Support Independent Wrestling

Over Thanksgiving weekend, I attended a wrestling show from my local promotion, International Combat Sports. ICS 12 “Black Friday Bedlam” featured local talent as well as former ECW World Champion’s Justin Credible, and Mikey Whipwreck, as well as former ECW TV and Tag Team champion, Pit bull #1 Gary Wolf.

I’m not going critique any matches, but I will say that I was impressed by our local wrestlers. They put on some incredible matches that actually told stories. I honestly expected a night of overused dives/spots, but was pleasantly proven wrong. Even the one death match told a story, and it didn’t involve the ECW wrestlers.

These guys busted their butts to put on a great show, and didn’t disappoint. I’ll admit, I didn’t know the storylines that led up to the matches, but I knew who were the baby faces and who were heels. It was pretty refreshing knowing who was who and it made it fun. The crowd, was bigger than I expected, and cheered or booed accordingly to the wrestlers actions.

After the show was over and a new ICS Champion crowned, I couldn’t help but smile at the fact at how much fun my buddy and I had for a cheap price. I know there’s plenty of wrestling on TV that you can watch every week, but if the opportunity arises, take the chance and go to your local independent show. You may just have a little fun, see some entertaining matches, and possibly meet some legends, all for a great price. I know I did.

As The Wrestling World Turns

As a small preface to my first Wrestling4All article, I thought I’d give some of my own background. I’ve written articles for many sites (including my own), host and guest on many wrestling podcasts. We’ll get into my self-indulgence at another time.

This is about wrestling turns and moreso the current trend of turns in wrestling. Wrestlers turning (from heel to face or vice versa) is a tale as old as wrestling itself. There’s wrestlers that never turned, one way or the other. Hello, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat. There’s more, but he’s a prime example.

In recent years, it seems turns happen for the sake of the turn. Usually for a crowd reaction, that to be honest, most times doesn’t resonate. Big Show, Natalya, the Bella Twins (never knowing) among many others.

A turn is supposed to be meaningful. Leave you, as a spectator aghast. Hogan being the Third Man for New World Order, Gedo turning his back on Okada, Rollins Chairshot to Dean. And so on.

As a Dakota Kai and Tegan Nox fan, mark, if you will. I wanted them to hold off a little more before the turn, or had done it at a different time, even if it was still during the Takeover show itself.

How the turn happened here made sense. It wasn’t just for the sake of “We have turn someone heel, somewhere”. Which has been happening a lot in all of wrestling in the past few years.

Final thoughts. No, I didn’t want Dakota to turn here, but I thought it worked very well.

WWE Survivor Series 2019

Some good, some really bad stuff. On to the matches

Match 1 Tag Team Battle Royal.

Good as can be expected. Won by Bobby Roode and Dolph Ziggler. Decent action, nothing special. 2.5 stars

Match 2 Lio Rush vs Kalisto vs Akira Tozawa.

Good action all around. They didn’t try to do too much, pretty solid overall. Lio Rush retains. 3 stars

Match 3 New Day vs Viking Raiders vs Undisputed Era.

Great tag team match, for a 3-way with 6 guys anyway. They worked to each others strengths. Did some good stuff. I don’t remember it degenerating into some nonsense with all 6 guys in the ring. Some spots to the outside, not too many. Decent match, certainly worth watching again. Viking Raiders win. 4 stars

And so ends the “pre-show” and on we go to the real show.

Match 4 Women’s 5x5x5 elimination match.

Terrible. By the time it ended, I just didn’t care one way or another. About 2 minutes into the match, we see every woman come into the ring one after another and everyone hits finishing moves, rolling to the outside. Then two of the NXT women are “hurt” and they have to go to the back, retired from the match. At one point, one of the Raw women got pinned within arm’s reach of Charlotte who was on her team. Charlotte offered no assistance, so obviously there is no team work here. A bunch more of everyone flying and running all over the place with very little purpose to the whole affair. One of the NXT women ended up in a submission from Nattie and Sasha, neither of her two teammates offered assistance even though they were plainly in view and standing on the apron. There was nothing logical about this match. Rhea Ripley, with the returning two from the lockerroom, won for NXT. No rating

Match 5 Roderick Strong vs AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura.

