Ah, 2009. When one foolhardy wrestling fan and admitted statistical dork decided to try and keep track of all the matches watched in one calendar year.
The guy with the wise-acre idea to chronicle every wrestling match I watch in a calendar year? Still doing it. Probably will do it next year just because I dig making lists.
Just haven’t had a bunch of time to watch in the past 90 days for a variety of reasons I won’t bore you with.
Let’s just get to the list, K?
Had a lot going as of late, so any opinionating will be brief.
But let me just say this.
What does it indicate when WWE does a “special” three-hour episode of Raw, and the only guys who put on matches worth watching on the whole show are on Smackdown?
Also, Donald Trump buying Raw might officially be WWE’s shark-jumping moment.
The wish-I’d-watched-more-Misawa-matches details, after the jump.
There’s something to be said about a) trying to chronicle every match you watch in a given calendar year, and b) doing so when, 90 percent of the time, you have no idea how good or bad the next match on your docket will be.
Suffice to be said, as number 200 approached, I had certain expectations. I was thinking it would be some awesome match to reflect the gravitas of the milestone.
But when you’re watching the Best of Memphis, the territory that spawned the likes of Jeff Jarrett and Dutch Mantell and the booking philosophy that now reigns supreme in TNA, you never know WHAT to expect.
The “did that just happen” details after the jump.
And yes, yes it did.
Pardon me for a brief rant. And what’s better for a blog than a good old-fashioned rant?
Everyone who knows me knows I likey the wrestling. Give me two thick-necked dudes in tiny pants pretending to beat up one another in the ring, and I will call it art.
I’ll watch all kinds of wrestling. WWE… TNA… ROH… the old-school terrtorial stuff… tiny federations like NWA Anarchy. The only thing I won’t bother with these days is NWA’s Wrestling Showcase show, which is terrible.
The key word in this little rant is WRESTLING, boys and girls. And though WWE dominates the landscape these days, the cookie-cutter mentality seems to become more and more prevalent in McMahon Land.
Stop me when you’ve heard this one before.
Wrestler A is in the corner. Wrestler B charges Wrestler A. Wrestler B lowers a shoulder and flips Wrestler A out over the top rope. Wrestler B lands on the apron and hits Wrestler A with a forearm or punch when he turns around, then follows up with some sort of (WWE sanctioned of course) highspot.
I see that in WWE, again and again and again.
I grow weary of WWE Style. The punchy-kicky, headlocky, everyone works the same basic spots style. Now, I understand these guys wrestle hundreds of shows a year and have to dial it back. I understand that completely. And, at least they’re getting a decent paycheck in return.
But these days, I’ve been watching a lot of old-school territorial stuff. And what strikes me in both that, and the current independent circuit, and even in TNA, is the divergence in wrestling styles you see from match to match. Guys allowed to do their own thing.
You can vive la difference watching the Mid-South and Memphis sets recently produced by a certain message board of import.
When the current mainstream product becomes “retro” and someone produces a best-of, how will history treat the current McMahon “vision”?
Updated list, after the jump.
As time goes by, I appreciate the old territorial wrestling more and more.
The goals for a wrestling promotion were much simpler in those days. There were no corporate guys to answer to, no “booking committes”, no worry about stockholders or buyrates or even TV ratings.
The objective, the only true objective, was to hype up the next big life event and put butts in the seats.
That’s what made an angle Memphis ran in 1981 so revolutionary. The details, after the jump.