Hardcore WWE fans won’t like this column much at all and that’s totally fine. It isn’t for them anyway. This piece is for all the fans out there that watch and enjoy pro wrestling products outside of the WWE. If your automatic response when you think about your favorite wrestling or sports entertainment program is a WWE show, then go ahead and click away because I know that I won’t be changing your mind anytime soon. It’s nearly impossible to not know the general goings-on with the WWE and I’m not judging anyone for watching it or subscribing to “The Network”. I just personally choose to watch as little as possible and use my money and time for other things. My purpose here is not to bash on the WWE, but rather, focus on all the other options out there. With it being Wrestlemania season, there will be a million articles and reviews and videos and social media posts about that event. Do we need one more? No, we sure as hell do not.
It’s worth pointing out that for the entire pro wrestling industry to be successful in the long run, it is important that non-WWE companies do well in order to provide legit competition. The WWE is a big fat cash cow that wants to squash all threats and stifle any major competitor. That’s what makes this AEW thing so interesting. Already, in the short time that AEW has even existed, there are certain people putting all their hopes into AEW being the late 90’s version of what WCW was. That’s some mighty high expectations for a company that has ran one event so far. The real answer to how the competition for the WWE will be provided is a broad collaboration of all the remaining major companies to work together in some form or fashion. To a certain degree, this is already taking place and will be showcased during the first week of April. The ROH/NJPW G-1 Supercard event happening in front of a sold-out Madison Square Garden is a big deal. The Impact Wrestling United We Stand show is a big deal. For the betterment of pro wrestling, the fans need choices and there are plenty of them.
On an interesting side note, we ran a Twitter poll this week about non-WWE Wrestlemania weekend events and United We Stand got the most votes.
I’m going to briefly talk about a number of the different pro wrestling companies out there and maybe, just maybe, it will persuade you to at least check one or two of them out (if you haven’t already). Some of you watch multiple products so this will be a bit of preaching to the choir in that case. I have tried to increase my knowledge of different wrestling organizations in the last couple of years but it all takes time and it’s a lot to digest when you only have so much time available. Even if it just means watching a few highlights on YouTube or Twitter or whatever format, giving something a chance doesn’t hurt. DiscussPW has provided coverage on several of the various promotions out there. April is going to be a massive month for pro wrestling, so why not order a new or different item on the menu? Hell, maybe you’ll find yourself expanding your palate like so many of us have.
Now, just to make it clear, we are all Impact Wrestling fans here at DiscussPW. Does that mean that you absolutely have to be an Impact fan to visit the site and comment? No. All fans are welcome. But, if you can’t refrain from bashing on Impact, that behavior will not be tolerated. You can do that anywhere else in the Internet Wrestling Community. But here, we’re not going to put up with that shit. That being said, we also talk about most other promotions and even the WWE occasionally. A large majority of the time, we converse about non-WWE organizations. So, like the title of this column, this is somewhat of a plea to all fans out there that want to see all wrestling institutions do well and succeed long-term. If you don’t share in that philosophy then I’m not sure what to tell ya. A few years back, I put out a similar “call to arms” with ROH fans in a column when ROH and TNA (at the time) were both airing back to back on Destination America. I simply proposed that both fan bases could be supportive towards each other and watch both products. The term “shake our hand” was used. Well, the hardcore ROH fans that responded basically told me to go fuck myself and acted like assholes. So, I’ve waited four long years to write something along those same lines again in an attempt to unite fan bases in some small way.
I think that we’re past the point now where the non-WWE companies can afford to be completely separated like that and scoff at each other. I don’t mind if people make fun of the WWE as much because they have an insane amount of money, resources and notoriety. It doesn’t hurt their bottom line much at all when fans bash the WWE because a certain demographic will watch them no matter what. Good for the WWE, they have earned that I suppose. Nothing lasts forever though and the WWE is no different. On the other hand, it really does hurt other wrestling promotions badly when there is constant negativity and snarkiness on social media and wrestling news sites. Unfortunately there is a mindset of “perception is reality” that is prevalent online. Reckless hate and wishing for a company to go out of business is just plain wrong. However, Impact has received the lion’s share of that hate and criticism in comparison to any promotion in existence and yet they have survived. They have regrouped and reorganized. It is absolutely obvious that Impact’s product is very, very good right now. It’s not even debatable at this point. Yet, there is still a rogue, vocal minority out there that judges Impact on their product pre-2018, and that’s where their actions are really flawed. Impact is basically a new company since the Canadian ownership took over. The armchair quarterbacks out there constantly nitpick and bitch and complain which is all off-putting and somewhat cowardly. Impact Wrestling deserves to have the stink of bad past decisions lifted off of them and they also deserve to be critiqued fairly.