After the previous match, this match has to be better. It was. Roddy won after AJ hit the elbow off the top rope onto Shinsuke and then Roddy throws AJ out of the ring. Good match, for AJ vs Roddy or AJ vs Shinsuke or Roddy vs Shinsuke would probably all have been better. 3.5 stars

Match 6 Adam Cole vs Pete Dunne.

Really athletic, but not really memorable. If you like a lot of moves, check it out. Cole retains. 4 stars

Match 7 Fiend vs Daniel Bryan.

The red lights were on. That automatically destroys anything they could possibly do. Fortunately it was shorter than the last match with red lights. Whatever, with the red lights it wouldn’t have mattered if they recreated one of the Flair vs Steamboat trilogy. No rating

Match 8 Men’s 5x5x5 elimination match.

As with most elimination matches, it just buries every other match they do. Guys take flat back pins for moves that they’d kick out from normally. Match not given enough time to really play out. Finish was meh. Roman didn’t need to win, Gable or Ali would have benefited from it more. NXT looked strong. Maybe a little better than the women’s match but still just a bunch of people flying all over the place with little to no purpose. No rating

Match 9 Brock vs Rey Mysterio.

Brock wins in a squash. Rey got no offense, except when he walked the dog on Brock with the pipe. Rey’s son Dominic came to ringside, Rey hit Brock with a low blow, Dominic hit Brock with a low blow. Dom hit Brock with a chair, double 619, two frog splashes, barely a 2 count on Brock. Brock hits Rey with a single F5, match over. I think it took me longer to type this than the match lasted. 0 stars

Match 10 Bayley vs Shayna Baszler vs Becky Lynch.

Surprised they went with the women in the main event. I’d figured it would be Brock or the 5x5x5. Becky whiffed a kick outside the ring. Bayley is good as a weasel heel. Standard problem with 3 way matches, one person ends up laying around while the other two fight. Becky hit a double move, I believe a DDT on Baszler and a Scorpion Death Drop on Bayley. Crowd is dead, go figure, the show has been going since 5pm and it’s now 10:15. Baszler gets Bayley in a Samoan drop position, and walks closer to the corner so Becky can come off the top rope; nice cooperation. Baszler is stellar, better than Lynch and Bayley by far; could be a Ronda Rousey level star in WWE. Becky immobilized outside the ring, Shayna taps out Bayley. Match of the night. 4.5 stars.

Lynch gets up after the match and does a leg drop on Baszler on the announce table after the match.

The women’s 5xx5x5 match is one of the worst matches I’ve seen on a major PPV and it wasn’t even the worst match of the night. The red lights for Bray Wyatt are terrible and make the match completely unwatchable. I’m surprised they didn’t set something up with the two sets of Horsewomen. Surely they have to do that, right? They have all 8 under contract.

Not sure how to rate the show overall. The main event was one of the best women’s matches I’ve ever seen.

Overall grade….C

Thrown Into the Fire

Greetings to All.

I write this post with a sadness in my heart. The more I think about the incident regarding Jim Cornette and his “joke” on this week’s episode of Powerrr, and after reading what Cornette had to say in his podcast, I can’t help but feel like the NWA is handling this situation in a somewhat deceitful manner. This is so disappointing for me because Powerrr had made me fall in love with professional wrestling. That feels tainted now.

As Jim Cornette was the one who uttered the controversial remark, he drew the initial focus of people’s displeasure. This was not a live event though. If it had been, then Cornette would be 100% responsible. This is a show that was taped almost two months ago. The NWA bears a large amount of the responsibility for the incident. Right from the start, the NWA framed the issue around Cornette. Let’s look at NWA Vice President David Lagana’s first tweet in response to the line causing offense.

Notice how Lagana immediately puts the incident on Cornette by saying “one of our talents made comments”. Again, this is a pre-taped show. According to Cornette, the line was heard by a variety of people through Cornette’s headset. The episode then was edited by Lagana himself who left the line in. Why wasn’t this tweet phrased along the lines of “We allowed an episode to air containing an offensive line.” Jim is playing a character on a show. Even if he’s choosing his lines, he’s still doing so trying to fit a character. It was on the NWA to catch the line and realize it could be problematic. They did not.

Then came Jim Cornette’s resignation. At this point, Cornette had not even had the opportunity to give his side of things. He did not even get to announce his own resignation. The NWA did that for him.

