undying allegiance to you, Bray Wyatt”).
I work, quite a lot at times and don’t always manage to keep up and watch every show, so on youtube i’ve found a few channels to keep my up to date. The best is possibly Wrestletalk TV, Olly Davies must live in a studio with the amount of content he puts out. Next is WhatCulture Wrestling, Adam, Adam, Simon, Ross, Jack, Kenny, all fantastic, nice and in depth, good show, very easy to watch. Third and the last one i will talk about is Wrestling with regret, Brian Zane is amazing, critical tear downs on the two main weekly shows each week, knowledgeable and confident, really nice way with him. Really enjoy watching his reviews.
I also listen to podcasts! I know, yay me! I follow jdfromny with his off the script, Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, Going In Raw with Steve and Larson and the WhatCulture stream. Before i talk about each one I must say that the person who really got me back into pro-wrestling is Vince Russo. I don’t follow him anymore, after listening to him for 8 months i found him to be a bully. He had a co presenter by the name of Jeff Lane, Jeff was a nice guy, normal, liked wrestling, was working with Vince for the experience. Vince started off nicely enough, when Jeff was having trouble with women Vince would rib him, as friends do. Over the months Vince changed, the ribbing got constantly harsher and meaner, in the end Vince would just get his friends to be guests on the show and they’d rip into Jeff and talk about little else. Anyway, i voted with my feet and left.
jdfromny, 3 or more hours of content each week, the man works as well, no idea where he gets the time! Very passionate about the sport, strong opinions and god help you if you disagree. Sam Roberts, very knowledgeable, Sam is a Radio presenter and it shows through on his podcast, very slick production, great guests and Sam also works for the WWE doing kickoff panels from time to time, allows him some insider access. Steve and Larson, two friends chatting about WWE. What more can i say? really nice chemistry between the two, nothing too over the top, solid show. WhatCulture, only been following them for about a week, they’ve had a WCPW show in the time, possibly not the best for releasing content (it has affected their youtube steam it should be noted), hope they keep releasing content, had i have listened to i’ve liked.
Enjoying WWE again is an interesting experience, watching something i’d have gone nuts for as a kid (Shane going off hell in a cell) and now looking at it from a different point of view (“I guess he’s going back to run his streaming service”) is strange. From what i gather i’m a smark, and now with this, an internet smark (the worst kind). I’ll be posting on twitter mostly regarding my thoughts on WWE, most of them can be kept to under 160 characters!
ps. i realise the image has nothing to do with any point in the article, but Chris is having the best run of his career, and this is one of my favourite moments since i have returned.