On the October 21st edition of NXT I watched “Cowboy” James Storm make his debut against Danny Burch. As I watching the crowd react to him I began to ask myself, what’s going on in pro wrestling?, where is pro wrestling going?, and what does the future hold for everyone who laces up a pair of boots? I realized it’s been a long since I addressed my feelings on where the pro wrestling business is going. I figured I start from the bottom and work my way up the ladder on the comings and going of each promotion
Global Force Wrestling
This is Jeff Jarrett’s second attempt at a pro wrestling company. His first mistake was partnering with the sinking ship known as TNA Impact Wrestling and sharing talent just to get TV time. The second problem with GFW is there are no champions and no TV deal in place. Those two things should have been established long before the promotion launched. As we know from WCW’s history, a wrestling promotion isn’t worth two cents if you don’t have a TV deal. The longer this goes on the shorter amount of time Jeff is going to be an owner. I hope to see some progress from GFW by the early part of 2016.
TNA Impact Wrestling
Heavyweight Champion: Vacant
King of the Mountain Champion: Bobby Roode
World Tag Team Champions: The Wolves
X Division Champion: Tigre Uno
Knockouts Champion: Gail Kim
Things in TNA have not been the same since A.J. Styles left. They got worse when Samoa Joe departed and the sink started to ship when James Storm ended his three year run in the company. All TNA is now is performers that are either about WWE or WWE doesn’t want back. The moment Spike TV dumped them and were forced to go to Destination America it’s been a countdown for me on how long the company lasts. The only talents I care about in TNA are Bobby Roode, and Austin Aries. I would love to see both men end up in NXT at some point before they call it a career.
Luncha Underground Champion: Mil Muertes
Gift of the Gods Champion: Fenix
Trios Champions: Angelico, Ivelisse and Son of Havoc
Even though Lucha Underground is not a full time promotion and it’s not your typical presentation of pro wrestling it got a lot of rave reviews this past year. They announced last month that they would be back for season 2. Lucha Underground caught the attention of a lot of wrestling fans who were looking an alternative. It helped they had talent like Johnny Mundo(Morrison), Alberto El Patron(Del Rio), Chavo Guerrero, and a cast of well known wrestlers from various promotions in Mexico. The season finale of Lucha Underground was very epic and had everything a pro wrestling show should have. I look forward to season 2 of Lucha Underground.
Ring of Honor Wrestling
ROH World Champion: Jay Lethal
TV Champion: Jay Lethal
World Tag Team Champions: The Kingdom (Matt Taven and Michael Bennett)
I don’t care what anyone says about ROH because I believe it’s where the best pro wrestlers go to get noticed. ROH has produced so much talent that went on to WWE. Those names include CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Seth Rollins, Sami Zayn, and Kevin Owens. All of them have become well known and have had success in WWE. The WWE will never come out and say it but I think they keep their on Ring of Honor. The five guys I would love to see go to NXT from ROH are Adam Cole, Jay Lethal, Moose, The Young Bucks, and ACH. Trust me if the whole roster could go to NXT I would take it but ROH is to great of a wrestling promotion to let that happen. Some people might consider them an Indie Promotion so if that’s the case then they are the best Indie Promotion in the country. They have a great pool of talent and produce great wrestling shows that many people enjoy.
NXT Champion: Finn Balor
NXT Women’s Champion: Bayley
NXT Tag Team Champions: The Vaudevillians
The difference between NXT and the main roster of WWE is creativity, aggressiveness and letting talents be themselves with their characters and wrestling styles. In the last year NXT has brought in Kevin Owens, Samoa Joe and Rhyno. They have had appearances by Jushin Thunder Liger, James Storm, Johnny Gargano, and Tommaso Ciampa. Triple H has one of the greatest minds in all of pro wrestling. He knows how to produce, develop, and make someone better. He has wrestlers working with wrestlers which is the best way to go. I am not going to insult anyone’s intelligence but Triple H is smart for taking a little bit of what ROH, Evolve and PWG does and making it mainstream. Whether you’ve been on the Indie Scene or been through WWE’s developmental system, you almost can’t tell the difference. If Triple H keeps having the success he does, it’s only a matter of time before NXT is just as big as Raw and Smackdown.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion: Seth Rollins
WWE Intercontintal Champion: Kevin Owens
WWE United States Champion: John Cena
WWE Divas Champion: Charlotte
WWE Tag Team Champions: The New Day
Money in the Bank Briefcase Holder: Sheamus
Over the last month the WWE has had the worst ratings it’s seen since right before the Attitude Era. I’ve always said that because they have no competition they have no desire to do something great. The fact of the matter is, they are competing against other sports and entertainment shows and failing miserably. The problem is that the talent that the fans want to see highlighted are being the highlighted. For me personally guys that should be heavily in the spotlight are Kevin Owens, Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Bray Wyatt, Dolph Ziggler, Cesaro, Neville, Bad News Barrett, Rusev, Stardust, and Sheamus. All of these guys should be competing for the World Title and Intercontinental Title. The problem is Vince needs to get out of his own mind and listen to the fans, not himself. You would have thought he would have learned from the Daniel Bryan and the Yes Movement! I think WWE will continue to be in this jam until they shake things up, push the envelope with their content on TV and get people who are passionate about wrestling writing your TV shows. Let’s face it, Triple H is outdoing Vince McMahon at almost every aspect of the product. Maybe this will be a sign of things to come for the future when Vince McMahon finally steps down.
There is a lot of pro wrestling in this country. Some good, and some bad. Not everyone is going to be happy with the same promotion. There is one guy I haven’t mentioned yet and I feel that whoever landed this superstar full time would have a huge edge on everyone else. This guy is such a great in ring competitor and has built a legacy for himself all around the world. Simply put, he’s phenomenal!
I don’t care what anyone has to say about AJ Styles. For me, he is now the Sting of this era. He’s the last of the greats who has not been in WWE on a mainstream level. He’s made a name for himself in Japan and splits his time between New Japan and Ring of Honor. He’s his own brand, his own man, and he makes a great living doing what does. He is 38 years old and at some point I believe he will appear in a WWE ring. I’ve heard people say “AJ Styles doesn’t need WWE, and WWE doesn’t need AJ Styles.” That statement couldn’t be anymore false. I don’t care who you are in the pro wrestling business. If you don’t have aspirations to be on a Wrestlemania card, the night in wrestling that’s more watched then any other night of the year there is something something seriously wrong with you. When Styles feels he’s conquered Japan and there’s nothing left for him to accomplish then I believe there is a good chance he will be in the WWE.
Pro wrestling has it’s upsides about it but the problem is if WWE isn’t having an upside then no one cares about the industry as much. WWE needs to be relevant and successful for the entire industry to be relevant and successful. Hopefully we will see pro wrestling reach historic heights once again.