Posts Tagged ‘CHIKARA’

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling Episode: Comedy!

September 22, 2014

WILPW

I realized that I could really use a laugh after a long weekend after a somewhat uncertain week so that is today’s subject.  That realization made me realize the obvious fact that we could all use a laugh sometimes.  I will say right away that pro-wrestling is not my main source of comedy.  I have funny friends, funny family and funny co-workers to keep me laughing.  However, when I’m watching my wrestling shows, I like a little comedy there too.

The problem with comedy in pro-wrestling is that, according to the show’s internal fiction, these guys are at either at each others’ throats or allying with each other.  They are all fighting for the top spot so why would they stop and make jokes when their paycheck is on the line?  This is a valid point.  It definitely takes a light touch.  Just like any other comedy, the joke cannot be forced or clash with the fabric of the story around it.

The WWE (back when it was the WWF) ran into this problem with serious wrestlers like Bret Hart having to fight Doink the Clown.  Of course, much of the company had become pretty cartoony by that point.  This led to a backlash movement that quickly became the Attitude Movement where performers dropped the characters they were given and began to play characters closer to their own personalities.  Of course, the comedy continued and segments from Degeneration X, The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin were especially funny.

The WWE is definitely maturing in its comedy as the company ages.  Occasionally, the company will assume that poop and barf are comedy gold.  This is never ever true.  It was not funny when Betty White (yes, that Betty White) dosed Billy Gunn with laxatives.  It was not funny when Titus O’Neil barfed all over the announcers and ringside crew.  I know that little kids do watch their program and they do find barf, poop and pee funny.  Should we really cater to that?  Really?

There are plenty more examples of comedy that does not make me sigh or wish I was watching anything else.

Shawn Michaels returns to Degeneration X

Shawn Michaels and HHH have great comedic timing together and whenever they weren’t trying to kill each other they often teamed up as the leaders of Degeneration X.  This is the most polished of their work that comes to mind.  Sure they did a lot of funny stuff over the decades they’ve been together but for some reason this sticks out in my head more.

Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady

Enzo Amore continues to be the funniest person in mainstream wrestling today.  Everything he says makes me laugh and smile mainly because he just has great delivery.  He does some fun wordplay and purposefully pronounces names and words wrong.  With Big Cass by his side, his jokes will never be S-A-W-F-T.

Chikara Slo-Mo

I have mostly watched Chikara through Youtube which I feel a little bad about.  I should probably break down and purchase some DVDs to support the cause.  If there’s a funny pro-wrestling clip on the internet, it’s probably Chikara.  Since every wrestler in Chikara is a cartoon, they go to outrageous extremes in interrupting matches for comedy bits.  Everybody involved gets in on the act and it’s what fans pay to see so there’s no problem.

Chuck Taylor Scares Kids

This will never stop being funny to me.  The Kentucky Gentleman Chuck Taylor just loves scaring little kids in the crowd or sometimes he will just pick fights with them.  It’s not only funny but it goes a long way towards making him a funny heel.  He’s a villain in the way that Pete is a villain to Mickey Mouse.  He’s a villain because there has to be a villain but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a lot of fun.

Dance Off!

I discovered these a while back.  I have seen these dance offs between wrestlers mostly in Youtube clips from English promotions.  In the WWE they often do a dance off and the joke is that one person is great and the other one is obviously horrible.  Here, the match stops and the two (or more) performers bust out their moves and the fans decide.  Here we get to decide between Curry Man dance moves or AJ Styles’ nerdy dancing.

3MB Verbal Gaffe

Not much to say about this one.  The 3 Man Band was one of the best comedy heel teams of all time.  Thrown together on a whim, three young wrestlers made the most of it.  They really pushed their gimmick to the limit.  I didn’t even complain when they took the dwarf Hornswoggle on and (unofficially) renamed themselves 3.5MB.  Here we get a look at them being the goofballs we all knew and loved.

Why I Love Pro-Wrestling: Alternative to WWE

September 11, 2014

WILPW

In this modern world we live in, despite what conspiracy theorists might say, we live in a world full of freedom.  As a consumer, we have freedom of choice.  As long as we have the money then we can buy whatever we want.  We are adults.  Ice cream for breakfast? Done.  Bacon on that burger?  Done.  Of course, this freedom of choice can sometimes come with what I call “the paralysis of choice”.  “How can I choose between one hundred different shampoos?”  This can be tough and requires shopping around.  The upside?  If you don’t like something there’s a lot of competition out there to check out.

I have definitely sampled a lot of wrestling and I’m always interested to check out companies that are new to me.  These are the companies that I have seen and I continue to search out more and more.  I have not watched really any of the Japanese or Mexican promotions.  I want to though.

MCW Maryland Championship Wrestling

The state of Maryland is near and dear to my heart.  It makes sense that I should throw some love to MCW, a local treasure.  The company has been around in some form or another for a long time and a lot great performers have passed through there.  They continue to have great independent wrestlers while playing host to big stars to draw crowds.  It does not hurt that I am a huge fan of Justin Shlegel, 98 Rock personnel and royal adviser of Ryan McBride.

Covey Pro Wrestling

I have seen exactly one episode of Covey Pro Wrestling but it felt pretty fun.  As I said on twitter, this one is country as hell.  The episode I saw was staged in a high school gym but the performers looked dedicated and hard working.  There were no real high spots or anything flashy.  It was old school, hoss wrestling but sometimes that can be nice.  This promotion serves West Virgina, Maryland, Pennsylvania and I think Virginia.

ROH Ring of Honor

The biggest independent promotion in the country.  They are funded by Sinclair broadcasting and they hire only the best talent from around the country and internationally.  They have a weekly show and regular internet payperviews.  They are the most polished of all of the organizations below TNA and WWE.  In fact, both companies regularly raid ROH for talent.

TNA  Total Nonstop Action

The second biggest promotion in the United States (and maybe the world?) behind WWE.  They seem to hire a lot of ex-WWE wrestlers but they have done a pretty good job over the years of generating their own talent or hiring from ROH.   They were revolutionary back in the day but when they sold the company to Dixie Carter the company started to go downhill.   The booking often doesn’t make sense and some of the gimmicks are really stupid.  Still, the perfomers have heart and I still find myself floating back to it after quitting it in disgust.

CHIKARA

CHIKARA is silly as hell.  It has goofy over-the-top performances and cartoon characters as performers.  I have not seen a whole lot of their product but the matches are often dynamite.  The comedy is often mixed into a highly technical match with amazing athleticism.  Besides, there are few other American promotions that I know of that can stop a match in the middle for a dance off between the competitors.  There is no other promotion who has hired both Bob Saget and Dave Coullier to be in story authority figures.
Or you could dig up some archives of other defunct promotions some of which are on the WWE Network. (Only $9.99/month!)  These would include WCCW, WCW, ECW and Smokey Mountain Wrestling.

Bonus Honorable Mention:
Wrestling Society X

I actually really liked MTV’s wrestling show back in the day.  The production values were amazing (including special effects which were so bad they were good) and the wrestling was pretty top notch.  Unfortunately they made Vampiro their champ but nobody’s perfect.  You can still find all of it on Youtube.  Check it out.

Double Bonus Mention:
NXT
NXT is unfortunately only available on the WWE network but it is the one show that I definitely do not miss each week.  It’s WWE’s farm league basically but they push the boundaries and try a lot of wacky and fun stuff on there.  The women’s division on NXT is the best I have seen.  There is a lot more comedy that is a lot less forced.  Besides, it’s got Enzo Amore who is quickly becoming one of my favorites.


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