All In Was All Right!
On September 1st 2018, the very best from Ring Of Honor, Lucha Underground and New Japan Pro Wrestling came together to present the fans with a real alternative to WWE and maybe, just maybe, a reason to finally stop supporting the Roman Reigns show.
Full disclosure, I am not a massive independent wrestling fan! But that is exactly why WWE should be terrified of what happened on September 1st. I consider myself and professional wrestling fan but really I'm a WWE fan. I first got hooked by Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, The Undertaker, Shawn Michaels and Triple H. I was then kept hooked by Chris Jericho, Randy Orton, Edge, John Cena and CM Punk. Never did I ever have my head turned by WCW, TNA, ROH, NJPW or the independent wrestling scene, until now! Do I really want to sit through 8 hours of WWE television every week? With drawn out and boring storylines, zero charisma “top guys” and lackluster character development? NO! Just sitting through the 3 hours of Monday Night Raw is hard enough. I want to watch 2 or 3 hours of wrestling a week where I get a few good characters, a couple of good matches and a hell of a storyline, that's all! WWE has really gone for quantity over quality and 'All In' may have just shown WWE how it's done.
'All In' gave us amazing matches, shocking moments and emotional, fell-good endings. You watch the 6-man tag team match and tell me that you weren't entertained, you watch Chris Jericho turn up to attack Kenny Omega and not pop at your television screen and you watch Cody Rhodes win the same Championship as his Father and not have a frog in your throat. It gave us everything that we look for in a professional wrestling pay-per-view event and I don't think any fan would have felt remotely disappointed for tuning in, which has become a very normal emotion at the end of WWE pay-per-views lately. WrestleMania 34, disappointing, SummerSlam, mediocre, Monday Night Raw, usually pointless and thoughtless. As a WWE fan I wasn't looking forward to 'All In' as much as I would have for literally ANY WWE pay-per-view but I finished the Bullet Club show thinking “that was amazing!” & “where can I get more of this?” and that's where the independents could learn a little something from Vince McMahon and co.
Cody Rhodes was right when he said that WWE does not own wrestling but Vince McMahon does own scheduling. If Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling and Lucha Underground became more accessible to all of us fans around the world then I guarantee that they will blow WWE out of the water. I understand that these smaller promotions signing deals with Sky Sports or BT Sports might go against the whole feeling of sticking it to the man but isn't that the next logical step? There is a reason that these channels are the juggernauts that they are and they would help these wrestling organisations to no end with weekly episodic deals. Even ITV has just restarted a wrestling show and I'm sure that they would love a much more established one to broadcast. The one thing that WWE gets so right is the scheduling format. The fact that we all know exactly what we're going to get and exactly when and where to get it is a massive help to keep tuning in. I would much prefer to support these indie shows and I would enjoy myself more in doing it but as a consumer they have to make it easy for me to do that. Supply and demand!
But to go back to the heart of the matter, the actual product itself is terrible at WWE no matter how well it's ran and the easiest way to show you that is one of WWE's previous talents. Let's look at Cody Rhodes. He left WWE as a lame, uninspiring, face-painted goon and the man has become one of the most entertaining and exciting talents in all of professional wrestling. No matter how much commitment he had to his Stardust character or how much in ring talent he possessed, no one could have made Stardust a WWE Champion. And why? Because Stardust is everything that we hate about WWE right now. Made for kids, PG and a rip off of something better, it's literally Roman Reigns with face paint! But Cody Rhodes is everything we love. Showing us glimpses of something from the past but putting his own spin on it. Letting his natural charisma and in-ring talent shine through with zero barriers. Cody Rhodes is the embodiment of the change we desire! He is a foreshadowing of how WWE needs to change or how it will die!
The main thing to take away from this is that these guys are almost there! They are almost a legitimate challenger to WWE and when that days comes it is YOUR responsibility to punish WWE for there ways! Don't tune in, don't attend events and don't buy the merchandise! In the words of their own COO they will have to adapt or perish! They will either make WWE the one stop shop of great wrestling matches and amazing television or else Wrestle Kingdom will become the main show of the professional wrestling calendar. WE WANT CHANGE! And 'All In' may have shown us how we can get it!
Agree? Disagree? Let me know with your comments below!