Everything about this announcement made it seem like this was a situation where an employee was given an opportunity to bow out gracefully or be publicly fired. Depicting it that way also shifts people’s attention to Cornette and his responsibility and away from the NWA. In many of the conversations I’ve seen regarding the resignation, people have said that Cornette was fired. That isn’t the case though. Cornette quit. He quit precisely because the NWA was not going to take any accountability for what took place.

Once outrage broke out over the line, NWA was going to have to do damage control. It seems the route they chose to go was to sacrifice Cornette to save their image. This may be a shrewd business move, but that doesn’t change the bitter taste left in my mouth by all of this. The NWA should have taken more responsibility for this and worked with Cornette to handle public reaction. Instead they lost a great announcer and someone who many fans felt was the only link between the old NWA and its current iteration. A sad situation all around and one that I do not know if the NWA will ever answer for.

Until We Meet Again,
Bryan Anthony

Rein Him In or Cut Him Loose

***Update: This post was made prior to the announcement that Jim Cornette has resigned from the NWA***

Greetings to All!

Oh Jim Cornette.

Yesterday, almost immediately after airing, episode 7 of NWA Powerrr was removed from the NWA’s YouTube and Facebook pages. NWA Vice President David Lagana tweeted out this explanation.

It doesn’t take much guesswork to figure out which talent was behind the offensive comments.

Jim Cornette has never been one to be careful about if his words offend anyone. It’s a big part of his wrestling persona. He’s already caused some controversy recently with remarks that were interpreted to be a joke about suicide. I, personally, was bothered by a comment he made about hanging a picture of Thunder Rosa in prisons to scare sex offenders. This time around it was a comment that many perceived as racist that has created a swift backlash.

I won’t reprint the comment here, you can see it elsewhere if you haven’t read it by now. It certainly was a risky joke and when I heard it, I knew that it was going to ruffle some feathers. That was a bit of an understatement on my part.

I had heard people state that they would not watch Powerrr with their kids because of some of the things Cornette says but now it looks like he might be driving away adult viewers too. This is a problem for a company that’s trying to raise itself up from obscurity.

The reason this is NWA’s problem and not Jim Cornette’s is because Powerrr is not live TV. This was an edited taped episode. That means that NWA reviewed this episode and allowed it to go to air without anyone saying “We need to edit this line out”. It’s been questioned by some if NWA were aware that this would offend people and went ahead anyway in order to generate a buzz. There’s the old adage that there’s no such thing as bad press. I suppose there’s some truth to that, but if that’s the case then it’s a risky move.

The fact of the matter is that if you want to appeal to the widest possible audience, you have to take into account the culture of society. There was a time in our society where if you were too progressive, you would alienate large amounts of your audience. When Ellen came out as a lesbian on her sitcom, there was a huge drop in viewership which ended up leading to the show’s cancellation. Outrage culture is really nothing new, it’s just the things that people get outraged about have changed.

In 2019, a company should really know better than to let a line like this make it to air. If the NWA is trying to only appeal to a niche audience, that’s one thing, but I don’t think that’s the case here. Jim Cornette is never going to stop saying controversial things. It’s who he is. The NWA needs to figure out who they want to be. It’s 2019, not 1986, they can’t be old school about everything. If they want to continue to grow their brand and reach a wide audience then they’re going to need to rein in Cornette’s extreme tendencies, or they need to cut him loose.

Until We Meet Again,
Bryan Anthony

Our Community. Our Voice. Our Passion.

Greetings to All!

To begin this entry, let me take you back two years to the beginning of my career as a teacher. The week before school started, there was an orientation for all teachers that were new to the school. That school year, my school had a lot of turnover so there were approximately twenty teachers new to the school. At the beginning of school years, teachers like to do ice breaker activities with classes as a way to get to know students and get them to know each other. Well, they make us teachers participate in ice breaker activities all the time. In this orientation, they did one ice breaker where we were all seated in a circle with a person in the middle, and one less chair than people. The person in the middle makes the statement “My name is… and I like…” and then whoever else likes what you like has to stand up and then everyone has to rush to a seat and whoever is left standing is the new person in the middle. So it was my turn in the middle and I say “My name is Bryan and I like professional wrestling.” Out of around twenty people in this circle, not a single soul stood. I was alone.

After I was thoroughly embarrassed and the ice breaker activity was over, one of the other new teachers came over to me. He says to me “Sorry, man. I watch wrestling too.” He didn’t want to admit to it in front of a bunch of new people though. When no one stood up, he felt too embarrassed to be the only one who would stand up. I gave him some grief for leaving me hanging there, but really, I understood. I think anyone who has been a professional wrestling fan for a while has some sort of similar feelings.

