WWE Desperately Needs Competition

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Just imaging 1990’s WCW and picture Stunning Steven Austin not having a viable alternative to WCW.

Now imagine 1980’s wrestling and all of the major stars, like Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, Randy Savage, and Nick Bockwinkle, all in the same company with no alternative, and I didn’t even mention the up-and-coming stars like Jerry Lawler, Magnam TA, Ultimate Warrior, Sting, Lex Luger, Roddy Piper, the Von Erichs,Curt Henning (Mr. Perfect), and Ric Rude.

Many wrestlers, especially in the second list, would’ve gotten lost in the shuffle, and many others would’ve never gotten their careers to the peak that it did.

The 1980’s had WWF; NWA, and their individual territories; and the AWA as the places for wrestlers to go as alternatives to their current situation. If someone like Lex Luger would’ve failed in the AWA, he could’ve went to NWA Mid-Atlantic and thrive.

Now, let’s examine today’s state of wrestling in the United States:

It’s pretty much the WWE, and that’s it.

Sure there’s TNA and ROH, but neither garner close to the amount of money and viewership as the WWE, and is perceived as a step-down if a wrestler, from the WWE, ends up in one of those two promotions.

If Steve Austin failed in today’s WWE, he would’ve likely ended up in one of the independent indie promotions, his career would never skyrocket to superstardom, even if his gimmick had a tremendous change that changed the game in TNA or ROH, he would’ve likely been brought back to the WWE, and got lost in the shuffle.

That’s exactly what’s happening to wrestlers in today’s WWE.

A viable alternative wouldn’t guarantee Cody Rhodes, Sheamus, Cesaro, Wade Barrett, and Alberto Del Rio success, but different writers- with a different vision- could at least have a chance to reinvent themselves.

A viable alternative could also prevent wrestlers from the need to go to Japan to get themselves a following, like a Kenny Omega.

Then let’s examine NXT:

It has a roster consisting of viable names like Bobby Roode, Samoa Joe, Nakamura, and so on.

Just these slew of names alone combined with names like Kurt Angle and Adam Pearce (from ROH) plus the Hardy brothers could potentially be a roster deep enough to jump start a company to compete with the WWE from a talent standpoint. It’s just lacking a star from the WWE to give it credibility, such as a Randy Orton (whom also has had some misuse over the past few years).

The average professional sport (NFL, NBA or MLB) doesn’t have a true competitor, but what it does have is nearly thirty or more teams for players to bounce from, if they’re feeling misused or paid enough, so why can’t wrestlers have that same luxury.

Competition is a great thing. It forces each other to produce better products for their fans to watch. The WWE desperately needs it, due to it’s stale state, as well as individual wrestlers that are getting lost in the shuffle.

 

 

 

 

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An Old Dinosaur that’s Still Walking Amongst Us: the NWA

Good vs Evil; Face vs Heel; and fan favorites vs wrestlers that fans love to hate is what wrestling provides every Monday Night on World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Raw.

But I’m not here to talk about the WWE.

There was a time when the NWA was the king of the wrestling world, which was home to stars like Lou Thesz, Harley Race and Ric Flair.

During that era of wresting, wrestling was broken into several territories. These territories had hand-shake agreements not to wrestle and broadcast in each other’s territories.

Unfortunately, the dawn of the cable television era changed everything. It allowed Vince McMahon Jr. (WWF) and Jim Crockett Jr. (Mid Atlantic/Georgia Championship Wrestling) to build empires in the 80’s. In 1988 Jim Crockett was bought out by Ted Turner, creating WCW; thus putting an end to the NWA as we knew it.

The NWA is still around with small Independent promotions; such as, Vendetta Pro (California/Nevada), Smoky Mountain (eastern Tennessee) and Mid-South (western Tennessee) anchoring the NWA today.

Everything runs in cycles, and the NWA is on a twenty-five year downturn. The question is, will the NWA ever return to it’s former glory; and what will it take to get from where it is currently to back on top of the wrestling world?

Currently, the major problem is bulk of wrestling fans doesn’t know that the NWA is still in existence.

The NWA has an On Demand featuring classic matches from the Paul Boeshe library (Houston territory). It’s an OK revenue generator, but it can always be better, in terms of creating revenue. The content is tremendous; it features matches like Andre the Giant vs Harley Race, and so on.

What the On Demand truly lacks is current content; such as, every major championship should be featured on On Demand within 48 hours of a match. This would accomplish several things: 1: it allows the matches to be reviewed; 2: it allows for fans across the United States to watch these matches; 3: due to writers’ reviews, it allows for fans, that doesn’t know the NWA is still in existence to subscribe to On Demand; 4: it introduces the older fans to the new product and the newer fans to the older product.

Now this doesn’t mean that fans will start pouring in to buy NWA On Demand; however, it’s a start in the right direction.

The NWA needs to have a weekly Podcast promoting it’s current stars and upcoming events. Again, this doesn’t mean that fans will start pouring into events and buying merchandise.

Producing an NWA iPPV could go a long way towards generating revenue needed for getting the necessary equipment for television.

Television is mandatory; however, this is the toughest bridge to cross.

Getting on television will require content, or some sort of plan for syndication.

What I would ultimately do is chop up three to five matches, from across the alliance a week, and put it onto YouTube. Then look for sponsors to help generate revenue.

The other route could potentially be buying a warehouse and making it into a wrestling studio. This way they could fly wrestlers in, and knock out four episodes in a single night and ship the content to networks, or even Netflix.

There always is pride when a local guy makes it to the WWE or NJPW, but wouldn’t be even more special if that local guy from Smoky Mountain or Vendetta Pro headline a NWA event that is seen by millions on Pay Per View.

It may never become the king of wrestling again, but a man can dream, right?