You know what a high point of the July 8th Raw was for me? Besides the Wyatt family debut of course: The Alberto Del Rio/Sin Cara match, not in a “5 star classic” kind of a way, in fact I was downright angry at the Dolph Ziggler “thing” that occurred during whatever that was. No, I was hit by the sudden realisation that on WWE television, and Monday night Raw of all things, I was about to watch Mistico vs Dos Caras Jr! Two titans of Mexican Wrestling on my screen as part of WWE. This got me realising some other things too, amongst its roster WWE lays claim to the former Claudio Castagnoli, Chris Hero, PAC, Brodie Lee, El Generico, Tyler Black, Jon Moxley and former Ring of Honor World champions in Daniel “Brian Danielson” Bryan and CM Punk, Hell, if you wanted you could also add Super Liger to that list (Chris Jericho for those unaware), you’ve got stand out UK & Irish talent, a former IWGP tag champion, 2 and 3rd generation stars, some amazing “home grown” prospects and some great “gimmick” performers too serve as an entertaining (for the most part) side dish.
What I guess the point of this nigh-on incoherent rambling is is that as an admittedly mainstream focused watcher of pro grappling, I and to an extent most of you reading and watching WWE right now have never had it so good. Really.
Look, I know that sometimes the booking is all over the place and WWE loses interest in pushing talent with the same frequency that magpies get distracted by something shiny, but just taking it at face value WWE right now has a collection of guys & gals that reads like a particularly well filled Create-A-Wrestler roster.
Also, the rise of Daniel Bryan seemingly unfolding over this summer is a thing of beauty, given the talent around him that he could potentially interact with.
This has precedent of course, looking back at WWF in the late 80s reads like a who’s who of wrestlers (as opposed to the mid 90s, which could be described as a who’s that? of wrestlers) Hogan, Savage, Piper, Rude, DiBiase, Perfect, Race, Demolition, LoD, Hart Foundation, The Rougeaus, Bulldogs,Roberts, Rhodes, Von Erich, Snuka (maybe not), Rooster (DEFINITELY not). This was all planned, during it’s national expansion, WWF acquired any talent to pack out it’s “All Star” roster, where a mid card WWF match could have just as easily been a main event NWA match. The same goes for WCW during its peak, Pillman vs Liger & Chono vs Jericho anyone? Anyone?
This isn’t a million miles away from where we find ourselves right now. The dynamics have changed, there’s no major competitor to speak of, but WWE has acquired a line up of Independent and international talent that should be the envy of any company.
To put a bow on this, think of all those names I mentioned at the start of this and realise that we now have the chance to see these people interact on television on a regular basis (hopefully). As I said, we’ve never had it so good, so fill your boots folks.
If you’ll permit me a brief diversion or two in the interests of padding, we also have a super hero-esque champion that’s insanely popular with the younger audience, and a charismatic workhorse that may rival the hero by appealing to the purists and die-hards. So Cena & Bryan are this generations’ Hogan & Savage If that’s too “out there” I’m sorry but I saw the parallel and I’ve yet to see anyone else mention it, plus this isn’t planned & I’m just kind of winging it, so bear with me.
Just a quick thought on the “Husky Harris” chants that dogged the Wyatt debut and caused all kinds of #4CDrama. Yes, watching it I wanted to find those who chanted and introduce them to all manner of sharp objects, but I’m not the kind to dwell on things, so I’ll just say I’m disappointed, but lets not forget one of the most powerful use of imagery and production values to debut a new act, not since Kane’s introduction have WWE hit all the right notes (and how fitting was it that Kane was the first target of the Wyatts). I’ll certainly remember the visual of the trio lit only by that solitary lamp. Chilling.
Also, poor, poor Christian. Tough break pal.
So until we meet again, have fun with wrestling and appreciate what you’ve got, because what you’ve got has the potential to be awesome.