I’ll get back to that. In our last entry, James W Law III reflected on the toxic fandom that we can see sometimes among wrestling fans. In response to that article, some people brought up that the toxic behavior among fans was not quite new. It was mentioned that it changed from fans stabbing each other at shows back in the territory days to fans calling each other names on social media. I’m not going to get into whether or not fans are worse today or not, but the discussion did get me thinking. It got me thinking about the role social media plays in professional wrestling and professional wrestling fans.

When we think of the effect social media on professional wrestling, like with many other aspects of our lives, we think of the negative effects it has. As you’re reading this, you might be thinking of a particular incident where you’ve shared your opinion of Facebook or Twitter only to have a bunch of people tell you how stupid you are or call you names. This toxic fandom is certainly a problem but I would challenge the notion that social media has been more negative than positive for professional wrestling.

The first and foremost reason I believe social media has been a positive force is that, as I was telling my student Joshua earlier (sorry, made a promise to name drop him in my blog), social media has given fans a voice like never before. Before social media, wrestling fans really only had one way to affect change in the industry, either voicing disapproval at live events or not tuning in to the show on TV. Sure, this had an effect every now and then; the example that comes to my mind is the fans not getting behind the white meat babyface Rocky Maivia which led to us getting one of the most entertaining characters to ever step into a ring, The Rock.

However, outside of those few things, fans mostly just had to take what was given to them. Especially since, as a portion of the population we’re fairly small and spread out so there was no way to assemble for change. Social media changed all of that. Suddenly fans were able to connect with each other, share their feelings and ideas. Fans realized they were not alone with their complaints. They formed communities online. They made their displeasure known and it didn’t take long before the decision makers started to listen.

While WWE eventually incorporated the YES Movement into storyline, it began on the internet with hardcore fans wanting equal opportunities for everyone based on their talent, not just their connections. The fans spoke and WWE listened. This led to WWE paying more attention to the wrestlers that fans liked outside of WWE. We went from an era of mostly homegrown WWE talent to getting fan favorites from lesser known promotions being showcased on the international stage. It was a monumental shift. It wasn’t the last that social media would bring about.

With one simple hashtag in 2015, fans were able to take women’s wrestling from an afterthought to the main event. It cannot be understated how big of a deal the #GiveDivasAChance hashtag was for the wrestling world. Great women’s wrestling had of course been showcased elsewhere for years, but it was mostly unknown. That all changed as more people began to see that women could perform just as well as the men. Gone were the days of women’s wrestling being associated with models who were more apt to compete in a swimsuit competition than a professional wrestling match. We, as fans, did that with our voice.

The state of wrestling in 2019 is a direct result of social media. AEW exists because there were enough people who voiced their desire for an alternative on the mainstream level. I believe NWA Powerrr would probably not exist if it weren’t for Billy Corgan taking notice of the market for a show catered to old school fans expressing their distaste for the modern style. Without social media, Puro fans… well you all don’t have much too complain about, this post isn’t for you. The point is there are more options to watch now than ever before because we as fans got online and asked for them. That is the power of social media.

For my other reason for believing in the positive effect of social media, let’s go back to the story we started off with. I really did understand why the other teacher didn’t want to admit to being a wrestling fan. Any adult professional wrestling fan I’m sure can relate to the “you know it’s fake” response when admitting to being a fan. Wrestling fans are few and far between. The only places we really congregate in person at are live events and conventions. It can be lonely being a wrestling fan. Social media, however, brings wrestling fans together.

Without social media, I would not have been able to create the Wrestling 4 All Facebook group and connect with some really great fans from around the world. That also means I wouldn’t have started this blog as a place for those same fans to write about their reflections on this art form that we all love so much. Through what is sometimes disdainfully referred to as the Internet Wrestling Community, I have met some truly wonderful people and developed some good friendships.

I know I’m not alone in this. I’ve interacted with people who have created lifelong bonds with fans they met over the internet who they then went on to meet in real life. People have connected and found love through their interactions discussing wrestling on social media. That is a real powerful force. Yes, it can be negative at times, but how can we let that diminish what social media has brought to wrestling fans? The ability to come together, no matter where we are in the world, and share our love for this whacky thing we call professional wrestling is to me the most amazing thing that could have happened for wrestlings fans.

