Support Independent Wrestling
I love professional wrestling, point blank. I think that’s pretty obvious. The WWF turned me onto pro wrestling back in 1996 and I haven’t left since. WWF, WCW, ECW I watched all of it. Bought the toys, magazines (WOW Magazine was the bees knees), videos, everything. Then on a cool night in November of the year 2000 I attended my first ever independent show. I was never the same. It was so cool for my 13 year old self to be sitting front row as these guys were flying high 10 feet away, for guys to be brawling in the crowd right next to me, it was live changing, I dare say. I’ve been regularly attending indy shows every since.
With the economy the way it is, and with wrestling in a borderline recession, the indies took a hit as well. It seems like even just five years ago the little guys were booming, and now it’s a little more low key. But it doesn’t matter, because everyone needs to go out and find their local indy and support them til death. You will not be sorry.
A lot of people don’t care for the indies because it’s not what they see on TV. There’s not as much pageantry, no big screen or fireworks, none of that. But you know what? That’s what makes it good. For me, the best part about going to an indy show is the intimacy of the show. With normally small audiences, they make you a part of the show. You yell something? They’re going to hear it and yell something right back at you. You become a part of the show. It’s a great experience to be sitting in the front row, and having a wrestler thrown into all the chairs surrounding you. Ever follow two wrestlers around the building, then outside into the snow where they suplex each other in the snow banks? You can’t get that anywhere else.
You can also make a connection with these people. You may have met a WWE or TNA wrestler once or twice, got an autograph and said hello. But did you ever have a full on conversation with them? During intermission at a lot of the shows the wrestlers will hang out and sign autographs and take pictures. This is where you can talk to these guys, not as a wrestlers and fans, but just as people. You’ll find that they’re just like you and I: true wrestling fans. They care just as much about it as we do. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be there. They’re not contracted to be there (most of the time), they do it because they want to and they love it.
The most important part about independent wrestling is that these are the stars of tomorrow. Not everyone you see on TV is from the WWE Factory, there are guys out there who do their own thing and are unique. Not everyone is 6’4″, 240lbs of muscle. There’s guys 5’5″, 175lbs. But they can do things Randy Orton can’t. That’s what makes indy wrestling so special: it’s unique. It’s a true alternative. A lot of folks won’t give it the time of day but just try it out. If you support guys on the indies, one day they may end up at Wrestlemania. How cool of a story is that for you to tell someone, how you saw so and so wrestle in front of 80 people then you saw him at Wrestlemania? I can say that about Matt Striker. Saw him behind a biker bar in front of 80 drunks, then saw him at Mania 23 in front of 83,000 people. How cool is that?
Bottom line: do yourself a favor and support these guys. You’ll rarely be disappointed. Here’s some links for a few of them: Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Chikara, Northeast Wrestling, Interspecies Wrestling, Kaiju Big Battel, CTWE