We, here at DiscussPW, have a proven track record of covering many wrestling companies and promoting a massive number of upcoming events. In fact, we probably have the most extensive and detailed pro wrestling events calendar in the world. If there’s a better one, let me know because I don’t think it exists. Jay has put a lot of work into maintaining the events information and, at the end of the day, the underlying motivation is to promote companies for the betterment of the entire pro wrestling business. We don’t get any money for doing it. We’re just wrestling fans that want to see the industry as a whole do well. Indy wrestling companies always need exposure and support and it’s our little way of helping with that. The links to the actual tickets for many of our listed events have been accessed hundreds of times so there is a direct correlation between what we are doing with events and their success. We promote the events on Twitter and Instagram also and often times these posts get a generous response. Again, are we primarily Impact fans? Yes, but we want all companies to thrive.
Are we all past the point of wishing bad things on other non-WWE promotions? I would hope so. Ed Nordholm, Scott D’Amore and Don Callis have made it very clear that they want to work with all wrestling establishments and are open-minded about doing just that. Of course there will be varying capacities and levels for how that would take place and some barriers to overcome, but the willingness and desire is there. A prime example of what I’m outlining here is the upcoming United We Stand event on April 4th. On this card there will be wrestlers from Wrestle Pro, AAA, MLW, Lucha Underground, Dragon Gate, and other indy promotions. There will be legends like RVD and Sabu. So much collaboration and cooperation has gone into this one event. Impact is setting the standard for Wrestlemania weekend as far as multiple organizations working together to put on a great show. The fans win and the wrestlers win. This is a winning philosophy and one that TNA management of yesteryear was somewhat unwilling to participate in. Now it’s a new day and a new way of doing things though.
Let’s take a look at some of the main promotions out there and how we have covered them here at DiscussPW:
AEW: They have a lot of buzz and big financial backing. There is a lot of potential there but at this point, being objective about it, they have a lot to prove and many unknowns. I don’t wish anything bad on AEW and I am more curious about how things will evolve with them over time. Hopefully they will work with other promotions like they’ve stated previously. We covered ALL IN when it happened last year and did a Spark the Discussion review on it.
ROH: They are well established and have a loyal fan base. I respect ROH for sure. To me, it’s a more niche product than anything but they definitely have a place in the pro wrestling landscape. They have a valuable relationship with New Japan. I have spent time watching their shows in the past and casually follow them now. Jay has done ROH episode reviews off and on for the last several months.
MLW: I fully admit that I am not as familiar with this operation but I’m willing to check it out more this year. Doing so has been on my checklist but I haven’t gotten around to it just yet. There’s definitely some future crossover possibilities here with Impact as Konnan has influence there. Also, the Lucha Bros and other Impact wrestlers have gone back and forth or are currently on both rosters. It sounds like Low Ki will be involved with both companies now. Jay has also done MLW episode reviews in 2019.
Lucha Underground: In the last 12 months, this is the promotion that I watched the most, besides Impact. A lot of that was spurred on by their fantastic cross promotion Twitch event in New Orleans during Wrestlemania weekend last year. I watched every episode (although I did fast forward through a few matches over the entire season) of Season 4 after being a casual viewer previously. Right now, LU is alive in name only but we’ll see if Season 5 ever gets off the ground. Several of their best roster members are excelling in Impact and other places. We did Spark the Discussion reviews on several of the episodes of Lucha Underground Season 4 and legitimately gave it fair shake.
AAA: I am somewhat of a casual viewer of AAA also but I have seen several matches over the years. I really like the collaboration that Impact and AAA have established and it sounds like AAA will also be working with AEW. Again, Konnan has a big role with this company as he and Don Callis seem to have their hands in many things with multiple places. We have discussed AAA events many times in our comment sections and watched their Twitch events in our dedicated Twitch Room.
This column could go on and on about all of the many wrestling organizations that are successful out there all over the world but I’m going to start wrapping this up. I think you get the point of what I’ve been trying to say throughout this thing. We haven’t even mentioned CMLL and The Crash. Then there’s NOAH and Impact’s re-budding relationship with them. NJPW is a major player that has a dedicated fan base. The NWA is lingering out there. Then there’s all the Indy Wrestling promotions like BCW, FSW, Smash, Rockstar Pro, PWG, OVW, House of Hardcore and many others. There are the women’s promotions like Rise, WOW, Shine, Shimmer and more. I could name a hundred more promotions but let’s don’t get redundant here.
If for some reason, you are reading this and you haven’t given Impact Wrestling a chance for a while, check it out again. With Impact being on Twitch now, it gives the entire world access like never before. All you need is the Internet and you can watch the show. Of course, a bigger U.S. TV Network would be nice but it’s not reality right now. Here’s my simple challenge for everyone this Wrestlemania Weekend: Give one or two other wrestling promotions a chance, even if it’s just one match or a segment or two. I just went through many of the choices above and I doubt that everyone is familiar with every single company that I mentioned. If you feel like reporting back about your experience of watching a wrestling product for the first time in one of our comment sections that would be cool and welcomed. I like to hear people’s opinions on stuff like that. Let’s come together a bit more as fans of pro wrestling. Or maybe I’m being too “pie in the sky” with this whole thing? Let me know. As always, thanks for reading and supporting the site.