Let’s try to appreciate it, okay?

Until we meet again,
Bryan Anthony

Toxic Fandom

What great time it is to be a professional wrestling fan. There’s so many different promotions available to watch on TV and online that there’s literally a style, or flavor… if you will… for everyone. As a Gen Xer, (A person born in the 70’s and growing up in the 80’s) it reminds me of the days of old territorial wrestling. I was lucky to live in an area that got to watch the NWA, AWA, WWF (now WWE), and World Class Championship Wrestling (WCCW) in their heyday. My friends and I would talk about which promotion was our favorite, which guys from promotion A could beat the top guys from promotion B and vice versa. We could get heated, but we’d eventually move on to something else like comic books or football. It was never disrespectful.

Not today. Some fans in this era, for some reason, are hyper defensive of their preferred promotion. So defensive in fact, any legitimate criticism draws vitriolic responses to the point that makes discussion on any promotion break down to juvenile name calling, and threats. All over wrestling.

It’s okay to love your favorite wrestler and preferred promotion. It’s okay to criticize what you like and don’t like of other promotions. What’s not okay is the superiority complex that these fans feel they have over others, and the viciousness of their responses. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s just wrestling. Be happy that there’s so many promotions to choose from. If the WWE is too scripted for you, that’s fine. Watch something else. If AEW is too flippy for you that’s fine. Watch something else. Don’t torture yourself by watching something you don’t like. Enjoy the products you like regardless of what it is. Can you imagine if we argued over soda companies like we do wrestling? It’s absurd, but the vehemence between fans over promotions is exactly that. Enjoy your preferred promotion with your preferred beverage without being a jerk.

I have been guilty of pushing the buttons of fanboys to trigger responses. I did so to see what kind of responses I would get, and boy was I not disappointed!! I do want to apologize for pushing those buttons, and I hope we can all just get along. We enjoy the fact that we’ve got such a bountiful plate, and acknowledge the fact that NWA Powerrr is the best wrestling show. Period. 😉

Tyler Bruins from Firestar Pro Wrestling

Today we bring you an interview with Tyler Bruins from Firestar Pro Wrestling. Tyler talks about growing up a fan, training in pro wrestling, and working his debut match in front of over 500 fans at WrestleRevival 7 in Greensboro, North Carolina.

You can find him on Instagram @t.tyme27

You can find Firestar Pro Wrestling on Instagram @firestarprowrestling and @fspwtraining, also on Facebook by searching Firestar Pro Wrestling.

You can find us on Instagram @fridayeveningsundercard

Twitter: @fundercard

Facebook: facebook.com/fridayeveningsundercard

Or you can email us at fridayeveningsundercard@gmail.com

It Isn’t For You

Hey you, yeah you, wrestling fan. How about that Rusev and Lana stuff? Am I right? Isn’t it just awful? Don’t you just hate it? Aren’t you seething to hop on Twitter and Facebook and scream about how angry it makes you? Don’t worry, I can help you. There’s one simple phrase that will take all your angst away.

It isn’t for you.

Critiquing a product is one thing. I do it all the time. Personally, I don’t care for the Rusev/Lana/Lashley storyline. I could point to several things wrong with it. I do not complain about it though. WWE has 9 hours of weekly wrestling programming with a roster stacked full of talent. There’s NWA, AEW, Impact, MLW, NJPW and numerous independent promotions. So why would I complain as if this Rusev stuff was the only thing I could possibly be watching?

WWE is a global company that works to appeal to a massive audience. As such, they have to try to include variety in their programming so that there’s a little something for everyone. Why should I get upset over some soap opera stuff meant to appeal to a different type of fan when there was a match like Cole vs Bryan recently? That was a match that was meant for the kind of fan I am. The Rusev and Lana stuff, it isn’t for me. Some might argue that it’s not right that this is the kind of stuff they have Rusev doing, but Rusev and Lana were the ones who came up with this stuff. If they’re happy with what they’re doing, then what good are our complaints? I’ll let the man himself speak.

Fair point, you might be saying. But what about that Saudi stuff? That’s just awful, right? Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan on TV for weeks in the build up. Non wrestlers in high profile matches. Doesn’t it just make your blood boil? WWE forcing such garbage on the fans? I know. I know. It’s tough. Once again, I can help. Have you figured it out?

It isn’t for you.

Once again, WWE is a global company, it has audiences all over the world. Most of that audience does not consist of the hardcore wrestling fanbase. Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan were on our TV for weeks because people in Saudia Arabia still want to see Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan. Cain Velazquez and Tyson Fury were in big matches because the audience in Saudi Arabia likes to see a spectacle and don’t necessarily care that the performers they are watching are skilled professional wrestlers. There is nothing wrong with them enjoying this. They are fans as well and deserve to have WWE entertaining them and giving them a show they like.

Did I like seeing Flair and Hogan around? Not particularly. Was I burning to see Cain Velazquez and Tyson Fury in WWE rings? No, I was not. Was I forced to watch this and only this and ignore all the other wrestling there is (including within WWE itself)? No, I was not. Again, we can critique a product, angle, match, and that’s fine. When we begin to complain though, we are just adding stress and negativity in our lives for no good reason. There is stuff out there for wrestling fans of all persuasions, so enjoy what’s available to you, criticize stuff if you want, but if you ever want to complain, just remember…

It isn’t for you.

And as for the Saudi stuff, well some times a picture speaks more than we ever can.

Until we meet again,
Bryan Anthony

When a Hardcore Match is just Hardcore and not a Match.

Greetings to All!

Let’s jump right in with the most talked about match of the last two days, the unsanctioned Lights Out match between Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega. This match was undeniably the most brutal match that has been seen in mainstream wrestling in quite some time. However, was that brutality enough to make it a good match?

The reaction to the match has been a mix between those who found the violence gratuitous and gross and hated the match, and those who loved seeing this level of sadism on display and have been rating it as a possible match of the year contender. None of the response to this match seems to be focused on analyzing it from the prospective of a professional wrestling match though, taking into consideration the story that’s been told and the psychology of the match. With many things AEW, some are irrationally biased against it and will trash it likely without even watching it, and others will ignore all objectivity and heap praise on something without applying any critical though. I’ve seen many people refer to this as the match of the year. That, however, is a bit of the insult to many very great matches that have taken place this year. This match was not as good as some fans reactions may lead you to believe.

Fans who’ve grown tired of the lack of good hardcore wrestling in WWE and fans who have never been exposed to promotions like CZW seem to be dazzled by the novelty of the match that they’re ignoring some glaring flaws in the match. For me, the problem in this match wasn’t that it was too violent. The problem was that the violence made no sense.

Now, we all know that what we’re watching isn’t real. That’s something that doesn’t really need to be addressed but it seems to be brought up whenever I’m critical of the logic behind something I see in the ring. Just because we know it’s not real, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t expect some form of consistent logic. Without that, the suspension of disbelief, the ability to pretend that what we’re watching in that ring is real, goes away.

There were two main ways that this match challenged a viewer’s suspension of disbelief. The first involved the stipulation of the match. This was not billed as hardcore match, a death match, or even a street fight. This was billed as an unsanctioned match. AEW made it clear that the reason they refused to sanction this match is because they did not want to be held accountable for what took place. Here’s where the believability gets challenged. Are we expected to believe that, even though AEW refused to sanction this match, AEW’s ring crew placed all the following items under the ring for Moxley and Omega to use: a barbed wire bat, a barbed wire broom, a mousetrap board, a duffle bag full of a broken glass table, and a bunch of steel chains. Why would they do that when AEW doesn’t want to bear any responsibility for what happens in the match? It’s insulting to the viewer’s intelligence, much in the same way that WWE does when they ignore logic.

The other challenge to the ability to suspend one’s disbelief was how the match seemed more in favor of cramming in as many insane spots as possible than trying to tell a story that makes sense. Don’t get me wrong, I can enjoy a good brutal hardcore spot, but I will never be willing to place insane spots over proper ring psychology. Once I see a spot where everyone should be dead, that’s where the match should end. After about the 4th or 5th of those types of spots, it just becomes painfully obvious that I’m not watching a real fight. My suspension of disbelief goes out the window and I’m no longer watching two fighters trying to destroy each other. I’m just watching two stuntmen trying to see how they can top what they did before.

I understand that fans have been aching for some more brutality in mainstream wrestling, especially those who have not been exposed to other promotions outside of WWE, for years. Brutality for brutality’s sake is not what we should be accepting though. I think when people look back on this match, the rose colored glasses will be removed and it will be seen for the flaws it has. AEW sold themselves as being a higher standard of wrestling. This match didn’t show that to me.

Until we meet again,
Bryan Anthony